Sandals Resorts has recently recognized Beach Bum Vacation for their outstanding achievement by Sandals Resorts at the 11th Annual Travel Agency Recognition S.T.A.R Awards held recently at the elegant Sandals Royal Bahamian Spa Resort & Offshore Island, Nassau, Bahamas.
This prestigious event honoring travel agents from across the U.S., Canada and Latin American and recognized top travel agencies for not only their exemplary sales performance and marketing expertise but for their commitment to using their extensive product knowledge of the world’s best Luxury Included® resorts in creating dream vacations for their clients.
Beach Bum Vacation’s awards included: Best of the Best, Top Suite Concierge, Top Producing Sandals Agency, & the prestigious Chairman’s Award appointed to Founder & President/CEO of Beach Bum Vacations: Hayley Whorrall.
“Each one of our resorts is unique and offers more quality inclusions than any resort on the planet – from luxurious suites with exclusive butler service, to 17 dining options per resort, to unlimited land and water sports – even golf’,” says Gordon “Butch” Stewart, Chairman of Sandals Resorts. “A Certified Sandals Specialist and a Preferred Sandals Agency is specially trained and qualified to best recommend the resort that is perfect for you.”
Whether you’re planning a destination wedding, honeymoon, romantic getaway or a family vacation at Beaches Resorts, Beach Bum Vacationhas all the latest information on developments and services at Sandals Resorts, Beaches Resorts and Grand Pineapple Beach Resorts.
Beach Bum Vacation specializes in Caribbean vacations, honeymoons, family reunions, corporate incentive travel, & destination weddings. Beach Bum Vacation is based out of Fishers, IN but operates nationwide, 7 days a week. Please call 317-577-7775 or toll free 1-877-943-8282to find out more about Sandals & Beaches Resorts. www.BeachBumVacation.com
Destination Weddings are one of the hottest trends in the travel industry right now. It can be a stress-free, fun, romantic, laid back atmosphere for planning the wedding of your dreams when you carefully choose the right professionals and resort to work with. Destination wedding couples come with an array of wants, needs, and often, envision their perfection in such a simple form – the two of them, their friends/family members and the beach. No fuss. So many couples will say that they just want to enjoy their experience and not worry. They don’t want the stress that often accompanies hosting a function in their hometown, with oversized guest lists, choosing vendors and researching venues.
Beach Bum Vacation Wedding Specialists have taken the stress out of the research side by matching our clients up to the perfect resort for their wedding experience, and lucky for us, Sandals and Beaches have really taken the worry out of the wedding planning! We are so excited to be partnered with Sandals and Beaches to tell you all about “Your Wedding. Your Style,” which simply means – NO WORRIES, MON!
Giving couples the choice between trendy Customizable Themes in the latest beautiful colors and Martha Stewart’s stunning pre-designed packages allows the couple to decide what works best for them! But not only that, it is so easy to legally get married at Sandals and Beaches, with simple, easy paperwork, inexpensive government fees and minimal residency requirements. They will ensure all the details, legalities and worry are removed by working with us to manage your time-line, guest list and what extras would work best within your budget!
Mostly, we are so happy to share that they are listening to the needs of the Millennial Bride, allowing them around the clock access to their wedding details and providing constant wedding coordinator care to pre-plan every detail before heading to warmer climates.
The days of cookie-cutter wedding choices from Sandals and Beaches is gone, with the new Wedding Designer, which allows couples to build their dream wedding online with multiple color options, floral arrangements, photography packages and so much more. With the ease and simplicity of clicking your choices for a very relaxing wedding planning experience, it takes planning to an all new level and is easily accessible 24/7! You truly get the opportunity to design your custom wedding package to reflect your own personal style!
Nadine Dennis, Sandals and Beaches Wedding Manager, was asked why she believes Sandals and Beaches is the best option for a “no worries” experience and this is what she had to say: “Our weddings provide a worry free experience, so that brides and grooms can focus on what matters most – each other! We find that our weddings are worry free because we have created a seamless planning process for the bride and groom, providing and sourcing all of the services needed to create a dream wedding at each resort. Our properties offer the most magnificent backdrops, whether it’s a beach wedding or intimate garden wedding giving so many easy options to each couple.”
