First Time in the CaribbeanIts been a few weeks now since we got back from St Lucia, and i'm missing it...badly. It was the first time ive been to the Caribbean, or anywhere round that part of the world, and it's not a holiday i'm likely to forget. We chose St. Lucia because as well as having wonderful weather and palm fringed beaches for that Caribbean vibe, it is mountainous, jungley and full of animals. We stayed on the South coast near the airport at a wonderful resort, and spent the majority of the time lounging in the sun, drinking cocktails and eating jerked meat (i'm am now officially a jerk chicken addict!). Being on the Atlantic side of the island means that you benefit from the on shore breeze, which means if you want serious heat you find a sheltered spot, but anywhere on the beach it's a delicious combination of hot and breezy, which for Europeans is just fantastic! I made sure I had ample time to work on my tan - you have to really on a trip like this! Cocktail in hand, Ray Ban sunglasses on and I was in heaven!
For one of the few trips we made, we hired a car and drove round the island to visit the famous Piton mountains, and the stunning Sugar Beach (or Plantation Beach). It's not a particularly easy place to find, or a pleasant drive on the rough and very windy roads, but we made it in the end and it was very much worth it. If you want a picture postcard view, this is it, a stunning white sand beach, palm trees and the distinctive pointed mountains in the background. Absolutely stunning. As well as that, at the end of the beach is, of all things, a Hilton hotel, so you can sit on the terrace, sip a drink and admire this unbelievable view all you want!
Even though it’s not a part of the former British Empire, (ok, it was, but for 4 years between 1663 to 1667) the island has a strange feel of the UK about it. The road signs that are identical to the ones we have here, as are the telecoms junction boxes at the side of the road. So, even though you probably wont be used to driving through lush tropical jungle, and glimpsing the amazing turquoise sea, it does feel a little like a bad, windy road in the UK. Oh, and they love their speed bumps there as well!
The trip cost us around £3,500 in total, and this covered flights, transfers and all-inclusive accommodation for me, my wife and our new son (who is thankfully young enough to not be charged for his own seat on the plane). For me, this is an excellent price, especially considering we didn’t really have to spend anything extra apart from car hire. We managed to save this money relatively quickly, thanks to some interesting information I found online. A money saving website featured an infographic that highlighted the most frequent ways that people waste money. It’s an interesting read, and prompted us as a family to re-evaluate our finances. This cancelling of lesser used services (and some even completely unused!) meant we managed to save the money we needed for the trip in just a few months.
I would urge any one to have a look and see what non-essentials they can cut out from their spending, and free up some money to visit fantastic places like Saint Lucia!