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Vacations

Top 5 Spas in the Caribbean

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VACATIONS SHOULD CONSIST OF RELAXING, being pampered, and indulging in the local culture. The treatment of luxury. These 5 Caribbean locations have some of the most premier spa locations for a vital tranquil vacation. So, leave all your worries behind, embrace the culture around you, and improve your quality of life.

Naay Spa at Karisma Hotels – Riviera Maya

This spa is inspired by the sun and surf, adhering to the ancient Mayan principles of earth, wind, and fire. It has created a selection of treatments by utilizing ancient healing rituals, filled with oils, aromatic herbs and spices, that restores your inner equilibrium and gives you an opportunity for rebirth. This spiritual trip will lead you to a tranquil state of mind. These all-natural therapies; like hydrotherapies, water journey rituals, body wraps, massages, facials, reflexology, and much more; use pure plant synergies and botanical ingredients to balance the body, mind, and spirit.

St. Lucia Spa at Sugar Beach – St Lucia

This chemical-free, all-natural, Rainforest spa utilizes secrets known from the locals by using the nature of St. Lucia. Bananas, the local pride, to firm, tighten and smooth away wrinkles; coconut to exfoliate; aloe vera to rejuvenate; and rich cocoa butter to heal and hydrate.” Besides massage therapy and facials; some signature treatments also include bamboo massages, hot rock therapies, body wraps, salt scrubs, and holistic treatments, yoga, and water sports.

COMO Shambhala Retreat at Parrot Cay – Turks and Caicos

COMO Shambhala retreat believes in balance of the body, mind, and spirit. Inspire the soul with a place of beauty. On an overlook pavilion, therapist specialize in Asian-inspired holistic therapies; like massage therapy, reflexology, body care, baths, and facials, return you to a balanced and healthy well-being. With their signature blended massage oils, you will feel calm, stress-relieved, and rejuvenated. Also partake in daily yoga, meditation, pranayama, and pilates.

Laluna Asian Spa at Laluna Resort & Wellness Center – Grenada

This Asian spa utilizes Balinese masseuse eastern techniques for massages; like rolling, kneading, stretching, thumb and palm pressure, and more; improves blood flow, relieves tension, rejuvenates and strengthens the body to heal. This includes facials, body massages, couple’s massages, hand and foot treatments, and more. The main focus is the body and mind. Within this Asian inspired environment, like the organic garden or pavilion; there is yoga, meditation, pilates, and a gym.

Sandy Lane Spa at Sandy Lane Resort – Barbados

This tranquil, Caribbean spa uses Margy’s Monte Carlo and Aromatherapy products. Treatments range from massages, facials, body treatments, hydrotherapy, sauna, and much more. Each suite has its own private garden and hydrotherapy pool. Inpsire to improve your personal health and fitness by partaking in the fitness center, pilates, and yoga.

I Need a Vacation: Story of a Girl Tired of Adulting

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IF I WERE TO LIST ALL THE REASONS I need a vacation I would break the internet worse than when Kim Kardashian popped a bottle of champagne into a glass that was balanced on her booty.

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So here are 10 MINOR details from my daily routine that remind me, everyday, that I need a vacation because lets face it, adulting is hard…
Wake up, go through 75 outfit changes before deciding that it’s not the clothes that are misshapen, it’s me. Discard every single rejected outfit onto the floor and swear to pick it up later (I won’t). Also swear to make more time to go to the gym so I’m less misshapen, (again, I won’t.)Related image
Try to get ready. And by try, I mean try to scrub all of the imperfection off of my face via some cleanser that took 10 minutes to find because the bathroom counter looks like a 5 year old was trying to do a chemistry project. That chemistry project is my face. I am the 5 year old.
Next step is to apply make-up which first requires me to put my hair into some sort of obscene tribal bun on top of my head which qualifies me for renaming myself Chief Bun of Mess.

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Now to dig through the drawer full of various make-up tubes and palates ranging in shades all the way from irresponsible-80s-kindergartener to red-carpet-Golden-Globe-extra, just to resort to the same three products that I use very time.

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And one of those products includes my arch-nemesis.  Eyeliner. Don’t. Even. Get. Me. Started.  An overzealous raccoon could apply a thinner, more even, line than this.