The new Customizable Wedding option is so special creating multiple color palettes with the favorites of couples today! They realize that providing this option to create your own vision is truly where the Millennial Bride envisions herself and that no two weddings should ever be the same! Nadine went on to tell us “The items featured on our websiteprovide ‘inspiration.’ But with the Wedding Designer, couples can share their own ideas with us, and we would be happy to work within our resources to make it a reality.”
“Your Wedding. Your Style” is truly just the beginning and the sky is the limit for creating beautiful wedding day memories! Beach Bum Vacation Wedding Specialists and Sandals and Beaches can help make your dreams come true as well by customizing, not only your wedding experience, but your overall resort experience by matching you and your family up to a resort that best fits what you are looking for in an amazing experience! We want you to enjoy wedding planning, choosing the details and this time before you walk down the aisle. We would love to take you through our “no worries” step by step process to ensure that you have all the knowledge you need to make the best decision for you! Come with us, as we take the worry away!
Your Beach Bum will provide 3 top recommendations based on your wants and needs. You will want to look at your options based on their quality, value, inclusions, experiences they offer, and then of course, budget. Do not just look at the number, as you may not be comparing apples with apples. All- inclusive resorts are not created equal. Many resorts offer so many amenities: Sesame Street characters, surf simulators, water slides, game rooms, catamaran cruises, toys, teen clubs, kids clubs, monitors, 24 hour room service, changing tables, and more! It is so much fun to look through this information and think of the possibilities! I know when I chose the resort for my personal family vacation, we made sure to think about our kids’ ages AND what we, as parents, wanted. This is a vacation for the entire family, not just the kids.
Look for quality inclusions. The resort may offer an amenity, but is it good? Look for trusted brands such as: Fisher Price, Crayola, National Geographic, Sesame Street, Golf pros, Nike, Xbox, and the list goes on! For younger kids meeting the Sesame Street characters is an incredible experience. My kids are super pumped for our next vacation to Beaches Resorts, because Super Grover is going to be there!
If you have three children, be prepared that not all hotels will accommodate you in one room. I know this can be quite frustrating. However, trust your Beach Bum to recommend the best resort/room scenario for your family. You may have to book at least two rooms or you may have to get a higher room category. Note that even if you book two rooms, you can reconfigure your sleeping arrangements however you would like while are on property. You’ve heard it before- size does matter. Take a close look at the room size. A common mistake families make is thinking they won’t spend any time in the room. YES YOU WILL! So unless you want to be living on top of each other, pay attention to size and what your Beach Bum recommends. The extra money is worth its weight in gold.
Budget-wise, all inclusive is the way to go. All inclusive resorts have so many activities and amenities included that make it the best value. My best advice is to spend your money where your priorities are. If you want to do a lot of activities; pick a resort that has a lot of inclusions and is located in an area where you can easily get off the resort and experience local culture, tours and excursions. If you know your kids will be spending their time at the beach; pick the hotel with the great beach and the other amenities will just be bonuses.
Step 6 – Booking your vacation
Your Beach Bum will walk you through the stress-free process and send over a secure reservation link for you to submit. Your Beach Bum Travel Concierge will receive the information, put a reservation on hold, and then call or email you to get your approval on the itinerary/price before a deposit is charged. A low deposit is required upfront, making it easy to secure your vacation, and final payment is usually duel 45 days prior to departure! Beats paying everything up front!
Step 7 – Preparing for the trip
This is equally as exciting as planning, but can be stressful as well. Refer to Part 1 for ideas on ways to prepare for the trip with little ones. Plan when you are going to tell the kids if you haven’t already. This is like Christmas for you. I was so anxious to tell my kids; I could barely sleep the night before.
The best advice for preparing to travel is to plan with the same philosophy as any other trip: anything can happen. Flexibility is key. Moms probably know what I’m talking about. Should you take pajamas for every night? Probably not, but you need more than one. Should you take more than 1 swim suit? Yes, as one will inevitably end up destroyed somehow. Ladies, on a family vacation try not to bring a ton of shoes. These will weigh you down, and your kids will do that enough! Make sure to check airline websites for baggage fees. This is the place to check for most up-to-date information. Rolling clothes helps save space as opposed to folding them. Younger kids often like to travel with their own bag. I encourage you to let them do this as it is exciting to have your own bag. Make sure they know up front though that the bag is their responsibility. Do you need a medicine cabinet in your suitcase? No, but some helps. What is your favorite tip when preparing for a family vacation? Leave a comment below and be entered to win a Cheeseburger in Paradise gift card. We will randomly select a winner on April 5th!
