Tuesday, May 27, 2014

To Travel Is To Live

I've had this image pinned on my travel board on Pinterest for awhile and every time I come across it, I can't help but think of how true it is.

{Jamaica 2011}

John and I found out early on that we both share a love for traveling. I never travelled much before we started dating and he didn't either except for a few work trips. We took our first trip together to Las Vegas just 4 months after we started dating and that's what started the ball rolling. While we've never travelled anywhere outrageous, we plan on doing it very soon.

{Vegas 2008}

Our 6 years together have taken us to Vegas 3 times, Mexico 3 times, Jamaica, Napa Valley, New York 4 times, Gulf Shores twice, Chicago, San Diego, Orlando, and New Orleans. Just last year we were thrilled to be able to take 4 of those vacations.

Traveling is something that John and I enjoy doing together. It gets us away from home, away from the hustle and bustle of work and every day life. We hope to travel all over the world eventually. And we plan on always traveling, even if that means our vacation plans change to Disney and family friendly beaches. But right now while we can enjoy our alcohol induced naps on the beach, we will take advantage of every second of it!

{Gulf Shores 2012}

Since I post pretty much every trip here on the blog, I've gotten a lot of "you're so lucky you get to travel" and "I wish we could afford that" and so on.

So, I thought I would clear up some misconceptions about traveling, at least for us. I don't feel like we're lucky, I feel like we make smart decisions.

-You don't have to be rich to travel 
We are far away from being rich. We put a good chunk of money in our savings account every time we get paid. That is our emergency money and extra spending money if we need it and then if we see we haven't needed it for an emergency we might decide to book a trip. We usually only book a few months in advance so we know what our money situation is going to be like. We don't blow all our money on a vacation, don't think that. We always make sure there is enough there for emergencies. Not everyone handles their money like we do, so this may not work for everyone. But my recommendation is put some money aside out of every paycheck just for traveling; even if it is just $20. You'll thank me later.

{Cancun 2010}

-Get an airlines credit card
Best decision we've ever made. I hate that we waited so long to do it! Credit cards aren't for everyone, but that's how John and I make all of our purchases. We put everything on a credit card then pay it off completely every month. We're building our credit and getting airline miles for it too. We first got the Southwest airlines card before we got married. We put our wedding deposit on just a regular credit card about 10 months before the wedding and when we got the bill, we noticed there was a huge foreign transaction fee - and that was only for a $500 purchase. We knew that we would be spending thousands on the wedding so we needed to find a card where we wouldn't get slammed with those fees. John did research for a couple of months and he found that the Southwest Card didn't charge foreign transaction fees plus if you spend a certain amount of money within the first 3 months (which is what we would be spending on the wedding anyway) you got bonus miles. No brainer! We ended up using those miles to fly to New York last September when we went to for his cousins wedding, plus we still have some miles left over. Then after the wedding we decided to do the United Card since that's what we fly most often. We both signed up for one separately. The first year is free and we both got bonus points for spending a certain amount of money in the first 3 months. With the United Card you get free passes in the United Club, Priority boarding, free checked bags plus loads of miles to use on future trips. We flew to Vegas and Napa last year FOR FREE! And our trip to Cancun we just took? Those plane tickets were free too (except for the $75 international fee). We also are using miles to book our plane ticket to Miami in September to get on our cruise ship. That's 5 free flights for each of us in less than a year! So, get on it and go sign up for one of those cards!

{Napa 2013}

-Use Discount Websites
I'm pretty sure the only time we've ever booked a vacation through a resort or used a travel agent was for our wedding trip. I always use the discount websites. I am a huge fan of Expedia and we book most of trips through them. We've never had any problems with them. We just booked our most recent trip to Cancun through them as well. There are so many options for discount sites so check all of them to make sure you're getting the best deal. But make sure they're reputable and they guarantee your trip incase you get somewhere (especially a foreign country) and the hotel doesn't have your reservation!

{Cancun 2014}

-Go All Inclusive when you can 
Not everyone will agree with me on this, but we find All-Inclusives are the best bang for your buck. If you aren't a drinker, maybe it's not, but when you can throw back some frozen Riviera Maya's like me, it's worth it ;) I kid. But really, for us, All Inclusive is worth it. You don't have to worry about carrying credit cards or cash around, you don't have to worry about leaving hotel property and finding food to eat, and you can try so many different types of food and not worry about if you like it or not. You can always order something else :) Any place they offer an All Inclusive, we will absolutely book it over a non all inclusive place.

