Quarantine has been tough--but soon we'll be back out in the world. In anticipation of that day that we chat with Sarah Greaves-Gabbadon, aka Jet Set Sarah, quite possibly the Caribbean's biggest fan and most in-the-know insider.
Based in Miami, Sarah lived in the Caribbean for years and goes back regularly, sharing her adventures and insights through her writing and videos with Condé Nast Traveler, Travel + Leisure, Afar, and other outlets (like the Shoo for Good blog!).
The Caribbean isn’t just her beat; it’s her passion. Below we chat with her about her favorite region in the world, a place that, she tells us, is incredibly diverse and so much more than beaches.
We’re all itching to travel. Why should the Caribbean be top of our list and where should we go?
Honestly, you can’t go wrong with any Caribbean country but I do have a few favorites. Jamaica, because it’s the total package: beautiful mountains, rivers and beaches, unique food, culture, and music. Anguilla is my pick for high-end hotels and villas combined with a relaxed and low-key vibe. And I love archipelagos like the Grenadines, the Turks and Caicos Islands, and the Bahamas, where you can easily hop from one island to another and enjoy many vacations in one.
Can you share a few tips for first-timers?
If you’re traveling with young kids, pick a country that has direct flights from most US gateways: Jamaica, Aruba, the Dominican Republic, for example.
If you’ve always wanted a romantic getaway in an overwater bungalow, you don’t have to go to all the way to French Polynesia! There are overwater rooms at hotels in St. Lucia, Jamaica, Mexico, Belize, Honduras.
And wherever you go, always pack your swimsuit in your carry-on. That way, if your room isn’t ready when you arrive, you can hit the beach instead of waiting in the lobby.
Where in your travels have bugs been the worst?
The noseeums/sandflies on Andros in the Bahamas were savage! I know to expect them to be out at dusk but I was shocked to find out--painfully!--that they’re also active at sunrise. Luckily I’d packed my Shoo for Good wrap (with rainbow stripes!) so it became my trusty companion during my trip, draped over my legs at breakfast and around my shoulders at happy hour.
You live in Miami. What’s the bug situation there?
Honestly, it’s rare that I ever get bitten by mossies because I spend so much time inside, with air-conditioning. But we do have the climate for them, so summer evenings definitely require some protection. Rainbow wrap to the rescue!
Where will your Shoo for Good wrap travel next?
My wrap made its debut in the Bahamas and it’s now tucked into my carry-on to travel with me wherever work takes me. Next stop: the Turks and Caicos Islands!
When I say mosquito, you say:
Sarah Greaves-Gabbadon is a travel writer, on-screen host, and self-described “Carivangelist,” who goes to the beach and beyond to share the culture, lifestyle, and personalities of the Caribbean with the world. Based in Miami, she creates content for outlets including Travel + Leisure; Condé Nast Traveler; Islands.com; AARP; Essence magazine; the U.K.’s Telegraph and Canada’s Globe and Mail newspapers. Sarah is also jetsetter-in-chief at JetSetSarah.com where her passions – travel, style and fitness – meet. Follow her adventures on Instagram and Facebook @JetSetSarah.