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Category Archives: Mexico

The Beach Bum Way of Life

February 14th, 2012 | By sarah | Posted in Awards, Beach Bum Cares, Beach Bum Vacation, Caribbean, Mexico | Leave a comment

By: Beach Bums in Love, Hayley & Robert

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!

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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!

Sincerely,

Hayley & Robert Whorrall and the entire team of Beach Bums

Wedding Talk: Marriage Made in Mexico

By: Beach Bum Marcie

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.

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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 planningMany 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.

Top 10 Reasons Riviera Maya is a Great Vacation Destination

At least once a week, a client tells me that they are not interested in visiting Mexico. Sometimes I find out it is because they have already been there several times and want to try something different (hey, variety is the spice of life!), but I find that all too often the reasons they do not want to go there is because of misconceptions they have heard about the country. Thank you, American media! News reports lead many to believe that Mexico is a country full of nothing but trouble and that you’d have to be crazy to choose to go south of the border! Guess what? You’re not going to be beheaded in Mexico’s beautiful tourist regions like Riviera Maya and in fact, I would say that you would be crazy NOT to consider Mexico as a dream vacation destination!

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Here’s a quick look at the many reasons why you should consider Riviera Maya- the tourist region south of Cancun on the Yucatan Peninsula- for your vacation, destination wedding or honeymoon!

10. It’s easy to get to! Flights to Cancun are plentiful and affordable from most cities in the US.

9. It’s safe! The region has been so heavily supported by tourism for years and as long as you exercise the same basic common sense that you would use at home (don’t get completely wasted & wander off by yourself into a dark alley!) , you’re going to be completely fine. The Beach Bums and our clients have safely traveled to Riviera Maya & Cancun for years.

8. Value for your money! You simply cannot beat Riviera Maya when it comes to finding luxury for less money!

7. A wide variety of great all inclusive resorts. There are hundreds of the resorts in the area – many are NOT worth your time or dime, so get in touch with a Beach Bum as we will guide you to Riviera Maya’s best all inclusive resorts!

6. A Jacuzzi for two in your suite! This luxury is considered a standard amenity at many resorts. I’m so spoiled after my awesome vacations in Riviera Maya that I find it difficult to really feel like I’m on vacation if I don’t have a Jacuzzi in my suite!

5. Yes, I wrote “suite” in #6 – accommodations in Riviera Maya are generally over-sized so chances are, you won’t feel like you’re cramped in a small hotel room. Instead, you’ll lounge in luxury in your spacious junior suite, which is the lead-in room category offered at many Riviera Maya resorts!

 4. Great promotional perks! This goes along with #8, but it’s hard to pass up the types of room upgrades and amenities that many resorts in Riviera Maya are now offering. How about getting a private candlelight dinner on the beach, couples massage, breakfast in bed, bottle of champagne, fresh floral arrangement & romantically decorated Jacuzzi with rose petals & candles STANDARD as part of your honeymoon or anniversary vacation?! That would normally cost around $800 but you can get it included at no additional cost in Riviera Maya – just ask your Beach Bum for details!

3. 24/7 room service that is included. Yes, breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks or late night munchies delivered to your room at no additional cost to you! We just suggest that you tip the server who brings it to you, especially if it’s the 5th night in a row you had a craving for chips & guacamole at 3 am! 😉

2. Proximity to a variety of tours & excursions! Once you’re in Riviera Maya, it’s easy to indulge in so many exciting adventures! If you’re into history & archeology, go to the ruins of Tulum or Chichen Itza, one of the seven wonders of the world! Like an adrenaline rush? Go ziplining, parasailing, tour an underground river, take an ATV safari or cliff jumping! If you’re an aquatic lover, go snorkeling, scuba diving, swimming with dolphins or even swimming with whale sharks!

1. Don’t take my word for it- listen to what other tourists are saying about their Mexican getaways at Mexico Taxi Project! A cab driver went “undercover” and filmed what real people across the US and Canada said about their vacations after traveling to a variety of destinations throughout the country. It’s pretty interesting to hear their thoughts!

For those of you who have been to Riviera Maya or Cancun, you tell us – why do you love traveling there?!

It’s Our Birthday… and You’re Invited to Celebrate!

