There are 28 island nations in the Caribbean and all of them are known for their beautiful beaches, sunsets, food and culture.

If you have ever dreamed of lounging on the beach with a cocktail in hand at a popular Caribbean destination, you will be happy to know that it won’t take much to turn this fantasy into reality. With a little planning, you can be on your way to a Caribbean paradise in no time.

Here are the easiest ways to make your Caribbean dream come true:

This Way to the Caribbean

The easiest Caribbean destinations to travel to from the United States are Aruba, The Bahamas, The Cayman Islands, Dominican Republic, Jamaica , Puerto Rico, Saint Martin, and the US Virgin Islands.

They are the easiest because they all can be accessed by non-stop flights from various airports. You can access other popular Caribbean destinations by nonstop flights, but they will be less frequent.

The most popular hub for flying to the Caribbean is Miami International Airport. American Airlines flies to almost all of the most popular destinations daily and year-round from this airport. Many of the Caribbean destinations can be reached within a couple of hours — and if you are traveling to the Bahamas you can get there within 1 hour!

For travelers living in the Northeastern states, you can depart from all 3 of the major airports in the New York area. American Airlines and Jetblue offer non-stop flights to the most popular destinations in the Caribbean. Washington Dulles International Airport and Boston Logan Airport also offer many options for nonstop flights.

Which Destination to Visit?

With so many islands to choose from, it can be difficult for you to narrow down the options. We have chosen to explore The Cayman Islands and The Bahamas in this article, to keep planning simple. Both of these destinations have an array of Caribbean resorts to choose from.

Grand Cayman

Grand Cayman is the largest of the Cayman Islands and is an ideal choice for a family vacation with your children. There are many child-friendly activities across the island, such as Cayman Turtle Farm where you can snorkel with sea turtles and other varieties of marine life. Other fun activities include taking a submarine ride up to 100ft below the surface on the Atlantis Submarine. These are just a few of the many options available.

Grand Cayman’s premier all-inclusive resort is the Wyndham Reef Resort. All of the rooms on this beautiful property offer views of the ocean facing east putting the beach literally right outside of your window. This popular Caribbean resort offers many family oriented activities like horseback riding and cycling.

The Wyndham Reef Resort is located on the east end of the island and is sought out by those families who want to avoid the most populated side of the island where Seven Mile Beach is located.

Seven Mile Beach is among the most popular beaches on Grand Cayman. For families that like the excitement of being more in the action, a resort here is definitely ideal. Although not all-inclusive, The Westin Grand Cayman Seven Mile Beach Resort and Spa is a good choice for families as it offers a day camp full of activities for the children. This, combined with all of the amenities of a full resort and spa, means that there is certainly enough to be enjoyed by the entire family.

The Bahamas

The Bahamas is known for its amazing views, white and pink sand beaches and memorable sunsets. There are few places that compare when it comes to vacation destinations for couples. A popular choice for weddings and anniversaries, the Bahamas has secluded islands and many secret sea treasures to explore.

If you and your partner have plenty of cash and are looking for a truly unique Caribbean resort experience, then Fowl Cay Resort is a must. Located at Exumas, Bahamas, this resort takes the concept of all-inclusive to the next level. The list of amenities includes your villa, motor boat with unlimited gas, food and drinks, housekeeping, golf carts and snorkeling gear. This is only a few of the amenities offered!

Another all-inclusive option is Sandals Emerald Bay Resort. Situated along a mile-long strip of pristine beach, Sandals Emerald Bay Resort is also located at Exumas, this all-inclusive option includes all meals, a choice of 7 restaurants and 5 bars, all water sports equipment including snorkeling, windsurfing and canoes and butler service.

Either one of these resorts is sure to be a memorable experience for you and your partner.

Do You Know What to Pack?

Now that we have chosen our destination, it is time to pack. A key point in packing for a Caribbean vacation is variety. Although the weather is fairly consistent in the Caribbean, it is best to be prepared for some rain, and you also want to make sure you have a selection of clothing for different activities.

  • Swimwear
  • Shorts
  • Comfortable shoes
  • Sandals
  • Light colored shirts
  • Summer dresses
  • Light umbrella

Some restaurants have dress codes, so you need to be prepared for this by packing casual evening wear if you plan on eating at more upscale restaurants.

Travel Insurance

Although many travelers would rather not think about what could go wrong, all traveling carries some degree of risk. The Caribbean islands are a safe destination especially if you are vacationing in a resort, but events like flight cancellations, hurricanes, and tropical diseases are not events that you can plan for in advance.

In many instances, your health insurance plan may not cover you internationally. It is advisable to get extra insurance you while you are abroad.

Many insurance providers offer a variety of options for Caribbean travel. I would recommend a package that covers flight cancellations, replacement of travel documents, and medical expenses in the event of illness or injury during your vacation.

Safe travels and enjoy yourself!