Are you tired of spending lots of time at the beach when you take family or friend vacations? I know that many people love the beach, but I also understand that all that sand and water can become a little boring after a while! But that is why mother nature gave us a whole world of nature to explore and someone was smart enough to use that beauty for natural family fun parks in Cancun and Riviera Maya!
The Two Natural Family Fun Parks in Cancun and Riviera Maya
There are more than fifty natural and cultural attractions within Xcarat in Riviera Maya, so no one should be bored during a visit there! The underground rivers are the most popular, but you can also spend hours wandering through the Aviary, seeing the marine life at the Coral Reef Aquarium, and spotting your favorite butterflies at the Butterfly Pavilion.
This eco-archaeological park is within the Mayan jungle, but it faces the Caribbean Sea to create the perfect atmosphere. Xcarat has been open since 1990 and it has spent those years becoming one of the top destinations within Cancun and Riviera Maya.
When you spend time at this natural family fun park, I recommend you begin at the underground rivers before relaxing at the lagoon or the beach. After lunch, you can wander over to the aquarium and aviary if you wish, but you may be ready for more of what the rivers have to offer.
This is the twenty-fifth year that Xel-Ha has been open to the public, so you can expect a little more during a visit within the next few months. It is easy to go between all the attractions and water areas, while stopping for food and drink in between at this natural family fun park in Riviera Maya and Cancun.
The nature lover in you will love the Xel-Ha Nursery, as well as Chacah’s Garden, the Queen Conch Sanctuary, and the Jungle Trails. However, you will want to make sure you have time to experience the best of the Scenic Lighthouse, discover the beauty during a snorkeling adventure, and explore the Xel-Ha Cave.
I do recommend you tackle the Cliff of Courage too, because you will feel so exhilarated when you are finished.
It is time to get away from all those jam-packed theme parks and spend time in nature as you have fun on your next vacation. I would love to help you plan a trip to Cancun and Riviera Maya that includes at least one of these natural family fun parks! Although, I personally think that you should go to both if you want the best experience! Give me a call today and let’s get you ready for the vacation of a lifetime!
Punta Cana might be bustling with activity, but that doesn’t mean you should put this gorgeous destination at the bottom of your romance list. Instead, you should move this sun-kissed beach area to the very top, because your love life will improve just moments after you arrive.
Let me give you my top 5 reasons to take a vacation to reignite those sparks of romance.
Room Service 24/7
Okay, so you left the kids back home and you are planning to live a little on your romantic vacation. What is the one thing that you think will be the hardest to do every single day of your trip? Go to the pool? Nope! Get a massage? No again! The answer I am looking for is venturing out of your room to grab a bite to eat!
There are going to be some mornings, and nights and afternoons, where you are so relaxed inside your room that you are not going to want to leave, even if you are starving. This is when room service swoops in, saves the day, and the romance you currently have going on keeps going.
Long Strolls Along the Beach
Most hotels and resorts in Punta Cana have their own private beaches or are at least on the beach. Therefore, it is very easy to walk out of your room and get to the beach in record time for a long stroll. You can choose to do this in the morning, as the sun is rising, or you can wait until the sun sets at the end of the day. Of course, there is no rule that states you can’t walk on the beach at anytime in between either.
State-of-the-Art Spa Treatments
There are quite a few world-class spas down in Punta Cana and that means that you and your significant other can get a few amazing treatments during your romantic vacation. These spas are located in all the hotels and resorts, but you may want to check with the concierge to see which one screams romance the most.
Reconnect Out in Nature
There are so many places out in nature in Punta Cana and you can explore them all, as you reconnect with the person you love the most in the world. Whether you are standing in front of a waterfall inside the rainforest, or scaling a limestone cliff, nothing will be more special than being with the person that you connect with so easily.
