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what do you wish you had known before you went?

Minneapolis, M
posts: 198
reviews: 12
what do you wish you had known before you went?

Just read a great review from Txdancingqueen and she had a section in her trip report that talked about things she wished they had known before they visited Cayman and they listed things that would have been helpful to know prior to arriving. I'd love to have people chime in as we prepare for our upcoming trip.

Thanks in advance. I'd lose to learn as much as I can for convenience/money saving strategies.

Illinois City...
posts: 255
reviews: 7
1. Re: what do you wish you had known before you went?

Im going way back in time to our very first trip. I remember we ate at our hotel for most of our meals...I wished we would have known how great the food was outside the hotel. We didn't drive until our very last day...I wished we would have known that driving on the left really wasn't a big deal and definitely worth it. Those were the 2 things I remember figuring out by our 2nd trip!! The other thing I still forget sometimes is to bring plenty of sunscreen. Its way too expensive there.Have fun!!

Colorado
Destination Expert
for Seven Mile Beach, Grand Cayman, Crested Butte, Gunnison
posts: 3,175
reviews: 88
2. Re: what do you wish you had known before you went?

Look at the clothing you've packed and the cash you are planning on bringing. Halve the clothing and double the cash. Kidding. Only sort of.

Knoxville, Tennessee
posts: 2,127
reviews: 21
3. Re: what do you wish you had known before you went?

Every trip we have cut down on the clothes and will be trying to pare down things again for December trip. While many object to doing laundry on vacation, I'd rather do that then lug (and probably pay for) another bag. Also, there has been much discussion here about bringing food versus buying it on-island. Again, if it means paying for an extra bag each way, IMO it's not worth it and the selection in the supermarkets is very good, unlike other islands. We only bring things that are small and lightweight and those we wouldn't use a full container of during a week (tea bags, spices, etc.) Also any food required for dietary concerns.

White Marsh...
posts: 66
4. Re: what do you wish you had known before you went?

Notify your credit card company about your pending trip. Also, most credit card companies charge a fee( mine is 3%) if you use your card internationally. Therefore, you might want to bring more cash. Bring lots of sunscreen. You might also want to bring dramamine if you are going on any boat rides and tend to get sea sick. If you plan to snorkle a lot you might want to bring your own set. When I stayed at the Marriott it was approx. $10-$15 a day to rent the equipment. Have fun!

Mount Tabor, New...
Destination Expert
for Cayman Islands
posts: 5,867
reviews: 18
5. Re: what do you wish you had known before you went?

Speed limits are posted in MPH, not KPH. Would have saved a good bit of time driving back and forth from Rum Point to town.

Syracuse, New York
Destination Expert
for Seven Mile Beach, West Bay, Syracuse
posts: 2,675
reviews: 70
6. Re: what do you wish you had known before you went?

Following up on the credit card thing - get a no-fee credit card that doesn't do an international charge fee. Capital One is one that I have that is like this - I use this whenever I travel outside the USA.

Keep your phone in airplane mode during the trip, unless you really need to use it. This stops you getting international/roaming airtime costs for folks calling you... unless you have an international data plan turn off your data too.

New York
Destination Expert
for Grand Cayman
posts: 7,782
reviews: 41
7. Re: what do you wish you had known before you went?

I wish I had know how miserable I would be at the airport for the return flight . . . the malady seems to worsen with each trip.

Rhode Island
Destination Expert
for Grand Cayman
posts: 4,206
reviews: 10
8. Re: what do you wish you had known before you went?

Wish we had known to reserve a condo vs staying at a hotel for our first family trip to GC.

Macomb, Illinois
posts: 1,002
reviews: 25
9. Re: what do you wish you had known before you went?

I am glad my parents introduced me to hot patties - otherwise I would have never known to try them. Now they are my standard (and very affordable) lunch and/or afternoon snack (along with a Caybrew). You can find them most anywhere. I plan to buy them in bulk for my November trip: http://www.islandtastecayman.com/

grand island, ny
posts: 180
reviews: 1
10. Re: what do you wish you had known before you went?

That staying in a condo beats staying in a hotel hands down! It gives you space so your not tripping on each other and saves you money by giving you the option to have meals in. We like to grab a quick breakfast at the condo (cereal, toast, etc), pack a lunch and head out the door. We generally ate dinners out. Also, the grocery stores are very nice and have big selections. Fosters and Hurleys have ad's that you can view online to give you an idea of prices. Also we aren't huge drinkers, but you can buy liquor at the duty free (in the states) on your way and bring it with you. We didnt stay on SMB, but did go to the public beach one day,its beautiful but boy was it hot (early May). We stayed at Rum Point and loved sitting under the trees on a lounge chair. There's more to GC than SMB.