I’m an award-winning travel writer, editor, Caribbean travel expert, and TV host. The Caribbean is my beat, my former home, and my passion. So if you want to track down the best souvenir store in Tulum, the most romantic resort in St. Lucia, the best place to enjoy a planteur in St. Barts, or find out why Jamaican KFC tastes so good, ask me! Gathered over decades, my cache of contacts includes everyone from tourism ministers to hotel execs to roadside artisans, so I always have my finger on the Caribbean pulse.
I spend most of my time jet-setting and scouring the planet for “shopportunities,” so follow my adventures on twitter or on my Facebook page. And wherever in the world I am, you can always reach me by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
They don’t call me a black belt shopper for nothing! As I travel the world I believe in buying local – and buying often. After all, if you didn’t bring something back from your trip, how will you remember you went?! Follow my adventures in travel and shopping at www.jetsetsarah.com
The Essential Souvenir Hunting Guide
If you didn’t buy something while you were there, did you ever really go? We don’t think so. Take these tips for snagging fab Caribbean mementos at the very best prices.
Shop the Caribbean with Me!
Souvenir hunting? Step away from those three-for-$20 T-shirts! Roving the region on shoots for CT+L’s TV show, Best of the Caribbean, I’ve come across some pretty fabulous stores that sell locally made items you’ll be proud to give to friend ands family – if you can bear to let them go!
The Jamaica Shopping Guide
Headed to Jamaica? Sarah Greaves-Gabbadon, a black-belt international shopper who lived on the island for more than 20 years, says skip the three-for-$20 T-shirts and bring back one of these singular souvenirs.
Holiday Gift Guide
Whether you celebrate Christmas or Kwanzaa, Hanukkah or Chrismukkah, ’tis the season for giving. Show the Caribbean lovers on your list how much you care about them with one (or two, or three) of our picks for getaway-inspired holiday gifts
The Caribbean is my beat, my home and my passion; nobody knows it like I do!
For six years (the last two as Editor and Executive Editor) at Caribbean Travel + Life magazine, I took our audience to the beach and beyond, writing and editing travel and lifestyle content for the only US newsstand magazine dedicated exclusively to the region. My areas of expertise include all-inclusive resorts, shopping, spas and villas, as well as Mexico’s Riviera Maya, Jamaica, St. Lucia, Grand Cayman, and the Turks and Caicos Islands. Now I continue to travel the Caribbean, sharing its people, places, products and unique experiences for major travel pubs including Islands and Coastal Living magazines, Caribbean Journal, USA Today.com and The Huffington Post, as well as travel brands such as Seabourn cruise line, Hard Rock Resorts, Virgin Atlantic and Air Canada. And I’m Jetsetter-in-Chief at my own website, JetSetSarah.com, where travel and shopping meet.
Jonathan Buchanan kneels before me, cradling my foot in his hands, and proclaims: “You’re a six-and-a-half, love.” I beam; what woman doesn’t want to hear her feet are a size smaller than she thought?
He Says, She Says
The Trinidad Carnival Guide
I grew up in the Caribbean, so being a “bacchanalist” (a lover of soca music, partying and all things Carnival) should be my birth-right. But it never clicked for me. I considered Carnival a too-loud free-for-all for slender figures and big drinkers. Now I’m 45, and my figure has changed, but my opinion hasn’t. Yet I’m going to Trinidad Carnival, the Caribbean’s largest pre-Lenten celebration, to join 200,000 revelers for the ultimate rave. What have I got myself into?
Treasures of the Turks & Caicos
How much do we love the TCI? Let us count the ways we “heart” this enchanting archipelago. From the ritzy resorts on the islands’ hub of Providenciales to the deserted sands of quirky outpost Salt Cay and all the beguiling islets in between, here are a few of our favorite things about one of our favorite destinations.
Some of us have champagne wishes and caviar dreams — and there’s nothing wrong with that. But for others, a few days of peace and quiet, a fabulous meal or ample room to roam are the ultimate indulgence. Whether you’re high-maintenance or easygoing, these five resorts have what it takes to make you feel pampered.
A Hole in Fun
“Nothing about golf is going to feel natural,” instructor Marcos Zuazu tells me, and I couldn’t agree more. I’m 27 minutes into a two-day program at the Jim Mclean golf school, and already my fingers are improbably twisted, my lower back is screaming, and I’m wondering if it’s too late to sign up for flower arranging.
Swimming with Pigs in the Bahamas
“Look to the right!” yells our captain, and a dozen heads swivel simultaneously starboard. On an islet, four shapes — and enthusi- astic snorts and grunts — are emerging from the brush, and we squint into the sun to make out stumpy legs and four pairs of large, leaflike ears. Trotting purposefully across the ruffle of golden sand, the animals pick up speed and launch themselves wantonly into the surf. Here, in the middle of the Caribbean Sea, we are being ambushed by an armada of feverishly paddling pigs.
The sun shines. Palm fronds whisper in the breeze. Beachfront hotels shelter behind stately entryways while crystal-clear waters lap the shore. It’s a picture-perfect beginning to my Caribbean vacation. But something’s different. A scarlet British-style mailbox sits next to a receptacle marked LITTER. Cut-stone walls and box hedges flank the narrow roads instead of fruit stalls and sheet-metal bus shelters. No stray goats or chickens scurry across my path. And is that distinguished gentleman really wearing pink shorts and knee-high socks with his jacket and tie? Welcome to Bermuda.
The Veranda, Turks and Caicos Islands
Stripped down to my swimsuit, I’m coated in sunscreen and focused on my mission: serenity now. Sprawled on a poolside chaise, eyes closed, I concentrate on the surrounding sounds: the trickle of a fountain, the rhythmic whisper of the surf along Grace Bay beach, the strains of reggae carried on the breeze.
Fowl Cay, The Bahamas
You might call it an all-inclusive island. We call it a sand-dusted slice of heaven, a villa-resort hybrid with just six waterfront cottages spread over 40 acres.
I was also host and scriptwriter for Caribbean Travel + Life’s TV show and digital series, Best of the Caribbean, which aired in the US on the Discovery Channel, Discovery HD, SunSports, and on CaribVision throughout the Caribbean.
I was the Shopping Diva on Air Jamaica’s award-winning in-flight video program Island Stylee, and have also appeared as an expert on the Travel Channel. Now, as JetSetSarah, I travel the globe, sharing my adventures (and my shopping finds!) with the world.