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Time to revisit that hair and renounce my chiefdom.  But the problem is now my hair is bent in all sorts of weird ways and has wrapped itself around the hair tie and is holding on as tight as Rose should have been to Jack on the raft.

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This hair is absolutely hopeless now and I am now going to reinstate my chiefdom and resort back to the messy bun, which somehow doesn’t look as cute as when those Instagram chicks do it, I just end up looking ratchet.  (Which is a daily occurrence now, so I am contemplating just completing the look by going full on People of Walmart.)

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As I’m rushing around I now remember to feed my cat, because I am a responsible pet-parent, and also because I hear his annoying, incessant meowing for a more balanced breakfast than the trash that I just fed myself; which was some sort of half eaten pop tart from last night’s Netflix binge.

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Now that I have unearthed my keys and phone I can finally walk out the door. If I were to go by the clock in my car I would be on time, actually early, but I didn’t change it for daylight savings soooooo…. Late-fest.  Its actually surprising that I can even see the clock, because again, episode of hoarders worthy.  I’m just going to text my boss that I hit traffic, and will be late…and by traffic, I mean Starbucks. I’m going to hit up Starbucks.  Rule number one of adulthood, you are never too late for coffee.

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I literally haven’t even made it to work yet and I am already drowning in reasons why I should be drowning myself in Pina coladas on a beach somewhere. I need a vacation because adulting sucks, I’m over it, and that’s all the reason I need.

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Airport Hacks For Easy Traveling

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I KNOW WE CAN ALL AGREE that traveling can be a stressful time. The thoughts running through your head, “did I pack enough,” “am I missing anything,” “will that get through security?” and the thoughts go on and on.

After a few experiences in traveling and learning little tricks and tips, here and there, traveling doesn’t have to be stressful. A wish and a prayer just doesn’t cut it anymore for the perfect airport experience. Here are some travel hacks to make your airport experience that much easier

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ALWAYS check before hand, if your flight is delayed or canceled.

Nothing is worse than rushing to airport, feeling frazzled and stressed out, just to find out that your flight was delayed or canceled. Sign up for alerts to your phone, texts or emails, about your flight information, so that you are up to date at all times.

Dress comfortable!

There is no reason to dress in your best suit or a pair of high heels. Everything is fast paced walking, taking off your shoes, belts, jackets, and whatever else, to get through TSA, a lot of sitting or standing;  so a comfy pair of pants, flat shoes, and a sweater jacket to stay warm is ideal for the airport.

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Keep your ID and boarding pass close to you.

Don’t be that person that is holding up the line because they have their boarding pass or passport in their bag and their ID still in their wallet. You know that security will be checking your ID/passport and boarding pass, numerous times, so keep those items together and in an accessible spot for an easy grab, then when you are comfortable in your seat on the plane, you can put the items back where you think they belong

Keep all your flight essentials in one place.

Have a separate small bag for all your flight needs; like earbuds, snacks, phone charger, book/magazine, small hand sanitizer (because, let’s be real, germs are gross) and medications (if needed). Don’t put it in your carry on, stowed in the overhead bin, and be that person that is constantly getting up to unload their bag and sort through their stuff finding the items. Respect the people around you and be mindful about organization.

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Snacks and Water!

If you’re like me, you love to snack and are always thirsty, but airport water and snacks are always more than $5.00 for the smallest one. So, a trick for the water situation, bring an EMPTY reusable water bottle. It will pass through security with no problems, and you can get water from the fountain for free! For snacks, pack some easy, finger foods in clear zip lock bags to take on your carry on. Once again if they are small, easy to eat, solid foods, they will get through security with no problems. It saves you a ton of money and is probably the healthier option as well!

Bring a portable phone charger.

Sometimes all the outlets are taken up or your airport isn’t stocked with those modern phone charging towers, so it is best to invest in a portable charger. Traveling with a dead phone is not fun and leaves you in a state of panic and stress. Do not start your vacation on that kind of note.

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Be careful wearing headphones at the airport!

If you do choose to wear your headphones, then you should always keep one ear free, so that you can hear your flight info; gates could change, times can change, flight canceled, etc. So, don’t miss your flight because you weren’t listening to the gate announcements.

