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The Best 2014 Travel Deals Around

It may be hard to believe that 2013 is quickly dwindling away. Naturally as the window to travel in 2013 gets shorter, you’ll need to start thinking about the vacations you’ll be taking in 2014. That’s why this week we’re going to discuss what are some of the hottest deals to be on the lookout for the upcoming year. Since the options are near endless for 2014, you’ll want to hold on to your excitement, vacation shopping is about get fun!

Now Jade Riviera Cancun: Your Family’s Paradise

If you’re in charge of planning the family vacation, you probably get plenty of requests from everyone asking for different things – good food, great beach, activities for the young kiddos and cool, hip stuff for the older ones, right? So naturally it’s important that the vacation you plan has something to offer for every single member of your family. That’s why Now Jade Riviera Cancun is a perfect fit.

Best Family Beach Resort - Now Jade Riviera Cancun - CheapCaribbean.com

This 4.5-star all-inclusive resort in Riviera Maya is a contemporary interactive hotspot with options for everyone in your group. Now Jade Riviera Cancun sits right on a half-mile of crystal clear beach with three resort pools, including an adults-only pool & swim up bar. There’s also an Explorer’s Club that offers a number of exciting activities for children ages 4-12, such as big screen movies under the stars, treasure hunts & even a ocean trampoline. And with Unlimited Luxury® dining options, you’ll have access to eight restaurants & six bars, as well. After having dinner and hanging out at the themed party on the beach, retire to your modern suite that accommodates the entire family and get ready to do it all over again.

Sandals Grande Riviera Beach & Villa Golf Resort: The Ultimate Couples’ Escape

While family vacations are a blast and definitely something we all look forward to, sometimes you’re looking to celebrate the romance just a bit. That’s why a week away with your significant other can be just what you need to rekindle the romance. Of course, you’ll be spending some quality time with the one who has your heart, but it’s still best practice to make sure that there are things each one of you can fully enjoy.

Best 2014 Couples Resort - Sandals Grande Jamaica - CheapCaribbean.com

When planning your 2014 couples vacation, you should consider Sandals Grande Riviera Beach & Villa Golf Resort in Jamaica. Located perfectly on 100 acres of Ocho Rios’ prime real estate, this resort makes its home on the pure, white sands of the Caribbean Riviera. There are more than 90 private & semi-private pools across the resort grounds, so you can easily find your favorite spot in the rejuvenating Caribbean sun. We also recommend experiencing the onsite golf course located 700 ft. above sea level and one of the courses Golf Digest Magazine has named “Courses to Play While on Vacation.”

And when it’s time to get your grub on choose from one of 11 restaurants with options including Caribbean cuisine at The Reef Terrace, Italian fare at Valentino’s and grill fare at Sandtrap Grille. After dinner, join in on the fun activities and themed nightly parties. You can participate in the couples’ game show, Lovers’ Passion or hang at the Beach Party Barbeque with live entertainment. Whether it’s a honeymoon, anniversary or just a simple getaway, Sandals Grande Riviera Beach & Villa Golf Resort is THE place to visit in the New Year.

Breathless Punta Cana Resort & Spa: Calling all the Partiers

Now if your vacation is all about catching some serious rays and having the time of your life, then your 2014 vacation spot is Punta Cana – Breathless Punta Cana Resort & Spa, more specifically. This luxury, adults-only 4.5-star resort caters to the fun, energetic lifestyle of singles, groups and any other occasions in need of a celebration.

Best 2014 Singles Resort - Breathless Punta Cana - CheapCaribbean.com

Come see what this Vegas-style energy center has to offer for yourself. Nestled between the jungle and ocean, this beachfront resort offers five swimming pools, including an expansive infinity main pool, two quiet pools and two xhale club pools. You’ll also want to take advantage of the 24-hour Unlimited Luxury® dining & beverage options with a total of 12 restaurants & eight bars. Among the bars, there’s MartinOX, a cigar club & oxygen bar serving top-shelf spirits and After Dark, a late night sports bar & nightclub. Opening November 2013, there’s no denying that this will be one of the hottest all-inclusive resorts in the upcoming year.

So as daylight gets shorter, the weather gets colder and the holidays quickly approach, it’s time to start looking to the future - your vacation future, that is. There’s no denying that 2014 looks to be a promising year full of family, fun and, of course, great vacations!

Where are you dying to go in 2014? Let us know in the comments below. 