February 1st, 2012 | By carey | Posted in Beach Bum Cares, Beach Bum Vacation, Caribbean, Mexico | Leave a comment

Beach Bum Vacation was founded 12 years ago this month, on Valentine’s Day 2000. We’ve grown quite a bit over the years, adding new destinations to our travel résumés, making destination wedding planning easy for hundreds of couples, welcoming new Bums to our family and developing friendships with management at the best all inclusive resorts to better service our clients. One milestone that we hold near and dear to our hearts happened a couple years ago, when a few Beach Bums got together and decided to establish a 501c3 nonprofit foundation, Beach Bum CARES.

Beach Bum CARES Inc. mission is to provide Children and their families Aid, Relief, and Educational Supplies.
Beach Bum CARES Inc. will change the world one person at a time by targeting areas with a lower socio-economic status in the Caribbean and Mexico, determining specific needs of the children and their families, and delivering these goods resulting in measurable improvement in graduation rates and the percentage of students pursuing employment and/or higher education, thereby improving the overall economy of the community.

For the entire month of February, Beach Bum Vacation will donate $1 to Beach Bum CARES for every new fan that joins the BBC Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/BeachBumCARES.

When we discussed the best way to celebrate Beach Bum Vacation’s birthday, we knew that we wanted to involve Beach Bum CARES so that we could help more children on our future travels. It is our goal that in 2012, we will raise enough money that we can return to some of the orphanages and schools we’ve visited previously and make an even bigger difference by donating items like laptops, sporting goods, school supplies, basic medical supplies, toiletries, clothing, food and more. We also want to make another visit to the Faith Academy near Ocho Rios, Jamaica. In December 2011, we helped the community begin building a kindergarten by laying the floors. In 2012, we want to raise enough funds so that we can build the walls, getting one step closer to allowing the Faith Academy to open its doors to kindergarteners in need of an education!

You can help Beach Bum CARES achieve our 2012 goals by simply liking our Facebook page. Even better, spread the word and tell your friends & family to do the same! And if you’re feeling particularly generous, you can even donate by visiting the Beach Bum CARES website or Paypal account. Or, the next time your traveling to the tropics, get in touch with us to arrange your own donation visit to one of our partner schools or orphanages!

Thank you for your support!

Beach Bum CARES Visiting Children at Cedar Grove Primary School in Antigua

 

Traveling with Toddlers: The Excitement

By: Beach Bum Lisa, Mom of two toddlers, ages 2 and 4

So you have decided you want to take a vacation, and…. you want to bring your toddlers. Your parents are questioning your sanity. Your friends think it’s a great idea. And you are excited but wonder, “how in the world am I going to plan this trip and then get through it?”

First off – DO NOT pick a hotel off of a website. Contact your favorite Beach Bum, they have been there and can tell you firsthand about the best all inclusive family resorts in the Caribbean and Mexico. Everywhere looks good on a website but do you really want to chance being in a hotel that is sub-par and lo and behold your room is a mouse house and dirty. You don’t even feel comfortable letting your kids walk on the floor. Do you want to take the chance that you have to deal with service issues or food issues (or even worse – food poisoning – ick!!) while you’re trying to make this a once-in-a-lifetime vacation? It would be once-in-a-lifetime that’s for sure.  There are so many all inclusive resorts that cater to families with toddlers. It’s not worth it to go unless you choose the right hotel.  Beaches Resorts offer amazing water parks, Sesame Street characters, fabulous beaches, inviting pools, toddler slides, big kid slides for the parents, great food, drinks, milk in the room, refrigerators, kids’ menus, daily and nightly shows, parades, crafts, kids club, dance parties both for adults and kids, the list just keeps going.  It’s amazing! Beaches has partnered with the best of the best when it comes to kids’ activities: Sesame Street, Crayola, Xbox, and more! They went to the experts to find out what needs to be done for a successful family vacation, and they implemented it!  My other favorite – Azul Hotels have kids clubs, all rooms are Jr. Suites and/or connecting rooms, Fisher Price toys you can borrow, Pack N Plays, baby food, strollers, stools in the bathroom so kids can reach the sink, kids’ menus, and more. They have all those little “luxuries” you have at home that make your life a bit easier and don’t realize what an impact they have on your day not to mention the great beaches, pools, amazing food, and drinks!

Beach Bum Lisa's son, Connor, with Grover at Beaches Boscobel in Jamaica

When you pick the right hotel, everything is easier: packing, preparing, and then the vacation itself. You WILL spend more time in the room than you think. Kids are out of their routines and will need downtime to relax so they don’t lose it. A nice size and comfortable room  makes all the difference in the world. Equal to that is having a great staff at the hotel who speak your language and are willing to get what you need…”Yes my kids drank that half gallon of milk today, can we get more?” (yes that was me in August).  “Yes, could we get some more Red Stripe in the room” (yes that was me in August as well).

