• BOTTOMS UP...SIGNATURE VACATION DRINKS YOU HAVE TO TRY!

    BOTTOMS UP...SIGNATURE VACATION DRINKS YOU HAVE TO TRY!

  • Top 5 Caribbean Spas as Recommended by La Jolla Mom!

    Top 5 Caribbean Spas as Recommended by La Jolla Mom!

  • Must-do adventure vacations for the thrill-seekers in us all!

    Must-do adventure vacations for the thrill-seekers in us all!

We know great beaches!

Find beachin' great tips and insider info!

Just Say “No” to Staycations

Cheap Beach Vacations - CheapCaribbean.com

We get it. Staycations are a great way to save on money and cut down on travel time. During the tough times of the economy, staycations were a necessity as people counted their pennies and cut financial corners where they could. But good news! Those days are behind us and the economy is at its healthiest in a long time. There’s no need to stay at home when a beach vacation is an option again.

So why would anyone opt for a staycation? There’s plenty of rationalizations we can make for staying behind, but with a few of the most common ones debunked, you’ll be packing your bags for the beach quicker than you can say “what should we do this weekend?”

Myth #1: Staycations let you learn about your hometown.

The thinking goes: You can act like a tourist in your hometown and try things you never get around to doing. You can eat at that great new restaurant, or make time to relax at your local spa.

Reality: That sounds great but what if your town doesn’t have a spa (or a decent quality one, at least)? Or worse, there’s not a whole lot to do? It’s not like those restaurants, parks, or museums are going anywhere. You live in this city. You can check them out over the course of a few weekends on your own time rather than packed together in some arbitrarily chosen schedule.

Spa Treatments - Cheap Caribbean Vacations - CheapCaribbean.com

And one thing that happens on staycations is that your regular life seeps back in. You’re out trying to enjoy your local museum, but then you remember that you have to run by the office to pick something up. Or you notice that your floor needs a quick sweep and mop. Or, gee, my books really need reorganizing. Suddenly, you’re doing chores at home. Not exactly a vacation!

It’s better to go somewhere where you know there’s a spa, like Secrets Aura Cozumel and there’s no chance of accidentally cleaning out your garage.

Myth #2: We'll save money. 

The thinking goes: If I stay at home and do the touristy things here, I’ll save on all that travel money.

Reality: Being a tourist in your hometown may not be quite the money saver you’d expect. If you take in a ballgame, for example, the drinks, food, and tickets will still cost you. Museums charge for entry, and fancy dinners tend to be pricey no matter the location. In the end you’ll pay a lot more during a staycation than you initially thought.

All-Inclusive Vacations - Cheap Vacations - CheapCaribbean.com

However, if you book an all-inclusive deal like the one available at Villa del Palmar Cancun Luxury Beach Resort & Spa, the price of food, drinks, and entertainment are built into the overall price. You’ll get the ticket and forget about having to carry your wallet around with you everywhere you go! The price is fixed and you’ll have a clear idea of your vacation budget.

Myth #3: Vacation planning takes a lot of work.

The thinking goes: Visiting a new place means having to research, plan, and travel. No thanks!

Reality: Well, there’s no sugarcoating air travel. But that’s hardly a reason to never see the world. Having to take your shoes off in a security line may be a tad annoying, but it’s just a tiny bump in the road toward a real vacation filled with new experiences and memories. And doesn’t your city have awful traffic, anyway? That’s no vacation!

All-Inclusive Vacations - Excursions and Activities - CheapCaribbean.com

The good news is we’re willing to simplify the planning part. If you take advantage of our Seas the Deal offer, you’ll get a 4-5 sun-rated resort at a 3-4 sun-rated price and we’ll handle all the details. You sit back and get ready to take advantage of a top-notch all-inclusive resort, as we work hard to solidify the perfect option for you. Does it get any better than that?

So, a staycation every once in a while sounds good . . . but not as good as a margarita on a sunny beach! Don't you agree?

Brittany Innes is Manager of Social Media at CheapCaribbean.com. She's a travel junkie with a passion for trying new things and being spontaneous. 

