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Island Hopping! Please help!

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Hello everyone,

I am planning on going island hopping in Jan and was wondering if anyone could please provide me with any information? I am going to be going to the following places to volunteer with animals. I have no idea which order to go in and any information anyone has on how to get there/distance/tip/where to avoid etc would be amazing!
I think I am starting the furthest south then working my way back up.
1) St Lucia
2) St Kitts/ Nevis
3)St Maartin
4) Anguilla
5) St johns
6) St Croix
7)Puerto Rico

Could anyone give me any sort of advice?! Thanks a million!!!

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    Have you given any real thought to the logistics involved in island hopping? It is not always easy nor inexpensive to travel between islands. You may find yourself "backtracking" in order to get from one island to the next one on your list. You are going to find flights between islands to be somewhat on the high side (even short flights can cost over $200US one-way) so give yourself a considerable "transportation budget".

    For instance, from St. Lucia you can't fly non-stop or even direct (one or more stops on the same plane) to any of the islands on your list except Puerto Rico. you should also know that American eagle, which was a major island hopper airline has drastically reduced it's flights to many islands so that may cause you some difficulties. Regardless of routing you end up with schedules may be such that there's a good chance you might have to "overnight" one or more times while you travel between your intended destinations.

    Just looking at your list I'd say your best routing would be:

    1) St. Lucia to Puerto Rico

    2) Puerto Rico to St. Thomas then a ferry to St. John (I assume you mean the island of St. John (no "s") in the Virgin islands rather than St. Johns (with the "s" which is the capital city of Antigua). FYI - St. John is accessible ONLY by ferry you cannot fly into that island.

    3) Ferry back from St. John to St. Thomas then fly to St. Croix

    4) Fly from St. Croix fly back to either Puerto Rico or St. Thomas then fly to St. Martin.

    5) From St. Martin take ferry or 7 minute flight to Anguilla

    6) From Anguilla take ferry or 7 minute flight back to St. Martin then fly to St. Kitts.

    7) From St. Kitts you can easily go to Nevis by ferry (45 minutes).

    8) From Nevis getting "back home" (wherever that may be) will require you to either ferry back to St. Kitts or fly to either St. Martin or Puerto Rico. Which route you take depends on day of the week you travel and the location of your final destination. FYI - St. Kitts has a limited number of international flights which may or may not work for you.

    Now, you don't say how long a trip you are planning but you can pretty much assume you'll loose almost an entire day each time you "hop" from one island to another (with the exception of going between St. Martin & Anguilla and Nevis & St. Kitts.

    Since you want to "volunteer with animals" be sure you fully understand the labor laws on the islands you are planning to visit. Some island consider "volunteering" the same as "working" and they have strict rules prohibiting non-citizens of that island from doing any kind of "work" with a "Work permit (often difficult to get). So you might not be able to JUST SHOW UP and begin "working with animals". I suggest you contact the Humane Society (or equivalent) on each island you plan to visit BEFORE you finalize your itinerary. They should be able to give you guidance on the volunteer/work situation for that particular island.

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    Are you volunteering for an agency or solo?

    If agency, they should help you with all the logistics.

    If solo, forget about it. Tons of red tape, way ambitious hopping, ultra expensive at the most expensive time of year.

    Do you mind us asking specific what help with animals? Can make a difference too to help you.

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    St Lucia is the farthest south, so you should start there. Be careful, as there are two airports. Then look at LIAT's schedules from there. If you are talking about St John's, Antigua, that is the headquarters for LIAT and all flights go through there. I too think you could probably help the animals even more if you donated all the money you are going to spend on airfare to the local animal shelters. ;-)

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    Well, I guess I need to look into this a little bit more, huh? I am aware I am going to be spending tons of money on this trip with it pretty much being all traveling and hotels, etc.
    From all of your guys help, I am def going to be starting in Puerto Rico.
    I have been in contact with all of the animal shelters, which are just local organizations, not a place that I could stay.
    Most of them are non-profit that is run by volunteers and they need people to help care for them, etc since this is just something that they do on the side of their regular job. They are all aware of my situation and that it is just someone showing up to help them out while on vacation.
    I am doing this trip as part of me changing my life. Yes, maybe a bit too much eat pray love, however, I am at a point in my life where I want to travel while providing help wherever I can. I want to live my life and not go through the motions which I am finding myself doing more and more.
    I am going to flip flop the order of my travels since St. Lucia does not fly to any other islands!
    You guys have been amazing! Anything else you can think of or any more things that consider would be awesome.
    Once again, thank you to everyone who has helped me thus far!

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    Here's my suggestion. Pick one place and concentrate on that. 2 days here and there won't amount to much, a month in one place can make a difference.

    I he out whenever I can in Turks and Caicos with PotcakePlace.com. Potcakes are the native stray dogs of TCI and Bahamas. Always in need of volunteers and help. TCI also has a TCSPCA.

    In a month you could make a huge difference.

    If you don't pick TCI, then pick one other place. Hopping around will spend your money fast and ultimately not make a dent.

    Tis is just my opinion, but you'll help out far better picking one place (and will be cheaper for you in long run) than running aroung the Caribbean. If you hop, it will only amount to days help each place.

    If you want to make a difference, stick to one. It's amazing what can be accomplished that way.

    Again, just my opinion, based on experience of helping out whenever I can

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