4 First-Time Tips for Travelers to Antigua and Barbuda
Well, aren’t you a lucky one! If you are in the midst of planning a trip to the nation of Antigua and Barbuda (or are considering a holiday to the Caribbean), you are undoubtedly about to embark on a bucket-list vacation. There is a reason that the Caribbean is lauded by travelers around the world: There is no better place on the planet — especially if you are adequately prepared beforehand and are ready to embrace the local way of life. To ensure you have the most fabulous trip possible, read on for four first-time tips for travelers to Antigua and Barbuda.
1. Plan a well-rounded itinerary.
For your first trip to Antigua and Barbuda, you want to ensure that you are planning a well-rounded itinerary that includes a little bit of everything that the islands offer. The most obvious “must-do” is to hang out at the beaches (although you probably don’t need too much convincing, especially once you see the dazzling blue water). One of the great things about traveling to Antigua and Barbuda is that beach access is free, as the beaches are not considered private property. Some of the most popular beaches are Valley Church Beach, Dickenson Bay, Pigeon Point Beach and Half Moon Bay; however, Antigua alone has 365 beaches, so you are going to be spoilt for choice. Other “must-dos” include visiting Nelson’s Dockyard (the only continuously working Georgian dockyard in the world and a place steeped in history), chartering a sailboat to get between Antigua and Barbuda, and putting on your snorkels to catch a glimpse of a wide array of fish species and remarkable coral formations.
2. Know how to stretch your budget.
Most people want to stretch their budget as much as possible while on holiday (it means you can save quicker for the next one!). For that reason, it is beneficial to be aware of ways to save some pennies while exploring Antigua and Barbuda. While planning your travel, opt to visit during the off-season (the equivalent of the North American fall and winter) when prices are a lot lower. During this time, you will find fantastic deals on hotel rooms, and you will have more time and opportunities to enjoy the islands without hoards of tourists. As mentioned previously, spending time on the beaches is a fantastic way to keep your activities budget to a minimum; however, just because the beach access is free, it doesn’t mean that the amenities are. In fact, facilities (such as beach chair rental or cafes) tend to be ridiculously expensive. For this reason, it is recommended that you bring your own chairs or towels to sit on, as well as pack your own snacks. For those willing to step out of their comfort zone, the cheapest way to travel is always to live like a local. This means eating local food (lots of fish, jerk chicken, or souse which is a cold dish of pickled pig trotters in a clear broth with seasonings), drinking local beverages (if you are interested in drinking alcohol, then go for the local speciality — rum) and enjoying local entertainment. Make sure to try take away food from the small roadside cantinas as they offer budget-friendly, home-style dishes.
3. Do what you can to embrace the unique vibe.
Antigua and Barbuda is a nation with a unique vibe and a strong personality, and you should do everything you can to embrace the culture and the ambience while you are on holiday there. What does this entail? Well, it means embracing walking (with such perfect weather, you want to spend as much time as possible outdoors), wearing your flip-flops everywhere, trying the spices, and knowing that simple living is the best. It involves not being preoccupied with timings and considering the community around you like family. Open yourself up to the culture, and you will have the trip of a lifetime.
4. Recognize that you may fall in love with the country.
After merely one trip to Antigua and Barbuda, there is a high probability that you will want to return. The islands are like paradise on Earth! If it happens, don’t worry. You won’t be the first person to fall under the spell of the islands. Many foreigners who are looking to reap the benefits of a second nationality look to Antigua and Barbuda and are interested in Antigua citizenship by investment. This citizenship offers a multitude of advantages such as tax benefits, protection from potential political instability, access to visa-free travel, and the freedom that comes as a result of having two passports. Additionally, the agreeable climate, friendly locals, strong economic profile, and the low barrier to entry of investment are all perks. Have you ever been to Antigua and Barbuda? Have you ever wondered how to get an Antigua citizenship? Or any form of second citizenship? Let us know your thoughts or experiences in the comments below!
AUTHOR BIO: Kal Kennard is a Partner at Citizens International, a white-glove specialist firm offering private client services necessary for citizenship investment into the Caribbean. Based in the Caribbean for the past 15 years, she is an experienced consultant who works directly with many professional partners and advises clients worldwide.