News & Features

News Stories by Adam Taplin

  • Check out the local supermarket

    That's especially advisable if you're staying put for a while or have a hotel with kitchenette. You'll get better prices here than at hotel shops, and you'll get a good look at cultural habits by seeing what the locals purchase.

    Posted by Adam Taplin on January 18, 2010 at 2:00:00 AM EST
  • Bahamas: Don't forget to drive on the left

    This can be confusing, because most cars are American with the steering wheel on the left. Similarly, pedestrians must look right, left, right when crossing the street.

    Posted by Adam Taplin on January 17, 2010 at 2:00:00 AM EST Tagged: Bahamas
  • Reconfirm your flights on interisland carriers

    You may be requested (actually, told) to take another flight or departure time that's more convenient for the airline, or your plane may make unscheduled stops.

    Posted by Adam Taplin on January 16, 2010 at 2:00:00 AM EST
  • Don't overlook local agencies when renting a car

    In the Caribbean, local car rental agencies are a good money-saving alternative. Their cars are mechanically sound, and prices are competitive. It's not crucial to reserve a rental car prior to arrival.

    Posted by Adam Taplin on January 15, 2010 at 2:00:00 AM EST
  • Save your old mobile phone

    If you travel internationally frequently, save one of your old mobile phones or buy a cheap one on the Internet; ask your carrier to unlock it for you, and take it with you as a travel phone, buying a new SIM card with pay-as-you-go service in each destination.

    Posted by Adam Taplin on January 14, 2010 at 2:00:00 AM EST
  • Save money by choosing self-service accommodations

    If you are willing to stay in self-catering accommodations, you may not only have more room to spread out (condos are usually much larger than a comparable hotel room), but you'll be able to save money by cooking some meals yourself. Granted, food in Caribbean and Hawaiian supermarkets is still about 30% to 40% higher than at home, but it's always more cost-effective to make a few meals yourself.

    Posted by Adam Taplin on January 13, 2010 at 2:00:00 AM EST
  • Try bargaining in St. Martin

    There's a lot of competition at the island's shops and boutiques. You can always try bargaining, especially in the jewelry stores. You can sometimes get as much as 25% off. Ask "is this your best price"? They will let you know if they're in the mood to deal.

    Posted by Adam Taplin on January 12, 2010 at 2:00:00 AM EST
  • In the Caribbean, learn to live on island time

    From the time Caribbean people are very little children, many are taught to acknowledge anyone they encounter with a friendly "good morning," "good afternoon," or "good night." We simply can't understate how important it is you reply in kind. Islanders take these informal niceties very seriously and will almost always treat you with more friendliness if you slow down and respect their ways, by living on island time.

    Posted by Adam Taplin on January 11, 2010 at 2:00:00 AM EST
  • Don't pay for an expensive hotel breakfast

    Of course, if it's included, by all means, indulge. However, hotel restaurants can be expensive and mediocre; ask the concierge or staff about the neighborhood's bagel shops, cafés, and coffee places.

    Posted by Adam Taplin on January 10, 2010 at 2:00:00 AM EST
  • Book your cruise four to six months ahead

    As a rule, the majority of cruisers plan their trips four to six months ahead of time. It follows then, that a four- to six-month window should give you the pick of sailing dates, ships, itineraries, cabins, and flights to get you to the port city. If you're looking for a standard itinerary and aren't choosy about the vessel or dates, you could wait for a last-minute discount, but they are harder to find than in the past.

    Posted by Adam Taplin on January 09, 2010 at 2:00:00 AM EST