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.
Bermuda has so many fun events during the Christmas season. There are so many things to see and do. Bermudians love to celebrate the holiday season!
The end of November St. George has a Boat Parade where dozens of boats are all decorated with their bright holiday lights and parade around St. George’s Harbour to start off the holiday season.
Then the begining of December the Bermudians welcome Jolly Old St. Nick - with of course another parade. They have majorettes, Christmas themed floats and dancing Gombey troupes that go down the streets of Hamilton to make way before the Jolly Old St Nick makes his appearance. But wait, what are Gombey troupes? They are very much a Bermudian tradition that comes from a blend of the African, Native American, Caribbean and British cultures that date back to the early 1800s. The costumes are very colorful and have mirrors, which is supose to ward off evil spirits.
And what would a holiday be without a tree-lighting ceremony? The Royal Dockyard has an annual tree lighting ceremony at the beginning of December. On the west end of the island at Destination Dockyard, on Sunday’s in December is there a holiday tradition that is called Sundays at the Frog, and is a street fair with all of the fun of the holidays with music, Mistletoe Market, tree light ceremony, and a Christmas Showcase.
If you decide the visit Bermuda during the beginning of December, you need to see the Bermuda National Trust Walkabout. The Town of St. George has their signature holiday event, several homes in the UNESCO World Heritage Site invite the public into their homes. What’s so unique is that you can see their homes completely decorated with all of their bountiful lights and decor. Plus see historical re-enactors roam the candlelit streets while you can hear classic carols in the air.
And in the Dockyard on the west end, you can go to Santa’s Workshop as well, or go hear a wonderful concert of carols with a backdrop of a choreographic dolphin display at Dolphin Quest’s annual Carols with the Dolphins.
On Christmas Eve, you can attend a traditional Christmas Eve candlelit service at St. Peter’s Church in St. George’s on the East end of the island. This church is the oldest Anglican Church in the Western Hemisphere and celebrates its traditional mass at 9 pm with both songs and scripture.
Then on Christmas Day, go to Elbow Beach, in the Paget’s Parish area, to celebrate Christmas Morning with several visitors and locals alike to take in the Christmas Sunrise with champaign, pink sand, and a dip in the ocean.
Then on New Year’s Eve, stay for the party. Now unlike New York, where you wait in the cold for the Ball to drop, in Bermuda you wait in the warm in St. George, for the Onion to drop! Yes, you read that correctly, the Onion to drop! As the onion is very popular in Bermuda since it is an crop for Bermudians to grow, it has become a staple and a symbol for them.
As you can see Bermuda is a wonderful, warm and very British island. They have many similarities to ours as far as customs go and would be a wonderful place to celebrate the holidays as a family.
It is not too late for you to plan your holiday travel. If you are interested in planning holiday travel, just let me know and I would be happy to be of service in helping you.
Bon Pasco y Bon Aña – Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! That’s the spirit of the One Happy Island of Aruba at Christmas Time. The season starts just after Halloween and goes well into the New Year, this season is called Carnival. But what is there to expect?
Aruba is a blend of the Dutch, Venezuelan and Caribbean traditions. It’s a time of the year that is spent with family and friends and brings a new to everyone. The food is amazing and one tradition that resembles the states is the culinary delight of fruit cake. However, theirs is a bit different in taste it starts with a black cake called bolo pretu and is infused with brandy and fruit liquors and loaded with dried fruit and spices. You may enjoy the pistachio cake instead or how about the pan de jamon, or bread laced with ham? The Christmas Ham is at most tables with a beautiful glaze, but you will find a turkey at some homes. And make sure that you wash it down with ponche crema, a Latin American drink that is a bit sweeter than Egg Nog.
If there is one thing that you must try when in Aruba at holiday time it’s ayaca. It’s the prize dish at any table. The ayaca’s culinary heritage starts in Venezuela - you will have a boiled banana or plantain leaf that is filled with chicken, pork, or ham and a combination of spices, olives, raisins, cashews, prunes, onions and of course the secret family ingredient, that is spread over a cornmeal mixture. When it is time to eat, the reboil the entire stuffed leaf.
The lights of the island will be shining brightly, the streets are lined with lights! Plus the children have many ways of receiving gifts throughout the season. Santa comes to celebrate with the children more than once - you see with the many cultures, he’s celebrated in all of them. In Dutch, he’s called, Sinterklass, and he comes on December 5th to bring the kids sweets and toys. Then on December 25th Santa Claus comes to bring the children gifts under the Christmas Tree. Finally, on January 6th the Three Kings come and deliver gifts at the Nativity Scene. Plus for our Jewish friends, they celebrate the Festival of Light, Hanukkah, with 8 days of gift-giving.
