Wanna Soak up the Caribbean Sun Without Spending a Fortune? Three Things You MUST know!

December 18, 2019
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Hey, I'm Jay

When I’m not DJing on Cincinnati’s Mix 94.9, you can find me traveling the world and sharing my journeys here.

Winter in Cincinnati means snow, rain, and chilly air that seems to hang around for weeks.

There’s nothing relaxing about that, right?

Let’s get you out of the cold and on a flight from CVG to an incredible (and warm) Caribbean destination.

Castillo San Cristóbal in Old San Juan, Puerto Rico is an important and beautiful piece of history.

The Caribbean, including parts of Central and South America, offers a variety of travel options.

Wanna do absolutely nothing and have someone bring you food and beverages all day? Try one of the many all-inclusive resort options available. Use TripAdvisor to read reviews and compare costs to find the resort that’s right for you.

Feeling a little more adventurous? On our trip to San Pedro, Belize, my wife discovered you could swim with sharks when visiting the famous Hol Chan Marine Reserve.

Never in my wildest dreams would I have told you I’d be swimming with sharks. But… never say never.

There was an odd calm while swimming with these guys. But I could also hear the theme from JAWS on repeat in my head.

We’d returned later that evening for a nighttime snorkel trip and it was like nothing else I’ve ever experienced. Imagine total darkness and only a flashlight to guide you.

If you’d like some less intense snorkeling, try the beaches of St Thomas, US Virgin Islands or the Underwater Sculpture Park in Grenada.

The Underwater Sculpture Park in Grenada is only accessible by boat. Check TripAdvisor to find the best tour companies to take you there.

Another great option is to hop aboard a cruise and journey from island to island. I’ve enjoyed three of them and each cruise line has itineraries that cater to different interests and age groups.

Fly from CVG to popular ports like Miami, Port Canaveral (near Orlando), Gavelston (near Houston), Tampa, and New Orleans. Check out CruiseCritic to see the different types of ships and read reviews about each one.

Here are three things to know before you book:

1. Keep your options open

If you’re flexible with your destination, dates, and/or length of your trip – you’re going to set yourself up for more opportunities to save some cash. Use Google Flights and select CVG as the origin airport, leave the destination blank, and search using the map function to find the lowest cost destination. You will also want to check Southwest Airlines website directly (they won’t appear on Google Flights.)

Also, you’ll want to keep an eye on the CVG Deals page for the latest low fares to multiple destinations.

2. Consider a Package Deal

If you’re not the DIY type when it comes to booking your travel, Apple Vacations and Vacation Express both offer all-inclusive packages from CVG. They’ll handle everything – airfare, hotel, meals, taxes – with one click.

It’s more than just sandy beaches, the Caribbean offers mountains with spectacular views.

3. Get or renew your passport... now!

While a few destinations like Puerto Rico and St. Thomas are American territories and don’t require a passport, the majority of your Caribbean travels – including some cruises – require one for all travelers.

Be sure to apply early (I can’t stress this enough!) as standard passport processing can take 6-8 weeks. If you’re travels begin sooner, you can pay an additional fee to expedite the passport process or book an appointment at a Center. The closest one to us is about a four hour drive up I-75 to Detroit. And, with the TSA’s REAL ID travel program set to begin on October 1, 2020, having a passport is a great option for this new mandate. Here’s a bit more about REAL ID.

Travel tip: look for hotels that offer free bike rentals. It’s a nice way to spend a few hours exploring a new city.

If you already have a passport, make sure to check the expiration date. Many countries require your passport to be valid for at least six months from your date of travel and have at least two blank pages inside. Prior to 2016, you were able to send off your passport to have additional pages added, however this has since changed and you’ll need to apply for a new one.

When there’s a giant sign, you have to stop for a photo, right?

Check out the CVG Travel Navigator to start your next journey and visit my deals page to see some of the most recent low fares from CVG.

I’ll see you on a sandy beach!

-Jay

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