TIPS FOR TRAVEL /// Do Your Research


Every group needs an 'Andie'. Andie took it upon herself to read all the reviews of the Resort (OASIS CANCUN) we were going to stay at and emailed everyone a list of things we needed to bring and what to leave behind. Reading the reviews was a scary task, but someone had to do it!
Here is the email our super prepared friend sent...

Trip Information
Houston →  Cancun: leave May 30 @ 6am, arrive 12:15pm

Cancun → Houston: leave June 3 @ 8:20am, arrive 4:55pm

So, I have read a fair number of reviews. If you are expecting to stay at a luxury resort for $650 all-inclusive, then you will be disappointed just like all the other schmucks that wrote reviews for this place. My guess is that it is a party hotel and far more people don’t write reviews than do- its only the angry folks that have something to complain about.
We are going to party it up for Darin’s birthday, not going to a 5-star resort because we are old and boring. We are not old and boring. Lets learn from other people’s mistakes and plan well beforehand to ensure we have an awesome experience.

**If anyone has any other tips about what to bring to make our trip awesome, be sure to add on!

If you so desire, it seems like its very easy to upgrade to an oceanside room, not sure how much though, probably depends on time of year. These rooms are higher up and generally more quiet. Then there is “Grand Oasis” status. I think its ~$200 extra a person and includes premier access to the restaurants and clubs and more of the bells and whistles of a nice hotel. Look more into it to find better details if you want.

At the end of the day, all the reviews say the beach is absolutely stunning. Isn’t this why we are going to Cancun?!?

What to do/bring:

- Bring CASH for tips: reviews say that maids will steal from you if you don’t tip them (!) also you get better service all around (bar!) with a few dollars in tips
- Bring a lock for your suitcase!!! (keep them locked when you leave the room!)
- Bring earplugs- its a party resort, its loud if you get put on a lower floor level
- Bring sunscreen and a hat (they do have a gift shop, but probably $$$ for basic things)
- Bring your own towel or wrap for the beach- they run out of towels quickly (doubt they allow you to bring room towels to the beach)
- Get to pool and beach early (like, 6am early) and put your belongings down to claim a chair.. otherwise they will be gone by 9 or so
*** I recommend buying something like this ( I will buy 2 for Russ and I- they inflate!) if you don’t want to only lay on your towel and want to guarantee that you always have a comfy beach chair:
- Bring snacks for room munching- marigold bars, almonds, nothing perishable obviously
- Make restaurant reservations early (again, like 7am early) if you don’t always want the buffet OR go into town for food and nightlife- take the bus. Very safe and only $1 per ride. Again, BRING CASH.
- A fluent Spanish speaker (woot Yvette!)

What NOT to bring:
-  VALUABLES- expensive jewelry, laptops, iPads, iPods and DSLRs UNLESS you plan to carry them with you to the beach, etc. (to lock anything up in the safe costs $5 a day)
***DO NOT leave any cash in your room. Ever. It will get stolen!
- An attitude: all the reviews say that if you are nice, the staff is very accommodating


Added to later after Andie and I read more reviews:
- Insulated cups to keep our cocktails cold on the beach
- Candles because many people complained about the stinch. It was bad.

Wish we would of brought: 
Rain boots /// Unusual? Yes, our room flooded.
Trashbags /// Because of the hotel flood and humidity, everything we came back with was wet.

> Also always bring: Tums, Advil, pepto tablets, disinfectant wipes... 
> When traveling CARRY ON! especially if you have connecting flights. Checking your bag and going through security multipule times is annoying, time consuming, and your luggage has a chance at getting lost.

















On Brandi ///

/// On Kelly

We know we're a day late... we were in and out of airports, buses and cars for a solid twelve hours yesterday. By the time we got home, the life was sucked out of us. Last Thursday, we left with the SFP* crew to celebrate our cousin, Darin's, 30th birthday in Cancun (woo!). From rain to shine, this trip had it all. 

Brandi and I took these photos on our last morning on the beach. We woke up super early to get out in the water before the crowd, soak up the sunshine, and do a little reading. Her current read is
Gone Girl (borrowed from Alexandria) which perfectly matches her love for the ID channel and other murder mystery shows. I started Divergent on Sunday morning to get out from my typical read. It took me a while to get in it, but it's good. We both have our eye on a book about the 'It Girl' for our next round. Can't wait to get my hands on it.

*SFP is our group of family and friends who travel and vacation together. This latest trip was our 4th annual, but the core of this crew have been together and getting into shenanigans since childhood.


Help! I need a couple of good books to take with me to Mexico! What should I get? #sfpgoestomexico

I always have to start packing a couple days ahead of time because... well I forget things.
So today I am thankful I had a huge cancellation at work so I have more time to pack and run around and get the things I need. I pretty much have everything I need except READING MATERIAL!!!! How did I leave this to last minute? Please help and tell me what I should get. I am so so bad at picking books! I need something to read while on the plane and at the beach. I have today and tomorrow to be prepared and then we are off in the wee hours Thursday morning.

Books I have really enjoyed:
-Perks of being a wallflower
-Bossy Pants
-The Great Gatsby
- Shop Girl
- Hunger Games
- The Drifters

That was just so you have an idea on what to reccomend.