The Best Tips for Traveling to the Caribbean from Sunset Travel & Cruise Chicago

If there’s one place on Earth that can offer you everything from perfect beaches, delicious cuisines, incredible history, and friendly people waiting for you, that would be the Caribbean islands.

Are you dreaming about the warm sun and sand or do you prefer researching the history of the islands and then taking in the sights? No matter what your perfect island getaway includes, there are some helpful tips to make sure your vacation goes from simply average to absolutely amazing.

When Is the Best Time to Travel to the Caribbean?

With the exception of the occasional tropical storm or hurricane, the weather in the Caribbean is pleasant year-round, but rates do vary seasonally, and each season brings its own unique events and activities that might factor into your decision.

Generally speaking, the best time to visit the Caribbean is considered to be December to April, when it’s slightly cooler (particularly in the northern Caribbean), drier and less humid. However, this is also when most of the tourists flock to escape the northern winter. If you go during May to November, know that it can be rainy, with hurricanes possible from July to October – though these are rare in the far south.

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With all that said, May to June and late November to mid December provide the most inexpensive rates and fewer crowds – all while still being able to experience good weather for basking on a beach virtually empty of other tourists.

Know Which Islands You Want to Visit

Knowing when to travel to the Caribbean is one thing, but knowing where in the Caribbean you want to travel is another. The Caribbean islands stretch over more than 1,700 miles in the Caribbean Sea, with some being composed of volcanic rocks, while others of coral and sand. There are some that belong to the U.S., U.K., France, or the Netherlands while some are independent countries. Each island offers up an experience as unique as its personality, including different cultures, popular activities, and tourist offerings.

It’s key to match your island with your personality. If you’re into parties and nightlife, Aruba, Puerto Rico, or the Bahamas will fit the bill. If you prefer activities like hiking up mountains, you’ll find what you’re looking for on more rugged islands like Dominica and Grenada.

Another consideration is air travel, as some islands may require several air connections and only offer infrequent flights midweek. On the other hand, because of its closeness to the U.S. and a sheer number of nonstop flights, San Juan, Puerto Rico, is one of the least expensive Caribbean airports to fly to, as are Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, Nassau, Bahamas, and St. Thomas.

It all depends on what you prefer, and Sunset Travel & Cruise will work with you to make sure all your vacation dreams come true.

Choose an Accommodation

Much like choosing an island, the accommodation you choose will be based on your travel style. A popular option is an all-inclusive vacation, meaning you pay only once, but get everything from the room, meals, drinks, activities, transportation, and any other inclusions the resort includes with the deal. This is a good option if you don’t want to spend a lot of time planning the trip, want kid-friendly activities, prefer to lounge around by the pool or beach all day, and don’t care that much about diversity in your restaurant choices.

If you want to really experience local culture and spend time exploring the island, a hotel is the way to go. You will most likely spend more on food and won’t experience as much guidance, but you’re guaranteed an authentic experience.

Keep in mind that off-season rates can reduce prices by up to 40%, so plan accordingly.

Finally, if you’re really on a budget, consider rental options like a villa, Airbnb or Home Away. It’s a popular way of getting cheap accommodation for a few nights, and because they include a kitchen and dining area, you will also save on the cost of meals.

Things to Do In the Caribbean

From taking in the picturesque beaches to exploring the local cuisine, there’s no shortage of activities to do in the islands and it’s impossible to name them all. Simply tell Sunset Travel & Cruise your preferences, and we can find any activity to suit your needs, saving you the time and hassle.

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Some Caribbean Adventures to Consider

Sailing around the Virgin Islands – This is one of the most popular and fun activities you can do. You can get day sails or multi-day trips, a yacht or a catamaran charter; any way you want it, they have it.

Visit Havana, Cuba – Havana is the largest city in the Caribbean and has emerged as a tourist hotspot, rich in history, architecture, and culture — not to mention the subject of one of the most popular songs on the radio. The best time to visit is July when Santiago celebrates its annual Carnival de Santiago de Cuba with music and dancing.

Hike Gros Piton in St. Lucia – If you feel like an excursion and you’re an experienced hiker, plan on taking on the twin volcanic peaks that rise out of the water. They’re a marvel to behold, but an even more incredible experience to climb.

Check out Trunk Bay, St. John – It’s been voted one of the best beaches in the world multiple times, and for good reason. It’s picture perfect with white sands and clear water, and while it costs $5 to get onto the beach, the coral and marine life you’ll see while snorkeling will make it totally worth it.

Planning Your Own Caribbean Vacation?