A Letter to Your Boss on Why You Need a Vacay

Wednesday, October 16th is National Boss’s Day. It’s that special day of the year where we show appreciation to the people who we’ve learned from and those that lead us on to bigger and better things. Here at CheapCaribbean.com, after we’ve shown our appreciation for those above us, we can’t help but think that a great way to truly celebrate is to take a vacation. And in honor of it being National Boss’s Day, why not be prepared when you’re asking for the time off? Here’s a bulletproof “Letter to the Boss” on why you need & deserve a vacation.

Cheap Mexico Vacations - Boss's Day - CheapCaribbean.com

Dear Boss,

With plenty of work to do and everyone’s fully loaded plates, there’s no arguing that things can get a bit hectic around here. And while we all tend to go at about 110mph nearly all the time, it’s no surprise that a little rest & relaxation can do us all some good. That’s why I’m requesting a few days away from the office to spend some good, old-fashioned quality time with the beach. Not only can I promise that the time off will bring me back to the office feeling energized and ready to work harder than ever, but a beach vacation could potentially benefit us all.

Here’s why:

  • A beach vacation to the Caribbean or Mexico is the ONLY way to assure that I’m producing the best work possible. By unplugging from the day-to-day of our business objectives, I’ll be able to see things from a different perspective. There’s no arguing that working in the same environment time and time again can encourage redundancy and potentially put a cap on the unique contributions of all our team members. But spending a few days with a complete change of scenery will ignite a new fire, one that allows me come back feeling refreshed and ready to soar to new heights.
  • A vacation to a Caribbean or Mexico beach isn’t going to leave me feeling strapped for cash. So there will be no need to ask for more money, in addition to the time off. And that’s all because of the amazing deals I found at CheapCaribbean.com (shameless plug, I know). One of my favorite packages is Dreams Tulum. It’s right on the beach in Riviera Maya and features Unlimited Luxury®, which means it includes all sorts of delicious food and signature drinks. It’s also right by the historic Tulum site, which was voted #18 as the Best Destination in the Caribbean & Mexico by Trip Advisor. Beach on a budget? Sign me up!
  • And finally, a trip to the beach wouldn’t be complete without the ultimate souvenir to bring back all the great memories, right? A handmade picture frame or ceramic coffee cup is the perfect reminder of the time spent away and the positive energy felt while out of office. The great thing about the Caribbean & Mexico is that there are tons of local markets that offer unique souvenirs, perfect for the ultimate tribute to a picturesque vacation. But don’t worry; I have no intention of leaving anyone out. If you allow me the time off, I’ll be sure to bring back something fun and different for everyone in our office, in efforts to give everyone a constant reminder of how important it is to relax and stay current.

So as you can see a few days off the clock is just what I need to stay fresh. With sweet souvenirs for the whole office in hand, I’ll be back first thing with a rejuvenated spirit, crisp perspective and ready to work. And with such a fabulous deal from CheapCaribbean.com, how could you say no? Better yet – you could even book your own getaway. The choice is clear – beach vacations for everyone!

Please say yes!

Sincerely, 

Your dedicated employee

Now that you’ve got just what you need to get the time off work you’ve always said you can’t get, you’ve got no excuses. A beach vacation is just what you need and just what you deserve. Happy Boss’s Day…feel free to celebrate accordingly.

Bottoms Up! Signature Vacation Drinks You Have to Try

Sun, sand and a cold drink in your hand – three necessities while on your beach getaway. Here at CheapCaribbean.com, we do our best to provide the sun and sand, all with great deals…but the drink, that’s up to you. Have no fear…we’re here with a few of our island favorites to try on your next vacation.

If the Mexico beaches are where you plan on spending your vacation, we suggest you sip fresh made sangria or better yet, ask your resort bartender what’s his or her favorite. On our most recent trip to Secrets Capri Riviera Cancun, we asked for a specialty and our bartender suggested their famous Havana Lights Cocktail. They even shared the recipe with us, incase you want to give this drink a try at home before you go.

  • Three-fourths oz. light rum
  • Three-fourths oz. coconut rum
  • Three-fourths cup pineapple juice
  • Half oz. melon liquor
  • A few drops of grenadine syrup

Mix and shake the first three ingredients, then pour into a cocktail glass. Add a few drops of grenadine and then finish the drink off with a splash of melon liquor. Garnish with your favorite fruit and enjoy!

Resort Drink Recipes at Secrets Capri Riviera Cancun from CheapCaribbean.com

Grab a happy hour snack and drink at Secrets Capri Riviera Cancun's beachside cafe.

