Vacation Destinations: 10 Beautiful Islands to Visit in the Caribbean

Everyone dreams of taking an island vacation. Every year, millions of tourists from around the world actually turn that dream into reality. For Americans, the islands of the Caribbean offer a nearby paradise that’s easily accessible. Traveling to the Caribbean is also more affordable than many people imagine. But with so many islands to choose from, where do you start? Whether you’re planning a Caribbean cruise or just trying to get a better handle on which island is best for you, take a look at these top ten Caribbean vacation destinations.

Vacation Destinations 10 Islands to Visit in the Caribbean

Barbados

Barbados is the eastern-most island in the Caribbean, so east that it’s considered to be more of an Atlantic island than a Caribbean one. No matter how it’s classified, Barbados is consistently named the number one tourist destination of any island. It’s biggest attraction is its countless beaches surrounded by beautiful, clear water. If you’re in need of rest, relaxation and maybe a little rum, the Barbados beaches will not disappoint.

Unique Feature: Aside from kicking back on the beach with a drink, the second thing many people imagine themselves doing on their Caribbean island vacation is surfing. Barbados is known for being home to some of the best waves in the world, like the famous “Soup Bowl” which attracts pro surfers from around the globe.

The Piton Mountains in St. Lucia

St. Lucia

One of Barbados’ neighbors to the west, St. Lucia has pretty much everything. Its perfect tropical weather is great for catching some sun on the beach, but there’s so much more to explore. The small island is home to a tropical rainforest, numerous waterfalls and the beautiful Piton Mountains. The mountains make it perfect for hiking and seeing the beautiful landscape, as well as more extreme adventure sports like rock climbing.

Unique Feature: One of the most popular tourist attractions on St. Lucia, and in the entire Caribbean for that matter, is the St. Lucia Volcano Tour. Guided tours take you sightseeing through the hot springs and colorful landmarks of the Sulphur Springs It’s one of the few places in the world where you can safely tour a volcano.

Hammock Hanging on a Beach in Aruba

Aruba

This Dutch-governed island is located in the South Caribbean off the coast of Venezuela. It’s known for its stunning white sand beaches, refreshing breezes that cool down the sun and keep the temperatures more mild than most of the islands in the Caribbean. Traveling inland, you’ll get a unique Caribbean experience with Dutch-inspired architecture, an eclectic mix of local cuisine and a very different collection of plant life.

Unique Feature: If you’re hoping to get up off the beach chair and get out on the water, there’s arguably no better island than Aruba. Wind on the water from the Atlantic makes it perfect for windsurfing. Aruba is also known as the “wreck-diving capital of the Caribbean” so you can explore sunken ships while scuba diving.

Scuba Diver in Coral Reef in Bonaire

Bonaire

Bonaire is located off the coast of Venezuela as well. Along with Aruba and Curacao, they make up the ABC islands. Their popularity stems from the fact that they are a few of only several islands in the Caribbean that reside outside the Hurricane Belt. The island itself has one of the most interesting histories. It was occupied by the Spanish, Dutch, British, and even the Germans during WWII. It became a Dutch municipality in 2010.

Unique Feature: Bonaire was one of the first islands to start conserving their coral reefs. As a result, they’re consistently praised for their immaculate diving expeditions. While scuba diving, tourists can view some of the most diverse coral reefs in the world from award-winning instructors who lead experts and beginners.

Willemstad, the Capital City of Curacao

Curacao

Legend has it that Portuguese sailors used this island to recover from scurvy in the 16th century due to the plentiful resources of Vitamin C. The island is often referred to as a miniature European city. Like Bonaire, the island of Curacao has a complicated history and is also a premier diving destination. It’s the largest of the ABC islands, with a bigger population and economy, so it looks and feels less like a tourist destination.

Unique Feature: On an island getaway, it’s great to get off the beach or away from the water for a day. The island of Curacao is home to unique activities on land and even under the land. The Hato Caves lead you through gorgeous limestone caves and underground pools, perfect for adventurers or nature enthusiasts.

Turks and Caicos Blue Water White Sand Beach

Turks and Caicos

Turks and Caicos is actually a group of islands at the tail end of the Bahamas. Just a short plane ride from Miami, the beautiful, sunny temperatures that usually hover between 75 and 85 degrees make the islands perfect for sunbathing. With over 40 islands in the chain and hundreds of miles of beaches, it’s not hard to find that perfect patch of beach to call your own island paradise.

