The Caribbean: This Season’s Top Destination for the Conscientious Traveler

Dominica photo by Tonya Fitzpatrick

As a conscientious traveler, you probably think about where your money goes after you spend it. Who and what does your spending benefit? Lately, travel practices like “voluntourism,” and booking green hotels have become hugely popular. Additionally, many travelers to third-world countries prefer to spend on locally-based companies rather than line the pockets of a foreign enterprise.

This season, there is a new, highly important way you can use your own vacation to benefit the world. To make a difference, all you have to do is have fun and enjoy yourself!

The Caribbean was recently hit hard by hurricanes Irma, Jose, and Maria. Organizations and individuals from the around the world have been pouring resources into rescue and rebuilding efforts. But it’s going to take more than disaster relief to get Caribbean communities back on their feet. It’s going to take travelers like you.

 

The Caribbean is Open for Business

In the wake of the hurricanes, many people have redirected their travel plans to other parts of the world. After all, the media has shown nothing but photos of collapsed buildings and stormy skies. But is this realistic?

In reality, the Caribbean is basking in the endless summer of the tropics. Hurricane season is over, and the sun is out to stay. While there is still clean-up to be done, many islands are already equipped and eager for tourists! In fact, tourists are what will fund the rest of the rebuilding of homes and schools.

 

Why Visit the Caribbean This Season?

Tourism is the single major economic driver in the Caribbean. It’s what makes up paychecks, supports education, puts food on the table, and yes, funds disaster recovery. Every dollar you spend with a Caribbean-based business supports those communities. If you already have a vacation budget, you can make it count for a good cause! The money you spend on a Caribbean vacation will be an essential part of saving the Caribbean from financial crisis.

Besides, who wouldn’t want to go to the Caribbean? The hurricanes haven’t taken away the pleasure or charm of Caribbean vacations! Storm or no storm, the beaches are still beautiful. The sun is still warm. The ocean is still blue. And that Caribbean rum still tastes the same!

 

Best Caribbean Vacations for Conscientious Travelers

Which islands can benefit the most from your tourism? The best islands to visit this season are the ones that were affected by the hurricanes but are ready for visitors nonetheless.

There are quite a few of these, including this islands near Anguilla. Anguilla itself was hit hard by Irma, and is hoping to fund rebuilding through a great tourist season.

Not far from Anguilla is Saint Martin, the hub that connects the nearby islands. The Dutch side, Sint Maarten, recently reopened its airport and harbors. They are ready for visitors! Spend a couple days here, even if it’s not your final destination.

Saba, a tiny island near Saint Martin, was hardly touched by the storm. It’s also accessible now, and is an excellent ecotourism destination.

St. Eustatius, or Statia, as it is known to locals, is also ready to host tourists in its tranquil and remote environment.

 

A trip the Caribbean is the best way for you to thoughtfully spend while enjoying a fantastic vacation! A flight to the islands will do more than just offer you a glorious tropical getaway—it will also make all the difference for the tenacious hurricane survivors who populate the region.

About the Author

Breana Johnson is an American expat living on the Caribbean Island of Sint Maarten. She surfs, snorkels, and spearfishes when she’s not tutoring local kids or writing. If she could have any job title in the world, it would be Professional Hummus Taste Tester. For now, she’s settling for freelance travel writer. You can catch up on Breana’s adventures at her blog, www.3rdCultureWife.com.

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