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    Top 5 Caribbean Spas as Recommended by La Jolla Mom!

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Find beachin' great tips and insider info!

The Jetsetter’s Holiday Gift Guide

In case you didn’t realize it, we’re smack dab in the middle of the gift giving season. Maybe you’ve made your shopping list and checked it twice, or (if you’re like me) you’re just now starting to think about shopping. Well have no fear, friends. This round up of my favorite gifts for the traveler on your list might just kill lots of birds with one stone.

Jawbone Jambox Bluetooth Wireless Speaker

Travel Gift Guide - Jawbone - CheapCaribbean.com

Prices start at $99; Photo courtesy of jawbone.com

Tunes + the beach go together like Sonny & Cher, which is why this Jawbone JAMBOX is a no brainer. This pint size Smart Speaker™ takes those killer playlists from your smart phone to the masses. That’s why it’s a must-have for the next vacation you’ve got planed. And of course, this isn’t a vacation-only necessity. Anytime you need music, you need your Jawbone. There’s even a MINI JAMBOX that’s exactly what the name says – smaller. You can customize the look and feel with custom color schemes, finishes, accessories, etc. Oh, and my recommendation? Spring for the water resistant coating. You’ll be taking this to the beach after all.

World's Best Cities: Celebrating 220 Great Destinations Book

Travel Gift Guide - World's Best Cities - CheapCaribbean.com

Price, $25.50; Photo courtesy of Amazon.com

We all suffer from a bit of wanderlust now and again, and now it’s time to gift that. Yes, I’m serious. Give a gift that will spark plenty of conversations about all the places on everyone’s travel lists. The National Geographic’s World’s Best Cities: Celebrating 220 Great Destinations is more than just a stunning coffee table book. It profiles over 225 cities across the world with impressive photography, personal narratives, fun facts, and recommendations on where to find the best food and shopping, just to name a few. Warning: prepare for your recipient to be immediately distracted and start reading immediately upon unwrapping.

Nikon 1 J4 Digital Camera

Travel Gift Guide - Nixon 1 J4 - CheapCaribbean.com

Prices start at $599.95; Photo courtesy of Nixon.com

We live in a world where we're constantly connected to the digital world nearly 24/7. Often times people think you can just snap a photo with your phone and there's no real need for a fancy, schmancy camera. Well, I disagree. The days of personal near-professional photography shouldn't be a thing of the past. But it's all about finding the right camera that makes picture taking easy and sharing even easier. That's why my pick for a top-notch digital camera is the Nikon 1 J4. Featuring Nikon 1's phase-detection - which captures all those smiles, winks, thrills and spills you'd miss with your regular old iPhone camera, it also boasts an 18.4-megapixel CMOS sensor and powerful EXPEED 4A image-processing engine. But that's not my favorite function - it's the touchscreen with wifi capabilities that makes sharing those high-quality photos on your Facebook feed happen instantly. See, a fancy digital camera is totally worth it.

Cordito + Cord Taco Cord Keepers

Travel Gift Guide - Cord Taco - CheapCaribbean.com

Price: Cordito, $45; Cord Taco, $20; Photo courtesy of ThisIsGround.com

So this makes my list solely because of how much I love the name. Okay, it’s more than that. It’s a travel NECESSITY – trust me. So many times we travel with multiple cords and chargers, and we’ve all been that person who spends a half hour untangling them just to throw them back in your bag and encounter the problem all over again. Not anymore. The Cordito by This is Ground is the cord organizer of a traveler’s dreams. Not to mention, there are plenty of different fun & trendy styles, I’d also consider the Cord Taco a must. It’s a tiny little taco that keeps your headphones separate, untangled, and easy to find. LOVE.

Jackery Bar Portable Cell Phone Charger

Travel Gift Guide - Portable Cell Phone Charger - CheapCaribbean.com

Price, $29.99; Photo courtesy of Jackery.com

This is 2014. A cell phone with no juice just doesn't cut it anymore. And duh, your Instagram feed never sleeps. So there's honestly no excuse for your cell phone to die. Especially when you're the proud owner of a Jackery Bar. This bad boy is the end-all, be-all solution for the well-connected recipient this year. Simply charge up the bar before you leave the house and then when you're low on cell phone juice, you can plug in your phone to this sleek portable charger. I also love the color selection, there's truly an option for every body. Trust me, this bad boy is ALWAYS in my bag, especially when I'm busy traveling from one place to the next. Makes for a great white elephant gift or stocking stuff too, by the way.