You may not even think twice about booking a stay at a resort in Punta Cana that welcomes kids. However, I would like to recommend that you consider one of the many adult-only hotels and resorts. A stay at any of those will ensure that you never need to listen to a crying child or have a little one zoom past you on your walk along the beach. You may not mind these little interruptions but think of how wonderful your time will be if you can simply focus on each other and nothing else.
These are the five reasons why you must take a romantic vacation in Punta Cana, but I know you will discover many more when you are there. Don’t worry, I will plan this one first and then you can share all your newfound knowledge with me when we are planning your next romantic vacation down there in the future. After all, I think after you go once, you will turn this romantic getaway into a yearly adventure that you won’t want to miss!
The resort town of Punta Cana, in the Dominican Republic, is the perfect sandy beach location when it comes to romance vacations. While you can spend hours participating in one water sport after another with the love of your life, there are so many other things you can do during a romantic trip to this part of the world.
Here are four romantic activities to bring the romance from the beach to land and beyond.
Take a Hot Air Balloon Ride
One of the best ways to experience the sights of Punta Cana is to go on a hot air balloon ride. These rides normally take place in the morning hours, as the sun is rising, and that creates a gorgeous backdrop for any romantic vacation. At the end of the ride, you can toast with a glass of champagne before eating a delectable breakfast.
Take a Helicopter Ride at Night
If mornings are not your thing, then you may want to consider going up in a helicopter as the sun is setting in the sky. Most of these flights are only fifteen minutes long, but that is plenty of time to see the extraordinary beauty of this area from above as you drink a glass of wine.
Participate in a Photo Shoot
There are so many amazing locations in Punta Cana and you can have romantic pictures taken at almost all of them. Simply hire a professional photographer and choose a few of their recommended locations and you will have memories you can look at forever!
Take a Stroll through the Indigenous Eyes Ecological Park
This spectacular ecological park is comprised of fifteen hundred acres of land and it is filled with plants, flowers, and many native animals. As you are walking around, you will see many of those animals, as well as many different exhibits like a petting zoo and an iguana habitat. There are also twelve lagoons, but you can only swim in five of them when you are ready to cool down.
These are four of the most romantic things to do in Punta Cana when you are ready to stay away from the beach. You can plan to do one of them, or all of them, during your romantic vacation. If you need to choose, let me know and I will help you make the best choice, as we plan the rest of your romantic trip in paradise.
Your honeymoon, it’s that once in a lifetime special vacation. It’s your first vacation as a married couple and your first family vacation. The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines Honeymoon as; 1 : a period of harmony immediately following marriage. 2 : a period of unusual harmony especially following the establishment of a new relationship. 3 : a trip or vacation taken by a newly married couple.
So should you take your honeymoon right after you get married or should you wait? More and more couples are choosing to wait a few months and even longer after they are married before taking their honeymoon. But why is that such a growing trend? Is that a good idea? Well, there are some plusses to waiting.
First, you just threw the biggest party of your lives. You’ve just planned for months, if not a year or so to plan this major event in your lives. And today’s wedding is not just one day, it can be a long weekend event. From the welcome drinks, the night before, to the wedding day, to the brunch the day after. It’s a lot of work and a lot of entertaining.
Plus, there’s the expense of the wedding. It is reported, from The Knot, that the average wedding can cost $29,000. With the average honeymoon costing $5,000 that’s a lot of money to put out all at once.
Then there are couples who have Destination Weddings. Even though their wedding is somewhere other than home, and they are celebrating with friends and family, they may want to have a honeymoon alone. One of the benefits of a Destination Wedding is celebrating your big event together away as a big group. However, when it comes to your honeymoon, you most likely are going to want that to be just the two of you. And that’s a lot of pressure, to put on on vacation.
Some couples have newer jobs and only have so many vacation days that they can take off and between wedding commitments, and assisting guests they wouldn’t be able to take all of the time off that they want for the wedding and honeymoon.
