Paris Permenter & John Bigley's
Caribbean Family Tripper travel guide

Your guide to Caribbean family vacations from a husband-wife team of professional travel writers and guidebook authors.

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Safety & Health in the Caribbean

Fortunately the Caribbean is much like traveling within the US in terms of disease, insects, and safety concerns.

Stomach problems from food and water are at a minimum in the Caribbean. Most stomach distress is caused by, not the food itself, but by larger-than-usual amounts of food (a problem visitors to the all-inclusive resorts will easily understand due to massive buffets).

Nothing will ruin a vacation any faster than a sunburn, your biggest danger in the Caribbean. You’ll be surprised, even if you don’t burn easily or if you already have a good base tan, how easily the sun will sneak up on you. At this southern latitude, good sunscreen, applied liberally and often, is a must.

Bring along children’s sunblock for tender young skin. Reapply often and make sure that it goes everywhere, even into thin hair. Many parents bring along a T-shirt for children to wear in the water. Young snorkelers can fry like fish in these waters and while snorkeling it’s especially easy to forget that your back is exposed.

Also bring along mosquito and bug repellent. The worst insect in the Caribbean are sand fleas. Popularly known as no-see-’ums, these pesky critters raise itchy welts where they bite, usually along the ankles. Use an insect repellent if you’ll be on the beach near sunset, the worst time of the day for these unwelcome beach bums.

Like travel anywhere, however, you'll find certain more serious concerns, from crime to disease:

Crime in the Caribbean

Drugs in the Region If you are traveling with teens, you'll find that drugs are a problem on some islands.

Malaria A concern in very few Caribbean destinations, check here for links to current information on outbreaks.

Letter of Consent Whether you're traveling with stepchildren, grandchildren, or bringing along a friend of your child's, read what you need to know about a letter of consent in case of an accident or emergency.

Handicapped Access in the Caribbean Access can vary greatly from location to location.


CDC Traveler's Health in the Caribbean This section covers diseases found in the Caribbean, staying healthy during your trip, what to watch for after you return home, and more.

CDC Traveling with Children Section This includes immunization requirements, information on traveling with infants, insect protection for young travelers, and more.

CDC Section on Cruise Ship Health The much-publicized gastrointestinal illnesses that plagued some ships have brought the public's attention to health concerns while cruising.



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