First of all, I hate you and I'm extremely jealous...Jk. Kidding.
To show that I am in fact totally and completely happy for you, I'm sharing my list of my most useful travel tips to help make your vaca the best ever:
Bring A Big Hat, Sunglasses, And A Book
For the beach as well as the plane ride down. I started doing this a couple of years ago as a backup plan, just in case I got seated near a Chatty Cathy (or Carl) or a cranky three year old. You may also want to consider earplugs and a sleeping mask. They say "Leave Me Alone" but with a stylish Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany's kinda vibe.
It's always better to bring everything you think you might need, rather than ending up at the mercy of the hotel's gift shop or lobby boutiques (or what your 20-something nieces packed, which, as it turns out, is mostly mini skirts, crop tops, short shorts, and tiny bikinis). I mean what if those stores don't carry anything you like? Or there's nothing good in stock in your size? I made the mistake of under-packing for a trip last year and had no choice but to room charge a wrap dress (and more!) at one of the resort's boutiques. Oh well. Needed something to wear to dinner. File under personal style crisis. (I'm afraid if I said fashion emergency, E! Entertainment Network's legal team might send me a cease and desist email.)
Approach Celebrities At Your Own Risk
Last winter, one of my nieces spotted a certain ex Bravo reality tv star, staying at the same resort that we were. My niece was sooo excited, she decided to approach her (rhymes with Nill Marin) and gush about what a big fan she was, how she'd loved the show when she was on it, etc. #BigMistake True Story: Later, over cocktails, we floated the idea of pretending to be Andy Cohen and paging her to the front desk repeatedly as a gag.
Turn Off Your Cell
No, really, turn it off. Especially if you're traveling outside the US. On another trip, one of us (#SwornToSecrecy as to their identity) ran up a cell bill for over $2,000 because he/she did not know that you shouldn't text with friends back home while in the Caribbean - especially if you don't have an international plan on your cell. This also gives you a nice little break from your gadgets and technology. And who doesn't need that these days?
*In case you really and truly can't deal without your phone, upgrade to an International Plan for the month you'll be out of the country. It's an extra $40+ per month min., but so worth it in the long run. And you can cancel it once you're back in the States.
Ciao for Now,
Photo Credits: All photos courtesy of PattyJ.com