First Visit: Sandals Southcoast

First Visit: Sandals Southcoast

Have you ever been to an all-inclusive? This was my very first time! I did not really know what to expect
or how things would go. I learned so much, had a fantastic time, and even booked a future trip!

Sitting on Jamaica’s South Coast, the resort is a 90 min car ride through the mountainous interior of the
island. Transfers are included with your Sandals resort stay, so no need to worry or struggle to find a car.
Upon arrival at Montego Bay airport, you make your way through customs and onto the Sandals lounge.
Your bags are tagged, and you can head inside for drinks and snacks (all included) while you wait for
your transfer.

Once your friendly driver gets you to the resort, you are guided to check-in. Depending on the room
level you book, how you check in differs slightly. Luxury-level clients will be directed to check-in at the
lobby. Club and Butler level clients head to the Club Sandals building for drinks and check-in. Butler
guests are taken directly to the room by their butler and the check-in process takes place right in your
room!

We were celebrating our 20th anniversary and we booked a swim-up Rondoval Butler suite. The room
was beautiful and so private! Our butlers, Tiffany and Alicia, were fantastic ensuring our stay was
relaxing and romantic. There are 20 Rondovals each with its own swim-up area of the pool along with a
private plunge pool.

There was so much to do at South Coast! While it’s a bit far from the main excursions in Ocho Rios, there
are opportunities to tour waterfalls and even a local rum distillery. On the resort property, so much is
included! Paddleboarding, kayaking, golf, snorkeling, windsurfing, and scuba diving (if you are certified –
if you aren’t you can be!) After all that fun, be sure to just relax and enjoy the beach or the pool. Grab a
drink at Latitudes Over the Water Bar or from one of the swim-up pool bars.

When they say everything is included – Sandals means it! With room service and 7 restaurants, there is
no shortage of amazing food options. Every meal we had was amazing. With options ranging from
Mediterranean, Sushi, Asian, and Italian there is something for everyone. And we loved the 24-hour ice
cream shop!

Overall, we had the most amazing trip, and I cannot wait to experience another property. With resorts
for couples all over the Caribbean, Sandals has a place for you and someone special no matter what kind
of trip you are looking for!
Sandals has a sister property, Beaches, that caters to families and friends. Beaches resorts are located in
Jamaica in Negril and Ocho Rios as well as in Turks and Caicos. I’m looking forward to experiencing these
very soon!

Andrea Trelles

Black Friday and End of Year Travel Deals

Black Friday and End of Year Travel Deals

We’ve been working hard to round up some of the Black Friday/Cyber Week deals that have been released, as well as deals that will make you look like a hero when you surprise your family with their next vacation as their holiday gift!! Here are some of the amazing travel deals you can find in the coming days and weeks. One of our skilled travel agents would be happy to help you choose the best vacation for you and your loved ones.

Walt Disney World Resort

Save Up to 35% on Rooms at Select Disney Resort Hotels in Early 2021
Available to book now through March 15, 2021 for most nights January 3-April 17, 2021

Disney Visa Cardmembers: Special Rates on Select Rooms at Select Disney Resort Hotels
Available to book through February 28, 2021 for most stays through February 28, 2021.

Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa in Ko Olina, Hawai’i

Save up to 30% on select rooms at Aulani Resort for stays of 5 consecutive nights—valid from January 4, 2021 through March 11, 2021. Book through March 7, 2021. Book by December 1 to enjoy a $250 Resort Credit for stays of 5 consecutive nights, or a $150 Resort Credit for stays of 4 consecutive nights.

Disney Cruise Line

25% off prevailing rates as quoted by Disney Cruise Line by booking Verandah Category with Restrictions (Category VGT):

3-Night Bahamian Cruise from Port Canaveral (Disney Dream)
March 26, 2021 | April 30, 2021 | May 7, 2021 | May 14, 2021 

4-Night Bahamian Cruise from Port Canaveral
Disney Dream: March 22, 2021 | May 10, 2021
Disney Fantasy: May 29, 2021 

7-Night Eastern Caribbean Cruise from Port Canaveral (Disney Fantasy)
March 20, 2021 | April 17, 2021 

7-Night Western Caribbean Cruise from Port Canaveral (Disney Fantasy): April 10, 2021 


25% off prevailing rates as quoted by Disney Cruise Line by booking Oceanview Category with Restrictions (Category OGT):

4-Night Baja Cruise from San Diego (Disney Wonder): April 7, 2021


25% off prevailing rates as quoted by Disney Cruise Line by booking Inside Category with Restrictions (Category IGT):