Let me ask you one important question - how important is it to you to wow the recipients on your list? I hope you're response is - IMPORTANT. People remember the things you gift them and you definitely want to be the friend or family member that killed it this year, don't you? So if you know someone who's a self-proclaimed jet setter, make sure to add these travel-inspired gifts to your shopping list. And if you'd rather by for yourself - don't worry, we won't tell. Happy Holidays!

Brittany Innes is the try-anything-once spontaneous type with a knack for exploring new places and embracing her inner food-lover. She's also a big fan of college football and instagramming everything she eats, as she eats it (she's that girl).

#Cheap4You: What’s Trending at The Beach This Winter

It's not easy being the beach vacation experts. No, seriously. Okay, we realize how that sounds. But it's true. We're constantly on the hunt for ways we can slash prices and bring the best beach vacation deals from us to you. Of course, that means sacrifices must be made on our part. Which is why: we skimp, you save. Simple as that.

Need a few examples?

Take the above as proof that here at CheapCaribbean.com, we mean it when we say we're #Cheap4You. So how about some of the hottest deals currently to take this to a whole other level? Here's what's on our radar this winter season:

Occidental Cozumel, 3 Nights with Air from $649

Winter Beach Deals - Occidental Cozumel - CheapCaribbean.com

Picture a secluded nature preserve on Playa San Francisco, a private section of Cozumel's finest beach. Add in all-inclusive deals, three pools, and a resume full of amenities and perks and you've described Occidental Cozumel. The day's activities are sure to include: unparalleled reef diving, featuring incredible drop-offs, black coral and a network of interconnecting caves and tunnels, which make up the world's second-largest reef network, a deep-sea fishing trip to harvest the fruit of the sea, or 18 holes at the resort golf course. And when the sun sets, dinner is at one of six restaurants and night caps at Cozumel's hottest nightclub, La Mision bar. Done deal.

Hard to believe 3 nights start at just $649, isn't it? #Cheap4You

Sunscape Curacao Resort, Spa & Casino, 4 Nights with Air from $789

Winter Travel Deals - Curacao Sunscape - CheapCaribbean.com

Surrounded by white sand, turquoise seas and swaying palm trees, this resort welcomes families, couples and singles - anyone who's looking for the ultimate fun-filled vacation. Mornings start with a quick wind surfing session or guided snorkeling tour and the rest of the day should be spent lounging pool side with a drink in hand from the swim-up bar called Manatee's. The kiddos can splash around in the children's pool or run around the Explorer's Club. Your food options consist of gourmet dining at six restaurants and signature cocktails at one of the four bars. And it wouldn't be a trip to Sunscape Curacao without giving lady luck a test drive at the most visited casino in Curacao.

And yes, we're serious. Three all-inclusive nights start at $789 with airfare included.

Villa del Palmar Cancun Luxury Beach Resort & Spa, 3 Nights with Air from $809

Holiday Beach Vacation Deals - Cancun Mexico - CheapCaribbean.com

If the right vacation for you requires pretty much having it all, think Villa del Palmar Cancun Luxury Beach Resort & Spa. Consider this family-friendly mega-resort the top of its class. Removed from Cancun's Hotel Zone's rowdy parties, Fun activities and relaxing amenities are just a few reasons why families pick this elegant all inclusive resort. A huge stretch of Playa Mujeres welcomes youngsters  who are ready to jump in the waves and splash up a storm. Parents can grab cervezas and drag sun loungers right up to the water's edge. There are also two pools, which is the best way to cool down, especially the one with the awesome waterfall bridge. Dinner includes three options and spacious two-bedroom suites are perfect for calling it a night to prep the fam for another fun-filled day.

For prices starting at $809, you'll get airfare and three nights of all-included amenities. Why aren't you booking this immediately, again?

