Booking Your Caribbean Vacation

Make sense of your vacation-booking options when traveling to the Caribbean

Photo credit: © Oliskr |

Some people are not comfortable with making purchases online; however, if you've used this Web site for your research, booking your vacation online is a natural next step. Remember that credit cards are very safe to use over the Internet, and concerns about security should not deter you from getting the best deals.

Online customers often get better deals than they would by calling the airline or hotel directly because hotels and airlines frequently offer special, online-only deals. If you choose to call individual vendors, they may not even be aware of the online offers available, and this is where some of your research can again pay off. Knowing the prices available and the appropriate and realistic price ranges for airfares and hotels will help you get the best deals.

Another way to book a vacation to the Caribbean is through a travel agent. Walking into just any agency might not be the best tactic, if only because your research will have made you more knowledgeable of the details of a Caribbean vacation than the travel agent, particularly if the agent caters to worldwide or business travelers.

If you know and trust the agent, or he or she is a Caribbean specialist, then they may know a great deal about Caribbean travel. But most agents would have to do a little research of their own to get you to the islands that are right for you. You've just done all your own research just to figure out where you wanted to go, so why not use it?

You may also book a vacation through Internet travel sellers. Here, you will weed through the many pop-up and television advertisements to find general vendors who sell vacations around the world, or you may choose a Caribbean specialist. As with travel agents, generalized online vendors may not have as much to offer a Caribbean traveler when they have specials on destinations around the world. Their selections may be wider, but within the Caribbean, choices on these sites are more limited than sites dedicated solely to Caribbean travel.

Caribbean-vacation-booking Web sites offer more detailed options for each island because they have access to more of the available local tourism-related companies, which are plentiful. These Caribbean-specific vendors can more easily provide unbiased travel information.

While these online vendors do have variations, you will find they tend to offer similar prices on comparable vacation packages. Both receive similar discounted rates from hotels and add in similar costs to keep their businesses running. The differences rarely amount to more than a few dollars. When there are large differences in price, make sure these discrepancies are more than skin deep. Often, disparities in prices amount to nothing more than one company not listing all the taxes and fees involved in the room rental or ticket price.

Booking your vacation through specialized Internet travel vendors entitles you to certain benefits and protection. In addition to more specialized services and attention to the region and your individual vacation needs, third party vendors can take your side in the event of trouble or disputes. Some online vendors may reprimand establishments that do not treat their customers well by no longer doing business with them. This can make you more confident in trusting the validity of the site's hotels and airfares and can make your voice stronger in the event of a problem.

Choosing the online vendor you book your vacation with can show your support to a company. Did you feel that the vendor had helpful information or were they very organized; was the information you needed easy to find?  The money you spend keeps all the associated businesses running and it keeps helping other travelers like you. Once you have made this last decision and booked it all, you can sit back and relax, knowing that while you're on your Caribbean vacation, you won't miss a thing.


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