If you’d rather leave it up to the professionals, make plans to stay at Secrets Capri Riviera Cancun. You can also enjoy Unlimited-Luxury® which comes standard at this adults-only resort and promises kayaking, cooking demos, tequila tastings, floor concierges and Vegas-style shows. If this doesn’t sound like a beach bum’s dream, we’re not sure what does.

In Jamaica, you’ll find lots of drinks featuring rum, as it’s one of the island’s favorites. And while there’s lots of drink options on your Jamaican vacation, we asked our devote beach goers what was their favorite and the results are in. It was a tie between a Dirty Banana and Rum Punch – both island signatures.

Resort Drinks from Sandals Negril Beach Resort & Spa from CheapCaribbean.com

You don't even have to leave the ocean to get a refill at Sandals Negril Beach Resort & Spa.

Sandals Negril Beach Resort & Spa is a couple’s retreat, perfect for giving both of these favorites a try. This all-inclusive resort is fully equipped with top-quality liquor and five bars, including a swim up bar, making it virtually impossible not to ask a bartender for one of these sip-savoring signatures. Parked right on Seven Mile Beach, this Sandals resort earned a coveted Five Star Diamond Award for their top-notch service. And don’t worry, there’s seven restaurants, nightly entertainment and even a Piano Bar to make your Jamaican vacation one you’ll never forget.

Dreaming of the powdery white sands and crystal clear waters in Aruba? We are too. That’s why we recommend a luxury Aruba getaway to Occidental Grand Aruba, fully equipped with high-end all-inclusive, upgrade options, and of course, ice cold signature cocktails.

Aruba Drinks at Occidental Grand from CheapCaribbean.com

Dive up to one of the swim up bars and ask for your favorite drink at Occidental Grand Aruba.

Picture yourself sprawled out on a beach lounger while one of Occidental’s staff brings you a mouth-watering, hard-to-resist concoction. Our suggestion on what you should order? An Aruba Chi Chi. This drink is sweet and refreshing as it lends itself in similarity to a pina colada. Made with vodka, coconut, pineapple and ice, an Aruba Chi Chi is the perfect companion to a day spent on the beach.

So now that you have some of our favorites, tell us yours. Also, if you're looking for more drink recommendations, be sure to check out our website with even more options. Cheers, beach goers! 

Must-Do Adventure Vacations for the Thrill-Seeker in Us All

No matter if you're a self-proclaimed adrenaline junkie or just a tourist who likes to experience it all while on vacation, there are plenty of action-packed adventures that can take place in the Caribbean & Mexico. Here are a few of our favorite vacations to try if you're on the hunt for a thrill:

Jamaica is known for it's rich culture, beautiful beaches and plenty of one-of-a-kind excursions you can't find on any other Caribbean island. Pick a top-of-the-line resort and you can spend your days exploring this invigorating island and your nights with five-star service, food and fun. We recommend Grand Bahia Principe for the best of both worlds.

Jamaica Adventure Vacations from Cheapcaribbean.com

Bounce between beachfront relaxation and running off to your next island exclusive excursion at Grand Bahia Principe Jamaica

You can 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 2 swim-up bars for their popular dirty banana cocktails. The kids can hang at Principito for face painting and video games while you take advantage of the many onsite adventures, like kayaking, windsurfing or a ride on the catamaran.

If you're looking for an adventure that's fame-worthy, make sure to plan your trip to Port Antonio to explore The Blue Lagoon (yes, like the movie). While we can't guarantee you'll meet Brooke Shields, who made this location famous in the film, we can offer an enchanting, natural swimming hole with deep blue water, mixed with a fresh water spring, unlike any other swimming hole in the Caribbean. And don't forget that the legend tells the lagoon as bottomless with a resident dragon who lurks in these waters.

Another adrenaline junkie's vacation dream is Costa Rica. Costa Rica is the epitome of adventure and exploration. Toggling between iconic beach views and an Arenal Volcano, Costa Rica should be on every adventurer's bucket list. We've gone as far to plan out this Costa Rican adventure for you with our Liberia Guanacaste Costa Rica Adventure. This tour is a preplanned resort package that takes you through the city of Liberia, the Arenal Volcano, the Monteverde Cloud Forest and Tamarindo Beach.

Costa Rica Adventure Vacations from Cheapcaribbean.com

See all the natural wonders of Costa Rica is seven short days - an adventurer's dream!