Unique Feature: Like Bonaire, Turks and Caicos is known for its awesome scuba diving. This is due to the fact that it’s home to one of the top three largest barrier reefs in the world. The crystal clear water and wide assortment of sea creatures make it ideal for snorkeling, and the spotless white sand is what we all picture when we imagine a classic Caribbean vacation.

Boats off the Coast of St Kitts

St. Kitts and Nevis

This two-island nation is like St. Lucia in its ability to combine the perfect beach vacation with the outdoor adventures of a tropical rainforest. One of the quieter tourist islands in the Caribbean, it is essentially split between the more lively resorts and parties on St. Kitts and the calmer, nature inspired activities on Nevis (which happens to be the birthplace of Alexander Hamilton–his childhood home still offers guided tours).

Unique Feature: If you’re not comfortable trekking into an active volcano, you can skip St. Lucia and take a tour of the dormant volcanoes on St. Kitts and Nevis. Incredible cliffs created by age-old volcanic eruptions can be seen as you’re guided up the mountain, which only increases your spectacular views of the islands.

Lighthouse in Trinidad and Tobago

Trinidad and Tobago

Bermuda might be the most popular tourist destination in the Caribbean, but Trinidad and Tobago is by far the wealthiest. The thriving twin islands are also two of the largest in the Caribbean, but not so big that you can’t explore what both islands have to offer. Like Turks and Caicos, these islands have a bit of everything, so if you’re trying to satisfy many different interests from snorkeling to rainforest sightseeing, it’s a safe bet.

Unique Feature: Trinidad and Tobago offers an exciting nightlife unlike any other Caribbean destination. In the popular capital, Port-of-Spain, you can witness and participate in a variety of original musical styles and dances. And if you plan your trip the week before Ash Wednesday, you can experience its famous Carnival.

Waterfall in Dominica

Dominica

If the rainforests of St. Lucia or Trinidad and Tobago piqued your interest, you might want switch your flight to the lesser known island of Dominica. Very proud of its reputation in the Caribbean as the “Nature Island,” Dominica’s breathtaking natural landscape is more than two-thirds rainforest. It’s filled with must-see lakes, rivers, and waterfalls and thousands of different species of plants and animals, perfect for the nature lover.

Unique Feature: Dominica is more than its perfect rainforests. It has diverse European roots, but is also one of the only Caribbean islands with a population of Carib Indians. Tourists interested in learning more about pre-Columbian history can visit the Kalinago Territory to witness their ancestral talents, like canoe-building.

Cueva Ventana in Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico

As an official U.S. Commonwealth, you don’t even need a passport to visit Puerto Rico. It’s one of the largest islands in the Caribbean, and as expected is home to a multitude of traditional Caribbean vacation activities as well as more specific experiences you can only find in Puerto Rico. It’s known as one of the best culinary destinations in the Caribbean, with world class cuisine as well as can’t-miss local dishes you’ll never forget.

Unique Feature: Some of the beaches literally light up in Puerto Rico. Mosquito Bay and the Bioluminescent Bay are home to micro-organisms affectionately called “dinos” that illuminate the water in an incredible blue glow that you have to see to believe. Just make sure to visit on a night when the moon isn’t shining so bright.


Wherever you plan to spend your spring break or your summer vacation, stock up on your supplies at LTD Commodities. We have everything from beach towels and water toys to beachwear and travel essentials.

Field Trip Checklist for Summer Discovery

Many of our favorite school memories can be traced back to field trips. It wasn’t just because we didn’t want to be stuck in the classroom. Field trips are exciting because they introduce kids to new places, fresh ideas and interesting people. Even when school is in session field trips are few and far between. But summer is a great time to take kids on educational adventures. Pack up with this field trip checklist for summer discovery.