You are a newly married couple, even if you wait for 6, 12 or even 18 months. There are so many things that you can do. Some couples have the “mini-moon” where they plan a long weekend after the wedding somewhere to just relax and enjoy each other’s company. Then the recuperate both financially and emotionally and plan the big honeymoon. Sometimes when you delay the honeymoon it gives you something new to anticipate, and plan together. This is where working with a romance travel advisor can help you find the best vacation value, find those special romantic spots that you are looking for, and take the load off of planning this vacation all alone. Instead of spending hours and hours researching on the internet, they can do that part for you. You can give them the spending plan, what you are looking for and they can go to work to put the perfect honeymoon in place for you.
Jet lag, something that everyone talks about when you switch time zones and your body isn’t catching up as quickly as you are traveling. Sometimes you are just tired, or you can have headaches or nausea. Here are a few tips to help you with Jet lag:
Before your vacation adjust your daily schedule. A few days before the trip if you are traveling east adjust your sleep schedule move your sleep and wake times earlier. If you are traveling west move your sleep schedule later. This won’t completely get rid of it but it will help you get a leg up.
When you get to the airport there are other things that you can do including changing the time to your destination time on your watch. Make sure that you are always hydrated when traveling, this will help stop the symptoms of jet lag. If you are traveling west you may want to consider taking a couple of caffeinated drinks to help you stay up later. If you are going east - you may want to think about it if it will keep you up too late. And watch how many alcoholic drinks you have on the plane as alcohol dehydrates the body.
I am a natural sleeper on the plane, but if you are not, you may want to consider bringing a travel pillow, earplugs, or earbuds and soft music to lull you to sleep.
While on vacation the first day make sure you plan a full day on the first day and stay up later at least till 10 pm so that you are nice and tired out to get a good night’s sleep. Make sure that you are eating more protein-rich foods to give you energy without the sugar crash.
Did you know that there are apps to help you reduce the jetlag symptoms? Try apps like Timeshifter which tailors its recommendations based on your age, gender, sleep patterns, and your travel itinerary.
If you are someone who has exercise in their daily routine, keep that up while on vacation, that can help you keep the jetlag away.
Once you are home - still stay hydrated, keep up on a morning exercise routine. A morning workout will help get your blood flow going and give you a natural jolt of energy. If you need that nap, take it. It usually does take a couple of days to catch back up. Plus now that you are home, and there isn’t anything new to see, it’s completely natural to feel the side effects of jetlag.
When I say all-inclusive resort, the first thing you think of is buffets with mediocre food and tons of those umbrella drinks. But what if I told you the all-inclusive resort has changed over the years to a better experience?
Did you know that there are all kinds of experiences that you can find at an all-inclusive resort? Each resort is as individual as the person visiting it. For couples, there are resorts that are couples only. They procreate the ambiance for romance. They have everything from alluring settings, secluded areas for just the two of you, gourmet romantic dining, and premium spirits. Some even include excursions.
If you are a spa person, there are resorts for you as well. There are resorts that include your spa treatments as well. Again, there is something for everyone.
If you want to have a fun time with your friends, but not couples, is there something for you? Yes, there is and again you can get the gourmet dining, not just the buffets. Do you need to make reservations days in advance? Not at all resorts - again every resort is different.
Well, this sounds great but what about the kids? I want to go on vacation with my kids. That’s possible as well. Did you know that there are resorts that can give each family a wonderful experience? There are resorts that are as different as each family's needs.
Sports families, there is a resort for you - did you realize that you can go on vacation let your kids learn or brush up on a sport while you sit at the pool relaxing and connect up at dinner?
But wait, did you want to sit at the waterpark today? Then let the kids go to the kids club for a couple of hours tomorrow so you and your honey can have a romantic lunch or dinner? Yes, there is a resort for you.
How about an adventure? Did you want your excursions included in your all-inclusive for you and your family? Yes, there’s a resort for that as well. And of course, if you just want to sit at the beach, there’s a resort for that.
