Looking for a relaxing, unique vacation? Your search could begin and end with Caye Caulker, a speck of land about 20 miles off the coast of Belize.
The tiny island (actually, it's two small islands, and how they were divided remains up for debate) is a perfect getaway for travelers looking for something new. There's great scuba diving and plenty of restaurants, and cars are prohibited. The island is only five miles long, so tourists and residents get around by walking or biking.
If Caye Caulker sounds like a great spot to you, here are three things you should know about traveling there.
1. Seeing (online) is not believing
Paul Chaney, a marketing professional from Maryland, loves Caye Caulker. He and his wife even plan to retire there one day.
When planning your stay at a Caye Caulker hotel, Chaney suggested keeping your expectations in check. "Photos can sometimes be deceptive," he says. "Hotels that look nice in the pictures aren’t always what they seem, so you may or may not get what you paid for."
In other words, keep in mind that you're visiting the tiny island for a reason: It's something off the beaten path. Hotels might not be luxurious.
2. Save some cash and take the boat
Believe it or not, Caye Caulker has its own airport. It's small, but there are plenty of connecting flights to Belize's major airport, Philip S.W. Goldson International.
It might be faster to fly from Belize to Caye Caulker, but if you're opting for unique — and want to save some cash — abandon the air for the water.
"We find that taking a water taxi to be great fun — and much cheaper [than flying to Caye Caulker]," Chaney says. "There are two that go to the island: Belize Water Taxi and Ocean Ferry. We like the former because there is a top level where you can sit and take in the views, the air, etc. However, Ocean Ferry, which doesn’t offer such an amenity on its boats, is less expensive and also Belizean-owned, so you may want to opt for that one."
3. Choose the right credit card
As someone who travels overseas often, Chaney knows a thing or two about using the right credit cards.
His choice for Caye Caulker excursions? The Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards credit card. This card is great for its simplicity: You get 1.5% cash back on everything you purchase. There are no confusing rewards categories, that cash back you're earning never expires and there's no limit to what you can earn. The Capital One Quicksilver also carries no annual or foreign transaction fees. The latter you'll find especially beneficial when ordering that third taco and a second margarita.
How to Maximize Your Rewards
You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2021, including those best for:
Airline miles and a large bonus: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
No annual fee: Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card
Flat-rate rewards with no annual fee: Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card
Premium travel rewards: Chase Sapphire Reserve®
Luxury perks: The Platinum Card® from American Express
Business travelers: Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card