Our most recent trip to Jamaica was by far the most anticipated and rewarding vacation we’ve had in years. It was the celebration of our mortgage payoff, the birth of our son [Baby r&R] and an opportunity to enjoy the fruits of our labor over the past few years.
It was also a meaningful vacation because it refreshed our commitment to travel as an activity that brings us closer as a couple and as a family. We’ve also come to understand that we do our best thinking overlooking amazing views so it was great to reset our hearts and minds with the sound of an ocean in the background.
We won’t bore you with a smattering of sun and sand pictures because you already know…it’s beautiful. But I will share a few more interesting tidbits from our trip.
1. Coming home with no lingering vacation bills is pretty dope
We paid for this trip in full several months ago. We booked the flights using Delta Skymiles and purchased the rooms at a hefty discount via Expedia. Since it was an all-inclusive resort, we didn’t have to pay for anything besides a few add ons and tips. We’re typically not huge fans of all-inclusive anything but given the year we had, we placed a premium on not having to think about payments or meals for a solid week. But even if we did splurge, knowing that there would be no lagging guilt from over-extending ourselves on vacation is an awesome feeling. Coming back to regular life was simply business as usual.
2. Luxury is “squishy”
Over the past few years, we’ve experienced the full range of hotels from jaw-dropping views at 5 star resorts to cold egg-like products at limited service breakfast bars. For us, there is no correlation between the joy it brings and the money it costs us. Put another way, oftentimes simple is best. Dropping major coin to stay at a “premier brand” hotel is pretty wack if you have to make a tradeoff on other parts of your experience. We’d much rather trade down on a room and opt for a service/experience that adds to the list of unforgettable experiences. Sometimes, that means we’d much rather stay at an AirBnb which we’ve done in Peru, Italy and Canada with no regrets. If you’ve never tried Airbnb, you’re welcome to give it a try and save a few bucks on us.
On this occassion, we opted for the butler service at the Hyatt Ziva Rosehall BECAUSE it gave us a larger room and an extra set of hands to ensure we got the rest and relaxation we truly needed. Having people you can call on a dedicated cell phone when your A/C isn’t working, to bring you jerk chicken and patties anywhere, anytime or to setup a cooler of beer on the beach was TOTALLY worth it.
To us, the convenience, exclusivity and time-savings made this a luxury experience; not the furnishings and finishes.
3. Traveling with a baby is as hard as you make it
We’d be retired already if we earned a dollar every time we heard some form of “I‘m glad ya’ll got the travel out of the way because once the baby comes…“. Almost every time we get on a plane there’s a baby on it so we know it’s definitely possible. While we understand the point-of-view, we believe a large part of the problem is that people overpack which makes getting around really difficult. Traveling by yourself can be difficult as is, so adding more bags and a baby makes it seem impossible. Yet, in his first 8 months, we’ve traveled on 3 occasions because we pack lean. Considering babies fly free as lap babies until they’re two years old, you can bet we’re taking full advantage of that perk while we can. We haven’t mastered it all but we get better after every trip. These are a few of the products that make traveling with a baby SO much easier.
- GB Pockit stroller– it folds down into a small carry on that fits in the overhead
- Munchkin food pouch spoon– attaches to the pouch
- Boon squirt baby dispensing system- Mr r&R’s personal fave!
- Ergo-baby carrier– keeps your hands free for…everything!
4. Reading is so rewarding
Mrs. r&R is by far a more voracious reader than Mr. r&R. While we both have different lists of activities we wish we had more time for, reading books makes both of our short lists. During this vacation, in between Baby r&R naps and rum binging, Mr. r&R read The Memo, by John Hope Bryant. and Mrs. r&R read Simplicity Parenting, by Kim John Payne. Both were excellent quick reads that left us with nuggets of great small talk on the beach and the flight home.
5. Stillness is an action
We are always on the go. Even in the fleeting moments where we have an opportunity to simply take a breath and be still we are often struck with the urge to fidget or do something. If you let them, vacations can remind you of the power in stillness. To be still, present and focused inwardly is an action; a conscious decision that many people don’t make often enough—us included.
This too, is at the core of rich & REGULAR’s purpose. We believe that at the end of our journey, we will have unlocked the most precious resource we have—our time. With that, I can assure you, a healthy dose of ‘nothing’ is on the agenda.