As a travel agent, one of the most common questions I get is “Where are YOU going this year?”
What is that saying about the shoe makers children? Sometimes I am so caught up in planning all of YOUR travel that I forget to make time for my own vacations!
My husband will snort-laugh at that statement because the word “vacation” is a little foreign to me… it’s hard to ever really shut down and relax when you have clients on the go. It’s also hard to be married to a travel agent… no matter where we are, I am peppering concierges with questions, ducking into open hotel rooms for impromptu “inspections,” and constantly saying things like “this resort would be good for families with teenagers.” LOL.
Nonetheless, everyone needs time to relax and recharge. I have a few trips planned this year; a little bit of work and a little bit of leisure mixed in. Here’s a rundown of my own personal travel for 2017 (at least what is planned for today!)
Western Caribbean (Cozumel, Belize, Honduras)
Next month, Alpaca Your Bags Travel is hosting a Whiteman Air Force Base group cruise onboard the Carnival Freedom. I’ve actually never personally cruised Carnival before so I am excited to check it out! We have several fun excursions planned including a waverunner tour of Cozumel, cave tubing in Belize and hanging with the sloths & monkeys at Daniel Johnson’s Sloth & Monkey Hangout in Roatan, Honduras. I CANNOT WAIT TO HOLD A BABY SLOTH!
Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
This trip is a prize! Last year, I attended a travel agent conference in Playa del Carmen. While we were there, we participated in the first annual travel agents Amazing Race. Imagine 50 travel agents racing down Avenida 5 (Fifth Avenue) in Playa del Carmen, doing crazy things like eating brain tacos and selling coconuts on the beach. Guess who won? THIS GIRL! My team of four won a 3 night stay at any Hard Rock Resort & Hotel property. We are planning to use ours at the intimate, friendly Hard Rock Hotel Vallarta. I love Puerto Vallarta because the scenery is so unique. The combination of beach and mountains reminds me of my time in Rio de Janeiro.
Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
It’s no secret that I love the DR; my husband and I actually got married there on beautiful Bavaro Beach. This year, I’ll be attending the Romance Travel Forum, an elite travel agent event for travel agencies who specialize in honeymoons, destination weddings and the like. While at RTF, I’ll be visiting several properties to report back for you: the Paradisus Palma Real, Secrets Cap Cana, Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Punta Cana, Sanctuary Cap Cana and more.
As of today, this is my only true “vacation” of 2017. Did you know that Bermuda is only 600 miles due west of North Carolina? It’s a great place to visit and (as of today) one of the only tropical Zika-free destinations close to the US. We can’t wait to check out the pink sand beaches. Horseshoe Bay, historic St. George and (hopefully) get our preliminary PADI scuba certification. More to come on this trip!
While not as glamorous as the destinations above, I had to throw this one in. I love Chicago, having lived in nearby Milwaukee for almost 7 years. In August, Christopher, Jen and I will be meeting in Chicago for the first annual Alpaca Your Bags Travel annual meeting.
Did this list inspire any travel plans for 2017? Where do you hope to visit this year?
Let us know in the comments!
Hi, I'm Ashley
Ashley (@ashleysmorris) is a freelance writer, virtual assistant and owner of Alpaca Your Bags Travel.
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