Your Passport booklet– don’t just “consider” taking this. It is a must for most destinations in the Caribbean and anywhere in Mexico. Leave home without it and you won’t be gone long- you will not be boarding that plane without presenting your passport booklet to TSA officials. Take a look a few months ahead of time and make sure it isn’t about to expire too! Remember, passport cards are NOT valid for air travel. You must have a passport booklet.
Plenty of sunscreen– The closer you are the to the Equator, the more intense the sun’s rays are. Don’t spend your vacation looking like a lobster, pack plenty of sunscreen and re-apply often. If you run out, resort gift shops will sell it, but it’s usually a little pricey.
Aloe vera gel – just in case you have a few too many frozen concoctions at the swim-up bar and forget to reapply your sunscreen! If you’re staying at Sandals or Beaches Resorts, you’ll have a complimentary bottle in your bathroom right near one of those Bathroom City showers they have, so don’t worry about packing it!
Pepto Bismol or another tummy remedy – nobody likes to talk about it, but many travelers experience upset stomachs, indigestion or diarrhea from overindulging, eating unfamiliar foods and drinking alcohol. Be prepared for it!
Tylenol, Advil, Excedrin or your choice of pain reliever – for that inevitable hangover-induced headache. Or just try the “hair of the dog” trick and visit the Bloody Mary & mimosa bar the next morning for breakfast!
A copy of your marriage license – if you are traveling for your honeymoon or anniversary, some resorts will require you to present this in order to receive complimentary honeymoon/anniversary amenities, so make sure you take it with you! If you cannot get a copy of your license in time for your honeymoon, take something else that proves that you were just married, such as a wedding invitation, ceremony program or a newspaper clipping announcing your wedding.
An insulated mug – keep those frozen drinks, cocktails & beers cold when you’re at the swim-up bar!
A Beach Bum Vacation tote bag – to carry all your gear to the pool or beach!
Appropriate clothing for dinner – you’ll probably live in a swimsuit, cover-up and flip flops most days, but you’ll likely need to get a little dressed up for dinner. Most resorts have restaurants that have a dinner dress code, which generally asks for men to wear long pants and collared shirts and for women to wear nice capris, skirts or dresses. Guys should take lightweight khakis or linen pants and breathable button-down or polo shirts, plus nicer-looking sandals. Flip flops are generally not acceptable for dinner. Ladies, we do suggest considering taking a lightweight jacket, sweater or wrap with you as the ocean breezes can leave you feeling a little chilly in the evening, especially if you have a sunburn!
Beach Bum CARES donation items for a local school or orphanage – if you are interested in visiting children at a local school or orphanage on your next vacation, delivering school supplies, sporting goods, clothing, food, toiletries, toys and other essentials, get in touch with Beach Bum CARES a month or two before your vacation and we will get everything set up for you! Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Leave it at home:
Ridiculous amounts of cash – take some cash with you for tipping purposes. Even if you are staying at a resort like Sandals or Beaches with a “no tipping” policy, you should have cash with you to tip the driver as he is not employed by the resort and does work for tips. And, have some cash with you if you would like to do any shopping with local vendors. US dollars are generally accepted throughout the Caribbean & Mexico, so do not worry about exchanging your money to local currency. However, we do not recommend traveling with obnoxiously large amounts of cash as you do not want to be worried about losing it!
Other valuables – ladies, is it really necessary to take your gorgeous pair of 2 carat diamond earrings with you on vacation? Probably not! Traveling with costume jewelry is a smart route to go and you will not worry about it all week. If you are taking valuables with you (such as your passports & wallets), remember to lock everything up in your in-room safe! Housekeeping and maintenance staff at most resorts are honest and will not bother your belongings, but you are better to be safe rather than sorry!
10 pairs of stiletto heels – ladies, we are sure that you look super hot in them, but you’re probably not going to want to walk around many resorts in high heels. Take a pair or two of high heels, but bring some cute & comfy shoes for the evenings too! You’re going to be in lots of pain if you’re swimming with blistered feet in salt water or chlorine!