Each day on this adventure you'll experience something different including a city tour of Liberia, Arenal Volcano exploration, a trip to Cano Negro Wildfire Refuge, time to wander the Monteverde Cloud Forest and sun bathing on the beach in Guanacaste. Don't worry, top notch accommodations are provided the entire time so you'll be able to unwind after your days spent exploring this miraculous destination.

If you're looking for adventure in Mexico, we'd suggest Riviera Maya. Known for its stunning beaches and private seclusion in the lush greens of the region, Riviera Maya is a vacation spot with a little bit of everything to offer. Dreams Tulum Resort & Spa is a top pick of ours when planning your Riviera Maya exploration.

Adventure Vacations in Riviera Maya from Cheapcaribbean.com

Enjoy the hotel's seclusion as you plan your next Mexican excursion at Dreams Tulum Resort

We're big fans of Dreams Tulum Resort & Spa because you're minutes from the Mayan ruins and sites of Tulum, while still experiencing Unlimited-Luxury® that comes standard at this hotel. When you're not busy exploring the ancient, stone temples and pyramids of this historic Mexican city, you can enjoy this family-friendly resort set on two miles of white beach lined with palms and mangrove trees. There's also a great Explorer's Club, perfect for kids ages 3-12, which will let Mom and Dad sneak off to the pool fully equipped with swim and walk-up bars. You'll want to plan a stay here to see why this historic city in Mexico was voted #18 as the "Best Destination in the Caribbean and Mexico for TripAdvisor's "Traveler's Choice Awards."

The Caribbean & Mexico are home to some of the most astounding wonders of the world. For more recommendations on thrill-seeking vacations, check out some more of our favs here. Be sure to share your favorite adventures with us too! Happy exploring!

Kara Williams of The Vacation Gals Guest Post on Living the Island Life

Live the Island Life in the Caribbean

By: Kara Williams, The Vacation Gals

Kara Williams, The Vacation Gals Blog for Cheapcaribbean.com

Sure, on any Caribbean vacation, there are likely tourist attractions you don’t want to miss – key landmarks that you must snap your photos of or must-do activities that are truly unique to that vacation spot. But there are some simple ways to see a more off-the-beaten-path side of your Caribbean destination – just like the residents who live there do. Plus, “living the island life” like a local means you’ll save money, too! Here are my tips:

Get friendly with your resort concierge
Instead of asking your concierge to book you a dinner reservation at the most upscale restaurant in town, ask him where he likes to eat when he's off duty. Better yet, ask the resort bartender, your waitress, your bellman or the kids’ camp counselor. You’ll get the insider scoop on the hot places to eat, dance or shop from the locals themselves – plus, whatever they recommend will be much less expensive than any restaurant, nightclub or shopping center marketed to tourists.

Visit the farmer's market
Again, find out where the locals shop for their everyday food and visit the local market to purchase picnic fixings for your mid-day meal. You’ll find that a grocery-store lunch will be much cheaper than eating at a restaurant. Also seek the local outdoor farmer’s markets, fruit stands or food trucks, and you’ll likely be standing in line with area residents also looking for cheap eats.

Literally go off the beaten path
Every city in the Caribbean has a main shopping and dining area, usually in the center of town. In Playa del Carmen, for example, it’s the pedestrian area of Fifth Avenue (La Quinta), while on St. Thomas it’s Dronningens Gade, better known as Main Street, in Charlotte Amalie. Wander a few blocks off the main drag and you’ll find smaller, quainter, cheaper shops and restaurants that cater to the locals.

Take public transportation
Not only are public buses and trains more colorful and entertaining than private taxis, they are so much cheaper, too. City transportation can be a nice alternative to trying to navigate in an unfamiliar resort town in a rental car you may not be fully comfortable driving. It’s also a great way to see how residents get to school and work every day. I loved getting around the island of Bermuda recently, because we had to take the local bus line since foreigners can’t rent cars on the small island with very narrow and curvy roads!

Remember safety first
While I absolutely advocate getting away from main touristy areas to get a more authentic feel for any Caribbean destination, you do want to keep your safety top of mind at all times. Bring an area map to your resort’s concierge desk and ask him or her to mark any regions of town that may be particularly unsavory. Trust me, you’ll still find plenty of places to explore off the beaten path!

For more ideas on how to “live the island life,” check out CheapCaribbean.com with its informative customer reviews about not only popular resorts, but fabulous out of the way places.