When you are looking at all-inclusive resorts the options are endless. That’s when working with a travel advisor comes in handy. We can sit down with you and help you find the best fit and value for you and your family.
Yes, that’s a question that I get all of the time. What can I bring through security at the airport? Here’s a quick list of things that are approved to go through security…
Makeup - any liquid makeup that follows the 3 oz rule including foundation, mascara, and eyeshadows. Power makeup can be brought as well, and any powder-like substances greater than 12 oz (350 mL) must be placed in a separate bin for X-ray screening. Don’t be alarmed if the the containers are opened and you are required to have extra screenings.
Nail Polish - yes, if it follows the 3 oz rule.
Nail Polish Remover - yes if follows the 3 oz rule
Perfume - yes if it follows the 3 oz rule
Shampoo\Conditioners\Body Soaps Yes if it follows the 3 oz rule.
Disposable Razor - yes
Nail Clippers - yes
Safety Pins - yes
Scissors - if packed in the carry on they must be four (4) inches from the pivot point
Tweezers - yes
Blood Sugar Test Kit - yes just let the TSA know that you have diabetes and are carrying your supplies with you. Insulin pumps and supplies must be accompanied by insulin, and insulin in any form or dispenser MUST be clearly identified.
Inhalers - yes the TSA recommends but does not require that inhalers be labeled to facilitate the security process.
These are just some of the basic items that I get questions on. Sometimes there are items that you may have questions on that aren’t on this list. You can check for them on the TSA’s website here:
And for those of you wondering, what is the liquid’s rule for the TSA:
“You are allowed to bring a quart-sized bag of liquids, aerosols, gels, creams, and pastes in your carry-on bag and through the checkpoint. These are limited to travel-sized containers that are 3.4 ounces (100 milliliters) or less per item. Placing these items in the small bag and separating from your carry-on baggage facilitates the screening process. Pack items that are in containers larger than 3.4 ounces or 100 milliliters in checked baggage.
Any liquid, aerosol, gel, cream or paste that alarms during screening will require additional screening.”
Hopefully, this will help answer some of your questions on what you can and can not bring the next time you are flying.
And until next time - happy travels!
Have you ever heard, “I need a vacation from my vacation!” I know that I’ve said that before and I’ve heard that many times before. Your vacation should be fun and not wearing you down.
Sometimes we like to either plan everything for the moment to try to get it in just in case we never make it back there again. Or we have to see just one more thing. I know I’m guilty of that. I call it the over-achiever vacation syndrome. I’ve learned over the years to let it go, or I’ll go insane. I’m learning to make myself a well-balanced vacation.
You can do so much research on the internet on how to make your vacation less stressful and more relaxing that you will be stressed by trying to be less stressed! It’s CRAZY! From someone who has vacationed before the invention of social media, being attached via the internet 24\7, let me give you a few things that I’ve learned, ignored, and re-learned over the years.
DETACH - We all need to detach and live in the moment. When the kids were little I wanted to video and photograph every little moment of their lives when we were on vacation. Mark was the smarter one he always told me - “Let’s live in the moment instead of behind the camera.” It took me a while, however, I did learn to do that. Don’t get me wrong, I still have those pictures and if it were up to Mark and the boys there are too many still. However, I’ve lightened up the load over the years and lived in the moment. They don’t need to have every moment of their lives videotaped to relive. Every moment doesn’t have to be on social media for the world to see - sometimes it’s nicer to have things just between us. When we were kids we didn’t have a device to live on and when we went on vacation we all reconnected. Sometimes I think we all need to do that as well.
RELAXATION - Yes, build in that time. We are in a world today that everything is at warp speed and every moment has to be filled with something to do. When on vacation take some time off of and do something crazy, like read a book, take a nap, go swimming or try something new. Keep activities at a low tension - let’s slow it down….
