There are only 52 weekends in a year, so go live: Concerts, Golf, Travel, Family, Friends, Vacation.
One of the best vacations my husband and I ever took was our honeymoon… not just because it was romantic, a time for just the two of us, and an amazing end to our wedding, it also opened the doors to new travel ideas! People often ask me how to begin traveling and where to go on that first vacation. Time and time again, I advise our clients to take a cruise as their first vacation. It’s one of the easiest ways to travel because everything is planned for you, and cruises expose you to several new travel destinations. If you love one of your cruise destinations, then start planning how you can go back! That is exactly how our honeymoon cruise inspired us to go on a week long vacation to our favorite port on the island of Roatán, Honduras for our first anniversary.
We got married while I was in law school, so money was tight… putting it lightly. By the time our first anniversary rolled around, I was another year deeper into law school and we were still on a strict budget, but I also had spring break! So, we started scoping out some great deals. This time, we focused on Groupon Getaways (which we have only good experiences with). We looked at different locations – with and without flights. We have found that for Western hemisphere travels, the non-airfare included Groupons are a better bargain than the airfare included options.
One night, Mike found an almost too-good-to-be-true Groupon Getaway – 5 nights at an all-inclusive hotel, Mayan Princess Beach & Dive Resort, with an introductory scuba lesson and airport shuttle service!
We had never stayed at an all-inclusive resort, but it seemed like it had all the things we loved about cruising (not planning food or drinks and fun activities included), and it gave us more time at our favorite destination on our honeymoon cruise! So, after a few drinks, we purchased the Groupon for $1,049 – after using Ebates, we got 6% cash back and 10% off, making our total purchase less than $900!
So… we ended up spending less than $180/night for:
- Unlimited food at multiple restaurants at the resort – if you go, really take advantage of the reservation required options. We had the most amazing meals at these specific restaurants!
- Unlimited alcohol – including fancy mixed drinks (My favorite: strong Caipirinhas; Mike’s favorite: Monkey La La)
- An introductory scuba lesson (gear included) that ended up counting towards our first step for certification!
- Snorkeling at the beaches
- A beachfront, ocean view villa with private balcony
- Fun activities on the beach like snail races and sand sculptures
Anyone would be totally happy staying at the resort with their amenities and beach access! My dad raised me to be an avid snorkeler, which I realize is not a typical thing to say, but we brought our own snorkel gear and fins so that we could snorkel as much as we wanted (my dad also recommended this when we first cruised to Roatán). We ended up snorkeling for at least two hours each day.
After snorkeling or diving for the day, we obviously needed to unwind 😉 so, we got beachfront massages! We did not opt for the massages at the hotel, but we chose a hotel slightly down the beach. Our masseuses, Olga & Silvia, were so good that we ended up going to them multiple times throughout our trip for pre-dinner massages. And for $30 for amazing beachfront 90-minute massages, how could we not go back?
During the time that we weren’t on the beach or getting massages, we hung out with our friendly Canadian hotel mates and explored West Bay Beach. We ended up finding this cute little getaway pool with a hammock, water slides, waterfalls, and $1 beers at the swim up bar. It was like our private escape with no other guests since the condos were still being built (Caribe Tesoro).
We both can’t wait to go again, but for now, we are off to other destinations!
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