5 Events You’ll Want to Attend This Summer at the Beach

Take a look around you. The grass is starting to look alive; the sun is starting to shine a little bit brighter and the summer season is quickly approaching. Doesn’t it feel wonderful? With school wrapping up, it’s time to solidify your plans for the summer. Maybe you’re one of the ones who’s all packed and ready for your summer vacation. Perhaps you’re still doing some shopping and deciding on the perfect beach for you. Regardless, you’ll want to know what’s going down in the Caribbean & Mexico this summer. These five events are sure to make your beach vacay the best yet.

Julio Iglesias Concert, Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Punta Cana: June 7th

Spanish musician and songwriter, Julio Iglesias is taking on the Hard Rock in Punta Cana next week and it’s going to be a blast. Julio Iglesias is one of the best selling Latin music artists with nearly 80 albums and over 300 million records sold worldwide in 14 different languages. He’ll be in Punta Cana at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino’s Fillmore Ballroom and will be serving up some of his classics. Concertgoers will enjoy the iconic performance of Iglesias, as well as be able to take advantage of the casino that calls Hard Rock home, among the long list of other amenities this 4.5-star resort has.

Julio Iglesias Concert - Hard Rock Hotel Punta Cana - CheapCaribbean.com

Tickets range in price from $95 USD to $260 USD and can be purchased here.

Crop Over Festival, Barbados: All Summer Long

What could be better than a celebration around sugar? Barbados kicks off the Crop Over Festival in the beginning of June and has parties all summer long to celebrate the end of the sugar cane harvest, one of Barbados most prominent crops. Dating back as far as the 1780’s, the summer months in Barbados are usually ones for the record books. You can find a full calendar of events for June, July and August here. Just a few of the events include Bridgetown Market, a huge carnival-like show called Cohobblopot and Calypso, the festival competition that hands out titles like “Party Monarch” and “Sweet Soca Monarch.” There’s even a ceremony to crown a Queen & King of the Crop, or the most productive cane cutters of the season. Barbados is known to be happenin’ all summer long with lots of parties you definitely don’t want to miss out on.

July 4th Celebration, Breathless Punta Cana: July 4th

If you’re like us, soaking up some serious rays on the beaches of Punta Cana sounds like the perfect way to spend your long weekend on July 4th. But if you worry that a beach vacation might not be the best display of patriotism, don’t worry – Breathless Punta Cana is having a full-on celebration. Being that it’s the first Fourth of July for Breathless you can expect a full day and night of activities.

DJ Rhiannon 4th of July - Breathless Punta Cana - CheapCaribbean.com

The morning starts off with tennis, paddle & beach volleyball tournaments, followed by an afternoon parade and pool party fully equipped with a kick-A DJ. As the sun sets, get ready for the party to get even hotter. Enjoy all sorts of traditional American food (hamburgers, hot dogs, barbeque…you get the picture) and prepare yourself as DJ Rhiannon takes the stage after an epic firework show at 11pm. As you can see, your Independence Day at Breathless Punta Cana will be perhaps your best one yet.

Reggae Sumfest, Jamaica: July 13th – July 19th 

Reggae Sumfest - Jamaica - CheapCaribbean.com

If sweet jams and stunning Jamaica sunsets are your thing, then the Reggae Sumfest is probably a must for you. This is perhaps one of the most well-known music festivals in the Caribbean and occurs mid-summer every year. It’s essentially a week of good music and good vibes. Each year the line-up seems to get bigger and better. This year performers include Future, Tessanne Chin and Sean Paul. The headliners are Jason Derulo and Wiz Khalifa. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to truly experience Jamaica.

Tickets to all of the events of the festival can be purchased here. The official resorts of the event include Secrets Resorts & Iberostar Hotels (both we highly recommend).

La Fiesta de Playa, Cancun: August

La Fiesta de Playa - Cancun - CheapCaribbean.com

Another event you’ll find us at this summer is in Cancun. It’s exactly what the name of the event reads – Beach Party. On the beaches of Cancun every August, there’s basically a big ol’ party. The 12 miles that stretch on the coast of Punta Cancun to Punta Nizuc host a long list of activities that include: fashion shows, volleyball tournaments, beach dance parties, concerts, etc. All the hotels located on this stretch of beach organize themed parties and party well into the night. La Fiesta de Playa is one of our favorite times in Cancun and we hope to see you all there. Get all the information on La Fiesta de Playa here.

