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Tips for visiting Curacao on a budget

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Tips for an affordable Caribbean getaway to Curaçao!

Curaçao is a Dutch Caribbean island only 40 miles from Venezuela. Known for its colorful capital, voluptuous ChiChi souvenirs, blend of cultures and picturesque beaches, Curaçao is the perfect destination for those seeking culture, delicious food, and relaxation. Curaçao has been on my travel wish list for a while and I’m so excited to share that I finally got a chance to visit. In this episode, I recap my trip to Curaçao and share tips for planning an affordable Curaçao vacation.

In this episode we cover:

  • Where to stay in Willemstad, Curaçao
  • Languages spoken in Curaçao
  • Things to do in Curaçao
  • Ways to save money on your trip
  • Tipping culture in Curaçao

Why travel during Spring?

Spring is one of my favorite times to travel.

Not only do you get to enjoy the warm weather but if you travel before and after the Spring Break crowds, you will likely find good travel deals.

My favorite times to travel are between April and May.

How much did my flights cost to Curaçao?

Flying with JetBlue was the most affordable way to fly from New York City to Curaçao.

I used my JetBlue TrueBlue points to redeem a round-trip flight from New York City to Curaçao for $65 USD (taxes and fees only).

What languages are spoken in Curaçao?

Curacaons speak several languages including:

  • Papiamento (Creole language) – spoken more than written
  • Dutch – official language spoken in Curaçao
  • English
  • Spanish

What currency to use in Curaçao?

The Netherlands Antillean Guilder (NAFI) is the national currency of Curaçao.

You can also use US Dollars.

If you’re coming from the U.S., there is no need to exchange your money, just bring some cash with you.

Major credit cards are also accepted widely accepted on the island.

Should I tip in Curaçao?

Yes, absolutely!

Tips are greatly appreciated in Curaçao.

It’s customary to tip taxi drivers and restaurant waitstaff 10%.

Be mindful that some places include a “service charge” in your bill which is equivalent to a tip.

Tips for saving money in Curaçao

  • Bring cash with you to avoid ATM fees (credit cards are widely accepted in Curaçao)
  • Stay at a centrally-located hotel like Curacao Suites Hotel which offers free breakfast and free parking
  • Rent a car only if you want to explore outside the city center – Willemstad is a walkable city
  • Buses (9-person vans) cost $2 USD cash

Overall I had a wonderful time exploring Willemstad and I hope that you will consider visiting Curaçao sometime soon!

Want to explore more of the Caribbean?

Listen to Episode 26 for travel tips to Cuba and Episode 10 for travel tips to Puerto Rico.


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Cuba Solo Travel with Beatriz Reynoso
Practical tips for visiting Cuba for the first time as a female solo traveler.

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In this episode we chat with Beatriz Reynoso about how she traveled to Cuba solo after a breakup. After breaking up with her partner of six years, Beatriz wanted to get away as far as possible. At the time Cuba was legal travel to, several of her friends had already visited Cuba and it was affordable. Why not right?

Beatriz shares that if you just broke up with your significant other, consider going on a solo trip. She says, “This trip taught me that everything I need is within me. My happiness, my love and support – that comes from me and not someone else.”

In this episode we cover:

  • What it’s like traveling to Cuba as a female solo traveler
  • Resources to plan your trip to Cuba
  • Tips for saving money in Cuba
  • How much things cost in Cuba
  • Where to stay in Havana

Cash vs. Credit Cards in Cuba

For the best rates, Beatriz recommends exchanging your money when you get to Cuba. She exchanged her US Dollars at the airport and she never used a credit card. She also never saw anyone using a credit card in Cuba as well.

Read this article for more Cuba money tips.

How did you feel traveling solo to Cuba?

Beatriz Reynoso:

It was scary at first, however, once I started exploring on my own, I felt really safe. I walked everywhere and met amazing people.

Cuba is actually one of the safest places to travel for women.

How affordable is Cuba?

Beatriz Reynoso:

Because of the big boost in tourism to Cuba, I found that things cost similar to the U.S. – maybe somewhat cheaper. I was there for nine days and I still had money leftover. It’s all about how you optimize your spending.

Can you share any tips for saving money in Cuba?

Beatriz Reynoso:

I took a lot of my own snacks with me to Cuba because I heard that there were food shortages because everything is rationed in Cuba.

I took my own toilet paper and when I got there, I bought a case of water.

I would also recommend bartering with locals to get the best deals.

Connect with Beatriz Reynoso:

Facebook: @beatriz.reynoso

Instagram: @bettyrey902

Twitter: @bettyrey902


If you enjoyed this episode, be sure to subscribe to The Thought Card Podcast on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, TuneIn, Spotify or anywhere else you listen to podcasts.

Want to visit more of the Caribbean? Listen to Episode 10 where I share tips for visiting Puerto Rico for the first time.

Travel Tips For Visiting Puerto Rico

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Eseosa “Sosa” Eke is a brand stylist and design consultant with a knack for helping real estate professionals, entrepreneurs, and small businesses build authentic and recognizable brands. At her 9-5 she runs the marketing department for The Bronx and Westchester’s largest privately held commercial real estate firm. Sosa is also my best friend and frequent travel companion. Over the years we’ve traveled to Bermuda, Iceland and San Francisco together. This was Sosa’s second trip to Puerto Rico and my first.

 

In this episode we cover:

  • San Juan on a budget
  • Our travel styles – why we love short trips
  • Our favorite things about San Juan, Puerto Rico
  • What we would do differently next time

 

San Cristóbal, Old San Juan, Puerto Rico

Condado Beach, San Juan, Puerto Rico

 

Resources Mentioned:

Getting an Airbnb in San Juan is an affordable way to save on lodging.

Uber is also affordable, fast and convenient in San Juan.

  • Helpful Tip: There are no Ubers available from San Juan International Airport (SJU) only metered taxis. Our 15 minutes taxi ride to our Airbnb (which cost $70 a night) in San Juan cost $26 which included tip.

 

Connect with Eseosa:

Website: https://www.eseosaeke.com

Instagram: @real_inspired 

Email: hello@eseosaeke.com

 

Want to afford to travel more? Listen to Episode 2: Why You Need a Travel Fund and learn why having a travel fund is an easy way to start making travel a financial priority in your life.

Need help packing for Puerto Rico – grab my essentials packing list!

 

Are you heading to Puerto Rico soon?

What do you need help with in planning your trip?

 


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