Planning a trip to the Caribbean, you may want to plan you destination based upon the local currency. Places using the Euro will likely be more expensive, in the order of 50% to 60% more expensive. Based upon their national affiliation with France, several islands use the Euro as their currency. Since the USD has steadily fallen in value against the Euro the last several years, these destinations will cost you more if you normally use the USD.
Popular destinations that use the Euro are Guadeloupe, Martinique, St. Barts and St. Martin. Travel expenses like accommodations, restaurants and retail goods will all be priced higher. One good comparison is the island of Sint Marrten/Saint Martin. This is one island with two sides; the Sint Marrten side is Dutch and the Saint Martin side is French. So here just traveling a short distance for dinning can make a big difference in what you pay, spend your money on the Dutch side for a big savings.
The islands of St.Thomas and St. Marrten provide a large number of duty free shops for your shopping pleasure. Most of these shops are for jewelry and liquor that can have large discounts over what is found in the US. There will also be a few shops selling camera and electronic gadgets; however here the prices will be more competitive to the US prices.
Here is a list of popular destinations in and around the Caribbean and their currencies. Other than the Euro, the value of these other currencies is closely tied to the USD. It is always a good idea to check the exchange rates prior to making any final travel plans.
- Anguilla: East Caribbean Dollar
- Antigua: East Caribbean Dollar
- Aruba: Aruban Florin
- Bahamas: Bahamian Dollar
- Barbados: Barbados Dollar
- Belize: Belize Dollar
- Bermuda: Bermudian Dollar
- Bonaire: Netherlands Antilles Florin
- British Virgin Islands: United States Dollar
- Cancun Mexico: New Mexican Peso
- Cayman Islands: Cayman Islands Dollar
- Curacao: Netherlands Antilles Florin
- Dominica: East Caribbean Dollar
- Dominican Republic: Dominican Republic Peso
- Grenada: East Caribbean Dollar
- Guadeloupe: Euro
- Cozumel Mexico: New Mexican Peso
- Jamaica: Jamaican Dollar
- Martinique: Euro
- Montserrat: East Caribbean Dollar
- Netherlands Antilles: Netherlands Antilles Florin
- Puerto Rico: United States Dollar
- Saba: Netherlands Antilles Florin
- Saint Barthelemy: Euro
- Saint Croix USVI: United States Dollar
- Saint John USVI: United States Dollar
- Saint Kitts/Nevis: East Caribbean Dollar
- Saint Lucia: East Caribbean Dollar
- Saint Martin FWI: Euro
- Saint Thomas USVI: United States Dollar
- Saint Vincent: East Caribbean Dollar
- Sint Eustatius: Netherlands Antilles Florin
- Sint Maarten: Netherlands Antilles Florin
- Trinidad/Tobago: Trinidad/Tobago Dollar
- Turks/Caicos Islands: United States Dollar
- U.S. Virgin Islands: United States Dollar
There are still some very good deals, especially when traveling this time year when the off peak season has just started. So go enjoy the beach!