Wear your heaviest items. 

If you suspect that your suitcase might be overweight because you are traveling somewhere colder or if you are traveling with some souvenirs, then wear your heaviest items. If you are traveling with a jacket, wear the jacket. If you are traveling with boots, wear the boots. It’s easier to just wear the extra items beforehand, then to tear apart your luggage because it was called out for being overweight and have to pay the extra fee.

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3.4 ounces means 3.4 ounces.

Don’t try to sneak your family size shampoo on your carry on because you thought you could convince security it was okay or the extra-large sunscreen you just paid for because you didn’t know. Be cautious of what you are packing. 3.4 ounces or 100 ML is 3.4 ounces, or 100 ML. Security doesn’t care if you just bought it or have 10 kids to bathe on your vacation. They will make you throw it out. So, invest in some travel sized bottles or products, or just wait until you are at your destination to buy them.

Never be afraid to ask for help!

If you are lost or lost an item, confused, have questions, whatever it may be, DO NOT be afraid to ask the flight attendants or security for help. That is what they are there for, to help you when you need it! They will have the answers and if they don’t, they will direct you to the person that does have the answers. It will take any stress away because someone gave you a solution to your problem. No question is a dumb question.

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Following these hacks will make your travel experiences way easier! You will be thankful that you read this article and took notes, because starting off your vacation with a head full of stress, is not the best feeling.

Keep it simple, keep it easy, and you won’t have any problems!

Hottest Travel Destinations of 2018

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As 2017 came to an end, I think we all took a deep breath and reflected on our triumphs and our tribulations, our leaps and bounds and our missteps, our strengths and our weaknesses; you know, the usual, cliché yearly reflection. After that, we all came up with at least one New Year’s Resolution. Mine? I’m going to live more, take more risks, seek out more adventures, and not always play on the safe side of things. That got me to thinking… Many people say that for their New Year’s Resolution, they want to “travel more”. In honor of that, I’ve compiled the top seven destinations to visit in 2018 and, of course, why.

 

1.

 

When we think of Rome, we normally think of Julius Caesar, the Vatican, and their breathtaking architectural structures, such as the Pantheon and the Colosseum. Rome has severely influenced architecture, government, and the arts since its creation; and today, they continue to impress the world with their fashion, cuisine and commerce. However, I promise you will regret it if you don’t visit the Trevi Fountain (hello, it’s in practically every movie that takes place in Rome), the Sistine Chapel (come on, who wouldn’t want bragging rights about seeing Michelangelo’s work with their very own eyes), and the Piazza di Spagna/Spanish Steps (not many want to even utter the word exercise while on vacation, but climbing these steps in spring to the view at the top makes it totally worth it)!

 

2.

 

Of course, we’ve all heard of the Sydney Opera House or the Sydney Harbour Bridge; but Sydney is so much more than that. They have it all! Between the expansive city, relaxed beach town, and cultural haven, Sydney offers something for everyone! Darling Harbour is Sydney’s waterfront district with the famous SEA LIFE Aquarium, museums, restaurants, and shops, all surrounded by a beautiful marine backdrop. Bondi Beach is famous partly for being less than 15 minutes from Sydney’s city limits and partly for the great surf and even greater coastal scenery. The Rocks, a historic area that was once home to the indigenous Gadigal people, is full of history, personality, quaint cobbled roads, and features a guided nighttime expedition to explore the land (and the ghosts that are rumored to be roaming around). And if you’re anything like me, you wouldn’t be able to leave Australia without seeing some Koala Bears and Kangaroos, and that makes Taronga Zoo a must!

 

 

3.

 

The seaside city of Porto, nicknamed the City of Bridges, is a combination of coastal vistas, historic elements, enchanting architecture and iron bridges. While in Porto you must see the Dom Luís I Bridge, which is particularly notorious because the architect was a student of the man who created the Eiffel Tower in Paris. The Crystal Palace Gardens show off flourishing flora, twisting paths, and spouting fountains. It is a great place for photo ops that will be sure to make all your friends on social media green with envy (he he, get it?)! If you find yourself in Porto and don’t stop to sample their noteworthy port wine, you might as well not even mention to others you visited this coastal city in the first place. Make a wine tasting appointment at one (or five) wineries for an excursion your taste buds will thank you for later.

