Saint Kitts And Nevis

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ShermansTravel experts rely on years of collective travel experience to bring you the best money-saving tips for your vacation. We take a discerning look at all the attraction passes, public transportation options, and other local bargains to make sure you get the most bang for your buck while traveling.

Saint Kitts And Nevis Money-Saving Tips

Departure Tax

Make sure to put aside $20.50 US or $54 EC for your departure tax, which includes an environmental levy and airport security tax. All visitors also must present a return ticket before entering the island.

Did You Say "Jumby?"

Many Caribbean islanders have deep beliefs in spirits and local folklore, and Nevis is no exception. Many people believe in "jumbies," or local spirits who haunt dwellings and caves. The circa-1740 ruins of Eden Brown Estate (on East Coast Rd. about 1.25 miles from New River), are said to be haunted by the daughter of a wealthy planter. The backstory? Well, it varies, but one version states that during the pre-nuptial dinner, her husband-to-be was killed by the best man – also her brother – in a duel, and she’s been known to wail around the now-dilapidated mansion at dawn.

Check out the Churches

Church service in Nevis is an uplifting affair, with the congregation and choir singing at least half a dozen songs. All churches have an open-door policy; if you wish to attend a service, inquire about times at the front desk of your hotel. More than 90 percent of Nevisians are Christian, with Methodist being the prevailing denomination.

Money Matters

U.S. paper money is widely accepted, although change will be provided in local currency (the Eastern Caribbean dollar, or EC); one U.S. dollar buys approximate $2.68 EC. Be sure to ask in advance whether the dollars referred to are US or EC. ATMs can be found all over the island. A 10% service charge is always attached to restaurant bills, which takes care of gratuity, but you can leave extra for stellar service. Tipping for good service in bars is always appreciated and the norm for this is 10%. Hotels add 18% to their bills, including 10 percent service and an 8 percent government room tax.

Etiquette

Nevisians are overwhelmingly friendly, if a bit shy at first. Warm the locals up by practicing a little of the local dialect like lime (relax) or leh we go (let’s go). It's still a pretty conservative society; save the bikini tops and bare feet for the beach and beach bars, and watch the curse words.

Hire a Driver

Several taxi operators also serve as personal drivers; one of the best and most well-known is TC Claxton, a former double-decker bus driver from Leeds who has been in Nevis for 13 years. Claxton, who refers to everyone as "dahling," boasts a wealth of knowledge about the island and is a popular guide; call ahead for reservations (869-469-2911 or 849-662-8301, cell, or e-mail her at tctaxi@hotmail.com).

Bussin' It

For a truly local way to get around the island, hop aboard a bus, which have names like "Dem Say," "No Problem," and "Peculiar" written on them. Simply stand on the side of the road in the direction you’re headed and flag one down. Fares range between $1 EC ($0.40 US) and $4 EC ($1.50 US) depending on where you're going; pay when you get off the bus (don’t have exact change? Don’t worry – if the driver can’t make it for you he’ll just ask you to pay him later). Service runs through the evening (though it’s less frequent at night, it is safe to ride).

Destination Weddings

With secluded beaches, romantic accommodations, and top-notch restaurants, more couples are choosing Nevis as a perfect place to say their vows. Both parties must have a valid passport or birth certificate and must be on St. Kitts or Nevis for two days prior to the ceremony. Other documents are sometimes required; be sure to read up on requirements beforehand. www.nevisnaturally.com/weddings.htm

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