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What’s Trending on the Beach in 2014?

Now that the holiday high has worn off and we're all busy working on new resolutions and fresh outlooks for the coming year, it's time to discuss what to see & do on the beautiful beaches of the Caribbean & Mexico this year. Here's a few trends you can expect to see on the beach in 2014:

Swimwear for Women

The temperatures outside may be frightful, but in sunny Miami, swimsuit designers turned our eyes to summer sand at the Mercedes Benz Fashion Week. You’re going to be needing new swimwear thanks to what will definitely be totally successful New Years Resolutions. Or if you’re like us, you’ll want a new suit, even if you don’t drop two dress sizes. So here’s a quick list, compiled from industry watchers, of what’s trending:

  • High-waisted bottoms for a sleek silhouette in the 1940’s vintage style

  • Jungle-inspired and animal prints

  • Long-sleeved tops that cover shoulders and upper arms paired with small bottoms

  • Mixing and matching bright, colorful tops and bottoms

  • Classic nautical looks

2014 Women's Swimwear Trends - High Waisted Bathing Suit - CheapCaribbean.com

Photo credit: Global Grind

Swimwear for Men

Men’s swimwear may generally be a little less articulate than women’s, but the guys need to know that wearing jorts or basketball shorts on the beach just won’t fly. The looks for guys include short swim shorts in all the classic navy blues, reds and whites. For men unafraid of being noticed, trunks with colorful pastels and eye-catching patterns will be the way to go. Of course, if a guy is reticent to move out of his comfort zone, you can always compromise with board shorts in colorful pastels or navy blue shorts that stop just above the knee.

On the other hand, if he’s more the adventurous (or self-promoting) type, briefs-style swim trunks are featuring bold patterns, bolder colors and draw strings for the snuggest fit imaginable.

Authentic Destination Experience

Travellers want to feel the texture of their chosen destination. For some, this will mean plunging into the sharing economy and renting time at a villa or beach house. This option will nestle you and your fellow travelers more organically into the community. Depending on where you want to go (or who you want to go with) in the Caribbean, options in the sharing economy can be limited. Plus, buying food and getting around the island might be difficult if you have kids or a big group with you.

Bio Bay - Puerto Rico - CheapCaribbean.com

Luckily, local vendors both big and small offer tons of trips and excursions to delve into the destination’s culture and landscape. USA Today recently published a list of their 10 favorite water excursions in the Caribbean, which includes kayaking on glowing water in Puerto Rico and walking among the boulders of The Baths, Virgin Gorda. Tour operators will pick you up at your resort and drop you off when the tour is over. That kind of convenience and opportunity is hard to beat. However you get there, make time to go see what makes your chosen destination a brilliant and unique place.

Hot New Properties

There’s nothing quite like the electric thrill of visiting a brand new resort. The adventure of a new beginning invigorates the staff and guests with palpable enthusiasm. The property gleams never brighter than in its youth. Then again, a $30 million renovation might also do the trick. After all, often times a “new” resort is a big time renovation of a recently purchased property. In the end, the result is a fabulous new resort to explore. Luckily for us, 2014 is witness to new resorts all across the Caribbean and Mexico.

  • Sandals Barbados: Sandals resorts are popping up all over the Caribbean, and beautiful Barbados is the newest home for this luxury resort chain.

  • Breathless Punta Cana: This brand new property from AM Resorts opened at the end of 2013 and offers adult fun for singles and couples in an energetic and chic setting.

2014 New Beach Resort - Breathless Punta Cana - CheapCaribbean.com

  • Beaches Ocho Rios: This Jamaican property just underwent a huge renovation to get many much needed updates. The result is a resort of sparkling amenities with the same, attentive Beaches service.

  • The Bahamian Riviera: This sprawling project is actually comprised of four properties on Nassau’s Cable Beach. Huge and teeming with amenities and services, the flagship resort, Baha Mar, boasts Vegas-style luxury and backs it up with a 2,000 sq. ft. casino. Other resorts on Cable Beach, such as Melia Nassau, are a good, easy way to enjoy the glamour and newness of the Riviera if you don’t want to stay with the crowds.

Bestie Desties in 2014

  • The Panama Canal is turning 100. There ain’t no birthday like a centennial, and we can expect Panamanians to celebrate accordingly.

  • Costa Rica took a step on its path to appeal to even wider tourism audiences. The Playas de Nosara in the Gulf of Nicoya received the Blue Flag, an international symbol of the beaches’ top quality and eco-friendliness.

  • Mexico is on the rise. As travelers feel increasingly confident visiting the big cities (Cabo, Cancun, Puerto Vallarta), Mexico is making top lists in 2014, including LonelyPlanet and Frommers.

  • Destination weddings and honeymoons are always big in Mexico and the Caribbean, and this year the beachy locales are as appealing as ever for the about to be and just recently betrothed. Destination Weddings magazine includes several Caribbean and Mexican locations in its list of the top honeymoon destinations for 2014.