See. We don't lie. When we say we're #Cheap4You, we really mean it. We'll sacrifice it all, as long as we're able to bring the best beach deals to each and every one of you. Do you have any winter travel plans? Let us know where you're headed in the comments below!

Brittany Innes is the try-anything-once spontaneous type with a knack for exploring new places and embracing her inner food-lover. She's also a big fan of college football and instagramming everything she eats, as she eats it (she's that girl).

6 ways to survive traveling during the holidays

Holiday Beach Travel Deals - CheapCaribbean.com

So you've decided to spend part of the holiday season on a Caribbean beach somewhere? Smart choice. Opting for sunshine and blue waters to combat the hustle & bustle that is this season is a great idea. But the journey to paradise can often times be a bit daunting, especially during the holidays. Let's talk about all the ways you can conquer the holiday travel beast, so you're nothing but prepared.

Pack light:

It may seem obvious to offer you a friendly reminder about to not bring everything in your wardrobe, but this is an easy tip if you're looking to cut travel times and arrive beach front ASAP. If you can manage to get everything you need into a carry on bag and bring it with you on the plane, you not only don't have to spend the extra time checking your bag pre-departure and waiting for your bag once you arrive, but you'll often times save money on the fee to check bags. Oh, but be sure to check the carry-on restrictions of the airline you'll be flying with. There are often times size and weight restrictions to be aware of. Plus, if you're heading to the beach the only real requirements should be a few bathing suits and a good pair of flip flops, of course!

Leave early:

The week of Thanksgiving kicks off a month of crowded airports and high-traffic travel, so be prepared. Whether you're a professional jetsetter and you travel all the time, or this is your first time to experience pure and utter beach bliss, always give yourself more time than you need during this season. There will most definitely be lines, delays, and possibly even cancellations. While CheapCaribbean.com promises to do everything we can to support you before & during your travel itinerary, it's always a smart idea to give yourself some extra time when arriving at the airport just in case.

Travel on off-peak days:

There's a definite science to how to you plan your vacations and days off during the travel season, and of course sometimes your schedule can be very tight. But a great way to stay on budget and perhaps snag an even better deal than you would normally get, is to travel on off-peak days. The Wednesday before Thanksgiving is the busiest travel day of the year. So if you can plan to leave for your vacation on Thanksgiving Day or any other actual holiday, you'll most definitely save a few bucks AND avoid some of the crowds. Sounds like a plan, if you ask us!

Leave early or late in the day:

Another way to avoid crowds and long lines is to travel during off-peak hours. Look for the flight that leaves super early in the AM or is the last flight out for the day. Peak holiday travel times tend to be 10am to 6pm, so if you can manage to snag a flight before or after, you may be in better shape traffic-wise & perhaps budget-wise. Although this isn't a sure guarantee, it's something to consider when making your travel plans.

Use your resources:

A great way to stay ahead and be prepared for it all this holiday travel season is to stay informed. Utilize the resources and technology out there to keep you up-to-date on flight delays, gate changes, transportation options, etc., etc. A great resource is to look for an app from your airline on your smart phone. You can often times set up manual alerts, but you'll also get alerts as they happen. Also, apps such as Gate Guru or Flight Status are great for getting instant updates while you're at the airport.

Since you'll be in another country, apps like Free Wi-Fi Finder are a good option in that they can direct you to the closest hotspot to combat some of the data/roaming charges cellular companies often times like to hit you with when traveling internationally. You'll also want to check the Wi-Fi options at your resorts. Plenty of our preferred partners and resorts will offer free Wi-Fi or internet connectivity, once you arrive.

Relax & have fun:

And although you may not consider this a tip - we do, because, well, it's something to keep in mind. HAVE FUN! Don't let the craziness that is the holiday travel season turn you away from a good time. Know that the journey to get to the beach is just a small part of your ultimate holiday beach vacation. And there is a light at the end of the tunnel. You WILL make it through that like at airport security and you WILL make it through the three-hour flight. And once you do? It's all smooth sailing from there. Sunny skies, crystal clear waters, and ice cold frozen concoctions are calling your name.