So as you can see, the summer is full of fun in the Caribbean and Mexico. It’s almost necessary that you attend one of these phenom events. Which one are you dying to go to? Is there anything we missed? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below! 

Brittany Innes is Manager of Social Media at CheapCaribbean.com. She's a travel junkie with a passion for trying new things and being spontaneous. 

Don’t Fry Day & National Sunscreen Day: 8 Sun-Safe Tips

If you’re like us, your summer is full of barbecues, beach days and outdoor activities. What’s not on the list is missing out on any of the fun due to a painful sunburn - ouch! Here are our tips for staying healthy and looking gorgeous in the sun.

1. Apply an SPF 15 to SPF 50 sunscreen 15 minutes BEFORE you step out in the sun. Look for a sunscreen that is waterproof and provides UVA and UVB rays coverage. (American Academy of Dermatology)

2. We can't say it enough. Reapply. Reapply. Reapply! Set an alarm or reminder to reapply sunscreen every 2 hours or immediately after swimming. (American Academy of Dermatology)

Reapply Sunscreen every 2 hours or immediately after swimming.

3.  Don’t let cloudy or overcast days fool you. It’s important to protect your skin from UV rays every time you go outside.

4.  Did you check your sunscreen’s expiration date? Stay safe by tossing last year’s bottles and purchasing new. If your sunscreen doesn’t have an expiration date and it’s older than a year, it’s safe to assume it’s expired. It’s also important to note sunscreen lifespan is shortened by exposure to high temperatures. (CDC)

5.  Use fashionable summer accessories to help minimize sun exposure to your face. Big hats and stylish sunglasses are an easy way to protect your skin and look hot doing it!

6.  Don’t forget your lips. Moisturize and protect your lips from harmful rays with a lip-protection balm at least every hour.

7.  Seek shade, especially from 10am to 2pm. Want some fresh air and R&R without sun exposure? Try lounging on the beach under an umbrella with a popular summer read. This sounds like the perfect day to us! (FDA)

8.  Don’t skip on H20! We all know your skins best friend is water. Freeze bottles and pack your cooler full when heading out for a day in the sun.

Heading to the beach or an outdoor cookout this weekend? Remember these tips and tweet us or post a picture on Instagram of you protecting your skin using the #SunscreenSelfie hashtag for a chance to win a FREE getaway! You may also enter here.

#SunscreenSelfie

We wish everyone a sun-safe Memorial Weekend!

Christina Hohman is Manager of Social Media at CheapCaribbean.com. She enjoys playing soccer, patio hopping on sunny days and putting her toes in the sand.

Be Beach Beautiful: 5 Must-Know Beach Beauty Tips

For those that missed it, CheapCaribbean.com spent the last week talking all about beach beauty and ways we can all look fab while channeling the beach bum in us all. Don’t worry, we want to make sure everyone is all set for the shore this summer, so here’s a highlight from some of our beauty bloggers insights, as well as some of our favorite fan submitted tips.

1. Sunscreen, sunscreen, sunscreen

WEAR YOUR SUNSCREEN. We don’t need to tell you twice, do we? Being roasted, toasted and burnt to a crisp is never cute, not to mention it’s painful. Plus, with every over exposure to the sun you put yourself more and more at risk for serious skin problems – wrinkles, aged skin and skin cancer. We also shouldn’t have to tell you that you should wear sunscreen all year round, even if you’re not going out in the sun.

Sunscreen Tips - RAEview - CheapCaribbean.com

RAEView’s must-have sunscreen is Clarins Sunscreen Care Oil Spray SPF 30, as it protects your skin and provides a great glow.

It is best to take natural/organic sunscreen as to not damage the oceans. Ten percent of our reefs are being damaged a year by bleaching from sunscreens.” – Leane D.

2. Bright colors and neons are IN! 

Nothing makes us feel like summer’s in full effect more then busting out the bright colors, whether it’s your swimsuit, nail polish or other beach accessories. And we’re all in luck, because this summer bright colors like canary yellow, tangerine and cerulean blue will make a debut all over the trendiest beaches. So pump up the volume on Pharrell’s “Happy” (don’t lie, you love that song just as much as we do) and get ready to take on the beach in color.

