Welcome to The Beach Path, the way to find your Happy Place!
"We need a beach vacation. Where should we go? Where do we even begin to look for places?" Have no fear, The Beach Path is here to help! There are large, big-name resorts all over the Caribbean, but we look for destinations and accommodations that are less traveled, smaller and authentic. When you travel to the Caribbean, don't you want to feel like you've really left the United States and are in a different world and state of mind? It can be more difficult to do than you think. And it's easy to get scared off by high prices. With a lot of time and research, we've found a number of "hidden gems" and we keep looking for more. As much as we want to keep these spots from becoming too popular, we want to share our knowledge and help people go beyond the big cruise ship or all-inclusive resort.
How This All Started
Starting with the first big vacation my husband and I took together (our honeymoon, in fact), we've often been asked "How did you even find out about that place?" Mostly, it takes time and a willingness to do something away from the masses.
Our honeymoon was a trip to Ambergris Caye, Belize, back when no one had ever heard of Belize. Friends and family thought we were nuts for traveling to Central America. Tourists were required to get special vaccinations before being able to go to that country. Since then, we've been to the Abacos Islands in the Bahamas twice, chartered catamarans with friends in the British Virgin Islands four times and the Leeward Islands once (visiting St. Martin, St. Barth, Saba and Anguilla), and have been land-based on Petit St. Vincent, St. Lucia, Anguilla, Tortola and Bequia.
We've always taken our time planning and researching our vacations, doing our best to find locations and accommodations that are off the beaten path and less well-known than the major, popular tourist destinations and big resorts.
Many people we've spoken to over the years have expressed their feelings of being intimidated by the huge amount of information available when looking for a vacation spot. We agree that there are so many options out there that it can be overwhelming. We hope that the research and travel we've done will help you narrow down your options and find a place that is perfect for you.
The places and activities that we list are ones that we consider worthy of recommending to others. If we go somewhere, eat someplace or do something that we don't think is all that great, we simply don't include it here.
If there is a destination not listed on our site but you are curious about, please let us know. We enjoy doing travel research and are here to share our findings with you.
What We Look For
When we travel, we make sure to get good value out of our destination and accommodations. We research hotels and villas to death to make sure we are getting the most for our hard-earned money.
Once we started traveling with children, it became obvious to us that we just wouldn't be happy in a typical hotel room. We need personal space and room to spread out. We found that it didn't always cost more to find a place with multiple bedrooms, a kitchen, fewer people and more privacy.
We really don't go anywhere where we can't have two bedrooms. That nixes most hotels right there. It is just not cost efficient to get two rooms. Besides, who wants to spend a week or so on a beach vacation where the only seating options in your room are the bed or the uncomfortable club chair in the corner? And with children older than infant or toddler age, who really wants to share a bedroom with them?
Our ideal vacation accommodation also includes a kitchen. Mostly so that we can have breakfast without having to get dressed and presentable for a resort dining room. And buying breakfast items from a local grocery (or even having your fridge stocked pre-arrival) is a fraction of the price of dining out each morning. We also stock our fridge with local beer, rum, fruit punch, etc. so we have the freedom of pouring our own drinks as opposed to paying $10 - $18 per beer or cocktail at a resort or hotel bar.
We always rent a car so that we can explore beyond the hotel/villa property. There is always so much to see and do, even if you are on a tiny island. And the locals are always so friendly, welcoming and helpful.
If you have a similar approach to your vacations, take a look at what we've found and experienced. Chances are you'll appreciate our recommendations.