Whether you want to take in the nightlife in Aruba or the picturesque beaches of Trunk Bay in St. John, Sunset Travel & Cruise will help you plan a Caribbean vacation you’ll never forget. Contact us today!

Learn More About the Top Wedding Destinations with Sunset Travel and Cruise Chicago, IL 60614

Want to have a destination wedding but aren’t sure exactly where you want to go? There are so many gorgeous locations in the world to hold your nuptials, which is why it can feel so overwhelming.

Let Sunset Travel & Cruise guide you through some of our favorite options!

The Many Options for Destination Weddings

Are you leaning more towards the bright lights of the Las Vegas strip or the serene and laid-back island style of Hawaii? Destination weddings are a great way to celebrate the beginning of a new life together — all while exploring new lands in for a time you and your guests won’t soon forget.

Explore All the Options for Destination Weddings with Expert Tips from Sunset Travel and Cruise in Chicago, IL 60614

Where To Have Your Destination Wedding

Sunset Travel & Cruise, your Chicago travel concierge, can secure your destination wedding plans to any of the top locations below — or anywhere else in the world.

Australia

Why not tie the knot in the Land Down Under? Sydney, the Gold Coast and Hayman Island are all popular Australian destination wedding choices. The country itself features gorgeous landscapes, from urban cities to the rugged outback and the unforgettable Great Barrier Reef. Then there are upscale eateries influenced by Europe and Asia, with world-class local wines. Add in scuba diving, snorkeling, white-water rafting, and zoos, and there’s something for everyone here.

Tuscany

This is one of the most popular destination wedding locations, and for good reason. If you’re going for a rustic, romantic affair, the wine estates and castles of central Tuscany are second-to-none. Add in gastronomical delights you won’t find anywhere else in the world, rolling hills and meadows, and il dolce far niente, or “the sweet art of idleness,” and it’s easy to say “I do.”

Hawaii

The first big draw to this destination is that it’s obviously drop-dead gorgeous, but Hawaii also makes for a great wedding location because of traditionally good weather, endless amazing photo opportunities, and tons of options for adventure. There’s plenty for guests to do too — everything from exploring the rain forest region and going horseback riding to shopping, snorkeling, or just relaxing on the beach.

Iceland

Located conveniently between North America and Europe, Iceland is quickly becoming one of the most popular wedding destinations. That landscapes include black sandy beaches, historic wooden churches, fields of green next to towering volcanoes and glaciers, and Northern Lights. It’s perfect for nature lovers and outdoor adventurers, with endlessly interesting and surreal backdrops.

New York City

The city that never sleeps will never cease to offer up amazing opportunities when it comes to a destination wedding. You’ll have countless caterers, florists, photographers, and bands from which to make your selection. And your guests? They can enjoy Broadway shows, museums and galleries, four-star restaurants, active nightlife, and block after block of shopping, the Empire State Building, Statue of Liberty and Times Square — and that’s just the beginning. Plus, the plethora of taxis make it easy to get from place to place.

Jamaica

The site of many all-inclusive resorts, Jamaica can be one of the most affordable of the Caribbean islands on which to get married. But on the other side of the coin, there’s no shortage of luxurious options that Sunset Travel & Cruise can book for you, including private villas complete with private chefs, housekeeping staffs, and security.

The gardens, flowering landscapes, sandy white beaches, and waterfalls all provide a gorgeous backdrop for the big day.

Say I DO with an Island Destination Wedding with Tips from Sunset Travel and Cruise Right In Lincoln Park Chicago, IL 60614

New Zealand

Even people who aren’t “Lord of the Rings” fans will still find this destination pretty much ideal if you’re looking to break away from the crowds but still enjoy amazing scenery and adventures. There are miles of golden beaches and pristine forests — both of which can serve as a memorable backdrop for your wedding. New Zealand also offers up luxury spas, sensational wines, and beautiful hillsides in quaint little towns.

Las Vegas

What happens in Vegas, doesn’t stay in Vegas, because you’re going to want to tell everyone about your amazing destination nuptials. If you’re looking to explore your wild side, Sin City is the place to go for nightlife, gaming, shows, dining, and even a drive-thru chapel or two. Whether you make it a luxurious event full of VIP service or an Elvis impersonator at 2AM, you can bet that Sunset Travel & Cruise will make it your ideal trip from beginning to end.

Costa Rica

If you’re dreaming of a beach bridal affair, how do sun-baked stretches of white sand appeal to you? Those looking for a preserved tropical background for their nuptials but don’t want to sacrifice their modern urban tastes head to Costa Rica. From mountaintop views to the edge of a volcano, there are myriad places to tie the knot. Since ecotourism is big here, meaning you can “green” up your wedding by staying in eco-lodges and rain forest bungalows.

