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Enjoy The Beach Holiday Of Your Dreams In The Cayman Islands

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When you ask someone to identify what their view of the perfect vacation is, they’re likely to tell you about rolling white sand beaches, a beautiful crystalline ocean and plenty of activities for the family to do around that. Who could blame them? In the pursuit of a career at home, or in inner-city living, the drabness can affect you after a while and leave you positively dreaming of a seaside escape.

If you’re looking for a holiday like this, you should place visiting the Cayman Islands at the head of your list. The Cayman Islands are a British overseas territory and is host to a plethora of wonderful attractions under the sun. Known for its scuba diving and snorkelling offerings, the Cayman Islands can satisfy and beach-lounger and aquatic adventurer alike. These Caribbean islands have everything you need to flourish, gain that coveted tan you’re seeking, and give you that perfect Island getaway in the security and safety of a beautiful resort.

But what else do the Cayman Islands have to offer? What can you do aside from lounging on the beach, which is amazing to do for the first few days of your holiday, but might need spicing up after a little while?

 

Grand Cayman

First of all, you should visit the largest and most populous out of the Cayman Islands, aptly named ‘Grand Cayman’. Grand Cayman is home to the ‘Seven Mile Beach,’ a heavenly expanse of sand that, despite what the name suggests is only 5.5 miles.

You’d be hard pressed to find anyone who would hold that against the beach though because what it might miss in those extra 1.5 miles, it makes up for in resounding beauty and fun to be had. The things to do at Seven Mile Beach are numerous. Bars such as the Royal Palms can help you relax and unwind with like-minded holidaymakers, while the Stingrays hosted at Stingray City allow you to experience a sealife form that many rarely get to come face-to-face with.

No matter the age, ability or demeanour of your family, on Seven Mile Beach you’re sure to smile the whole way round.

 

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Mermaid Statue

If you’re looking for a hint of magic during your stay, the Mermaid Statue situated around half an hour from the East End of Georgetown will give you the opportunity to scuba dive and see the beautiful bronze statue herself.  Standing at an impressive 600-pounds and a whopping nine-feet tall, this is truly a sight to see. It’s likely that you’ll be stunned at the move-like magic of witnessing her in person, so be sure to arrange a viewing immediately!

There has been plenty written about how the aspiring tourist should go for more cultural holidays; ones focused on celebrating high-art, high cuisine and high historical narratives. This is fine, but sometimes you just need an undeniably fun and beautiful beach resort adventure, and the Cayman Islands provide that. However, that isn’t all they offer, as the Cayman Islands have a rich history just waiting to be exposed if you scratch under the surface. Be sure you do, and you’re sure to fall in love with this magical place.

 

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Prepare Your Travel Essentials For Spring

Spring is here! Most schools are already in their spring break mode. A lot may have already planned in advance for the spring vacation. However, if you are amongst those who are still in the planning stage when spring has sprung (no pun intended), then here are some tips to help you prepare your travel essentials.

Travel documents

This is the most important aspect of everybody’s trip – the travel documents. This applies particularly to those who are travelling overseas. Ensure you have your visas (if needed), plane tickets, passports, traveller’s cheque (if you prefer to carry this), credit and debit cards, vaccination cards (if necessary to your destination), travel insurance, hotel voucher, and land tours. It is really wise to have all these ready few weeks in advance.

If you are travelling by road, it is best to still carry a travel insurance just to make sure you can make claims if the needs arise, but I sure hope you won’t have to use that. This vacation is all about fun!

Toiletries

Photo credit: glamorganicgoddess.com

Bring only what is necessary for your trip. Most hotels and resorts have provisions for free bathroom amenities including toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo and conditioner and even body soap. You can bring few portions on travel sizes. If you are travelling by air, please always check the allowed size for bringing toiletries in your hand carry.

Flu shots and other inoculation required

Spring break doesn’t necessarily have to be heading out to the beach. For us expatriates here in the Middle East, our usual go-to places are the US/Canada areas, Europe and Far East Asia. Why? It’s because the spring weather is very inviting before we embrace the arduous heat of the long summer months. Even the locals prepare to go to colder climate to unwind and take in the beauty of nature.

So, it is necessary to also consider checking the vaccinations required for the country you are visiting. I remember taking a flu shot the first time we flew to the US during spring time. We were prepared for the allergies and whatever spring has in store for us.

Warm clothing

Why warm clothing? Well, spring in other continents can be cold unlike spring on the other side of the planet. With that said, make sure you also check the weather forecast just so you have an idea of what to bring. A light cardigan or sweater will be perfect.