Anything you would add to either list? What do you consider to be a “must-have” for your own Beach Bum Vacations? We’d love to hear your tips! We’ll pick one person who leaves a tip before March 1 to win a Starbucks gift card!
Last week, to celebrate Valentine’s Day, we asked our Facebook fans to share stories with accompanying photos/videos of their most romantic vacations. We loved the winning entry from Jeff Dillow Photography so much, we had to share it here! Check out Jeff & Rachel’s Gourmet Inclusive getaway to the luxurious El Dorado Casitas Royale. Thanks again for sharing Jeff & congratulations!
The Beach Bums are passionate about creating romantic escapes! We’ve experienced these amazing resorts firsthand and have tested them time and time again. They always pass the test! We’re proud to present Beach Bum Vacation’s Top 10 Most Romantic Resorts scattered throughout the Caribbean and Mexico!
El Dorado Maroma – Riviera Maya, Mexico Located on the world famous Maroma Beach, this intimate, adult-only boutique resort boasts amazing personalized service. Their Gourmet Inclusive cuisine is to die for! Relax on a beach bed with attentive butler service. Enjoy your suite’s “agua del amor,” a private open-air shower with amazing views of the moon & stars. You may even be tempted to cozy up all day & night in your Infinity Pool Suite and order room service (available 24/7) to keep the romance going.
Sandals Emerald Bay – Great Exuma, Bahamas Set in the outer islands of the Bahamas, and known for it’s crystal clear blue water and stunning beach, you can have a taste of the South Pacific in the “Tahiti of the Caribbean” (with a much shorter flight). One of the most exclusive and elegant all-inclusive, couples-only resorts, it oozes luxury and the refined traveler feels at home here. This exotic escape will ease your body into relaxation and romance the moment you enter. Your personal Butler will tend to your every need – from unpacking your luggage upon arrival, to drawing a bubble bath and adorning the tub with rose petals, or bringing you a savory snack just when you need it; he’s always just a call away to ensure you don’t have to lift a finger on your romantic getaway.
Jade Mountain, St. Lucia A true tropical paradise for couples! Every enormous suite is an open-air “sanctuary” with an immaculate view of the Piton mountains & a private infinity pool. When it comes to a luxury getaway, you cannot beat Jade Mountain!
El Dorado Seaside Suites – Riviera Maya, Mexico
This adult only, Gourmet Inclusive resort has been voted one of the most romantic resorts in the world by Forbes.com. A quiet and charming resort, with a laid-back atmosphere lends its hand to romance. The Swim Up Suites offer direct access from your patio to the lagoon pool with swim-up bar, making for an especially unique experience. Their signature Beachfront Sky Massage for couples is the ultimate spa-ahhh experience. The sounds of the ocean are the most natural form of relaxation. Heavenly!
Couples Swept Away – Negril, Jamaica A casual, laid-back retreat, this mature, couples-only resort is set along Negril’s famous 7 mile beach. The meandering sidewalks and 300+ different types of trees and plants offer a lush tropical garden setting perfect for a walk with your true love. Attention to detail reigns supreme at this all-inclusive resort. With unique suites, and a true beach house feel, relax in your hammock from your Beachfront Verandah Suite and feel the cool ocean breeze. If the two of you enjoy being active together, you’ll love the resort’s 10-acre fitness complex, featuring state-of-the-art facilities for tennis, squash, Pilates, racquetball, aerobic, cardiovascular exercise, swimming, basketball and more!
Sandals Grande Antigua Resort & Spa, Antigua Set on the most famous of Antigua’s 365 beaches, Dickenson Bay, this resort is a beach lover’s paradise. This couples-only, Luxury Included resort has been voted “World’s Most Romantic Resort” 14 years in a row. The Mediterranean Village boasts luxurious-over sized suites with inviting whirlpool tubs, plush king beds with soft, high thread count linens, and stunning views from your private balcony. Dine Barefoot by the Sea under the moonlit sky, enjoy a Scents of Love Couples Massage, or set sail on a romantic Sunset Catamaran Cruise.
