1 Week In Mexico

 

I LOVE sharing our travel adventures with you all and I know I have shared my experience with you of Mexico after our holiday 18 months ago, however Mexico is a really popular destination and although it was never on my wish list I LOVED our time there in 2016.

Whilst sat here feeling rubbish with my first autumnal cold, watching crappy movies on TV (Matt is snoozing – waiting to be called out for work) I thought I would put together a bit of an itinerary for those of you thinking of heading to Mexico for some winter sun this year or early next!

Day 1

After a day full of travelling yesterday (the flight is around 10 hours), you are probably feeling a bit of jet lag and just want to take it easy, DONT! If you are one of crazy people that go long haul for just 7 days you need to make the most of it whilst you can. Get some breakfast and if your rep meeting is today GO TO IT, if you haven’t pre-booked any trips now is the time to do! What are my recommendations? If your staying in the Cancun area, I would suggest these trips & I explain why a bit further down:

  • Xcaret
  • X-Plor
  • Coco Bongo
  • Chichen Itza
  • Captain Hook Pirate Ship (if there is a group of you or little kids with you!)

Once you have your trips booked, make sure you have your camera and some money on you – small bills if possible, because your going to head just outside of your hotel and grab a “bus” to Playa Del Carmen for some authentic mexican food and a spot of shopping (get it done and out the way on your first day). The “bus” is a mini van, its cheap but you need pay in small bills and tell the driver where you want to go, don’t be precious about sitting next to your partner, just find a seat and stay put! Once your in Playa Del Carmen head for 5th Avenue for all the shops, they range from Zara, Victoria’s Secret and Pandora to all the souvenirs you could ask for!

Despite being all inclusive, we did have some food whilst in Playa Del Carmen and DIDN’T regret it! We ate at Yo Amo Tacos on 5th Avenue, it was our first real taste of Mexican food and it was fantastic! I can’t recall the specific items we had, but I am hoping these photo’s do it justice!

Once you have explored, shopped and eaten its time to head back to your hotel to have some dinner, cocktails enjoy the evening entertainment and mingle with fellow holiday makers. Don’t make it a late one though – your up early for a day at Chichen Itza!

Day 2

An early start for a full day coach trip, from our hotel it was around a 3 hour coach trip to Chichen Itza, so make sure you have some snacks and bottled water with you. On our day trip, when we arrived we spent some time in a small shop whilst our guide got all of our passes etc. if you dont have one with you that day, pick up a hat you WILL need it. Its hot and there is limited, if any at all shade & use this time to go to the bathroom – I promise you that the toilets on the site are not great!

Enjoy the scenery and the information the guide tells you, I wont lie to you but the day we went I had a raging water infection so I really didn’t care to be there BUT Matt really enjoyed it and we got some good photos and saw some lizards too!

On our trip we headed to a local restaurant where they served authentic food, I am gutted we didnt get any pictures but I do love those types of stops on trips abroad. They rely soo heavily on tourism and although the food might not be quite what you expect just enjoy the experience! On our way back we stopped at a cenote – there was the chance to go in and experience the water, but we decided just to people watch and take in the scenery!

Heading back to your hotel, you will be tired and worn out BUT that’s ok as you have another chilled evening at the hotel mingling with your holiday friends drinking cocktails and enjoying the evening entertainment!

Day 3

Ok, you deserve a day off today! Chill by the pool or on the beach enjoy the fact that you can start drinking cocktails from 10am and snack throughout the day and get your head in that book you picked up in duty free.

We were really lucky with the hotel we stayed at, it was on Akumal beach which is FULL and I mean FULL of sea turtles, a lovely couple we met and often hung out with on the beach let us use their snorkel gear as they weren’t keen snorkelers and we had great fun snorkeling and just swimming alongside the turtles. It was so peaceful. We were in Mexico for 2 weeks, so whilst I laid by the beach getting the best tan I have ever had Matt went fishing for a couple of days and we would often walk into the little town and also went to near by Tulum – there is so much to do if you want to do it!

If you are like us and enjoy a good night out and don’t fancy a night at your hotel every night then break it up and book nights out to Coco Bongo or Captain Hooks Pirate Ship. I personally (from what I can remember) enjoyed Coco Bongo a lot more than the Pirate Ship BUT I can see why people, especially those in groups or with families would enjoy the Pirate Ship party.

Day 4

Well……Day 4, if anything like me after Coco Bongo you will spend most of your morning like this…..

Honestly It Was A Rough Morning 

So what would I suggest you do on day 4? Well considering you will be travelling home on Day 7, you only really have 2 more days after this to get things done & you want at least 1 more day by the pool, beach or maybe some spa treatments at the hotel of course! Well, day 4 could be that day for you OR you could spend the day and evening at Xcaret!