Take Notes, Snap Pictures, Learn Facts

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Little explorers need something to jot down their ideas and favorite facts from their trip. Give them a Double-Sided Notepad or Refill Set to make it easy for them to take notes wherever they go. The attached pen is an awesome feature that keeps them from losing their writing utensil, and the sticky notes on the other side are great for when you need to make a quick list. If you’re kid is a shutterbug, give them a nice way to protect the camera they use every day with the Point and Shoot Camera Case. It has a soft interior to prevent scratches and a zipper closure for security. The Discovery Kids 5,000 Facts Book is filled with interesting facts that are great for keeping their mind sharp during car rides. They’ll learn about science, animals, space and more.

Store Snacks, Pack Lunches, Quench Thirst

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Parents packing up for a long day need a convenient place to store their gear and a cooler for keeping food nice and cold. The Oversized Insulated Cooler Backpack has a fully insulated interior that can hold up to 24 cans in case you want to use it for tailgating as well. The cinched side pockets and zipper front pocket make it easy to store gear on the go. Keep healthy snacks handy and pack lunches in the 10-Pc. Colorful Locking Lid Storage Set. The clear containers have snap-on lids with flaps that fold down over the sides to lock. The silicone seal around each rim keeps food fresh. The Super Hero Water Bottle helps your kids stay hydrated anywhere. It features a licensed design, twist-off lid and a built-in straw with a folding sip tip to prevent spills.

Road Trip Checklist for a Smooth Ride

Summer is the perfect time to jump in the car, get on the open road and set out for a brand new destination. A road trip allows you to see some of the sights, listen to music and enjoy time with your family, friends and anyone else you might meet along the way. Although it’s pretty tempting to pile into the car and speed to the nearest exit, a little planning can prevent big headaches down the road. Check out our road trip checklist to help plan your trip, pack your bags, stay organized on the road and boost your energy on longer drives.

Plan your road trip. Pack with a purpose.

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Hit the open road with Drives of a Lifetime Book. For over a century, National Geographic has been the best resource for savvy travelers. Inside you’ll find incredible routes through amazing landscapes, whatever your taste and budget. The roomy Monogram Burlap Tote is the perfect blend of coy and confident. Marked with your initials, its unique, boxy shape is fashionable and functional. Feel comfy in the car and beautiful on the beach wearing a Women’s and Women’s Plus Crochet and Ruffle Cover-Up. The casual summer cover-up is accented with crochet detailing on the bodice. Its fashionable, ruffled hem extends up the center of the cotton cover-up. The stylish front design is 16″ shorter.

Organize the backseat. Entertain the kids.

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Keep everything your child needs close at hand during a road trip with this Whimsical Headrest Organizer Bag. Featuring a colorful animal image, it hangs from the headrest into the back seat and holds drinks, snacks, books or toys. On-the-Go Car Seat Tray makes long trips a lot more fun for small children and easier on you. The large tray has a wall bordering three edges to prevent dropped toys, bottles and snacks. It attaches to car seats using an adjustable strap. The Magnetic Play Scene Book gets kids involved in the story with movable pieces. It’s easy to read and has magnets for many of the characters and objects that appear in the story. It has 20 magnets that will help bring the story to life.

Recharge your smartphone. Refuel for energy.

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Charge your electronics on your road trip with this Triple USB Car Charger. Just plug it into your vehicle’s 12V outlet and charge 3 devices at the same time. Two of the ports charge all types of cell phones. The third port can also charge a tablet. A 3-ft. cord makes it easy to charge from the backseat. Refrigerate in your car with the Collapsible Rolling Cooler. The cooler is fully lined and insulated to keep food and drinks cold. It has a full zip cover for easy access. Has a sliding handle and wheels for rolling between destinations. Keep hydrated while you’re out and about with a Licensed Water Bottle. It features your favorite animated characters. Has a screw-on lid with a sip tip that folds in the top to stop spills. 20 oz.

7 Movies to Watch for Father’s Day

It’s time to start thinking about Father’s Day — to get you inspired for a fun-filled day to honor dad, we’ve put together a list of movies you can watch with dad or watch to remind you how awesome your dad is. Here are 7 movies to watch for Father’s Day.

About Time On the surface, it looks like a romantic comedy, but About Time is really a father-son story. Tim does everything in his power — in this case, time travel — to keep his dad around for as long as possible. It’s sometimes silly and fun, but what Tim does to save a little extra time with his father is painfully beautiful.

