It can be a bit daunting to plan a trip when you intend to head somewhere new to you and that you barely know about. Maybe you’ve lurked around location tags on Instagram or bugged your friends and teammates who have gone but you have admitted you have no real idea of the vital information everyone should know before taking a trip to Belize. If this is going to be your first trip to this little tropical hideaway, here are a few local tips that should steer you well during your visit to Belize. But before we get to those tips, it is worth reminding you to be aware of COVID-19 travel precautions.
If you want to come to Belize, make sure to bring submit a negative COVID-19 test result, fill out the Customs & Immigration form, and book your trip with a Gold Standard hotel as your accommodations for the trip. Next, flash proof of either your immunization or negative test results within the last 96 hours. Lastly, head off from the airport and enjoy all that Belize has to offer while being mindful of the normal obligations when dealing with COVID-19. Now onto those tips.
Are you American? Do not bother converting your United States Dollars (USD)
Just about every business in the country accepts American cash. In fact, the country’s own currency, the Belizean Dollar (BZD), is locked into a value equal to half that of $1 USD. This tip isn’t just for a local, but every American dollar you have is worth twice as much as a Belize dollar.
Your activities will depend on when you arrive. Consider what you want to do and look up when would be best for those activities; December and January are great for a tropical Christmas or New Year’s Eve. Summer is when multiple Lobster fests occur. September is when Belize is most patriotic; September 21 is Independence Day. These dates are just a handful of events you can do throughout the year so do some research to narrow down the best time to visit; this advice goes double for anyone looking to come down and do some fishing.
Regardless of where you go, you will definitely need sunscreen and bug repellent. While different regions have their own necessities, you will definitely want to bring a pocket charger, your passport and a pouch for it, money, travel insurance, a backpack, a battery-powered hand fan, a camera with plenty of memory, an insulated water bottle and an extra carry-on bag dedicated to bringing back your souvenirs.
Consider your budget when planning activities
Belize is a beautiful place that is full of so many things to do you can easily be compelled to extend your trip. The trick is to not get so caught up in the beauty that you lose track of your funds. Sure, taking an aerial tour of the Great Blue Hole may sound amazing but the joy from that experience can quickly sour if you realize you will be stuck without the funds for even the most basic of meals on your last two days. Always over budget so that you have a financial buffer zone to cover any sort of surprise or setback. This way you can either survive those unforeseen events or have some extra spending cash for next time.
Figure out your transportation before you depart
Whether you plan on hitchhiking around the area, have a transfer ready and waiting for you upon making it into the country or just plan to rent a vehicle, it is vital that you know how you plan to get around the country. While you might like to wing it on iterative trips, first-timers are advised to have a good, solid plan of transport before they even enter the country. Driving around is an easy task, especially because Belize prefers its speed bumps over traffic lights.
Also, note that Belize’s highways can be counted on a single hand and are far less traveled in large numbers than any interstate within the United States or Canada. Any anxieties about getting lost should quickly melt away upon remembering that modern phones come equipped with GPS and most Belizeans are more than friendly enough to help you get where you were planning to go. Lastly, there are more than a few tours that provide transfers to and from the tour venues.
Belize: The Plan
While five may not be a large number, we are certain that this list of local tips is more than sufficient to give you confidence in traveling the country of Belize. Remember to plan things out but not to the point that “The Plan” obscures your enjoyment.