So as you can see, 2014 is gearing up to be the best year at the beach yet. With plenty of new trends and the resurrection of some of the past, we can't wait to see what an exciting year 2014 is going to be. To learn more about the beaches to see and be seen on in 2014, visit CheapCaribbean.com.

Spotlight: What to Do in Jamaica

You just stepped foot in beautiful and sunny Jamaica. You’re prepared for a nice vacation full of plenty of R&R on the beach, a few yummy cocktails and memories to last a lifetime. On your trip, you’ll want to make sure you have a full list of things to see and do while you’re here. We’ll also throw in a few recommendations on where to stay if you’re still planning the perfect Jamaica getaway.

First, you’ll need a great resort to stay and play at while in Jamaica.

Adults Only Paradise: If you’re looking for an adults only haven with a beautiful beach, unlimited all-inclusive options and lively entertainment, Secrets Wild Orchid in Montego Bay may be just what you need. There’s a large free form pool with a swim up bar for swimming and wait staff on the beach if you’re into splashing in the waves. And with nine restaurants and 10 bars, your evenings will shape up to be unforgettable.

Adults Only Resort - Secrets Wild Orchid - CheapCaribbean.com

For the Whole Family: Do you need a place that has something every member of your family will love? Hilton Rose Hall Resort & Spa will do the trick. Parents can play a round of golf at Cinnamon Hill Golf Course or hang by one of three pools. The kids will enjoy the new Sugar Mills Water Park and Kidz Club & Teen Zone. There’s even an all-inclusive package that includes snorkeling, kayaking, windsailing and 1,000 feet of beach, perfect for all members of the family.

Family Friendly Resort - Hilton Rose Hall Jamaica - CheapCaribbean.com

Ultimate Rest & Relaxation: Riu Palace Tropical Bay in Negril is the perfect place to call home for a few days. Although not as popular as the infamous Seven Mile Beach, this resort sits perfectly on Bloody Bay Beach, where calm, clear waters meet 4-stars of all-inclusive luxury. Don't worry, just because tranquility and relaxation are a major perk of this resort, you can still enjoy the five restaurants, four bars and limitless amount of activities.

Best Resort to Relax - Riu Palace Tropical Bay Jamaica - Cheap Caribbean

Next, you’ll want to live like the Jamaicans do. This means you need restaurants to try with great local flavors and places to explore that show the true meaning of what it means to be Jamaican.

For food, it’s almost mandatory that you try some version of jerk chicken or pork, as it’s a Jamaica staple. Our recommendation for the best is Scotchies in Montego Bay. With their secret combination of spices and hours of slow cooking over sweet wood and pimento, the savory jerk chicken or pork is unlike anything you’ve ever had before. And if you’re in the mood for a sweet treat, grab some sugar cane and give it a taste. This is another flavor that’s popular in Jamaica. By simply sucking on the cane and enjoying the sweet juices, you’ll be able to satisfy your sweet tooth just how the Jamaicans do.

If you’re looking to experience a little adventure, venture out to Mystic Mountain in Ocho Rios. A short ride up the mountain will take you to a museum, where they pay tribute to the Jamaican sporting history. Learn all about how a Caribbean island known for its beaches came up with the first ever bobsled team and then experience bobsledding for yourself. Take a ride in a real bobsled as you zoom down the mountain and enjoy the tropical views. There’s also plenty of shopping and even a water slide on site so you can be sure to enjoy all of Mystic Mountain.

old-ford-craft-market

And when you’re looking to bring some of your trip home, don’t forget to stop by the Old Fort Craft Market. Not only can you find authentic pieces of Jamaican culture, you can walk through the old stone structure that dates all the way back to the 17th century. You’ll find everything from handmade jewelry to historic art pieces, all built by local craftsmen who’ve perfected their craft for generations. The vendors here pride themselves on selling souvenirs that are built with peace, love, respect and unity. And who wouldn’t want to bring that positivity back home with you?

Not that you needed any convincing, but it’s obvious to see that Jamaica has so much to offer anyone looking for a vacation of a lifetime. And now that you know a few of our favorite things to do and see in Jamaica, we want to know what you suggest. Share your must-dos with us in the comments below. And let’s jam in Jamaica, mon! 

Happy Election Day! Celebrate with a Presidential Vacay!

It’s that time again. And it happens every four years. You’ve probably prepared for it, spent countless hours doing your research and finally figuring out what’s important to you. It’s Election Day. Today, you’ll have the opportunity to exercise your democratic right to vote. And because you’ve been working so hard to decide whom you’ll chose to lead our great nation, we think you should reward yourself…with a Caribbean vacation.

After your ballot has been turned in and you feel accomplished, it’s time to start thinking about where you’re headed and how you’ll pack. It’s your choice who you’ll vote for and it’s your choice which Caribbean destination you’ll head to after, but here are a few recommendations that could really rock your vote.