 

4.

 

We’ve all seen the episodes of Friends where the gang (minus a very pregnant-with-triplets Phoebe) travels around the globe to London in support of their best friend, Ross, tying the knot. They show your typical tourist attractions (thanks to Joey and Chandler), such as the city bus tour and famous landmark buildings; but there is so much more to London than guards wearing funny, furry hats and tacky, two-floored, red buses. Of course, you must immerse yourself in London’s history by visiting the Buckingham Palace, Big Ben, and the Tower of London. If you’re looking for a birds-eye view of the beautiful and bustling city, the Coca-Cola London Eye is privy to over 55 of London’s most unforgettable landmarks! But when you’re looking to have some excitement separate from architecture, check out the Warner Bros. Studio Tour London in The Making of Harry Potter (eek!) where you can score a behind-the-scenes tour of Harry Potter, including props, costumes, and sets that are famously fun from the movie. For extra entertainment, check out the London Dungeon, which is a 90 minute attraction that takes it’s company through London’s dark, ancient history in an interactive tour.

 

5.

 

Paris has so much to offer, so to fully appreciate The City of Love or The City of Lights, (depending on who you talk to), that one trip is just not enough time to soak up the true Parisian experience. The iconic staples are a must, such as he Eiffel Tower, the Notre-Dame Cathedral, and the Versailles Palace. If you’re looking to get a bit of historical education thrown your way, the Musee de Louvre is the way to go; between being considered as one of the paramount art museums in not just Europe, but the whole world, and holding thousands of masterpieces, such as the “Mona Lisa”, it’s no wonder that the Musee de Louvre is known as the most visited museum worldwide! If you want to go a step further in history, visit the Le Marais, which is one of Paris’ oldest sectors, and also home to hidden courtyards, quaint cobblestoned paths, Old-World French architecture, and old-school bakeries and delis. It is also a great place to enjoy lively nightlife, with chic boutiques, popular clubs, and opulent galleries. If you are looking for something a bit less romantic, the Catacombs should be put to the top of your list. 65 feet beneath Paris lays skull-and-boned carved channels that stretch miles in every which way, the Catacombs were created to provide a safe-space for the city’s deceased. This attraction might be a bit pricy, but it is definitely worth it!

 

6.

 

So, for this destination, I may be just a wee bit biased, considering my family is actually from the Amalfi Coast (shout out to the Motondo’s!). But even if I wasn’t repping my heritage, the Amalfi Coast is one of those places that you need to visit before you die. It is rich in Italian history, between its old-world allures, such as their timeworn, brightly-colored homes, their long-standing seaside towns, and its exceptional delicacies, (think of everything you’ve ever ordered in an Italian restaurant and then forget about it, because it doesn’t even compare to what real Italian cuisine is). You will never want to leave. If you’re not looking to break the bank, simple trips to the beach or hikes exploring the stunning hills will do just the trick! Exploring the Amalfi Coast by land is amazing, but it’s like only reading half of a book. In order to gain the whole experience, boat or ferry tours allow you to see unobstructed views of the architecture, diverse landscapes, and colorful architecture that will leave you breathless!

 

7.

 

You can live in New York your entire life and still not see all there is to experience within The City That Never Sleeps. From the Empire State Building to Broadway to the Statue of Liberty to Central Park, it never ends. Before you embark on your journey to The City, if seeing a show on-Broadway is on your bucket list, it would be smart to buy your tickets ahead of time to ensure great seats. You can spend an entire day shopping on Fifth Avenue, or at least perusing your way through the high-end stores, if you’re a shopping fool. Central Park is great if you’re looking to people-watch or get in some (extra) exercise surrounded by lush trees, walking paths, and peek-a-boo views of skyscrapers. If you have little ones (or, okay, I might’ve done this two years ago, but whatever), visiting Toys R Us at Times Square is very exciting, as they have a Ferris wheel inside with everyone’s favorite childhood characters! There are endless amounts of escapades to endure in in New York City.

 

2018 is filled with 365 days destined for adventure. Where will your adventures take you?