Mrs. Doubtfire Few of us get second chances at being spouses or good parents, but Daniel manages to be the dad he wants to be — as spinster housekeeper. With the wit and charm only Robin Williams can deliver, Daniel transforms his life and relationship with his kids through costumes and hijinks we only see in the movies.

Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade A father and son adventure involving two of Hollywood’s most exceptional movie explorers: Harrison Ford and Sean Connery. With the same quest for danger, they set out together to stop the Nazis from finding the Holy Grail and succeeding in world domination. It’s a job that only this father and son duo can carry out.

Pursuit of Happyness Life is full of ups and downs, and when you have children, you have to take them on the ride with you. Such is the case for Chris Gardner who’s dealt some hefty life blows that leave him jobless and homeless with a little boy to take care of. But his love for his son is only strengthened by the obstacles they face in the Pursuit of Happyness.

Mr. Mom Once upon a time, it was unheard of for a husband to stay at home with the kids to let his wife be the breadwinner. But in 1983, Michael Keaton took on the role as Mr. Mom with hilarity as he navigates his home and fatherhood with just enough knowledge to keep him from burning down the house.

Taken For children and fathers who like less laughter and more action, Liam Neeson delivers as retired CIA agent Bryan Mills in Taken. Mills stops at nothing to find his kidnapped daughter in Paris. It’s an action movie with the strength of a father’s love and family as an underlying theme.

Vacation/European Vacation/Christmas Vacation/Vegas Vacation Whatever kind of vacation you’re taking, Clark Griswold is the dad who goes the extra mile to make sure everyone is happy — even when the trip is wildly derailed by weird extended family members, a blond in a red Ferrari and a closed amusement park. With all the goofs and mixups, in the end, Vacation is about how a father’s love knows no bounds.

LTD Commodities has ideas and products to celebrate every holiday in every season. From a summer Father’s Day cookout to Christmas cocktail parties, shop LTD for products priced for fun!

National Sunscreen Day: 5 Tips for Using Sunscreen

sunscreenWe have officially entered the season of sunshine! While we bask in the sun’s rays, it can be harmful — even deadly — so we have to take extra precautions when we head outside. May 27th happens to be National Sunscreen Day — in honor of the day, here are 5 tips for using sunscreen.

Check the Expiration Date Sunscreen expires, so check the dates on all of the sunscreen in your cabinets and chuck anything that’s past its prime. Anything that’s old has lost its effectiveness in protecting you from the sun’s harmful rays. Anything open from last season that hasn’t yet expired should also be tossed — it starts to lose its power as soon as it’s opened.

Full Protection For everyday use, an SPF of 15 is recommended, but a higher SPF is recommended for days you’ll be spending a lot of time in the sun. For extra protection, check the ingredients — ingredients like zinc sit on top of your skin rather to block all rays to give you full protection (it’s the stuff you used to see life guards and skiers wear on their noses). Also look for sunscreens with “broad protection” — they protect you from both UVA and UVB rays.

sunscreenBe Vigilant Apply your sunscreen twenty minutes before you go out to the pool, beach or backyard — or anytime you’re in the sun — and re-apply every two hours even if it’s waterproof. Sun damage happens very quickly and with subtle warnings. If your skin appears to be pink, the damage has already started. That’s when you stop reapplying your sunscreen and start treating your burn. Cool compresses (wet towel or wash cloth) and aloe cool the skin and ease the pain. Black tea bags can also help reduce discomfort.

Slather It On Don’t skimp on the sunscreen. The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends using about one teaspoon of sunscreen for every square inch of skin. That’s a lot of sunscreen, but it’s a small price to pay to prevent sun damage and skin cancer.shadesail

Double Sun Protection The best way to protect yourself from the sun is to stay out of it. In the summer when it’s warm and all of our activities are outside, it’s hard to avoid the sun, but you can reduce your sun exposure by staying in the shade. If you don’t have a lot of shade in your backyard, consider putting up a temporary shade sail or portable cabana to give you a break from the sun and still allows you to enjoy being outside. Also consider wearing hats and light, breathable clothing to block out the rays.

We’re so excited that summer is here, but, like with anything, you have to take in the sun with moderation and protect yourself from sun damage as best as you can. Whether you’re heading to the beach for a week or you have a sunny staycation planned, remember to use your sunscreen.