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For those investing in St Lucia real estate and considering a move to the Caribbean, learning about the infrastructure may be helpful.

More and more British citizens are considering investing in St Lucia real estate and planning a permanent move to the beautiful Caribbean island - and who could blame them? The relaxed way of life, good standard of living, appealing investment opportunities, and improving infrastructure are, without a doubt, quite compelling.

For those considering relocating to The Caribbean, learning more about the infrastructure of St Lucia may be a helpful incentive.

Getting There – Airports and Seaports

The country has two major airports and two major seaports, so it's easy to access from most international destinations.

The two airports – Hewanorra International, in the south, and G.F.L Charles, in the north – are serviced by a number of high-profile carriers, who between them transport around three-quarters of a million people every year to and from the island.

As a major cruise destination (and a favoured port of call for prestigious cruise lines including Norwegian, Oceania and Carnival) the island supports five seaports. The two primary ones – Port Castries, on the north-western side, and Port Vieux Fort, in the south (mainly used by container ships) – are kept busy with over half a million passengers annually and a high volume of commerce and trade traffic.

Getting Around – Roads

The hard infrastructure (i.e. the roads, bridges, airports and highways) is vital to the island's continuing growth – both in terms of trade and tourism - and in recent years the government has invested heavily in improvements to all the major public roads.

There's a two lane major road that runs all the way around the island, and all the smaller networks come off this highway. Every town and village can be accessed by road (which is good news for those investing in more out of the way St Lucia real estate), although some are not in as good condition as the main roads and include quite a number of unpaved sections. Four-wheel drive vehicles are recommended in the more rural elevated areas and caution is advised when traversing the less-travelled roads.

Public transport: The very affordable public minivan bus system has a frequent (if somewhat unpredictable) timetable, with direct routes or connections to any part of the island. There are also a number of private and tourism taxi companies.

Getting Connected – Technology

The island enjoys a stable telecommunications network, with several major mobile service providers and multiple Internet providers (including fibre optics and wireless, 2G and 4G networks). Good service is available all over the island and getting connected is as easy as making a phone call or visiting a provider's outlet. Cable TV and landline services can also be accessed with any of the major providers.

Getting a Life - Essential Services

Electricity: There's a reliable supply of electricity to even the most remote regions on the island, delivered via underground cables and overhead lines. It uses 220-volt electricity, so adaptors may be required for existing appliances from other countries that use 110 volts.

As part of the National Energy Transition Strategy, the local provider, St Lucia Electricity Services Limited, has recently called for tenders for the construction of an ambitious three megawatt solar energy farm, due for commencement in late 2016.

Water: Potable, treated running water is in good supply everywhere, but there are also several bottled water companies operating in various parts of the island.

Postal Service: While the postal system is reliable, it is fairly slow. The island service does not deliver to individual street addresses (except in Castries and larger towns), and mail goes to numbered boxes in sub-branches of the post office in each town. For this reason it's essential that the town as well as the post office box number is clearly stated on any mail.

Healthcare: There are five hospitals located in various parts of the island, but treatment can be expensive. The healthcare system is adequate, but private medical insurance is strongly recommended for expats should any specialised treatment be needed that requires airlifting the patient to a major hospital elsewhere in The Caribbean. Local doctors will make house calls, but again this can be expensive without private healthcare cover.
With tourism and positive growth key drivers to the economy, the government has prioritised over the course of the last few years investing in the development of a strong infrastructure with a view to attracting foreign investors to St Lucia real estate. For those considering a permanent move to the island , this ongoing commitment can only bring good news.

Tips For Shopping Online

1. When shopping online, most places only accept debit or credit cards. Take this into account when you are deciding on a site to shop from. Should you don't feel relaxed providing the company with your bank card information, try to find another site. Try to find a site that offers a good page when you're adding your credit card information.

2. If you are looking for the best coupons, consider registering for the newsletters of the stores that you love the most. Often stores give their best coupons and discounts to those that have signed up the very first time. And they'll continue to provide great deals to those that have shown big fascination with the brand, therefore the signup can cause some phenomenal savings.

3. If you have questions while shopping, search for a live chat function on the online store. Many big brands (and even some boutique stores) now have this functionality. You are able to chat immediately with a customer support representative to repair any issues or answer any questions before you purchase. That can present you with a lot of satisfaction.

4. If you like an internet store, join their email distribution list. You will probably receive some coupons and information about deals in your mailbox. Check these emails regularly to remain up to date with good deals and promotional offers. Most online stores often offer free shipping or discounts on certain products.

5. When shopping online, choose the best shipping policy. Many times companies offer expedited shipping. However, often getting the product one day earlier can cost you as much as twice the normal shipping price. Therefore, if you can wait on the product to arrive using normal shipping instead of expedited shipping, choose standard shipping to save money.

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