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5 Travel Tips for your Caribbean Vacation

Planning, packing and traveling to your favourite travel destination may be inevitable, but feeling stressed in the process isn’t. Today we share our top tips on how to plan, create and enjoy a memorable Caribbean holiday.

  1. Pack Light. We have all overpacked at some point in our traveling lives and in some instances we do require that extra jacket, hat or pair of jeans during our travel.. but many times it just ends up following you home unused at the end of the trip. Our tip? Only pack the essentials. Pack only what you need and then allow 1 or 2 extra items. You will feel lighter, probably find you still don’t need all of it and airports will become a lot more enjoyable for the whole family. Download your FREE Packing Checklist to help you choose the items that are most important for you! 
  2. Don’t sweat the small stuff. Travel is mostly exciting because of the journey and experiences, however we also get excited during the planning process which is also an important part of the thrill. A little planning can perfectly assist in creating a fun-filled vacation but it’s very easy to go overboard on the planning which can turn into stress. Many of us have tried to ‘make the most’ of a vacation at some point only to be disappointed if it doesn’t work out ‘perfectly’. Remember if you’re in the islands with those you love, it’s already perfect! Avoid trying to create the magical experience and simply just be present and enjoy each moment as it happens naturally.
  3. Boost your body. Give yourself a travel health kick 1 week prior to sailing. Add some extra B Vitamins and Vitamin C into your intake during the last week and boost your body for travel. B Vitamins can help lower stress levels and prevent mosquito bites and Vitamin C may help to prevent seasickness and reduce the risk of contracting colds and flu while traveling.
  4. Use your boat extras. Your boat is your home on water for a week or more so why not make the most of its facilities? Plan a beautiful BBQ night on board one evening, create a romantic star lit dinner in the cockpit, sit on the bow with a cocktail for sunsets, use your snorkel gear and water sports gear to enjoy the beautiful reefs and surrounds at your leisure
  5. Take only memories, leave only footsteps. Make lasting memories through photography, video, connections and laughter. Look at the gorgeous fish, coral, shells, flora and animal life around the islands. Although you may be tempted to touch, remember all the beauty that is there will await your next visit. Leave your footprints and sand castles and take your photographs, stories and life long memories. 

Just like life itself, sailing often comes with many different experiences. Some planned and others unexpected. As much as we strive to deliver the very best charter experience for you, how much you enjoy the ride is really up to you! Look at each encounter as an opportunity and let your island journey take you on an adventure of a lifetime. Relax, learn, play and enjoy every moment! Feel happy knowing that you’ve done your research and are making the best decisions for you and your family.  You’ve put the work into creating this trip and it’s time to reap the rewards.

It’s time to relax and enjoy your holiday!

From the Barefoot Family

 

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Barefoot’s Safer Sunscreen Checklist

It is now possible to choose our level of sun protection and ingredients in the sunscreen we use when we are sailing thanks to the Barefoot Yacht Charters Safer Sunscreen Checklist!

We all need some sunlight because it gives us 80% of the Vitamin D that we need, the trick is not to burn.

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Photo – Mark Pratley, Barefoot Yacht Charters

If you are sailing in The Grenadines, then you are going to be spending a lot of time in the cockpit.  Even if you have your bimini up, you are still going to be exposed from the reflection from the water.  Protecting the skin from harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays is important for both preventing skin cancer and reducing the rate of skin aging.

Depending on your skin tone, between 10-20 minutes a day of sunlight is good for you. Beyond that we need to think about protecting our skin from the harmful UV rays.

You can reduce exposure by following some simple principles:

  • Avoid going out in the sun.
  • Wear long sleeves and a hat
  • Sit in the shade

Doesn’t sound like a fun holiday right?

So now we need to consider sunscreens.  The most widely available sunscreens are chemical based and work mainly by absorbing UV light. Most penetrate the skin to some degree, can enter the bloodstream and cause serious health conditions.

As a follower of the Barefoot Lifestyle I try to avoid synthetic chemicals as much as I can and this applies to sunscreens.

My reasons why? Because some of the ingredients can release free radicals in sunlight, act like oestrogen and therefore disrupt hormones, cause allergic reactions and skin irritations.

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Photo – Mark Pratley, Barefoot Yacht Charters

In addition, when we jump into the sea we are releasing these chemicals and there is some evidence that it is causing coral bleaching by promoting viral infections.

Recent studies on sunscreen also suggest that the

“titanium dioxide in sunscreens is largely responsible for dramatic spikes in hydrogen peroxide levels in coastal waters with potentially dangerous consequences for aquatic life”.

Tony Gibbons Beach, Bequia

Tony Gibbons Beach, Bequia

At present sunscreens have no rigorous safety standards.

Until recently, anyone who didn’t want to use these toxic chemicals had to make their own sunscreens using natural ingredients with a natural SPF such as non-Nano zinc oxide, Almond Oil, Coconut Oil, Red Raspberry Seed Oil, Carrot Seed Oil, and Shea Butter.

This is a great, fun thing to do, but when it comes to packing for your holidays it is more convenient to be able to buy something off the shell…one less thing to worry about! The good news is that the market place has embraced natural sunscreens and there are a few to choose from such as Erbaviva Sunscreen or Purple Prairie SunStuff. Barefoot Yacht Charters also carry a local Caribbean brand of natural sunscreen at the Barefoot Yacht Charters Boutique. Ask our lovely front desk ladies for more information!

To help you, Barefoot Yacht Charters have created a Safer Sunscreen Checklist to help you choose which sunscreen product to buy.  Get your copy here!

 

 

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St Vincent and the Grenadines – Zika Virus FREE

The rapid spread of Zika virus through the Americas, together with the association of infection with microcephaly and Guillain-Barré syndrome, have propelled this previously ignored virus into the limelight. 