Greece

Thanks to its extensive history, beautiful coastline, and enviable Mediterranean climate, Greece remains one of the most popular travel spots in Europe — especially for destination weddings. It offers breathtaking sunsets, beachside locations, and stunning scenery. Add in culinary delights, cliffside views, and wines to delight, and you’ll want to have your own “Big Fat Greek Wedding”.

Ready to Plan Your Destination Wedding?

Whether you want to tie the knot on the sandy white beaches of Jamaica or the black sandy beaches of Iceland, Sunset Travel & Cruise in Chicago can work with you to plan every detail to make it unforgettable.

With us, you get real people who will tailor your vision into the perfect destination wedding for you. Contact us today!

Tour Sicily n in Style with Expert Tips from Sunset Travel and Cruise in Chicago, IL 60614

What’s the deal with Sicily? It’s more than just the homeland of Sophia on “Golden Girls.” It’s a rugged and attractive island — the largest one in the Mediterranean Sea, to be exact — on the southern tip of Italy. It’s one of the country’s 20 regions, and is separated from the mainland region of Calabria by the five km Straits of Messina.

What Sicily Is Known For

Sicily is known for iconic beaches, historic palaces, and cathedrals that are best visited from May to June or September to October, when temperatures hover around 70ºF. While the weather might be ideal during these months, they also bring larger crowds and higher prices.

As tourist crowds thin out at other times of the year, prices for accommodation drop, which makes off-season travel a good option — traveling in November and December is highly recommended. Winter travel will involve more indoor experiences, such as wine tasting and tours of historic buildings, whereas summer travel will involve more outdoor activities, such a basking in the sun and exploring outdoor markets.

Explore Sicily with Expert Tips from Sunset Travel and Cruise Chicago, IL 60614

But no matter what time you go, each season has its highlight.

Winter In Sicily

Winters in Sicily average around 53ºF, but temperatures drop dramatically after sunset, so plenty of warm clothing is needed when visiting the island this time of year. Flights to Italy and hotel prices drop in winter, which means you save when it comes to travel costs.

An added bonus of going in the off-season is that due to lack of tourists, it makes it easier to get to know the locals on a personal basis. A more relaxed atmosphere may also mean better customer service.

Plus, winter offers all sorts of gems to discover. If there’s snow, there’s skiing on Mt. Etna. From culinary delights such as the sea urchin harvest season in February to cool weather golf, wintertime in Sicily offers much more than many travelers realize.

Spring In Sicily

If you’re looking to tour historic sites and take advantage of the scenic beauty, this might be the best time of the year to visit. Spring in Sicily has a mild climate that allows locals and tourists to finally spend the day outside, enjoying the scents of Sicily and some fresh air. It’s not too warm, not too cool, and the cities aren’t as crowded as they are during the summer months.

Starting in April, Sicily is overtaken by the vibrant hues of almond and cherry blossoms and ripening citrus fruit. Many festivals also take place in April and May, including those for Easter. The late-spring, early-summer rush begins in May, so be aware that there might be larger crowds — but it’s worth it.

Learn When to Travel to Sicily from the Travel Experts at Sunset Travel and Cruise Right In Lincoln Park Chicago, IL 60614

Summer In Sicily

The most popular times to visit Sicily are early and late summer, which means the crowds thin out for July and August due to the heat. But if you can take the heat, you can find some good deals.

Summer is the perfect time to get out of the cities and instead explore traditional fishing villages, relax on breathtaking beaches, and swim in the turquoise water. Just keep in mind that some businesses shut down and take a break during the hot season, but gear up for the crowds in late August.

Fall In Sicily

After Sicily’s hot summer, early fall brings in 70ºF temperatures once again. And along with those temperatures brings the height of this Italian island’s tourist season — along with May and June.

Fall is known as the time of olive harvest, and given that the food in Sicily is seasonal, travelers are in for a treat. Enjoy the flavors of the local seafood pasta, arancini, pizza, gelato, and other delicious treats, eating your way through the region while getting to know the culture and the people.

The moderate temperatures mean you can explore the historic landmarks and colorful scenery without overheating. This is why so many people choose fall for their Sicilian vacation.

Are You Planning a Trip To Sicily?

If you’re ready to explore one of Italy’s most popular regions, Sunset Travel & Cruise is ready to make it an experience you’ll never forget. Contact us today!