An aerial view of Anse Chastanet and Jade Mountain in Soufrière, St. Lucia
An aerial view of Anse Chastanet and Jade Mountain in Soufrière, St. Lucia

St. Lucia is a great destination for a vacation and tourists from around the world flock to this island nation year after year for fun in the sun and relaxation. If you are planning a trip to the beautiful island to celebrate your retirement, there are some things to consider before you hop on a plane and fly in.

Many retirees use their various retirement benefits (such as the examples outlined here) to travel to St. Lucia and finally be able to unwind and enjoy the life they have long worked hard to support. For many, this can mean they have a specific amount they can spend while on their trip and it’s important to plan things to do around that carefully constructed budget.

Before looking at ways to budget your trip, lets check out some of the best reasons to visit St. Lucia and what you will find when you arrive. First, this amazing island is very laid back and you move at your own pace no matter what you are doing. It has a great reputation as being a safe country to visit and best of all, there are so many things to do!

For instance, you can wake up and have coffee on your balcony overlooking the ocean from your resort room and then head out to splash in the water, hike a mountain or even venture into the woods to try zip lining. Have you ever snorkeled? If not, the reefs are incredible and whether you have your own gear or not, you can always go snorkeling or diving because you will find plenty of rental businesses along the beach where can grab all the gear you need.

You can visit lighthouses, check out beautiful landscape and even the rainforest! Whether you have your own car shipped to St. Lucia, or you choose to rent one or use public transportation, you will find there are many wonderful activities all around the island. From fishing to sailing or surfing and everything in between, water sports are always in season and there is no better way to end a long day of relaxation than to sit on the sand and watch the sunset over the sparkling blue waters of the Caribbean. The views are truly breathtaking.

 

Spend Wisely

Whether you are planning a spa resort stay or you want to find a budget friendly hotel, you’re going to find that there are plenty of places to lay your head down at night in St. Lucia. If you want to save a little on accommodations, try to avoid travel from December through April when the rates tend to go up. June through August are the slower months for tourism and they are typically the best months to plan a vacation because rates are generally lower, and of course because the weather is incredible during that time.

Souvenirs and Shopping

For many people, bringing home a little souvenir from vacation in important. Tans can fade quickly, but a knick-knack or a piece of a jewelry will last a very long time and can be a great way to remember the fun you had. When you’re out on a shopping spree be sure to remember that products such as alcohol, cigars and even some of the trinkets and statues may possibly have customs fees tacked onto them when you try to bring them home with you. If you are on the island for longer than 48 hours however, you won’t need to worry about customs fees unless your items have a value of more than $600 USD.

 

Restaurants

Sitting down at a restaurant in St. Lucia often carries a smaller price tag than dining out in the U.S. There are some establishments however, such as gourmet or specialty restaurants that can be a little pricey. If you are on a strict budget, it’s a good idea to call ahead to get a good idea of how things are priced. Be sure to leave a tip when you dine out or when you stop somewhere to grab an adult beverage. A 15% tip is the usual amount left for hospitality staff at restaurants. Tipping more is always nice if your service was good but be sure to check first to see if your tip is already added into the bill. If you are staying at a resort, tips are often added to the bill.

 

Getting Around

Some people opt to bring their own car or bicycle with them when they visit St. Lucia. There are also many reliable choices for public transportation including buses, taxis and rental cars. You can even rent motorbikes, bicycles and helicopters if you want to an aerial tour of the island.

With so many things to do on this beautiful island, it’s easy to get caught up in the paradise life and spend more than you planned. Spending a little time planning out your budget before you take off for vacation is a great way to maximize your fun and relaxation while ensuring you don’t spend more than you want to spend.

St. Lucia is a beautiful place with friendly people, comfortable lodging for tourists and amazing things to do and once you spend a few days on the island for your retirement vacation, there is a big chance you won’t want to leave when it’s time to go home.