And just like here in the US, you will start hearing holiday music being played on radio stations at the end of October. However, you may not hear White Christmas, instead, you will hear more traditional music of Gaita and Paranda Arubiano. And after the holiday, on December 31st, you will hear traditional caroling called Dande. Usually, it’s groups of 5 -6 people singing together. There is even a Dande Festival.
As the New Year comes around the shift goes from lights to fireworks. And in Oranjestad, you will hear tons of Chinese Firecrackers going off on New Year's Eve to ward off evil spirits. The beaches will have beautiful fireworks displays.
On New Year’s Day, at exactly 12:00 PM hoards of people rush into the ocean wearing orange hats for the New Year’s Plunge at Moomba Beach. It’s a tradition that was started by the Dutch. Now that’s a tradition that I could get into!
Aruba is a fun island that has so much to share with all of its many traditions and different backgrounds that there is truly something for everyone at the holiday time. What a way to spend your holiday season!
I recently found out something very special about the Dominican Republic, that made me think about one of my favorite holiday specials, “The Grinch”, “there is a feeling of the Christmas Spirit everywhere in the Dominican Republic – even at work. We go out more with our friends and spend more time with our families”. I think of The Who’s in Whosville singing around the tree together.
The bond of community is very strong in the Dominican Republic, and on Christmas, they have Aguinaldos, or informal singing parties on their way to their Christmas party. These parties are not just open to family members but to anybody. And most likely you will even get a cup of ‘jengibre’ or a homemade ginger beverage. Once everyone has come to the house they will sing carols and dance well into midnight.
Since many of the North American traditions are also celebrated in the Dominican Republic, it is very festive and adorned with big Christmas Trees filled with lights and with the beautiful weather tons of poinsettias everywhere. At night if you go to the Puerto Plata square or ‘La Plaza Indpendcia` you will find a large Christmas Tree filled with lights and decorations. The Victorian buildings and shops are filled with decorations and lights, you will even find Santa here. The only thing you won’t find is the snow.
Another fun tradition is the Fuegos artificiales. It’s one of the largest Christmas Celebrations, and it’s the Christmas Fireworks - the Dominican Republic welcomes the Spirit of Christmas with Fireworks. There are stands all over the country who specialize in the Christmas Fireworks.
Another wonderful tradition is The Un Angelito or the little angel. The tradition is that each family member’s name goes into a sack. Then the family member picks a name out of the sack and gives the individual a small gift they selected each week of the Christmas holidays. Then on the last day, each of the gift giver's names is revealed!
And yet another great way to see Christmas in the Dominican Republic is “charamico” since they don’t get snow in the tropics the artisans started creating wooden handcrafted Christmas Trees in white to represent snow-covered trees - or at least that’s the legend. Today they have all kinds of wooden trees, stars, and reindeer.
Their Christmas Dinners consist of wonderful traditional food. Including roasted pork, roasted chicken, rice and peas, Russian Salad, Fresh Green Salad, Biscuits and Cakes (Pastries filled with figs similar to Danish)
Wouldn’t it be nice to have a holiday in the warmth with a lot of similar traditions to what you are use to at home without any of the cleanup or work? Contact me today to plan your stress-free holiday vacation.
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.
So to me, the most stressful time of the year is the holidays! Why? It’s the decorating, having to be here and there, and to be honest all of the prepping and cooking. Sometimes as much as I LOVE all of the traditions it’s so overwhelming that I want to put my head under the covers.
Plus, I have to admit being in Wisconsin in the winter - well it’s not my favorite. My idea of a “White Christmas” would not be with snow, but with a white sandy beach. So, why would celebrating the holidays on a Caribbean vacation or cruise be a great alternative? Well, let me explain:
Having to get all of the house decorated - many hours and multiple stressors. Don’t get me wrong everyone LOVES putting the tree up, the ornaments on. They love putting up the manger scene, and all of the decorations around the house. However, come King’s Day in January, it’s me begging everyone to take everything down and back to the basement. Oh, let’s not forget the Tetra maze in the basement corner that I take apart, put together twice during that time of year.
Next, let’s talk about all the gatherings, and figuring out the “schedule”. You know what I mean figuring out what house and when you have to be where. Although we are totally blessed to have all of our family members with us to celebrate it’s hard to figure out the schedule to make everyone happy.
Lastly, all of the cooking between the baking, and the prepping of the big meals - not to mention all of the clean-up. The clean-up is the worst part!
