An island getaway is pretty much the ideal vacation for many people. But which of the thousands of islands in the world is best for you? Whether you’re thinking about the Caribbean, the South Pacific, the Mediterranean, or someplace even more far-flung, each island destination offers something a little bit different and each has its own unique flavor.
A travel advisor can help you find the right destination, and save you time and stress in the planning process. But you’ll still need to do some thinking in advance to help your agent narrow things down.
Start your decision process by deciding why you want to go on a tropical island vacation. What about an island getaway MOST excites you, and what do you see yourself doing while you’re there. It might be a whole mix of things but there is sure to be one thing that rises to the top.
To Relax in the Sunshine
Does your perfect island vacation involve soft white sand for sunbathing, a massage in the resort spa, and a piña colada by the pool? Are you looking to relax and restore after too many busy days at work? Your perfect island has a luxury resort, calm soothing waters and a sunbed ready for you each day. This vacation is all about chilling on the beach and soaking up the sun.
Amazingly soft sands, calm waters, and beaches perfect for sunbathing:
Milos, Anguilla, Turks & Caicos, The Cook Islands, Martinique, Grenada, Aruba, Maui
Incredible resorts that cater to your wellness. Stylish spas and relaxing pools:
Santorini, St Lucia, The Bahamas, The Cayman Islands, Nevis/St. Kitts, Bora Bora.
To Eat Amazing Food & Explore Other Cultures
Are you a foodie? Are you interested in the local culture of the islands and always looking to explore outside the resort? Then you’ll want to look at islands that offer more than just a beach – they should have established cities or towns that have their own unique flavor, with lots of interesting and delicious restaurants and a strong cultural presence that you can connect with.
Amazing food with lots of unique cuisines:
Crete, St. Maarten, and O’ahu
Mykonos & Barbados
Lots of historical and cultural sites:
Jamaica, Puerto Rico, Curacao and Bermuda
To Spend Time in the Sea
Of course you’ll want to enjoy the water on your island vacation! But is it the main reason you’re going? Do you want to spend your days swimming, snorkeling, or scuba diving? Or are you excited to try your hand at water sports like kayaking, jet skis, and kitesurfing? Perhaps even going out on a boat to see the island from a new perspective. If the water is where you plan on spending most of your time, you’ll want to look at islands that highlight it as their best feature.
For water sports, boating and diving:
Paros, St. John, Aruba, Bonaire, British Virgin Islands, Antigua, and Maui.
For over-water bungalows and lots of marine life:
French Polynesia and The Maldives
To Explore Nature & See Wildlife
Some islands have incredible mountains and colorful plants and animals that make the land almost as enticing as the sea. Do you want to take an island vacation to get out into nature, and to enjoy tropical landscapes that are completely different from your city life? Perhaps your ideal vacation is all about hiking to the top of the lush peak to see a stunningly dramatic view. Look for islands that highlight eco-tourism, hiking, wellness & nature escapes.
Incredible views, lush mountain peaks, and great hiking:
Ikaria, St. Lucia, Fiji, Mo’orea, Kaua’i, and Hawai
For eco-tourism and ziplining:
St. Kitt, Rapa Nui (Easter Island), The Solomon Islands, Moloka’i, St. John, and Domenica
When to Go
Now that you’ve discovered why you’re excited to go on an island vacation, it’s worth taking a moment to consider the when and the how.
Sometimes we get to decide when we’re going to take our vacation and sometimes it’s dictated by work, school, or other responsibilities. If you have a limited and specific timeframe, then you want to look at things like weather and sea conditions. Are you dreaming of only warm sunny days without a cloud in the sky? Do you despise humidity with every fiber of your being? Can you only travel in September during hurricane season? Consider the seasonality:
Dry Season: February – May
Wet season: June- November
High Season: December – April
Best Weather: May- October
Best for Honeymoon:
June & September
Low Season: November- April
Hot with high humidity:
No matter which island you choose, you are sure to find incredible water, beautiful beaches, and a variety of accommodations. While some islands will be better suited to your adventure priorities than others, you simply can’t go wrong with an island getaway! If you’re feeling inspired to find the perfect island for you — let us know!