I have to admit when I travel alone to Mexico I don’t care where I sit on the plane, and I usually end up in the back of the plane. And surprise, surprise the airline runs out of the Mexico Immigration Tourist Cards by the time they get to my part of the plane. This has happened more than once.
This last time when I landed in Cancun, while waiting to go through immigration, there were a lot of people who were asked to go back. They had to go back and complete the tourist card. I am not kidding, this happened to quite a few people. The family behind me wasn’t sure what to fill out and I explained that you had to fill out the top and the bottom of the form because they will keep the top of the form when you enter the country and the bottom half of the form you will keep with you until you leave Mexico.
So what information do you need to fill out this form? Make sure that you have your passport number, flight information, name of of your hotel where you are staying. Don’t forget to also fill out the bottom part of the form. And keep that part in a safe place, I keep mine with my passport so that it is there when I’m ready to return home.
Now if you are going to fill this out on the plane, don’t forget to keep a pen or two or three in your bag. WHY? Because if you DO get a form on the plane, they will not have a pen. Why a second or third pen? Most likely your neighbor won’t have one and if you have a second one it will stop that awkward silence before they ask you, “Can I borrow your pen when you are done?” Now, if you don’t receive a form on the plane, you will get one as soon as you get off the plane. And everyone looks for that first spot to fill it out. Plus, if there is a spot where there is a shared pen I personally don’t like to use it, with my luck it’s out of ink.
Don’t forget that each person in your traveling party will need to have the tourist card filled out regardless of age and how long you are staying in Mexico.
If you would prefer, you can fill out a tourist card online ahead of time for each person in your traveling party regardless of age and how long you are staying in Mexico. You will just need a printer to print the forms out and ready to have ready. Here’s a link…
It’s never been easier to be prepared to travel.
And until next time…
This is the time of year that we look around and give gratitude for what we have. Of course I am thankful for my friends and family. There is so much that I do take for granted that sometimes I forget how lucky I am to live in such a wonderful time.
Just think of it, how lucky are we with technology being what it is that we can pop on a computer and see images of lands far and wide in an instant. Or we can see a video from another country and see their culture instantaneously? We can get news from all over the world as it happens. That’s something to be thankful for.
And if you find somewhere on that computer search that you just fall in love with you can hop on a plane and be there in just hours? How amazing is that? I know that some of us think, oh great three hours crunched in a small seat, not a lot of leg room and what if that person next to me wants to talk to me the whole flight? However, how cool is it that you can get on an airplane, sit in a seat, and end up on either the other side of the country or in another side of the world. What would our ancestors think? Just another thing to be thankful for.
I know that TSA checks can be a pain, however think about it. WIthout all of that security we could all be in danger when traveling. I know that for me it gives me relief to know that both my fellow travelers and I are safe when flying. Again, something to be thankful for.
How about cruise travel? Back in 1912 when the Titanic was built it was the largest ship with a whopping nine decks. Now compared to the Oasis of the Seas, which is five times its size and has 16 decks! Just think today’s ships are just Ahh-mazing! They really are floating cities! You can do anything and just about everything from mini golf, ice bars, walk a plank over the side of the top deck, Sky rides, water parks, and even carousels and parkways. What?? Isn’t that just incredible?? Again another travelmarvel that I’m thankful for.
And to bring home all of the memories, to contact everyone back home, the smart phone. Although I don’t think you should be on it every moment of every day when on vacation. There definitely is a time and place for it when you are on vacation. Just think of everything that the smartphone replaces. Camera, phone, flash light, gaming device, watch, calculator, calendar and the list goes on. Okay, I have to admit I’m VERY thankful for the smart phone!
I’m also very thankful for WI-FI and the internet. Being someone who grew up pre-internet and now having access to it, yes I’m VERY thankful for the internet as well. I love being able to keep in touch with family and friends as well as all the access to information and all that the internet offers.
So, as much as this time in history can be busy, and we can feel like we are running a mile a minute. We are so lucky to be in such a great time to travel and see the world. We have so much technology at our fingertips to make our life easier. We can step back and take a look and be grateful for what is around us.
And until next time….
These past couple of days I’ve been down in Cancun researching resorts and I there is something that I’ve noticed more than just luxurious rooms, beautiful scenery, and this amazing location. It’s the love that couples have for each other. Even on the plane ride down to Mexico, there were newlyweds holding hands, and stealing a kiss here and there. Couples who were together for a while talking and giggling with each other.
The day that we were looking around the resorts it started to rain. Now, normally I would have thought people would be bummed and upset because a day of their vacation is ruined. However, what I saw were couples holding hands through the rain, laughing about the rain, and still looking into each other’s eye and still stealing a kiss in the rain. What I also noticed, no cell phones, no distractions and time alone to renew and rejuvenate.
That got me to thinking, “Wow! If only you could bottle this up for the times when life throws you the curve balls!” You know what I mean, one kid has to be picked up from practice, and another has to be dropped off across town at a band lesson. You just don’t get to be together as much as you did then. Well, maybe just maybe, you can do a few things to send each other reminders when you get back of this wonderful time together.