Now let’s talk about celebrating in the Caribbean, first of all - out of the snow and in the sand. My personal favorite! That’s a gift right there. You are with your family at a resort that is decorated by someone else. They put up and take down the decorations. (YAY!) You will actually get to focus on your family and spending that special time together. You don’t have to worry about who’s going to clean up the table after you, or who’s going to clean up the house. You can actually spend time together talking, or doing something special like swimming with dolphins, or a sunset catamaran cruise. The memories of that holiday will live on for years to come. Much longer than that video game will.
You have someone cooking that holiday meal for you, and the best part - you don’t have to clean up the kitchen afterward. You just get to go create more family memories together, the true meaning of the holidays.
Each Island has its own holiday traditions. How wonderful would it be to watch how other cultures celebrate the holiday? What a great gift to share with your children and loved ones. Like seeing the Junkanoo Festival in Jamaica or attending the “Candles by Candelight” Celebration in Barbados. Surely a way for the family to talk about this holiday for years to come. And isn’t that what the holidays and Christmas is truly about, the memories.
The past couple of weeks I’ve been writing about gifting an experience instead of just things for the holidays. This week I wanted to talk about an experience that we gave the kids a few years ago. I knew that we wanted to have them go somewhere warm, and we wanted to wait until after the holiday season. But we didn’t know where exactly to go. After some research, we looked into visiting another city. We chose Houston, Texas. You see my little guy, Zach, is a huge space fan and loves astronauts. I wanted to take him to see NASA.
And what started out as a trip to NASA in Houston, turned out to be a wonderful vacation to the Houston-Galveston area. We had a blast taking the boys not only to NASA but to Houston’s Zoo, Aquarium, the Museum and to the Kemah Boardwalk. The best part is that we took Grandma with. This was not only an experience that the boys were able to enjoy but one that we all cherish because it was with their Grandmother as well.
For all of us, we had some once in a lifetime moments together. To see my mom’s face light up when she stepped into the Houston Control Room where they launched the first ship to the moon and she remembered seeing that as a child. And then hearing her explain that to Zach and seeing his excitement was simply priceless! And just watching the boys get excited about doing new things with their Grandma and the memories that they shared, down to just swimming in the swimming pool at the hotel are things that we still talk about to this day.
I guess that is why I’m so passionate about giving the gift of travel and the gift of experiences. I was blessed with parents who gave me and my sisters' experiences even more than things. We were very blessed to have had that time together to share and to bond and when we lost my Dad several years ago, during that time of solace, some of our fondest memories are of the experiences and the travel experiences that we shared.
So no matter where you are going if it is to Disney World, Houston Texas, the Caribean or to a local waterpark, give an experience - it’s the gift that will keep on giving. If the thought of putting together that experience is overwhelming, send me an email, I would love to plan it for you so that all you have to sit back and enjoy each other’s company!
Because - Love is the journey!
Let's face it, after you’ve been together for awhile, perhaps you have a couple of kids, the career, and everything else, you want to feel like newlyweds. Especially in the bedroom - that’s the biggest reason why we take the romantic vacation away. Here’s a few tips to set the mood for the two of you to enjoy each other’s company….
Most of us love to go the beach. Find us a beach resort, or a cruise and we are happy. However, that may not the setting for everyone. What setting made the two of you feel sexy. Is it a night out in the city? Is it exploring a new land? What makes you feel sexy?
When picking out your room, splurge a bit on the accommodations so that you WANT to stay in your room. Get the king size bed, or the in room jacuzzi. And when picking a resort, stay away from the family resorts, choose one that has more of an adult feel. You left the kids at home, you don’t want to see everyone else’s kids. It’s harder to “get in the mood” when the kid at the table next to you is throwing his spaghetti on the floor.
When planning activities and excursions or day trips, don’t over book yourself on your romantic vacation. Remember that you will want to rest up and get some downtime to enjoy each other’s company. You need to reconnect on all levels when you are away. You don’t need to go from sun up to sun down on excursions and activities. Pick something to do for the day for a few hours and then relax a bit. If you are a couple who feels sexier in the morning, pick afternoon activities. If you are a couple who feels sexier in the afternoon pick a morning activity. And if you really enjoy this romantic getaway and the location makes you feel sexy most likely you will want to return and you can then go see something else in that location so you don’t have to do it all in one vacation.
Most importantly, disconnect from the outside world. Yes, put down the smartphone, email, and everything else. If you must check email and take calls, talk ahead of time and setup a mutually agreed upon time to do that. And if you are going to check in on the kids, make sure that you have a window of time that you have setup with their caretaker. Check in, let them know that you are good and get back to being newlyweds.
Things might not always go as planned, from getting there to the weather, to activities. Sometimes you need to go with the flow. And that’s okay. Enjoy the moment - who knows how the romance will flow.
And until next time remember, Love is the Journey.