Says Professor Esper Kallas of University of San Paolo, Brazil.

What is Zika?

Zika fever is transmitted among humans by mosquito bites. It is a member of the flavivirus family, which includes the dengue virus.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention outline that “most individuals (75%) infected with Zika virus experience mild or no symptoms”. About 25% of infected people develop symptoms 2-10 days after infection in four people may develop mild flu symptoms and a light rash that can last between two and seven days.

The World Health Organisation says people affected should drink plenty of fluids, ensure they rest regularly and treat pain and fever with common medicines.

Which countries are affected?

The World Health Organization has placed travel notices for those countries experiencing the transmission of the ZIKA virus.

This list of countries currently includes the US Virgin Islands, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, a U.S territory, Saint Martin, Barbados, Curaçao, Dominican Republic, Guadeloupe, Haiti and Jamaica. A map on the Pan American Health Organisation website is updated weekly.

Should we be concerned about Zika in St Vincent and the Grenadines?

There have been no reports of the Zika virus in the islands of St Vincent and the Grenadines, and no travel notices are issued by the World Health Organization (WHO).

If you are traveling to and from St Vincent and the Grenadines, do keep in mind that travelers who visit a country where Zika is found could still become infected if bitten by a mosquito in those areas (download our checklist to help avoid this HERE). Imported cases may result in local spread of the virus.

Prevention for Travelers

When traveling to countries where Zika virus or other viruses are spread by mosquitoes, it is important to take precaution:

  • Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants.
  • Stay in places with air conditioning or that use window and door screens to keep mosquitoes outside.
  • Sleep under a mosquito bed net if you are overseas or outside and are not able to protect yourself from mosquito bites.

We have created a special Mosquito Prevention Travel Checklist for you to download below to help you reduce your risk of mosquito bites wherever you go!

In addition, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have created a checklist for travellers which you can download directly from our checklist. We are dedicated to keeping you healthy and happy!

Travel Checklist Button

We want you to experience the very best of the Grenadines with nothing to worry about except which island to which you would like to set sail 🙂

 

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5 Top Tips for Cooking on your Charter Boat

5 TOP TIPS

Before you know it, it’s that time to provision for your charter and cooking tasty meals on board your charter boat can take time and effort in planning and preparation.

It it is important to us that you and your guests have time on board to enjoy your vacation.

Here are 5 simple tips to cooking easily in your galley!

1. Healthy Energy-Filled Snacks

Do ever notice how you always feel hungrier at sea? Whether it is the sun, sea or salt, food always tends to be on the mind a little more when we are at sea. Whether you are trimming sails, pulling sheets, maneuvering the helm or balancing and moving with the movement of the ocean, your body will likely be functioning at a higher level or even just differently than what it would be at home. To make sure you and your crew are fueled, energized and satisfied, serve simple healthy snacks on your charter boat throughout the day. These may consists of fruit, chopped vegetables, dips, nuts etc. Hummus dip is one of our favourites for a quick go-to high protein, high energy snack.

Another favorite is this 5-Minute Guacamole that can be made quickly and easily on board your charter boat.

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5-Minute Tasty Guacamole Recipe

Ingredients

2 large, ripe avocados, pitted.
⅓ cup fresh salsa sauce
Juice from 1 lime
Sea salt, to taste

Directions

Mash the avocado in a bowl using a fork. Add salsa and lime juice. Add salt to taste and mix well.
Serve immediately with chopped veggies or fresh tortilla chips. If you are storing your guacamole, place the pit of the avocado into the dip, seal with a lid and place it in the fridge or cooler to prevent it from turning brown.

2. Meal Planning

It is a great idea to plan your meals in advance to remove the decision making each day. If everyone knows in advance what they are having, where the snacks are located and what to prepare lunches, the workload can be shared. Prepare a meal plan for yourself and your crew or ask our trusty on-site Nutritionist about meal planning or ask about our pre-prepared meals and chef packs to reduce your galley hours while on your charter! Once you have a list of all the meals you would like, you can generate your shopping list with the exact number of items you will need to purchase or you can choose to have provisioning prepared for you by Barefoot Yacht Charters.

Download our simple meal planning Menu Template to help create your charter menu. Reach out to our Lifestyle Consultant if you would like assistance planning your meals.

3. Bring your favourites

Bring your favourite spices and condiments with you on your charter boat! Barefoot Yacht Charters keeps some provisioning at the base and St Vincent has a wide array of local produce and the supermarkets do have some imported goods, however you may not find everything your taste buds desire so bring along any spices and sauces that you simply love.

4. Food Storage

Food storage space can be limited on the charter boat and most often, there is an ice box but you may have no freezer. Choose drinks that can be purchased and stored at room temperature add some non-perishable items to your menu wherever possible to help your provisioning to last longer on your charter boat.

5. Eat Fresh First

Organise your meals based on the freshness of ingredients. Plan for meals made with perishable foods as well as others made with canned ingredients. Eat the most perishable items first (fresh fish, dairy and eggs), and keep the meals based on canned foods or ingredients that keep well at room temperature for the end of the trip. Request frozen meals and pre-parared 10-minute DIY meals from the Barefoot Yachts provisioning options. Purchase frozen marinated meats from our restaurant; they will aid to keep the other food cold and will defrost gradually in the fridge.

As part of Barefoot Yacht Charters and the Barefoot Lifestyle, we endeavor to make your sailing vacation as stress free, relaxation and enjoyable as possible. Look out for our exciting new Chef Select Provisioning options to take the heat out of the galley and give you some extra time for sailing and seeing the islands!

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