Beach Beauty Tips - Beautiful Makeup Search - CheapCaribbean.com

3. Don’t let sand ruin your beachin’ good time. 

Raise your hand if you’ve unpacked your suitcase after you got back from vacay and discovered enough sand to nearly build your own sandcastle. *raises hand* So while it may make us wish we were back at the beach, it can also be limiting when we’re actually on vacation. Being covered in sand keeps you from seamlessly hoping back in forth between the beach and boardwalk or visa versa.

Beach Beauty Tip - JetSetSarah - CheapCaribbean.com

Sarah Greaves-Gabbadon of JetSetSarah also recommends Bobbi Brown’s “Beach” Fragrance Body Oil for a quick way to freshen up while on the go at the beach.

“After a day at the beach rub baby powder all over your body to get the stubborn sand and salt off!” – Jackie M.

4. Being healthy doesn’t have to ruin your good time.

You may be at the beach, but making smart choices doesn’t have to ruin your fun. No, we’re not suggesting spending all of your days working out or not indulging every now and again. But it’s all about moderation. There’s plenty of great ways to not jeopardize all the work you’ve done to get beach ready and still let loose.

Beach Fitness Tip - Sarah Dussault - CheapCaribbean.com

“The best thing is to exercise regularly and eat healthy - great for your body and skin, also staying active helps you to enjoy all the fun beach activities all day long.” –BikQuan N.

“Make sure you keep yourself hydrated when out in the beach bringing your own cooler with lots of drinks & fruits will definitely help you stay healthy & beautiful while enjoying the beach.” –Yonijet S.

5. Your hair is beautiful. Treat it that way!

The waves can do a number on your hair and it’s important you take the time to take care of it while you’re out in the sun. With these simple hair hacks, you’ll leave the beach with your locks very possibly in better shape then when you got there.

“I always bring lemon and coconut oil to the beach- the lemon juice to bring out those pretty sun-streaked highlights and the coconut oil to mask my hair and protect it from the drying effects of the salt and sun. And of course, sunscreen, sunscreen, sunscreen!” – Sarah K. “Twist your hair into a bun when you go to the beach.  Make sure you don't leave any part lines (these hurt like crazy when they're sunburnt)!  Wearing a bun not only keeps hair off your face but also gives you a style that easily transitions to your post-beach adventure: simply let down your hair, scrunch, and enjoy lovely beachy waves!” – Abigail K.

Beach Hair Care Tip - Angie Away - CheapCaribbean.com

 

And there you have it. Being a beach beauty isn’t nearly as complicated as it sounds. With all these great tips, there’s no reason you can’t rock the beach all summer long. Do you have any tips of your own? Share your knowledge with CheapCaribbean.com in the comments section below! See you around the shore, babes! 

Brittany Innes is Manager of Social Media at CheapCaribbean.com. She's a travel junkie with a passion for trying new things and being spontaneous. 

CheapCaribbean.com and Ocean Style Magazine Present: #BeachReady Twitter Party

Ever wonder how some people always have that perfect beach glow? Or, maybe you’re wondering what colors will be hot this summer? Here’s your chance to learn from the pros and share your own personal tips to get ready for your beach vacation and summer fun.

Join us Tuesday, April 29 at 1pm CST for our #BeachReady Twitter chat. We're excited to be co-hosting this event with OCEAN Style Magazine, as well as bringing in fashion and beauty bloggers @RAEview and @BeautyBlogger to help answer your questions and share personal tips on getting ready for your beach vacation.

Beach Beauty Tips - Twitter Party - CheapCaribbean.com

Here’s how to get in on the conversation:

  1. On Tuesday, April 29, log on to Twitter from 1pm-2pm CST and make sure you're following us at @cheapcaribbean.
  2. Join the Twitter party fun by answering our questions or asking your own, using the hashtag #BeachReady.
  3. Three lucky participants will win beach beauty prize packs, valued at $250 each, containing products that were hand selected by our bloggers.

We can’t wait to chat with everyone so come prepared to party and hand fun! Also, be sure to follow our co-host @OCEANSTYLEmag and beauty bloggers @Raeviewer and @BeautyBlogger. See you then!

Christina Hohman is Manager of Social Media at CheapCaribbean.com. She enjoys playing soccer, patio hopping on sunny days and putting her toes in the sand.