Pre-Island Preparations: Unsolicited Advice Part I

You didn’t ask for it, but here you go. A little advice never hurts, so to make your trip to Block Island #asgoodasitgets, follow these tips for a hole lot of awesome. As many find themselves finally headed to the island for their summer getaway, I have put together a short list of a few insider tips for your island time. With my first (over-night) visitors coming out next week, I felt inspired to share my “expert” advice.

Give it read, if you are already an island connoisseur, what would add? If it is your first trip, take notes, a little bit of preparation and foresight can make a world of difference to your much-deserved vacation. They’ll be coming at you in two parts, so keep an eye out for part two later this week.

  1. You Heave you LeaveIMG_3584

Well the classic Hot-dog eating competition slogan, can be applied to Block as well. The point here is that medical care on the island is limited. The access to medicine and doctors is available, but the island is not the place to treat real issues. So if you are truly sick, hurt or need special care, be prepared to leave the island. In addition, pack extra medications, painkillers, sunscreen, and etc. What is available on the island is very often more expensive than on the mainland. Or if you are not feeling 100% before your trip consider postponing your trip.Sometimes the High Speed is the Culprit for tummy troubles, plan meals accordingly.

  1. Can I Speak with Someone in Charge?

Yes, yes you can. As you go about the island, you will notice there are no chain retailers or hotels (the one exception is Ben & Jerry’s, but we’ll give them a pass). This means that all businesses are small and the owner is often in the building when it is open, if not taking your order at the counter. Knowing this, seek out the owners in the places you like best, the owners will likely love to hear your praise and make you their new drink of the day. This goes the other way too, if you are unhappy with the service, there will likely be someone ready to respond.

  1. Can I take your order?

In addition to the owners of many businesses being extremely present, the employees of the island seek to please. One thing to know is that many employees are living off the tips you are leaving, and many work multiple jobs to do that. With this, be patient with foreign employees, they will bend over backwards to help you and want to speak as much English as possible. Talk to worker, though they are seasonal they know the island, and can give the best advice, directions and know-how (they have even have a blog about the island).

  1. Pack Yo’ Bags

Considering the journey you will be taking, pack accordingly. I am referring to how you pack. The ferry trip and walk to your hotel may be a few extra steps that you are used to taking with luggage. Break out that mega rollie bag you brought to Europe and stuff it up, lightening the extra multiple bags juggle.

Another something to remember as you pack up is a backpack. Biking around the island is the best way to commute, but you will want to bring your things along (think towel, snacks, wallet). A backpack is a definite must have for island adventures. Plus they make a for an easy time on the ferry.

IMG_3649 (1)

Backpacks make for a better life.

  1. Two Wheels are better than None (or make that 4)IMG_3392

Don’t bring your car. Seriously, the island is small. You are able to get anywhere where you want to be in a matter of two miles or less, further if you are adventurous, but a bike or moped does the trick. Bring your own bike if you can and save yourself the rental fees, but even if you have to rent enjoy the island as some time away from the four-wheeled SUV that you have come to loathe. Remember to lock your bikes whenever you leave them, it is a very safe island, but bikes do disappear whether it be a greedy soul or a confused renter who mistakes yours for theirs. If a car is a must, make sure to make a reservation for the ferry!

IMG_3628There’s the first half of my list of good to knows. What have I missed? Experts what would you add? Newbies, what questions do you have left? Comment below, and I’ll answer anything I missed in Part II.


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