So what are you waiting for? Have you booked your holiday beach vacation yet?

Brittany Innes is the try-anything-once spontaneous type with a knack for exploring new places and embracing her inner food-lover. She's also a big fan of college football and instagramming everything she eats, as she eats it (she's that girl).

4 ways to cure your cold weather blues

It's here, y'all. Yep, those dropping temperatures, swirling winds, and talk of a wide-spread "Polar Vortex 2.0" means that fall is in full swing and there's plenty of cold weather to accompany it all. So if you find your mind drifting off to a warm, sunny place more often than not these days, don't worry - you're not alone. That's why we're wanting (no, needing) to take a vacation now more than ever, so how about a little beach inspiration this week?

Not sure if you guys caught it, but we're amidst our Frost-Free Winter Sale, so there are plenty of (affordable) options to turn to when thinking about escaping the cold. A few of the top prospects are:

El Conquistador, A Waldorf Astoria Resort

Winter Vacation Deals - Puerto Rico - CheapCaribbean.com

Four days of sun, sand, and a drink in your hand starts at only $509 in sunny Puerto Rico, making this winter escape almost a no-brainer. If the price doesn't sell you, maybe the 20 restaurants and bars, a private marina, 100-acre Palomino Island, which is the resort's private paradise, and long list of amenities might convince you. Our advice? Don't think twice when clicking the "Take Me There" button and give yourself something to stop dreaming about and start looking forward to. After all, the lap pool isn't going to swim itself and those margaritas at swim-up Splash Bar aren't going to drink themselves either.

Dreams Sugar Bay St. Thomas

St. Thomas Winter Beach Deals - CheapCaribbean.com

If you're thinking a winter family getaway is just what your gang needs, Dreams Sugar Bay St. Thomas is the place to go. This new family-friendly resort literally has it all. Think Unlimited-Luxury®, secluded beaches, freshwater pools, a swim-up bar amongst the 10 restaurant and bars to choose from, a 10,000-square-foot spa, etcetera, etcetera. Not to mention - the Explorer's Club for Kids includes ocean trampoline, bumper-boat pool, indoor game room, and plenty more. If you ask us, it pretty much sounds like the perfect holiday gift for every member of your family. What are you waiting for?

Secrets Playa Mujeres Golf & Spa Resort

Winter Beach Deals, Mexico - Playa Mujeres, Cancun - Cheap Caribbean

Are your day dreams full of one-on-one time with your sweetheart, crystal clear skies, and picturesque beaches? Okay, you got us. We'll let the secret out. The brand-new Secrets Playa Mujeres Golf & Spa Resort is exactly what you're looking for. Located just 10 minutes outside of Cancun, this 5-star Unlimited-Luxury® & adults-only resort is a sure thing. Opening on November 15th, you can bet that this secluded haven is equipped with pretty much anything you could ask for. Featuring a gorgeous, white-sand beach and being in close proximity to signature golf courses, shopping and Cancun's famous nightlife, your time spent at Secrets Playa Mujeres Golf & Spa Resort will be unforgettable.

Oh, and we'll do you a solid by giving you the chance to win a FREE trip for 2 to this Mexican paradise. Simply enter our The Secret's Out Sweepstakes and you'll be entered to win a 4 night trip for 2, including round-trip airfare and Amstar transfers, to the brand-new Secrets Playa Mujeres Golf & Spa Resort in Cancun, Mexico. Enter now!

Grand Bahia Principe Jamaica

Jamaica Beach Deals - Grand Bahia Principe - Cheap Caribbean

It's time to stop dreaming and start planning. That's why we suggest letting your hair down in the crisp, warming Jamaican sun. Leave your worries behind and step onto the beautiful shores of Runaway Bay, where the all-suite Grand Bahia Principe Jamaica offers all-inclusive access to a lake-style, beachfront pool with two swim-up bars, known for their popular dirty banana cocktails, among other things. Here's the plan once you arrive: drop off the luggage, grab a swimsuit, and head for the private beach. Then after a few hours basking in the Jamaican glory, get pumped for dining options that include six all-inclusive choices and some nightly entertainment to cap off the night. And yes, then you get to do it all over again the next day. Why haven't you booked this yet?