Beach Bum Lisa's daughter, Allie, with Ernie at Beaches Boscobel in Jamaica

Setting your expectations is also equally as important. Will everything go picture perfect? Most certainly not. What happens at home can and will happen on vacation AND things could be even worse because normal routines are not followed.  Kids skip naps, they are confused about what is going on, their ears start popping on the plane, they want to run on the plane – it can happen so be prepared for that. If you’re prepared for that – then it won’t be as big of a deal if it happens.

I HIGHLY recommend practicing airport etiquette and flying on a plane prior to traveling. We did this, and our kids did absolutely fantastic. At home, we had “tickets” and I would take the tickets from them as they were pulling their suitcases. I asked to look in their suitcases and called it security.mI had them take off their shoes, etc. etc. the whole bit.  We didn’t run in the airport and we had to make sure to walk to our terminal. I do recommend using the real words as they will hear you guys discuss it at the airport. This way the kids know what is going on. It eases their potential fear. We had to wait in chairs before getting on the plane and pretended it took a long time. Then we boarded the plane and put our suitcases to the side.  And then we got to hold our fruit snacks! Yay! When the plane took off, we were able to eat our fruit snacks and pretended our ears hurt so we took some drinks, etc. etc. You get the picture. I tell you what – our kids loved practicing, and they were pros at the airport.  They even commented that their ears didn’t hurt as they were prepared for that to be the case. When we experienced turbulence on the plane, my son, Connor, age 4, said Mom this plane moves just like we did at home. I’m excited!! He was so pumped about it.

Beach Bum Lisa with kiddos Connor and Allie

I would also explain that you get to ride on the bus or van to the hotel from the airport. Kids think that you will land at the hotel so if they know it’s going to be a little bit longer that helps them. For our trip to Beaches Boscobel, we got to ride a couple planes, a train (monorail at Atlanta airport), and a bus! We were very excited. It actually made the transfer easier for me because the kids were so excited.

Take lots of snacks – lots!! I would also take a variety of snacks – small, lightweight, easy to eat, non-sticky, you know what I’m talking about. Drinks – take cups of water. No milk unless you have to. If water spills, no big deal, and you can easily fill up with water at the airport.

While on vacation – take advantage of the resort’s activities they have for kids. Use the toys they have there. Only pack the toys you need for the airport – leave the rest at home. The kids will want to play with the “new” toys. This is a question you should ask your Beach Bum – are there sand toys at the resort…the airport toys will be fine for the room.  Do bring swimmies so the kids can swim on their own.  Do not bring towels – the hotel has them.  Take LOTS of sunscreen especially if you are taking spray bottles – those run out a lot faster than you think. Be prepared but try not to over pack too much as it’s just more stuff you have to haul around. Don’t expect to lay out and relax in the sun yourself. It may or may not happen. Traveling with toddlers is a different fun than an adult vacation, but worth every moment.  I didn’t get as much of a tan as I wanted, but got something much more!

Playground on the beach at Azul Beach Hotel in Mexico

Make sure to monitor the kids’ moods. If they are wearing down, make it exciting to go back to the room and hang out. Even if they don’t take a nap, turn out the lights and have quiet time. Don’t try to go out to eat after a long day and the kids are exhausted – that makes for a long dinner. Order the kids’ meals first so they can start eating while you wait on yours.  Take lots of pictures, and if the kids are old enough – have them take pictures so you can see the vacation through their eyes.  Go exploring…kids get excited about crab holes, shells, plants, a popcorn machine, and all the other little things. Turn it into a learning experience – let’s count the crab holes, what color is the ocean – the kids will be pumped!! See and experience the vacation through their eyes, and your vacation will infinitely be better, and your memories will be priceless!

Water slides and lazy river at Beaches Negril in Jamaica

My personal favorites for families with toddlers: Beaches Turks & Caicos, Beaches Negril, Beaches Boscobel, Azul Beach, and Azul Fives. These resorts offer kids programs so if you do want to experience a bit of an adult vacation while you are traveling with your kids, you can! And they’ll love all the activities the kids club offers while you are basking in the sun enjoying a pina colada in solitude.

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