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The calming sound of steady waves. The refreshing feeling of the ocean breeze. The warm sun reflecting off of the clear blue water. Sitting on the white, sandy beaches of Seven Mile Beach is one of my favorite things to do when I'm on the island—it's so relaxing!

But because I spend most of my time working around the clock, it can be somewhat difficult to switch off. Even when I'm in vacation mode, it's hard for me to stop on a dime because I'm used to going 90 miles per hour.

So, as relaxing as the beach is, I need something to help occupy my mind while I'm taking in the sights and sounds of the Caribbean. Last time I visited Christopher Columbus Condos, I brought along several book options and learned a few things about beach reading that I wanted to share for your next trip to the island.

1. Bring Sunglasses

This may seem obvious, but when you settle into your favorite spot on the beach, spread out your belongings, and open up your book, you'll soon realize that you need some shades.

Even if you're under a cool, shady cabana, the sun will find a way into your eyes—the ocean is known for reflecting that glistening sunshine. After I broke my only pair of sunglasses, my beach reading experience was all but over.

If you're in need of a new pair of sunglasses, I found a good selection at Cost U Less, which is only a few minutes down Esterley Tibbets Highway from the condos. I bought two pairs to be safe and raced back to the beach.

2. Apply Sunscreen, Then Read

If you're under a cabana, the sun may not be an issue, but if you plan on reading on the beach for more than 20 minutes, be sure to apply sunscreen BEFORE you settle in.

There's nothing worse than getting sunscreen all over your book—except maybe a severe sunburn.

3. Bring More Than One Book

When I'm at home, I tend to read for 20-30 minutes a few times per week, so it takes me a long time to finish a book. This is not the case when you’re beach reading!

I flew through my first book and didn't have a backup.

My wife, on the other hand, brought three books along and read over 1,000 pages. Unlike me, she knew what she was doing. But if you do find yourself in need of a good book, the next two tips have you covered.

4. Visit a Local Bookstore

If you came to the island without a book or cruised right through the only book you had on hand, you could always visit a local bookstore. My favorite was the Book Loft at the local Humane Society.

Not only will you find a great selection of used books for your beach reading adventure, but you’ll also be supporting precious animals in need on the island. Buy some great books AND support cute animals? Yes, please!

5. Try Audiobooks Instead

Remember how I raced through my book and didn't have anything left to read? Well, one of my vacation buddies told me to try an Audiobook instead.

My first reaction was, "But I won't be able to hear the ocean."

His response was awesome, "Yeah, but you'll be able to see it instead."

While you're reading your book, you can only see your pages, and you can see those at home, right? You came to an island for the breathtaking views and audiobooks allow you to take it all in while you listen to an excellent book.

Best of all, if you have a problem concentrating on your book when other people are around you, an audiobook will cover up those sounds as well.

Even better than that, if you've never used Audible, you can get a free trial here and download two free audiobooks. If you have a local library, download Overdrive and check out ebooks and audiobooks for free before you leave for vacation.

6. Bring Earbuds or Earplugs

If you're an early riser and get out to the beach early, you're going to find peace and quiet. You'll be able to relax while you listen to the gentle waves and chirping birds.

But as the day moves on, more people will make their way out onto the sand.

Some people can tune out the chit chat of other beach goers, but I'm not one of those people. Luckily I had earbuds, Spotify, and WiFi access courtesy of Christopher Columbus Condos.

7. Waterproof Everything

Whether it's a hardback book, e-reader, or a smartphone, it's always a good idea to waterproof everything that you can.

You never know when you might drop your book or spill your favorite cocktail, so it’s always better to be safe than sorry. You can make DIY book covers or buy waterproof cases for your phone or e-reader on Amazon.

Soak It In and Enjoy!

So, there you have it—a few lessons I learned the hard way. If you're planning to do some serious beach reading on your next trip, following these tips is going to make an amazing experience even better.

Did I miss any tips you've picked up in your travels? Drop them in the comments below. I'd love to hear them.

Enjoy!

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I've heard that you can save quite a bit of money when booking your flights and car rental together for Cayman, so I decided to look into it. My research showed that sometimes you can get a great deal and sometimes you can actually end up paying more! So how do you know when you're getting a deal and when you're not? We've laid out tips for the top 3 travel booking websites below.

Orbitz, Travelocity & Expedia

From my research I found total savings around $200, but I also found that you can pay up to $200 more for a car rental if you choose a car that doesn't note a savings. You will find slight variations in savings offered, but all three websites work exactly the same, so the tips below apply to all three.

  • I never found significant savings on flights-maybe a few cents here or there, but from my research all of the savings was found on the car rentals. 
  • Once you get to the Car selection if there are any savings available there will be a green check mark with a message that reads "Save up to $___ when you book your Flight + Car together."
  • However, make sure that the car you Select has an actual savings because they show you all cars not just ones with savings. If there is a savings, the original price will be marked out and your savings will be noted in green text right above the Select button for that car.
  • By default your car selections are organized by Price, but if you want to see Package Savings first you can click to sort by that option.
  • Finally, when you are finalizing your booking you should see a line item for "Savings for booking together" in your fee summary. If you don't see this line item, then you are most likely not saving anything and quite possibly paying more.

If you have a choice in airlines and/or departure airports check out package deals with all departure options. I found the car rental savings vary depending on which airline you use and where you're coming from. Flights with Cayman Airways had some really awesome car rental deals.

I couldn't figure out their exact algorithms as results changed slightly depending on so many variables, but hopefully the tips above will prevent you from over-paying on "package deals". The good news is that either way, you will still end up chilling out with us on Seven Mile Beach where all your worries can fade away.

Also, read why we recommend renting a car. 
ADVICE FOR RENTING A CAR IN CAYMAN >>
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