When choosing a Caribbean vacation, the more popular destinations are Jamaica or the Bahamas. But there are other, smaller islands that will provide any traveler with beauty and great experiences. St. Bart’s is located just east of the British Virgin Islands and is small enough to give a sense of exclusivity. It is, however, one of the trickier islands to navigate without doing prior research. Here are five tips for those considering visiting St. Bart’s for the first time.

  1. Check Your Flight Options

This might be a surprise, but there are no direct commercial flights to St. Bart’s. If you can charter your own private jet, you can land directly on their airstrip. However, more likely, you’ll want to fly to Princess Juliana International Airport, located on St. Maarten. From there, you can opt for a ferry or the faster, local charter plane. You can also fly to Puerto Rico first and then head to St. Bart’s.

  1. Bring a Guidebook

Given that St. Bart’s is considered a French territory, their official language is French. You won’t need to have mastered the language but it will definitely help make your trip easier. Having a pocket guide is useful but English is commonly used throughout the island. So you’ll still be able to get around and get a great experience.

  1. Prepare To Swim

As you might expect on any Caribbean island, the sun in St. Bart’s is bright and intense. To protect your skin (and make sure you enjoy all of your trip), make sure to bring plenty of sunscreen. You might also want to include multiple swimsuits in your luggage. This island boasts over 12 beaches, all of which are open for public use.

  1. Choose Your Lodging

Eden Rock, for example, is a popular choice for those who want to get a glimpse of celebs. If you’re not into being in the spotlight, you can choose to rent a villa instead. St Barts villa rentals  provide the familiar quality of being at home but with upgrades. For instance, the companies that rent the villas will take care of everything you need, from flights to childcare.

  1. Make Reservations Early

It would be a definite bummer if your trip got rained out due to poor planning, especially since some reservations require 6-months advanced notice. Avoid this by scoping out when to avoid the island and when to book your trip. Note that December is the peak season and bookings fill up fast

Flying out to St. Bart’s has a very jetsetter, upper crust feel to it but it’s not inaccessible. It’s actually a very laidback island where everyone can get a shot at really relaxing. But it also has a nightlife, both on the island itself and on cousin islands like Martinique. Going to St. Bart’s will provide you a sort of European-style getaway while still allowing you to bask in Caribbean tropical weather. So with proper planning, you can take a trip to this wonderful island and feel like a celebrity.

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