I have had spring vacations in the US and in Europe. If I have to compare the two, both continents still have a rather “wintry spring” temperature. So, I always carry my puffy jacket as well. Just make sure you bring some warm clothing you can layer and remove when necessary as the weather temperature rises or dips towards the day.

Insect repellent

This is one of the necessity that I bring during my spring break travels. With the spread of Zika virus and other bug-related diseases out there, I always carry a small insect repellent ant also wear wear protective clothing like long sleeve shirt during my vacation.

Make sure you read the label before applying the insect repellent. Test a small area on your skin to ensure you are not allergic. Also, take caution when applying this to smaller kids.

Sun block, shades and hat

Just because spring time is a great weather to be out and about does not mean you have to ditch the sunscreen. You are still exposed to the sunlight when you are outdoors. Apply sunscreen when needed and wear those nice shades or hat to ward of the sunlight against your face.

Enjoy your vacation and make the most of spring!

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What To Pack When Going To The Beach This Summer (For The Ladies)

Photo credit: livinggreenmag.com

It’s that time of the year again and every beach lover out there must be raring to drive to the nearest beach resort or even fly to a great seaside retreat for a nice soak and tan. If you’re one of them, you’re probably starting to fill your luggage with the necessities.

Here are the essential carry-ons for your beach outing:

For those who are going to take a flight:
Your travel documents, eg. passport, visa (if required), list of important numbers, hotel vouchers and other travel documents you deem required to take along
Enough cash, debit card, credit card (try to limit the use of this only for emergency)
Your medications in a pillbox, if required

For those who are going via land:
Hotel voucher for your booking
Enough cash, debit card, credit card (try to limit the use of this only for emergency)
List of important numbers
Your medications in a pillbox, if required
Some refreshments/snacks like cookies and water

And the essentials:

  • 1 or 2 swimsuits (depending on how long you plan to be in that resort)
  • 1 light weight cover-up like a caftan or a sari that can dry easily
  • a lightweight mat that you can fold and this is optional. You can borrow the ones in the hotel or resort.
  • 1 sunglasses
  • 1 hat or cap
  • 1 foldable umbrella that you can bring when beach umbrellas are not available or when you’re going to the market for sight seeing
  • a stylish beach tote bag (go for canvas or the straw kind so it’s breathable and sands can be easily shaken off)
  • 1 pair of sandal or a 1 flip-flop. My rule here is, you can only choose one. If you’re choosing the sandal, it better be water proof or at least, one that dries easily and can be worn fast. It has to be flexible that you can take it to other places and step it on the beach.
  • 1 or 2 shorts (depending how long you are staying in the resort.  I will stick to just 1 if you’ll be there only for 2-3 nights)
  • 2-3 light cotton tees
  • 1 pair of lightweight jeans
  • 1 lightweight cardigan for that night time relaxation in the cabana
  • 1 maxi dress for city touring if you need to
  • undergarments – a must!
  • 1 small sunblock lotion or if you want to tan, a tanning lotion
  • 1 lip balm with SPF
  • Toiletries like shampoo, cologne, body lotion and body gel in travel sizes that can fit a small pouch
  • A couple of sanitary napkins or liners for the ladies
  • A good book
  • A nice camera to document those precious summer moments
  • An mp3 like your iPod or other small gadget you can play music with

The list may seem long but when you’re actually packing them in the bag, they’re all compact and will easily fit a cabin bag. If it goes beyond that then that means you’re overpacking!

People who are planning for a trip to the beach must remember to pack appropriately for the occasion. Keep it light! Have fun, rest and relax and be safe!

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Passport Holders

Posted in passport holder, passports, travel documents, travel tips
on February 10, 2012

My family’s passports are always in their holders. I had the misfortune of finding my passport soaking wet one day and it ruined some of the visas I already have. I had to change my passport and cancel my trips because of that. And to this day, I still don’t know who “accidentally” spilled “tea” in my bag. That remains a mystery which caused my vacation!

So I learned a lesson the painful way. My and my family’s passports are well covered now and protected. Whenever we travel, I make sure that our passports are in their holders and I put all of them inside a zip-lock transparent bag. Yes! I can be very paranoid and going through passport renewal in our consulate here in Dubai is such a nightmare so I am not taking chances.
We’re not traveling to Tokyo this year. Maybe next year when my leave dates are settled. But that didn’t stop me from buying new holders for my daughter’s and my passport. They’re my favorite Kimmi dolls and they look like geishas. Aren’t they cute?

I have 2 other holders that I can use as replacement depending on my mood. For now, I am secured because our passports are covered properly and they are traveling in style!
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