Step 8: Traveling
Relax and enjoy! Let go of strict rules and normal inhibitions and just go with it! If you are going to the Caribbean and/or Mexico, this is the mecca for ultimate chill so take advantage! Beach Bum Lisa tip: I do recommend keeping routines for little ones though. If they normally take an afternoon nap, try to stick with it. But don’t force it to be at the same time and be prepared for them not to sleep. That quiet time still helps. Younger children do better with routine, especially on vacation when things are already different. Part 1 has some great tips to refer back on. Prepare your kids about what’s to come. Let your kids know that after you land at the airport, you will have to be transferred to the hotel. Otherwise they will expect the pool to be outside the airport.
This vacation is an opportunity to reconnect as a family. Don’t just go to the pool every day. Converse with each other and enjoy activities together. Create memories! I can guarantee that teens will remember climbing a waterfall or swimming with dolphins but they may not remember lying out by the pool. Don’t get me wrong, make time to get your Vitamin D on! Don’t be afraid to send your kids to the kids’ club. They have wonderful activities and staff for all ages: little ones on up to teens, and it will give parents a chance to be together. Take pictures. Have your kids take pictures. It’s so fun to look at the world through their eyes. We bought our kids digital cameras before we left. My son’s camera was full of pictures of the room and the view from the room. He still talks about sleeping in the bed that folded up (pull out sofa). I’m so excited for you! Family vacations are so much fun! Now I’m ready for my own! We’re going to Beaches Turks & Caicos next, and I can’t wait!! Super Grover, here we come!
Now you’re fully prepared to plan your Beach Bum Vacation, and we’re here to guide you all the way to the beach! Get in contact with your favorite Beach Bum today! Don’t forget to comment below for your chance to win! What is your favorite tip when preparing for a family vacation?
Beach Bum Carey’s clients just returned from an amazing family getaway in sunny Negril! The Gookins reached out to Beach Bum Vacation after becoming certified SCUBA divers. Since they’re landlocked in the Midwest, they were very excited to head down to the Caribbean and into the open water to put their diving skills to the test!
After conducting their own research and consulting with Carey, the family decided the very best fit for their first diving experience was the tropical island of Jamaica, on the beautiful west coast. The Gookins stayed on Negril’s 7 Mile Beach at Beaches Sandy Bay, a perfect resort for a family vacation with great bang-for-your-buck. The main attraction to Beaches Resorts was the amazing inclusions — certified divers can enjoy SCUBA every day from state-of-the-art Newton dive boats at no additional cost. Since diving can be a very expensive hobby, with a dive costing around $100 per person or more, this definitely gave the family more for their money! Check out some of the family’s photos from their adventures under the sea, where they encountered ship wrecks, a variety of fish, wild dolphins, turtles and moray eels.
When they weren’t diving, Brad, Cassandra, Donavin & Alex enjoyed the other watersports included at Beaches, like snorkeling, kayaking & glass bottom boat rides. The family also visited nearby Beaches Negril to enjoy the resort’s awesome waterpark and delicious dining options!
Next year, the family is upping the ante, traveling to a world-renowned diving locale, Turks & Caicos! Again, they’ll get to enjoy diving in crystal clear Caribbean waters at no additional cost while staying at Beaches Turks & Caicos. Plus, as past guests of Beaches Resorts, they are now members of Sandals Select and get some great added perks! We can’t wait to hear all about their next Beach Bum Vacation!
Are you packed & ready to go? We hope so because it’s time to go on a little journey with the Beach Bums – today, we’re guiding your family all the way to the beach!
No matter what, a family vacation done right, will bring you closer together and create memories that will last a lifetime. Experiencing a destination through the eyes of your children is absolutely amazing. For younger children, all the little things like the hotel’s mini toiletries and beverage service on an airplane are so cool. For grade school kids, it is a combination of awe-inspiring moments and lots of energy! Be prepared to keep them busy! Teens are definitely the hardest to please, but they still bring a unique perspective to the table. You might have to try a little harder to impress them, but when they are “wowed,” the relationship that you share with each other is strengthened by having experienced that moment together.
This is harder than it sounds. But make the commitment to go no matter what. Things may come up, timing may not be right but pick the best week or long weekend and put it on your calendar. By writing it down, you are making the commitment. This may seem silly but once you make the commitment to go it actually becomes a reality and the decision turns into where do we go?Stress-free tip: make one decision at a time to keep from getting overwhelmed.
