Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Helpful How-To: Vacation Planning

When Techy and I were planning our honeymoon, we daydreamed about exotic locales.

I was fantasizing about lying on a gorgeous white sandy beach in Aruba.

Techy spent all his time researching some way to get us to Jamaica.

Did you know that we got married the first week of December?  (If you are in touch with your inner calendar, you would know that that means I might have an anniversary coming up....  And you would be right...moving on....)

Apparently, the first week of December happens to be a big travel week for the Caribbean. 

Odd, huh?

Blame it on the snow-birders/baby boomers.

The boom in travel made all the rates for that week sky high.

And being young, and broke, and not in favor of going into debt for a week when we were going to be spending alot of time indoors, we opted for a more reasonable approach.

We headed to the Florida Keys.

Let me tell you, a flight from Philadelphia to Miami is uber cheapo.

From there we rented a car and proceeded to get-the-heck-outa-M-I-A!

Can I just say, there is nothing more quaint (quainter???) than the Keys at Christmas time.


We stayed at the most adorable little inn on Marathon Key.

Where our nightly rate was all of $69 a night.

And we had a one bedroom condo to ourselves.

Kitchen included....

The view from our room was a'ight, I guess.  You know, if you are into beach huts and palm trees....

Since it was off season for the Keys (ON season for the Caribbean...), we had a ton of privacy.

There were only about 8 other people staying there, so more often than not, this is what the pool looked like.

And we had plenty of romantic sunsets.

And let's take a look at that bikini ready body:

You can't tell it from this distance, but that was the one and only time I have ever had such amazing looking legs.  Muscles and all....

The Kicker???

I STILL thought I was fat.

Oh, to be that "fat" again....

Now you may be wondering where this is going....

I mean, it is a Helpful How-To...

So where is the How-To....

Well, let me tell you, in planning our honeymoon, we used several strategies that we have continued to use when planning any and all vacations since.

And now, I am going to share them with you.

1.  Don't go into debt.
A vacation is fun.  A vacation is memorable.  But if you (read: we) want to everhave another vacation again, it is wisest to not break the bank from the get-go. 

2.  Roll with the punches.
No.  The Florida keys would not have been either of our first picks, but in the end, it was most definitely the best pick.  We knew that forking over the cold, hard ca$h for a Caribbean vacation while I was unemployed and looking for work in my new home was not a comfortable option for us.  Even with our wedding $$ chilling in the bank, we knew we would need that to live on while I was looking for work.  So we "settled" for a totally doable, adorable and private vacation. 

And I'm so glad we did!

3.  Plan for the occasion with dates in mind.
In this case, we had to work around Crazy Caribbean Snowbird week, but lots of people have other things to work around.  Holidays, School calendars, etc.  For instance, if you want to take a Disney Cruise for your honeymoon, you might not want to plan it for the first week kids are out of school or the last week of summer vacation.  Just saying.

4.  Can we say Hurricane Season????

There is nothing that can ruin a perfectly good vacation like a hurricane.  If you are heading to a tropical locale during hurricane season, it might be wise to add in the optional hurricane insurance.
Again, totally up to you, we never have (because we are cheap) but there have definitely been times I wished we had!

5.  Just because this isn't the year, doesn't mean it won't happen.
When we had to pass on our dream Caribbean vacation, we started saving. 
We set a deadline, even.
And last year, we went on our dream Caribbean vacation.
And it was soooooooooo worth the wait!

6.  If it's a honeymoon, common sense goes a loooooooooooong way.
Let's face it.  Honeymoons are geared toward one thing.  The goal is to make that one thing as easy as possible.  New places, new foods, new things are not the highlight of a honeymoon.  The goal is to have fun IT as much as possible. 

For instance, I had a friend who went on a cruise for her honeymoon.  And got seasick. 


Or one of my friends went to an amusement park.  Where she screamed her head off on every ride all day long.  And wound up with a HUGE migraine.

Again.  Yeah.

So in conclusion, maybe my advice isn't for you.

Maybe that's not how you roll. 

Maybe the idea of having anything less than a dream honeymoon is just incredulous! 

Or maybe you would rather not spend money on vacations at all and just keep it close to home.

Just thought, in preparation for my anniversary this week, I would give you a little insight into what made our honeymoon so stinking amazing.

Hint: We may have done IT a few times, which always makes a vacation of any kind that much better.

Uh oh, TMI alert....

Better go.

Before I get yelled at....

1 comment:

Carrie said...

Oh how I love your helpful how to....especially when I need a good Laugh! Thank you Thank you Thank you for making me laugh almost daily! I know that's why you write what you do :)