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in My Travels, Travel

A Year In Review: My 2016 Highlights

For most of us, today is an opportunity to leave old habits and memories in the past.  Most of us are also making new plans and resolutions for the future.  But first, I’d like to take a moment to reflect on my 2016 highlights.

Ringing in 2016 in Capetown, South Africa

Last year, my sister along with about 16 other friends decided to go on an epic trip to Capetown, South Africa to ring in the new year.  We went on a safari, ate lots of great food, visited several vineyards, and paid a visit to Table Mountain!  Capetown (and the surrounding area) is BEAUTIFUL, and I will definitely make it a point to go back.

Martinique

I’d been wanting to go to Martinique since forever!  It seemed like such a colorful and interesting place, and of course a beautiful landscape.  Unfortunately, flights from the east coast to Martinique were SUPER expensive, and lack of American tourism meant that accommodations were scarce and expensive.

But, with new flight service with Norwegian airlines starting last year, and the new popularity of Airbnb, I was finally able to get over there and I was not disappointed (check out my recap of the trip)!  All the food was delicious, and the beaches were gorgeous and unspoiled.  I didn’t get to spend nearly as much time there as I would have liked, so I will definitely be returning.

I Got Married!

My husband and I decided to get married last year, exactly one year from the day we met (he’s a romantic like that).  We initially got married in a VERY informal and small ceremony (me, my husband, and my friends who married us) in my kitchen, and had an actual ceremony later in the summer.  Obviously this is my #1 highlight of the year, but I wanted to go in chronological order for the sake of this post.  Forgive me lol.

Saint Maarten

For my birthday, my husband and I decided to go to Saint Maarten to celebrate.  I found a nice studio apartment within walking distance of Orient Bay beach.  It was just a really relaxing time, with beautiful beach views and awesome weather every day.

Our Honeymoon in Cancun

For our honeymoon, my husband and I spent 10 days in Cancun.  We stayed an an awesome all-inclusive resort, called Secrets The Vine.  The resort itself was enough to make the vacation awesome, but we also went on a tour to see Tulum and Xel-Ha, as well as other adventures we chose to do on our own.  It was an awesome trip!

My Friend’s Birthday Cruise

One of my closest friends hit her 30th birthday this year, and to celebrate, several friends and family members all joined her on a cruise to Nassau, Bahamas.  Unfortunately we only had a day to spend on the island, but it was great catching up with her and our other mutual friends that I had not seen in a while!

What about you?  Any experiences or achievements in 2016 that you are especially proud of or excited about!  What are your travel goals for 2017?  Post it in the comments!

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in Travel

5 Reasons You Should Purchase Travel Insurance

I know, I know.  Travel Insurance seems like an unnecessary expense when you’re still high from the excitement of that awesome travel deal you just booked.  However, there are lots of unknowns that could happen before and during your trip that could add on to your total travel costs, big time.  Here are some things you should consider before you skip travel insurance.

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8 Must Have Items For Your Next Beach Vacation

Packing for a trip can be a little difficult, especially for longer trips.  There are some things that you obviously need to have, such as your ID, money, underwear, etc.  But there are other things that are must have items for every beach vacation.  Here are the items I must have that have a big impact on my trip.

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Turks and Caicos: Go Off The Beaten Path

Providenciales, Turks and Caicos is a beautiful island.  It has some of the best beaches i’ve ever visited, and the people are super friendly!  One thing I did notice on my first (of many) trips though, is that it is not immediately obvious where to go to experience local culture and food.  Grace Bay is ranked one of the best beaches in the world, and has many luxury hotels and condominiums on its beachfront, but they are generally European style.  Check out some of these places to get a little local flavor.

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5 Ways To Travel On A Budget

Of all the reasons people have given me for why they feel like they can’t travel, cost is almost always the top reason.  Yes, travel costs can indeed be super expensive — if you don’t put in the effort up front.  However, if you implement some good spending habits and do some research ahead of time, you can definitely cut a significant amount off of your total travel costs, and stay within your budget.

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Beautiful Saint Maarten: Our Stay in Orient Bay

Earlier this month,  my new husband and I decided to take a short celebratory getaway to Saint Maarten.  I chose Saint Maarten because my husband had never been to the Caribbean before (most of his travels have been to Europe or Asia), and I wanted a Caribbean destination that I had not visited before.  Saint Maarten turned out to be a lovely trip for the both of us.

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Martinique: French Caribbean Paradise

For a long time in my twenties, I’d been longing to go to Martinique.  I don’t remember how I even came across it as a travel option in the first place, but it always looked like such an interesting place that I knew I wanted to visit.  Unfortunately, since Martinique apparently was not big on American tourism at the time, the flight and hotel costs made travel to Martinique a little too much of a stretch for my budget.

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Capetown: 3 Awesome Things to Do

Capetown is a BEAUTIFUL city.  I cannot say that enough.  Literally everywhere you look is picture perfect.  That said, the 10 days I spent there was not nearly enough to cover all the sites and experiences Capetown has to offer.  Sidetone:  Uber is probably the cheapest and most convenient way to get around.  None of my Uber rides costed more than $10.

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