First, I know I’m always saying, “Leave the technology behind”, however maybe this once get up early, take a short video of the sunrise on the beach or from your room, and while the sunrises put in the video how you are feeling about your partner in that moment. Or how about a “Selfie” video love letter?
Or if you are not the selfie video love letter kind, there’s nothing wrong with the old fashion writing a love letter, or two, and sealing them up. Pack them away, or leave them on your phone and bring them out when you need a little “refresher.”
For me, Mark and I took a cruise a few years ago. We were so relaxed in our little cabana. Now Mark doesn’t like all of the “Selfies” however we did take one from our cabana. It has to be one of my favorite pictures of us. We were so relaxed and you can see how connected we were in the moment. I have that on my phone to remind me every day of that special time. And every so often when he’s over by me on the couch and sees it, he’s like, “That’s amazing”.
These are the best souvenirs and keep your vacation going on long after the plane lands at home.
And until next time…
I normally write tips about vacations and romantic trips away. However this week I’m writing about the romantic date night. Don’t get me wrong reconnecting on a romantic getaway is important and ah-mazing, however just like the show, “The Bachelor” not every day is flying away to an incredible destination, long romantic walks on tropical beaches with fancy drinks and roses. You need to find and make a connection in the everyday life and make time out for each other when you can.
The importance of keeping a close connection on a weekly, even daily basis is so important not only for the two of you but for the entire family. As the old saying goes, when mama’s happy, the whole family is happy.
There are times that Mark and I can’t find a whole night to get out for date night, so what do we do? We sneak time where we can. The boys have religious education one night that lasts about an hour and 45 minutes. On those nights we make sure that we get over to a local restaurant for dinner. It’s a nice time to getaway, chat and catch up.
During the warmer months we take family walks. The boys like to ride their bikes and they go ahead of us, we get to walk hand in hand and talk. We also enjoy our fire pit in the backyard. We have family fire nights, however after the boys go to bed we stay up and enjoy some quiet music at the fire.
Now as our boys are getting older they are staying up later and later. I do miss the days when they were going to bed early so we could stay up and spend time together. We use to love watching a couple of episodes of our favorite TV shows together. I’ll never forget when Ryan was in first grade he told his teacher that his, “Mom and Dad stay up late to watch adult TV.” When his teacher told me this, I busted out laughing and explained that adult TV in my house was anything without talking animals.
As much as I love being a parent, I am still a wife and eventually my boys will grow up and move out of our house. Mark and I will be alone with out them and I still want to enjoy times with him. It’s important to keep our relationship strong so that we can still enjoy each other long after the kids are gone.
When we work on making the day to day connection, and the little sparks when we go out of town the bigger sparks can fly.
And until next time…. Happy travels!
As we are entering November, the Toy Books are arriving in the mail box, and the Black Friday ad are “leaking” on the internet, my holiday shopping list is a little different this year for my kids. Every night we watch Phineas and Ferb before bedtime and to quote Dr. Doofenshmirtz, “Here’s my backstory.”
My parents gave my sisters and me the gift of travel. We went around the US in a RV every few summers. Those were the best memories. I have seen and experienced so much of this country that has given me such an appreciation for it and for the cultures around our country. I could go on and on and this would turn into a novel with stories from my childhood travels. It has truly shaped me into the person I am today, and has given me the spirit of adventure to explore and travel. I am so thankful to my parents for that gift.
This year I want to give my kids something different for Christmas. Something they should have already, and they don’t. I’m truly embarrassed to admit this being a travel agent, however it is totally true. I want to give them each a passport. They already love to travel and as much as I LOVE traveling around the United States. However, I want to start showing them the world. I already have a high school student and I know that the other two are catching up quickly and sooner than later they will be ready to move out on their own.
My dream for them is to start filling all of those pages with stamps from different countries. I want to pass along that spirit of adventure and quest to learn about different countries. It is something that will last longer than any toy, or that latest video game.
When I leave on a business trip my kids always ask me where I go, and want to hear about the people I visit. They want to know all about what there is to do, and the hotels and resorts that I stay at. They are always asking to go too. I want them to experience these things too. This world is a big place and they need to see it as well.
Right now we have a stuffed “Perry the Platypus” from Phineas and Ferb that comes along with me on my trips. My little guys gave him to me so that I “don’t forget about them and that I can take him with me everywhere I go.” I take pics of Perry every day, doing something different and send them to the boys every morning. He’s been sunning on the beaches of Cancun, lounging in the hotel rooms at Club Med, or at the Ballantyne with his Hawaiian Lei. He’s been on many cruises enjoying his cabana, and to Jamaica checking out the scenery and the Grand Cayman taking a food tour. It’s time for all of to travel with Perry and see the world together. To quote Phineas “Where’s Perry?”
And until Next time… Happy Travels!