Xcaret, my favourite place in Mexico! You can do anything, from swim the lazy river, see the animals, snorkel, swim with dolphins, swim with sting rays (we did this its AMAZING!) or just chill by the beach. There is so much to do here you definately need a full day. We did the lazy river, swam with sting rays AND the adrenaline boat (and didn’t stay for the evening) – there is a lot of things I regret that we didn’t do, so check out some pics and below I will give you the low down on things to do!

Ok, my top tips for Xcaret:

  1. Bring a waterproof camera OR pay the extra to have photo’s taken on your way round (we did this with x-plor). Almost all of the day is based around water, so if like us you don’t have a waterproof camera you wont get many snaps!
  2. Plan your day, dont just jump into the first thing – figure out what you want to do and what you need to be wearing for that activity (pretty much swimwear the whole day)
  3. Take extra cash with you for extra fun activities, not everything is included in the price
  4. Drink plenty and make sure you eat

So we didn’t stay for the evening entertainment, but I have heard it is really good and that we really missed out – but we had such a great day we just wanted to get back to the hotel and have a relaxed evening at the hotel bar and eat some yummy food in the a la carte restaurants on site.

Day 5

Another busy fun day, but today is X-Plor, Xcaret’s zip liner cousin! This was Matt’s request and I was apprehensive as I am not keen on zip lines BUT we had a great day AND paid the extra for a camera pass all the way round. The only thing we didn’t do was be prepared with clothing – basically you will get wet, but I wouldn’t say swim wear all the time – but the choice is yours – just know that when your queuing be happy that you will get wet in what you are wearing…..

A great day out and you really get to see some amazing sites on those zip lines!

Day 6 

A perfect day to top up that fantastic tan you will have got and just relax, maybe head back into Playa Del Carmen to get some more souvenirs. I cant remember our last day before we checked out and headed home, but I can remember our last meal and it was gorgeous! We were so spoilt at Akumal Bay Hotel, but it was a beautiful holiday and I would recommend that hotel to anyone!

Make Day 6 a day to remember, because tomorrow you will be travelling home!

There is so much to do in Mexico and the trip opportunities are endless, but this is just based on what we got up to. We were there for 2 weeks, so were lucky to spend our time on the beach as well as keeping busy, at the end of the day a holiday is yours to do what you will with, but 1 thing I would suggest is do what you can while you are there. There is never a guarantee you will return, so dont leave wishing you had done something!

Love

Emma xx

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Staycation

As I have probably mentioned a gazillion times in my blog, Matt & I are saving to buy our property. It isn’t easy and we I often feel really disheartened about the amount of time it is taking us, especially when we see others moving in quicker than we are. However Matt is always there to bring me back down to earth and remind me that we are doing this on our own with no funding from either sets of parents and that we have spent the last almost 7 years seeing the world with each other first.

That is something we have also had to limit/give up. Travelling.

I first went abroad (that I can remember as mum will argue we went to Disney when I was 4) when I was 16 with college to New York. I loved it and it stirred something in me to want to explore the world. I AM lucky, I have seen some amazing places in the world:
Fuerteventura, Agadir, New York x4, Indianapolis, San Francisco, Las Vegas, Croatia, Rome, Venice, Cuba, Mexico. 

But, there are always more places on my list that I need to see and explore but I never think about where I want to see in the UK! We are probably only going to be able to do days out OR weekends away so I thought I would share with you a couple of places I would like to venture to!

London Sky Garden

I heard about the Sky Garden in London last year, every time I scour their website I am drawn there even more! Located on London’s Fenchurch Street, there are 3 storey’s of fantastically landscaped gardens with observation decks, a bar, restaurant and open air terrace! Its completely free to visit, but you do have to book your visit in advance or alternatively book in at a bar or restaurant to enjoy a cocktail or 2 and some yummy food whilst taking in the beautiful gardens and the sights that London has to offer!

Sky Garden London Tink Jayne 15
This Picture Is Courtesy Of All About Tink – Check Out Her Amazing Review!

The Lost Gardens Of Heligan

When I was younger I loved watching The Little Princess on video so when I stumbled across pictures of the Lost Garden on Pinterest the other week it took me right back to my childhood! St Austell, Cornwall is the home of Heligan Lost Gardens, with over 200 acres to explore and only uncovered in the last 25 years I can imagine the pictures just don’t do it justice! The gardens are open all year round (apart from Christmas Day) and at just £13.50 per adult, I think its a complete bargain! I haven’t been to Cornwall for a long time, but this is definately on my wish list for our next visit!

Can You Believe This Is In The UK? Visit Here To Find Out More!