{Gulf Shores 2013}

-Be flexible with your dates
Sometimes our ideal dates to travel don't line up with what's most affordable so we have to be flexible. I spend a lot of time on travel sites when we book vacations to make sure we are getting the most affordable days. We wanted to go to Cancun for John's birthday in March, but prices were sky high. We found 1 week in April where the prices were about $500 cheaper so that's what we went with. Always do plenty of research on dates to make sure you are getting the most vacation for your money.

{Vegas 2009}

-Don't be afraid to ask for upgrades 
What's the worst that could happen? They say no. We've gotten some room upgrades just for asking at several hotels. Whether it be a higher floor, a better view or a master suite, something is better than nothing! Also, if you're a social media user, tag them letting them know you're coming! I tagged Dreams several times through IG and twitter letting them know we were coming back and while, we didn't get a room upgrade, they did send us chocolate covered strawberries to our room and they gave us a one of the best views in our room category we booked.

{San Diego 2011}

I encourage everyone to travel as much as you can. Our most favorite memories are the ones we've made in different cities being tourists, trying new things and just spending time together away from every day life. Hopefully some of these tips will help you go on some fabulous vacations soon!


Friday, May 23, 2014

Be Happy

Ever since the miscarriage, I've been in a major funk. I feel like I'm in a bad mood all the time and I just can't shake it. I'm not big on talking about my feelings so a lot of time I leave things bottled up inside until I break. And now I feel like I'm at my breaking point. I know it's ok to cry and to break sometimes. It's just hard for me to do that for some reason.

I try to to be strong and find positive in every day and then I log in to facebook and there's another pregnancy announcement, I get on IG and there's another picture of a baby, I get on blogger and there's another weekly bump date from someone or I turn my phone on and there's a text about something baby related. I can't escape it. I try to be happy for these people who I know have prayed for babies, but it's so hard. I especially have a hard time when people complain about things that I wish I had. The heartburn, the weight gain, the stretchmarks, the endless trips to the bathroom... some people would kill for that stuff (me) and then there are people complaining about it. It's hard.

What I've found is social media is the main source of my problems so I think it's time to step away. Not delete it but spend less time there so I can not see those things that hurt so often. And really focus on what I do have and the positives that are in our life.

I've seen alot of people doing this 100 Happy Days Challenge. I think this might be something I NEED to do. Even though it is on social media, I think finding something in every day that I can take a picture of to be happy about and thankful for can really help my attitude. I am all registered and my 100 day challenge will start today. The hashtag I will use on Instagram is #savanahs100happydays.

I hope this will help me get out of my funk and focus on the positives. I know that one day I'll have the desires of my heart and all this sadness will be in the past.


Tuesday, May 20, 2014

"Dream" Vacation: Part 2

I don't really think the next 3 days need alot of explainin'. We ate, we drank, we swam, we laid out. Over and over again. 

{Monday's breakfast in the buffet}

{lunch at Seaside Grill - and John's "mexican lemonade" he had way too many of}

{John got his Dreams burger!}

{another day, another wedding!}

{If you're reading this, Hi Nicole! You looked gorg!}

{listening to reception music from our room}

{the best food at the resort - Italian}

{another room service breakfast on Tuesday}

{started our day at the beach but it got too windy}

{hiding under the umbrella during a 5 minute rain storm}

{drinks in the lobby}

{room service feast for dinner Tuesday night}

{our last meal at the resort on Wednesday}

{3rd times a charm... If you don't know what I'm talking about, go here}

{sad faces!}

Unfortunately, that was the end of 6 days in paradise! I'm so glad we got to go back to the place where we got married and experience those feelings again! But I don't think we will go back there. I found that the resort is VERY populated with families and wedding parties. I didn't realize it last time because we were one of the large wedding parties. I felt like John and I were the only single couple there. If we're not traveling with a group, I think we'll pick an adults only next time. Dreams has spoiled us though and I think we will stick with the Dreams family of resorts like Secrets, Now, etc. The service, staff, drinks, and food were way above par and once we have a family, we'll go back for sure! Thank you again Dreams for another exceptional trip!

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