Traveling has always been a passion of mine since childhood. I will never forget my father planning vacations for us every summer. I look at travel in two ways a way to escape and educate. I love to travel for both reasons. It's always a blessing to be able to escape your "world" and see a new landscape, this world is so vast and beautiful, you could spend your whole life touring and still wouldn't see all it has to offer because it's always changing. Paired with escaping is learning new things, meeting new people, being made aware of history and culture and all the aspects that make the world a beautiful place to inhabit. As I am getting older, I find myself wanting to take the "road less traveled". Sure, I've done gorgeous destinations like Cancun and my second favorite country Jamaica, and I've also visited the ever-popular local Miami so for me it's all about balance.
Whether it's Greece or Grenada I want to see it all and do it all! Journey with me as I recount some of my most memorable escapes and feel free to ask me any questions you may have. Also, I am an avid runner and workout enthusiast so I will also show you how I merge my workouts in my travels…
But first, before we get into my trips let us tackle what used to be one of my most dreaded parts of travel, finding great and adequate lodging!
Figuring out where to stay in "foreign territory" can be overwhelming, frightening, and confusing so let's nail down some fundamentals:
1. In these covid times don't be afraid to go with an Airbnb or VRBO rental - it makes sense to stay in low trafficked accommodations.
2. I love adventure seeing new places and traveling by public transportation when I am on vacation because A) I hate driving B) it's great to feel like a local
However, don't be afraid to rent a car it can come out cheaper than cabs and maybe safer during covid. I also love walking and running to check out my new terrain.
3. If your primary activity when traveling is to lay beachside, be sure you are close to one! This is nonnegotiable, after all, precious beach days are at hand. No one wants to take an hour ride when transporting to and from the beach. Do your research use google maps etc. and determine proximity, where you are, and where are the places and things you want to see & do. This extra research beforehand will save you from a stressful holiday.
4. Don't be afraid to stay in more than one lodging accommodation it's a lovely feeling to be on vacation and stay in two places and it makes your trip feel longer. If you want to see multiple sites and there is a long distance between them then stay in each area. I once stayed in three different places on one nine-day trip all on various parts of the island just so I could take it all in.
5. See the land on foot. Sure, it may be hot or cold (depending on where you are visiting) but seeing more than just your hotel grounds is a must! Get out and go for a walk, jog, or run. While you may not tackle as much ground you will feel more connected to the land and discover many nuances that you may miss otherwise.
And while you are out and about practice safety, even though you are on vacation, your vigilance should always be in tow.
6. Read Reviews!!! I cannot stress this enough, there are so many sites that offer reviews of hotels & various lodging accommodations even excursions please do your research. Go past the first page on the screen which usually has all the 5-star reviews and read in-depth. Prioritize, what things are a hard NO for you? I once read that a hotel although lovely shut of its AC at night, this was a practice I was not willing to accept so I booked elsewhere. If you have questions don't be afraid to call the hotel or send an email before booking.
Once again, these small tasks will amount to a much more pleasant stay.
7. Step out of your comfort zone. Don't let the fear of not knowing the language keep you in predominantly "touristy territory". See the land, patronize the shops and restaurants that aren't on the beaten path. If you don't know or speak the language, use a translator app but please don't just assume that everyone speaks your native tongue. It's respectful to be insightful. If you know the language and aren't a pro that's okay too at least an effort has been made and I am sure your "new friends" will help you along the way.
Do remember a smile is the easiest to pack and the most universal accessory. 😊
Happy Travels ✈