Boom. Just like that. You now have four reasons to stop dreaming about the beach, and start planning for the beach. And whether or not you're asking for our opinion, we'll say that one of the above options should be your sure thing and something you DON'T hold back on. It's the holiday season, after all. Do you already have your winter vacation planned? Tell us where you're headed in the comments below!

Brittany Innes is the try-anything-once spontaneous type with a knack for exploring new places and embracing her inner food-lover. She's also a big fan of college football and instagramming everything she eats, as she eats it (she's that girl).

Grab Your Buds! It’s Time for a Group Vacation!

Group Vacation Packages - CheapCaribbean.com

It's pretty often that we're trying our best to convince you it's time to take that romantic vacation or escape with your significant other for some much needed time away, but hardly ever are we encouraging you to round up the troops and jet away for the party of a lifetime. Until now. We're excited to announce that CheapCaribbean.com is now able to accommodate the big groups who are dying to jet away and make memories that are pretty much fit for record books.

First, a few reasons why group bookings are necessary. And then we'll tell you how it works.

#1: The more, the merrier.

No, but seriously. Of course there's a time and place for the vacation that's focused on pure bliss and ultimate relaxation. But there's also an appropriate time to call up your best buds and say, "let's go!" Gone are the days of the crazy Spring Break trips where you shove too many people in one tiny room (we don't condone this, but know you've probably done it once or twice). Now it's time to grab the gang, devise a plan of where to go and what to do, and make it happen already! It's also an added perk when group bookings are seamless and convenient for every member of the group - which the new CheapCaribbean.com group booking tool happens to be.

#2: Make some memories, why don't you?

I'm sure you're thinking "if I'm going on vacation, I'm making memories, duh!" But think about the potential when it's you and eight of your closest friends spending the weekend on a beautiful beach with a few simple goals in mind - relaxing, exploring, and having fun. (FYI, if it's my group of friends, our priorities most definitely include plenty of food, and a generous amount of frozen concoctions, but maybe that's just me...) We can even go as far to say that the laughs and inside jokes you'll come away with will be memories that'll last a lifetime - or until you plan the next group vacation.

#3: Do special occasions the right way.

This is last on the list because it's an obvious no brainer. Special occasions are often times the best excuses to plan a vacation that includes everyone you know. Whether it's a bachelor/bachelorette party, a milestone birthday, or maybe even a destination wedding, rallying the troops and heading to paradise is exactly what the occasion calls for. So our suggestion? Nominate one or two people to be the commanders-in-chief and take responsibility for putting together all the details for everyone. It'll be easier to assure that everyone is booked & ticketed, as well as accommodate any special needs or request. But be prepared - upon arriving in destination - it's time to party!

Group Vacation Packages - CheapCaribbean.com

So have we done a good enough job convincing you of all the reasons why planning a group vacation should be next on your priority list, let's talk through logistics:

  • First up, decide who's going and how many rooms you'll need. To book as a group, you'll need to be booking at least five rooms.
  • Now that the group is decided, start doing a bit of shopping on the site to decide which all-inclusive vacation package is right for you & your posse.
  • When you've decided, submit your information to our Group Bookings page.
  • Fill out the form provided accordingly and a Group Sales Specialist will reach out to confirm the next steps in the booking process. You may also give us a call at (877) 584-2775.
  • Once you've connected with one of our friendly Group Sales Specialists, they'll work out all of the major details and get you and your gang all set for paradise.
  • After patiently waiting for your favorite day to arrive, grab the gang and board that plan. In next to know time you'll be sitting on a white sandy beach sipping a cocktail out of a coconut, all while devising the best group vacation of a lifetime.

And there you have it! See how easy that was. After taking a moment to convince yourself, the decision is easy. Start marking the calendars and calling friends - it's time for the best group vacation of a lifetime. What's your reason for planning the ultimate group vacation. Tell us in the comments below!

Brittany Innes is the try-anything-once spontaneous type with a knack for exploring new places and embracing her inner food-lover. She's also a big fan of college football and instagramming everything she eats, as she eats it (she's that girl).