Do you tell the kids at this point or should you wait? You have the choice to include the children in on the planning or not. If you have toddlers or young grade school children, Beach Bum Vacation recommends not including them on the initial planning. For pre-teens and teens it can be beneficial to include them on the planning at this point. Showing them that you value their opinion will go a long way. Letting them in on the family decision making process is a big responsibility. Whatever you do, approach them in discussion mode without any distractions. By making it a real conversation, they realize the importance of it. By approaching them in this manner, your family bonding time has already begun – what a great way to connect with your kids!
Step 2 – Deciding what you’d like to experience
Set aside time for a family discussion to envision WHAT YOU WANT. Stress-free tip: Note that I did not say where you want to go yet. Places may come up as you are having this initial discussion, because if what you want is a theme park with mouse ears, then obviously that narrows down places pretty quickly. But the initial discussion should be what you want to do/what you like to do. All points of view should be taken into consideration here. If you have included your children, you must include them in the rest of the planning process as well. (Side note, by including older children there is less of a chance they will say they are bored. There is a greater chance that they will absolutely find the vacation thrilling because they helped make it happen.) Write these thoughts down – the experience you envision having while on vacation, the activities each family member wants to do, etc. No budget thinking yet. Don’t worry, that will come. Even better than writing them down is typing them so your Beach Bum can see your initial thoughts. At the end of this discussion, highlight commonalities between each other. Mom wants to lay out. Dad and Ben want to surf in the ocean. Okay well there you go – you know you want to go somewhere tropical and warm.
Step 3 - Initial budget planning
After this discussion, parents should start thinking about budget. The children do not have to be included in this discussion, but they should be told that this discussion is going on so they remember that it is not free. Kids tend to think that. Everything is all inclusive to them! If you are going to fly somewhere, airfare is expensive. If you want the Caribbean or Mexico, it will cost you approximately $400 – $1000 per person for flights. This airfare greatly ranges for what city you are flying out of, what island and destination you are going to, but it’s good to keep this in the back of your mind so you know initially your base cost is going to be this much without even including your resort stay.
Step 4- Contact your Beach Bum
One of Beach Bum Vacation’s specialties is family vacations. We go on them, we experience them, we know the destinations and the resorts, and more importantly we also know the staff who work at the resorts, ensuring your vacation is as seamless as possible. Yes, this is the “hard” part about our job – our tropical travels. But we actually take it much more seriously than one might think. Of course we have a great time while we’re there (that’s just what Beach Bums do), but we spend most of our time meeting with resort management, touring properties, and asking questions with our clients’ point of view in mind. This makes us a unique travel agency as we are not just looking at a brochure saying “Hmmm….this looks like a great place.”
Your Beach Bum will interview you and ask you the right questions to determine what you want out of your vacation. Share your initial thoughts with them. We want to know if you have any goals for this trip: to reconnect, to just spend time together that you don’t get at home, to celebrate a special occasion, etc.
Beach Bums are honest… sometimes brutally honest. We want you to know what you are getting and the pros & cons of each destination/resort. The last thing you want on your vacation are surprises of the unpleasant variety, and we do our best to not let that happen. We want you to know that not everywhere looks as great as it does in those Photoshopped or airbrushed photos online. If the beach is great, then we’ll tell you. If it’s not, then we’ll tell you that too. We do not match you up with a resort that we think is not worth it. No matter what your budget is, we’ll find the best match for you. We are extremely picky because our clients are our extended Beach Bum family, and we want to make sure they are treated well! After all, it is a reflection on us as well! We want to ensure your hard-earned money and precious vacation time is well spent. It’s important to us to create a lifelong relationship with you; sending you on amazing Beach Bum Vacations year after year!
Planning a vacation takes time, but when you partner with a Beach Bum it is time spent efficiently and effectively. We are working behind the scenes for you; saving you hours upon hours of research and taking the guesswork out of planning your vacation. We vow to always lead you down the best path, taking all of your wants and wishes into consideration and pointing out the pros and cons to you. Our honesty is what you will get. Remember YOUR Beach Bum has been to the destinations – we are the experts.
Stay tuned for the next post in this series – steps 5 through 8! We’re guiding you all the way to the beach!