Ti Kaye Village Resort & Spa, St. Lucia A Caribbean retreat set atop a bluff with dramatic ocean views from every room. If you and your significant other love to relax in nature, you will be in heaven with TiKaye’s beautiful tropical gardens, outdoor showers and private pools. The wine cellar is second to none, one of the very best you’ll find anywhere in the Caribbean. Plus, the views from the spa are awe inspiring!
Le Blanc Spa Resort, Cancun This adults-only haven is not the Cancun you thought you knew! It’s a little slice of heaven directly in Cancun’s hotel zone. Le Blanc has one of the most amazing spas, the haute cuisine is decadently delicious and spa-like rooms are sexy, with oversized Jacuzzis, gorgeous panoramic ocean views, luxury BVLGARI bath amenities, butler service and super-soft sheets!
Sandals Halcyon Beach, St. Lucia This Luxury Inclusive resort is set amongst tropical gardens on a beautiful stretch of white sand beach. Couples love to unwind and relax in the peace and quiet at this low-rise, tranquil resort. One of the highlights for many guests is dining at the resort’s famed Caribbean cuisine restaurant, The Pier, which sits out over the water.
Marival Residences & World Spa – Riviera Nayarit, Mexico This resort is just north of Puerto Vallarta, with breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean! The suites are spacious, featuring modern décor. Guests enjoy tapas for dinner from a rooftop which offers some of the most amazing sunset views on Earth! You can even journey around the world at Marival’s spa, featuring uniquely decorated treatment rooms with corresponding spa services. For example, get a pedicure or body scrub in the Italian room, where you’ll stomp grapes and sip wine!
We’re dying to know… Have you experienced the romance at one of these resorts? What was the most romantic part of your stay?
On Valentine’s Day in 2000, Beach Bum Vacation was born in pursuit of a dream! However, it wasn’t until Hayley met her true Valentine that the business really took off. Robert and Hayley are a match made on the beach and the perfect complement to each other. Their personal chemistry has translated into a huge success. Beach Bum Vacation has grown tremendously over the last 12 years! Our team alone has grown from 2 to 20 travel concierges! There is a Beach Bum way of life, and we are living it!
The Beach Bum way of life, simply put, is our sincere passion for what we do and creating the dream getaway for you. Our genuine concern for listening to what you truly want, and how you feel about your overall experience, makes us who we are and is what sets Beach Bum Vacation apart. The Beach Bum way of life is to live it, breathe it, touch it, feel it, taste it and see it. What better way for us to truly KNOW what we’re talking about and properly advise you, than to live it ourselves?! It’s this unique approach that Beach Bum Vacation has taken that enables us to deliver an amazing experience to you year after year. Our pictures, true stories, personal experiences (good & bad), contacts, and hand-picked recommendations are all examples of how Beach Bum Vacation will continue to exceed your expectations time and time again. Constantly raising the bar, Beach Bum Vacation continues to explore new destinations, seek new hot spots, favorite restaurants… “testing the waters,” if you will, from helpful pre-travel preparation tips, airline baggage stipulations & fees, to sand color & ocean water clarity, we’ll advise you firsthand and guide you all the way to the beach!
Over 1,000 clients have shared their reviews of Beach Bum Vacation on the web; we have received many awards, achievements, and accolades in the past 12 years from some of the best resort lines, tour operators, and travel professionals. This past December we were the fourth company in history to be inducted into the Karisma Resorts‘ Hall of Fame. We have also earned recognition among the “TOP 10 Travel Agencies Worldwide” with Sandals & Beaches Resorts for five consecutive years. We have received 6 Globe Awards, 32 Diamond Awards, and over 20 STAR awards.
It’s time to celebrate! For every new Facebook “like” that Beach Bum CARES receives the month of February, Beach Bum Vacation is donating $1 to help Children and their families receive Aid Relief and Educational Supplies in the Caribbean and Mexico! It’s our dream to return to Jamaica this year to build walls for a school. We helped lay the foundation in December. Just visit http://www.facebook.com/BeachBumCARES and “like” the page! We’d love it for you to help spread the word to your friends too!
Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your support throughout the years! We look forward to celebrating many more birthdays with you and sending you on many Beach Bum Vacations! Come Travel the World With Us!
Hayley & Robert Whorrall and the entire team of Beach Bums
After interviewing hundreds of couples on their quest to find the perfect destination wedding location, we often find ourselves going through our own mental checklist, finding the perfect match to what they envision. So many times, couples feel they have to compromise what they want to accommodate many factors, but we truly work to make sure they get everything they want and more! It’s amazing when ONE location can offer everything many couples are envisioning when they think of their big day.
When I personally sit down or have a conference call to speak with a couple, I find they all share similar concerns and questions and many of them are just overwhelmed by narrowing down the options. In our experience, however, we have found it to be simple when asked the “right” questions. It is our goal to offer stress-free destination wedding planning. Many brides and grooms are looking for majestic blue water, soft white sand, stunning views, and lush tropical surroundings. As they are telling me their wish list, I’m mentally check-marking one of my favorite countries in my mind as we go – check, check, check and check! They are also hoping for modern, upscale luxurious resorts with high-end all-inclusive amenities (aka – not cheap!). Check-mark! They come to me and say that they wish to have affordability for guests, tourist-friendly and ease of travel to the destination. My mental checklist is dinging in excitement, as I’m able to offer 100% of their wishes and dreams! CHECK! It’s all about a Marriage Made in Mexico!
Mexico is by far the most popular country with the Beach Bums when it comes to destination weddings. We have assisted many couples-in-love, and have even had the privilege to witness some of them walk barefoot down the sandy aisle to exchange vows. Mexico is an amazing location that offers stunning resorts like El Dorado Royale, LeBlanc, Azul Sensatori, Moon Palace, and The Royal Playa del Carmen (to name just a few). These resorts know how to host a wedding! Offering packages in many price ranges to accommodate many budgets, as well as, awesome group amenities to benefit large-size guest lists! In addition, from nearly every location in the US, a guest can arrive in Mexico before 3 p.m. and have a short ride to the resort, making it a no-brainer, in my opinion!
Affordability is a key factor when planning a wedding away. Many couples invite hundreds of guests and to ensure they are all able to come; your travel concierge at Beach Bum Vacation can help you find the best overall value for your guests. We provide competitive rates on high-end properties, and in our experience, Mexico is ALWAYS the best bang for your buck! Even the most luxurious resorts in Mexico are less expensive than budget properties somewhere else. Not to mention, the culture and fascinating history of the country is at your fingertips. For those guests looking for extreme sports and awesome tours/excursions to the people who prefer quiet time with a good book on the beach, and even your overzealous shoppers, there is literally something for everyone in Mexico!
Before you say that Mexico is not unique, think again! Mexico offers some of the most exclusive locations for weddings I have ever seen. They are also always ahead of the curve when it comes to offering couples something new, different and interesting from rooftop terraces overlooking the Caribbean Sea high above the resort, to performing Mayan ceremonies, where you can surround yourself in the traditions of this fabulous country. Some resorts have the option for a donkey to deliver drinks to guests or offer a horse and carriage ride to the altar. Palace Resorts recently consulted with Colin Cowie to design new and modern wedding packages with gorgeous, vibrant colors and ideas, and at Karisma Resorts, no two weddings are the same because they allow the couple to design and create their wedding vision from scratch alongside their personal wedding consultants making their dreams become reality!
Cookie-cutter weddings are a thing of the past in Mexico, where you can have it all in one short plane ride south of the border! The Beach Bums travel to Mexico 15-20 times a year (among many trips to the Caribbean and beyond), and are always blown away by how our preferred partner resorts in the area continue to step it up to meet our couples’ needs! If you are interested in having a destination wedding and the perfect spot hasn’t been found, it very well might be right under your nose! Speak with your Beach Bum to find out if Mexico is right for you and your guests; we guide you in how to easily plan a destination wedding. We assure you that there is something out there for everyone and we would love to assist you in finding just the right place! Plan your big day with the best professional destination wedding planners.