When we do these things we start to relax and feel more recharged and in control again of life. That’s when the magic of the journey happens. Your favorite destination maybe a beach, or maybe a ski hill, or a European Countryside, it doesn’t matter as long as you detach and relax - the rest will come to you.
And until next time don’t forget that love is the journey!
You want that once in a lifetime vacation, that special honeymoon, or that special anniversary trip. You may want to go to a beach, or on a cruise, but you don’t want it to feel like just any other vacation. How can you put your own personality on it? Let’s take a look at a few options…
Before you leave home, purchase a small gift and pack it away. You can then give it to your sweetheart at a special moment. What a great way to surprise them with a special piece of jewelry or momento that will remind them of this special vacation.
How about a special dinner either on a beach or at a romantic location for just the two of you? Candlelight, or at sunset with torches of lights around you?
How about having rose petals on the bed when you arrive? Or on a certain day? Better yet, what about a bubble bath for two with rose petals?
You can also to the spa and have a massage for two. A lot of resorts have outdoor massages that you can have on the beach, or in a garden.
Perhaps you would like to have a special momento of this once in a lifetime vacation and would like to have a photographer take a session of the two of you. You can have this set up ahead of time.
Something that I like is taking a piece of resort stationery and write a love letter to your sweetheart. Write about how you are feeling right now at this moment. Then after you return home, I always say wait six months or so and give it to them to remind them that this wonderful time.
When I work with a couple I like to make sure that they have any little surprises or special touches. I can help them put together all the extras that take a vacation from ordinary to extraordinary. Helping create a romantic moment that you won’t forget, or surprising your sweetheart with a day trip to that one place that crosses off his or her bucket list is one the best parts of my business.
And until next time….
Love is the journey!
Do you ever hear yourself say, “One day I’ll take that vacation, but right now I just can’t.” Did you know that 53% of American employees have unused vacation time? Did you know there are 705 million total unused vacation days per year? That’s a lot of vacation time that went unused and wasted away, and more stress on more Americans.
When you have kids you are setting an example to them of what life is all about. And it’s great that you are showing them hard work, but shouldn’t you show them that life is also about fun? You are setting an example. Let’s take a look at most excuses. Money? We can all make more. Time - the clock is ticking the same amount every day. And the kids are growing up so fast, plus you never know what tomorrow may hold. I know so many people who say, “I’m waiting till I retire then I’m going on that trip….” and unfortunately something happens to them and they can’t. You are living today, enjoy the day! Life is a journey, love is a journey - enjoy the journey! We all have commitments, but can you get some help or cut back on some? If you want to take that trip or vacation, I’m sure that family, or a family friend can take the kids to that weekend activity. But I have work commitments. Isn’t it good once once is a while to show the kids that your career doesn’t own your life and that your life is meant to be lived and enjoyed. That’s a great example to show your kids, a great work and life balance. Plus when you get back and you are refreshed you are refreshed and are ready to live more in the moment.
Everyone talks about budgeting for vacations, I have a tip that I’ve found to help me over the years that I would love to share with you. Do you remember the days of the “Christmas Club”? I have a “Vacation Club” account at the bank. It’s a little savings account that is my go to. I put away a little here and a little there and it adds up so quickly! Before I know it I have enough for a vacation or a getaway and it didn’t hurt the pocketbook at all. For the same as a cup of coffee at Starbucks.
Last but not least, come see a professional. You would be amazed with what we can do. We think of your vacation as our vacation. I know when working on a client’s vacation I put as much time and effort into it as if it was my own. Don’t get me wrong you can spend hours and hours on the internet looking at those sites and finding a “great deal” however you are just data to those sites. When you work with a travel professional, you are more than just data, you are a person who has spent time saving, wanting and dreaming about that special vacation just like we have and we realize it and want to make it as special as you do. I just love when someone comes to me and I make their vacation or honeymoon special. My favorite comment is, “All I had to do is pack, you truly did all the work for me.” Because my friends, love is the journey.