News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Weds. Aug. 11, 2021: Boasting sandy beaches and the bluest water around, it’s no surprise that the Caribbean is your desired destination for a new home. However, moving your life to a new island is no vacation. From finding a flexible job, shipping your vehicle overseas, and assimilating to local culture, there are quite a few factors to consider before you leap across the ocean to your new Caribbean home.
Before establishing roots as an expat in the Caribbean, brushing up on COVID-19-related protocols and procedures is crucial. While some Caribbean islands uphold mandates for extended quarantines, other islands, like the Dominican Republic, welcome U.S.-based tourists without a negative COVID-19 test in hand.
While select expats in transit skate by without coronavirus testing and two-week quarantines, be warned that US Centers of Disease Control and Prevention have ranked certain Caribbean islands as high-risk COVID-19 hotspots, i.e., Saint Martin, Martinique, Saint Barthelemy, etc. With cases surging in these islands, Caribbean-bound travelers should brace for mandatory isolation, multiple rounds of COVID-19 tests, and lockdown procedures – depending on their final destination.
En route to Barbados, the Bahamas, or the like? Read up on your island of choice’s entry requirements.
There are few pleasures more satisfying than taking a leisurely driving along beachside roads. One of the easiest ways to bring home comforts to your new destination is by loading up your beloved car and shipping it to the Caribbean. First, do your research on credible car shipping companies. After all, you only want to leave your vehicle with auto transport providers who you can trust. Next, decipher any hidden costs and ensure that your car is ready for international travel with all necessary customs paperwork.
Whether you’re planning to hang out in the Caribbean for a few months or take the plunge for a long-term move, you will likely need to take up some form of employment. If your visit appears to be on the shorter end, consider a seasonal job like offering local tours or working in food service. However, if you’re in it for the long haul, look into vital skilled trades like nursing or turn to fully remote, online work that suits your skill sets.
The landscape of the Caribbean is undoubtedly beautiful, but the culture offers even more of a wow factor than the sparkling sands. Take time to visit the Caribbean before your move and pick up some local slang, learn languages, and understand the ins and outs of essential markets.
No matter where you move, a network of like-minded individuals is absolutely essential to settling into your new hometown. Before your move, research local hotspots and groups that you could join to build your community. Better yet — if you have the opportunity to take a long trip to the area before you move, you can get the lay of the land and meet a few locals.
Ah, the joys of paperwork! If you are moving outside of a United States territory, you will probably need a visa. Don’t be afraid to look up information on other expat experiences, including blogs and YouTube channels. While word-of-mouth experiences aren’t always absolute truth, it can be valuable to understand the lucid highs and lows of immigration from those who have already done it. For more detailed information, check out your local authority’s guidelines for all the details on legal requirements.
Organization is one of the easiest cure-alls to the constant stressors of an international move. Access your medical records, birth certificates, social security cards, and any other vital documents ahead of your move to make settling in your new home painless as ever.
An international move can be stressful, but beforehand, learning about necessary prep like vehicle transportation and residency requirements will leave you cool as a cucumber before heating up on the Caribbean beaches.