Blenheim Palace

We have driven past the signs for Blenheim Palace many many times but have never actually visited there. Located just outside of Oxford it is home to the Duke of Malborough and holds over 300 years worth of history as well as beautiful gardens to explore. You can book your tickets online, which start from £14.90 for an Adult, I have had a look at what’s on there over the coming months and there are some lovely things that you can get involved with!

The Water Terraces
How Stunning Is This!

I hope I have inspired you to look closer to home when planning your next weekend break, the UK has some amazing things on offer to us that we take for granted!

I cant wait to plan my next weekend break!

Love

Emma xxx

Secret Holiday

I am due to go on holiday at the end of this week, well I say at the end of this week because as far as I know it could be any time after I finish work on Friday night! My lovely boyfriend Matt has booked us a winter sun holiday and has kindly paid for my ticket as my Birthday & Christmas present, which is such a lovely gesture and I really do appreciate it. However, it is usually me that does all the arranging and booking for the holiday and I was asked recently why I am not excited about going away? Well it’s simple, because I don’t actually feel like I am going on holiday!

I think we are going to Tenerife so I have done some research, but not a lot which is unusual as I normally know what trips we should do or restaurants we should try. I have no idea where we are staying so I can’t check out our hotel online or read reviews on Trip Advisor. Plus Matt is being so cagey about things, like I don’t know what day we are flying or where from & I have no idea how we are getting to and from the airport. I have to hand him my spending money for him to change up (which makes me think I don’t need euro’s) & he has booked all the travel insurance too. So I think the fact that I have had no involvement in the planning is restricting me to be able to get really excited, don’t get me wrong I can’t wait to go away and spend 2 weeks just us in the sun, but I would LOVE to know where we are staying.

Loro Park
Loro Parque Tenerife – Photo Courtesy of Loro Parque

Siam Park Tenerife – Picture Courtesy of First Choice

The other dilemma is what to pack, I know you are all probably saying ‘It’s a sun holiday – pack for the summer!’ That’s really easy to do when you know roughly what you are going to be doing, so in terms of packing it’s hard. I wrote up a list the other day and asked if I needed anything else but he said what I had would be ok but perhaps get a few more bits for the evenings, so that’s ok I can manage that, but then the question comes of Shoes. How many and what kind do I take? I am thinking flip flops/sandals/wedges & trainers, that way it covers all options!

I found these helpful travel tips on Pinterest!

Helpful Tips From Birchbox
Favourite Carry On Advice From Outfit Posts

I think packing would be easier if I didn’t think that I look like a whale, I have indulged over Christmas and having all the sweets still around and lovely cheese & pate it’s so hard not to just have cheese & biscuits for tea every night rather than cooking a “proper” dinner! I am getting back on track with healthy eating, but I know this holiday if it’s all-inclusive will be another indulgent time. So as soon as I am back I am going straight back to Slimming World and will be really going for it, I have a bridesmaid dress to fit into after all in March!

Here are some recipes I want to try all found on Slimming World!

Chilli Garlic Greens
Garlic Mushroom Jackets
Homity Pie
Macaroni Cheese
Tuna & Sweetcorn Fritters

I have never planned a secret holiday before and I don’t think I would be very good at it either, don’t get me wrong I am great at keeping secrets, but I think I would be too excited! I think the closest I have ever come is when we went to New York for Matts 21st, I emailed the hotel in advance and asked if we could be considered for a free room upgrade, booked us tickets to Ice Hockey which he didn’t know about, oh and I booked for us to stay overnight at a hotel near the airport the night before as well. I didn’t really arrange any of it until the month before hand though so I didn’t have to keep it secret for long!

Yey The Rangers Won!

Love This Photo!
Oh Yeah! It Snowed!

That reminds me, its Matt’s birthday whilst we are away & I haven’t got him anything yet and I have no clue what to buy him, maybe I will take us away somewhere in the new year, there are some lovely hotels in the New Forest that we could stay in maybe book for in the spring/summer.

Don’t worry, I will keep you all updated as to where we end up and share all our holiday stories with you!

Lots of Love

Emma xxx

Holiday Vlogging!

As you know Matt & I were recently in Vegas for 7 days with our really good friends Steph & Dan. We had such a great holiday and I am currently in the process of making a photo book of a once in a lifetime holiday! However, as I have mentioned to you all before, Steph has her own YouTube Channel Loved By Steph and she actually did some vlogging whilst we were away. Initially I was nervous about being on one of her video’s as I will quite often go without make up or not always look my best, but after a while you forget that you are being filmed and especially after a couple of drinks, just don’t care haha! I wanted to wait until both vlogs where up before I shared them with you, so here we go – here is our lovely holiday!

Please make sure you do a “thumbs up” if you like what you see and why not even subscribe to her channel!

Love

Emma xxx