Dominica is great for experienced tourists, but it?s a nice place for families either, perfect for a vacation. How do you get there from, say, the U.S.?
One option is a direct flight from San Juan to the Melville Hall airport. That?ll be an ATR prop plane. The landings and take-offs make some travelers worry: Runways are short and look barely sufficient. If a member of your family gets apprehensive when flying, the Melville Hall flight is not a good choice. You should also know that if you pick it, your luggage may get late.
While nobody wants overload the plane, the passengers are given higher priority than their stuff. So if the flight is full, some luggage will be left behind until the next flight, which is a day later. In case it would be your luggage delayed, pack the essentials in a carry-on. These should be repellents, medications, clothes, and other things.
If you prefer habitual jets, you may come to the nearest islands first (that?ll be an ordinary jet flight to Martinique or Guadeloupe), and then take a ferry to Dominica.
The roads in Dominica are generally curvy. Sometimes, you can?t see what?s coming, in those areas you have to honk to warn people who may be on your way. To pass by another car, you have to pull over (and so has the other driver). If you happen to see a tight country road, make sure if it?s not the arterial highway, because this is how it looks.
Where to stay? So far, there are no chic resorts, and if that?s what your family needs, Dominica won?t meet your wishes. It?s focused on coziness, so look for private places, small hotels, and eco-resorts. You can find the most lodging at the Roseau area, but it?s busy and may be not what you need. Before you pick something, figure out if children are allowed there.
It may be lame to tell you that, but children need special conditions. At some places you?ll be saved all the trouble. Hubicus Valley Inn has packages with food and tours, and Sunset Bay Club &Dive Resort offer special packages for children?they may stay and eat free. Tamarind Tree Hotel fulfills the entertaining part with an eco-programme for kids. And the Fort Young Hotel is barely the only option if your children are picky eaters, because meals in Dominica are generally simple.
Oh, yes, the food. Replenishing your supplies in Roseau is best. But if you?re in urge, there are small markets at the villages, and larger ones close to Roseau and Portsmouth. Besides, there are many places to eat in the Roseau area.
Meat and fresh milk are hard to get. It?s possible, but not typical. However, there is a lot of boxed milk, and the local dishes consist of chicken or fish. They are served with rice and root crops, and with fresh fruits.
The locals are friendly, but remember, there always is a black sheep. That is, if you don?t trust somebody, watch out. If you don?t feel right near some place, consider it positively unsafe. If you still want to visit it, hire a guide. This way, your family will avoid many problems.
Use the repellents, or else mosquitoes will make a problem. The special soap and sprays work well, and for children, a DEET repellent is better. Good protection against insects is a guarantee of your well-being in the jungle. And don?t worry about snakes and spiders, there are no poisonous species in the island.
That?s it. Be sure, Dominica will leave unforgettable memories. This travel will be the best gift for your family and especially for the kids.