Off the Radar: A Private Presidential Vacation

An escape that’s fit for a president and offers a high level of privacy (think Camp David) is the perfect getaway option for someone looking to completely unwind. While there are plenty of small, private resorts to choose from, Sivory Punta Cana is one of our favorites.

Sivory Punta Cana features 5-stars of seclusion and ultimate luxury. It’s an AAA Four Diamond Boutique hotel, equipped with a private beach and 8,000-bottle wine cellar. With 55 luxury suites all with a long list of amenities, Sivory Punta Cana is sure to pamper.

Punta Cana Dominican Republic Vacations with CheapCaribbean.com

Lounge on a chaise recliner on the private beach or take a dip in the infinity-edge pool.

Spend your days bouncing between the strip of private beach or cool, infinity-edge pool. When you need to satisfy a craving, take your pick from one of the three top-notch restaurants, including Gourmond, the only AAA Four Diamond-rated restaurant in the Dominican Republic. After your sophisticated palette has been satiated, finish up the evening with after dinner wine and a stop in the Cigar Lounge or head to Sybbar for some spicy music and signature cocktails.

Punta Cana Dominican Republic Vacations with CheapCaribbean.com

Dine at the Dominican Republic's only Four Diamond-Rated Restaurant, Gourmond.

There’s even an option to arrive by helicopter…how Commander-in-Chief of you.

A Romantic Getaway: Reward Hard Work

There’s no denying that after the pressure of the weeks leading up to election season are over, you’ll need a break…as will your running mate. Plan a vacation that celebrates one another, brings you back stronger and ready to embrace the country’s leadership.

Couples Sans Souci is a Jamaican paradise that only accommodates couples, making it one of the best options in romantic getaways. Spread out across 35 beachfront acres of cliff-side, Couples offers lush pathways for romantic strolls, private coves, with one special for au-naturel sunbathers.

Jamaican Vacation Getaways with Cheapcaribbean.com

Let the Jamaican beach view transport you to a world of no stress and utter relaxation

Your mornings can be spent in the curative mineral pool or mineral grottos hidden around the resort and the afternoon lends itself to some couple time at the swim up bar or one of the five restaurants for some signature Jamaican cuisine. Known for its jerk chicken, the Beach Grill is a perfect place to stop for an afternoon snack. And as the sun sets and the Jamaican twilight takes over, make sure to attend the Tuesday-night Beach Party or Friday-night Starlight Gala for dinner, dancing and cultural entertainment.

Romantic Jamaican Vacations and Trips with Cheapcaribbean.com

Catch the Friday-night Starlight Gala for dinner and experience the beautiful Jamaican twilight.

Don’t forget to book an excursion to Dunn’s River Falls, have a drink at Margaritaville or take a glass-bottom boat tour. Finish your day with a signature peppermint-sea-twist body treatment and see why Travel + Leisure has named this resort one of the best spa hotels in the Caribbean. Jamaica’s Couples Sans Souci is built for all couples alike and is sure to embrace the love and passion you’re seeking when on a couple’s getaway.

Win a Few Benjamins: A Gamble of a Holiday

Aruba is a destination where any presidential candidate would want to spend their R&R …especially if they’re really looking to let loose and take a gamble. The Westin Resort & Casino, Aruba is an all-inclusive resort that compliments lady luck and utter relaxation.

Aruba Cheap Vacations with CheapCaribbean.com

Stop in for a quick bet and some cash at the Westin Resort & Casino in Aruba.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Located on the world-class Palm Beach, the Westin Resort & Casino, Aruba mixes the world of high-end beach vacays with a world-class casino. There are 300 slot machines, a long line of black jack and roulette tables, among other casino favorites that give you the chance to bet big and win – a definite benefit to any vacation.

Aruba Beach Vacations with Cheapcaribbean.com

Take advantage of the amenities in addition to the one-of-a-kind casino.

When you aren’t spending your time submerged in a deck of cards and deciding what your odds are, there’s a free-form pool and Jacuzzi, ideal for some ultimate sun bathing. There are also five restaurants to choose from, with casual beachfront meal options to steak and seafood specialties, not to mention an extensive wine list and two hotel bars to serve you ice cold beverages.

If you need a break from your high rolling ways, a trip to Tierra del Sol Golf Course is just right down the road. It’s the only championship 18-hold golf course of its kind on the island. So while you’ll make plenty of bets inside this high-end casino, you have the satisfaction of knowing your next vacation to the Westin Resort & Casino, Aruba is a hole-in-one.

As this monumental day comes and goes, we’d like to remind you, of course, to get out there and vote. It’s your voice and you should use it to shout from the rooftops. After you submit your ballot, put the political smack in your back pocket temporarily and ask not what can your country do for you, but what where will you vacay next?