The moment has arrived. You're on vacation and ready to start relaxing. But now that you're there, what do you do? If you're like me, you want a healthy balance of relaxing, consuming too much alcohol and food, and having fun. Your destination will have plenty of included activities to keep you as busy as you want, but there are defiantly some options that will help enhance your trip.
How much you spend on these enhancements really depends on your personal budget and preferences. Within each type of add-on is a range of options to make sure the experience is unique.
The Top Five Splurges While on Vacation:
1. The Spa! The spa is one of my favorite ways to relax on vacation. Whether that's a cruise or a resort, having a massage or other service on the first day after arriving is the fastest way to switch into vacation mode. Services in the spa can be as simple as a Mani and Pedi or as elaborate as a couples massage in a private villa.
The prices for spa services on vacation are typically a bit more than what you would spend at home. This splurge is entirely worth it. The stress of the previous travel day just melts away.
Two things to keep in mind is that the gratuity is automatically applied to just about every spa service at a resort or on a cruise, so you don't need to add extra unless the therapist was extra good. Also, there is usually an upsell for the products they'll use in the treatment. If you're not interested, a polite no will usually help them change the subject back to the peaceful silence of relaxation.
2. Excursions! Getting out and exploring the island or area around the resort is a great way to experience local culture while in a safe group. When cruising, excursions are especially helpful because you can maximize the amount of time you have while in port.
Excursions can be as peaceful as a hop-on-hop-off bus tour around town where you can casually explore the city with a guided tour and hop off to shop or eat and then catch a future bus to take you back to the starting point. Or you can go on a Ghost Tour led by professional guides and storytellers who will explain the local history, and you may even experience some paranormal activity. For a romantic excursion, a Sunset Catamaran Cruise is sure to give you lots of great memories with your partner. Sail the open water with your partner as you sip on a glass of wine and indulge in a selection of cheeses. And of course, for the adventure seekers, going Zip-Lining through the forest will give you the dose of adrenaline you need. Zip-lining through the forest is one of the most requests excursions, and it's no surprise given how unique each trip down the line is.
3. Shopping! Shopping while on vacation may seem like an odd activity to have on this list. Everyone buys souvenirs and trinkets to remember their holiday and to give away as gifts. But a vacation is the best time to splurge on a new piece of jewelry, watch, liquor, or other more expensive items.
When you're traveling internationally, duty-free shopping is king. You can save hundreds of dollars buying the items you were already thinking about because you're not paying duties or taxes.
I've started a nice collection of Effy jewelry and various watches while traveling and have to fight the urge each time I'm out to not add any more.
If you're on a cruise, the port shopping guide can be a resource but keep in mind that they work for the shops and try to direct you to the ones they represent.
4. Expedited Customs and Lounges! For every international trip I book for a traveler, I always recommend the expedited arrival and lounges if offered at the airport. These services, like Club MoBay in Jamaica, will speed you through the arrival process with a personal escort. During the busiest of travel times, this can save you hours in the process.
Add in the departure lounge, and you'll have a place to relax in the airport while you wait for your flight. The lounges include drinks (liquor, beer, wine, and other non-alcoholic options), a selection of food, comfortable chairs, showers, a mini spa for one last shoulder massage, and better Wi-Fi than you'll find in the concourses of the airport.
5. The Best of Local Dining! On vacation, you're going to eat a lot of food. Even those that are on diets most of the year will eat more while on vacation. Food options at a resort or on a cruise are plentiful, but that is just a small sliver of options at your destination.
I love adding a stop at a local favorite to every itinerary at least once. This can be a super lovely Michelin Star restaurant or a small stand on the side of the road.
Near Sandals Negril resort in Jamaica, there is a small place just down the beach called Fireman's Lobster Pit that lets you literally catch your seafood from the ocean. Talk about a unique experience! But be sure to bring cash, because many small restaurants don't take cards yet.
I hope this list gave you some inspiration for what you'll do while on your next vacation. When you book your trip with Rainbow Getaways, I take care of all the planning to make sure that your splurge activities are scheduled and you have transportation. Ready to make your next vacation a reality? Schedule your initial consultation with me.
Rainbow Getaways is a full-service travel concierge specializing in travel for the LGBTQ community and our allies. Each vacation is planned to meet your specific needs, so you'll have a fabulous time. Be sure to subscribe to the Rainbow Getaways newsletter at the bottom of the page, so you never miss a post and like or follow us on Facebook and Instagram.