Being cautious of Caribbean travel advisories ahead of summer vacation season – CBS News

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/ CBS Pittsburgh
PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — As we move towards the summer vacation season, the government is issuing an increasing number of warnings and advisories about travel. 
One of the more recent was an advisory about travel to the Caribbean and specifically the Bahamas calling for increased caution — which is better than Jamaica, where all travel should be reconsidered due to crime. 
From crystal clear water to sunshine and sand, there is small wonder we are drawn to the lush islands of the Caribbean. 
“The Caribbean, you have to remember is more than 30 countries spread over a million miles. So an advisory is issued for one country, it doesn’t necessarily mean that that should put you off going to any other country,” said travel expert Sarah Greaves-Gabbandon. 
Greaves-Gabbandon has been monitoring the Caribbean and writing about travel there for more than 20 years and she says to read the advisories carefully.
“Most times they are for a specific area of a specific country and these areas are usually not areas where tourists are,” Greaves-Gabbandon. 
The advisory for the Bahamas is related to a specific area of Nassau and the local says it’s primarily internal in the drug trade and Greaves-Gabbandon recommends talking to a travel advisor.
“They can give you, I think, a more balanced real life view of whether you should go or not,” Greaves-Gabbandon said. “No professional Travel Advisor is going to send you somewhere where they feel you’d be unsafe.”
Greaves-Gabbandon says you don’t have to break the bank for an island vacation and says that if you have AAA, AARP, or another kind of club membership, chances are you can find some sort of deal there.
When it comes to looking for plans to make, Greaves-Gabbandon says to consider May and June as a time where you might find the best prices and the best combination of prices and weather and accessibility because some islands are not year-round. 
If you’re trying to make it a trip on a budget whether you’re eyeing the Caribbean or Mexico, consider an all-inclusive resort.
“All inclusive resorts aren’t just a one level,” Graves-Gabbandon said. “They’re either on just on a budget or on moderate. There are very fancy ones and there are very cost effective ones.
Whatever country you consider, read the travel advisories.
For instance, Jamaica has had crime even at the all-inclusive resorts and Mexico is broken down by area where it’s safe and where it’s not. 
If you wonder whether or not safety is worth the risk, all-inclusive resorts usually have their own private security and are a safe bet, but just like here in the states, wherever you travel, the experts say never open a hotel door unless you know who’s on the other side, don’t go alone, and always be aware of your surroundings. 
John Shumway joined KDKA in October 1988 as a General Assignment Reporter. During his years at KDKA, he has anchored the morning and weekend news and is currently a featured General Assignment Reporter on the station’s 4, 5 and 6 p.m. newscasts.
First published on March 11, 2024 / 5:24 AM EDT
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