The East Caribbean: an introduction
The East Caribbean is a collection of island nations and overseas territories, closely linked by the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS). With flight times in the double-digits, it’s not the cheapest destination for UK holidaymakers. In fact, cruise holidays and 4 and 5-star resorts tend to dominate here.
In Antigua, the number 1 tourist attraction is the historic 18th-century dockyard. Over on the island of Grenada, the Carenage promenade is lined with open-air seafood restaurants looking out to sea. Sandy beaches are standard across the islands – Windward Beach on St Kitts and Nevis is a quieter place with views across to Montserrat.
Fantastic tropical weather makes camping a realistic option. Or you could stay at budget hotels and hostels. A good idea is to pick just one country and explore it thoroughly, that way you save on island transfers.
Daily spend: £30-50
Ferries are a cheaper alternative to flying from island to island. You can also check out cheaper resorts and hotels. Eating at local places away from the touristy areas can help you save money on food.
Daily spend: £50-100
Cruises are the most comfortable way of getting around the islands. Cabin rooms would set you back a few hundred pounds. Or you could pick one of the more extravagant resorts with food, drink and activities included.
Daily spend: £100-300
Prices are approximate and subject to change.
Money saving tips for the East Caribbean
- Haggle in the markets. Arguing on cost is a national pastime, so don’t settle on the advertised price.
- Find out the customary tip. Every island is different and you don’t want to be tipping over what’s expected.
- Bring your own drinks on a cruise. Many cruise ships will let you bring some alcohol on board – check the limits before you pack.
- Pack your own snorkelling gear. The clear Caribbean water is perfect for snorkelling, but the gear can sometimes be expensive to rent.
The smart way to travel
Keep track of your holiday spending and instantly convert local prices into pounds with our free smartphone apps. There are three handy apps to download for iOS and Android, including Travel Essentials, Travel Money Card & Currency Converter. You can also download an instant currency converter for your Apple Watch.
East Caribbean’s currency – the basics
The currency in this region is the East Caribbean dollar.
- Banknotes come in denominations of 5, 10, 20, 50 and 100.
- The current exchange rate is about 4 dollars to 1 pound.
- These countries / islands use the Eastern Caribbean Dollar: Anguilla, Antigua & Barbuda, Dominica (Not to be confused with Dominican Republic which has it's own currency), Grenada, Montserrat, St Christopher, St Kitts & Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent & Grenadines.
- Cent coins come in a variety of shapes – look out for the square 2 cents one.
- You can also use the East Caribbean dollar in the British overseas territories of Anguilla and Montserrat.
Get your currency from us
We make it easy to get East Caribbean dollars before your trip:
- Order online for a better rate on foreign currency – minimum order value of £400 applies online
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- Delivered to your front door or pick up from one of 11,500 local Post Office branches. Search for your nearest branch here
- Free delivery for branch collection and online orders of £500 or over for home delivery Monday-Friday. For online orders for home delivery of under £500 there is a small delivery charge of £4.99
- Orders placed before 3pm, on a working day, can generally be delivered to your home the next working day. Where an order is placed on a Friday and delivery is required on a Saturday, there will be a charge of £1.50
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