4-Night Baja Cruise from San Diego (Disney Wonder): April 26, 2021 

5-Night Baja Cruise from San Diego (Disney Wonder): April 2, 2021 

Universal Orlando Resort

Ticket Promo: Buy 2 Days, Get 3 Days Free – available for 2 park base tickets as well as park-to-park tickets. Book by 1/6/21 | Travel by 8/31/21

Save up to $800 Package
4-night minimum stay at any of the on-site resorts at Universal Orlando; 2-park, 2-day park-to-park and get 3 days free. Book by 1/6/21 | Travel by 8/31/21

Black Friday Sale – Save up to 40%!!
4-night minimum stay at Cabana Bay Resort – Deposit due upon booking (no courtesy holds). Available Sunday-Thursday (Friday and Saturday night will not be discounted); 2-park, 2-day park-to-park and get 3 days free

Available for booking 11/27/20 *will be very limited and likely to sell out quickly*
Travel Windows: 11/29/20-12/25/20 ** 1/1/21-3/25/21 ** 4/11/21-4/30/21

Sandals and Beaches 

Thanksgiving Sale
Book any qualifying Sandals or Beaches Resort vacation of 6 or more paid nights and receive a pair of Waterford Elegance Collection Wine Glasses when you book by November 26, 2020. Travel through December 26, 2021. Blackout dates may apply. Trip must be registered within 72 hours of booking to qualify. Combinable with other Sandals and Beaches promotions (such as 7-7-7). 

Karisma Hotels & Resorts

Cyber Sale
The Cyber Sale is here, meaning the best rates of the year are available for a limited time. Treat yourself to the getaway you deserve — it’s been quite a year — and enjoy beachfront bliss, soothing spa treatments, Gourmet Exclusive® dining, unique experiences, and more. It doesn’t get any better than our Cyber Sale rates, and they certainly won’t last. So secure your tropical getaway and give yourself something to look forward to. Rates as low as $99 per person, per night. Up to 80% off. Some resorts and/or room types offering up to $1000 in resort credit, as well as $1 swim-up upgrades. Discounts and availability may vary by resort.

Riu

Black Friday Sale
Take advantage of riu.com’s Black Friday sale to book your next beach or city vacation. Enjoy up to an extra 15% OFF in all-inclusive beach resorts, or up to 20% OFF* in your favorite city hotel. Book by December 4, 2020 for through Dec 23, 2021. Changes made to reservations after December 4, 2020 will null the promotion. Rates and discounts vary per hotel and travel period according to availability.

Margaritaville Hollywood Beach Resort

Black Friday – Cyber Monday Sale
Dive into the clear turquoise waters of South Florida and go where the weather’s always warm with our largest annual flash sale of the year! Enjoy up to 30% off guest rooms and suites for stays November 27, 2020 through June 30, 2021. Don’t wait too long – flash sale ends November 30 at midnight!

No minimum length of stay required. Offer subject to availability and blackout dates apply. Full pre-payment is required at time of booking. Payment is refundable without fees if cancelled or rescheduled prior to 72 hours of arrival. Offer cannot be combined with other 3rd party bookings, rate discounts, packages, promotional or group offers.

Margaritaville Orlando Resort

Black Friday-Cyber Monday Sale
You can receive up to 30% off of the retail rate at Margaritaville Resort Orlando and a one-time $50 resort credit when you book on Black Friday (November 27) and Cyber Monday (November 30, 2020)! Plus, for this deal, we will have a flexible cancellation policy. 30% off of the retail rate will also be available to book December 1-4, 2020 (no resort credit offered when booked these dates). Available for travel through 12/30/2021.

Hotel Blackout Dates: 12/26/2020 – 12/31/2020, 2/5/2021, 5/11/2021 – 5/12/2021, 6/4/2021 – 6/6/2021. Cottage Blackout Dates: 6/4/2021 – 6/6/2021. Additional restrictions may apply.

Encore Resort at Reunion 

Black Friday/Cyber Week Flash Sale
You can receive up to 30% off of the retail rate at Encore Resort at Reunion, as well as a one-time $100 resort credit when you book on Black Friday (November 27) and Cyber Monday (November 30, 2020)! Plus we will have a flexible cancellation policy. 30% off of the retail rate will also be available to book December 1-4, 2020 (no resort credit offered when booked these dates). Available for travel through 12/30/2021.

Encore Resort at Reunion is right in the heart of all of Central Florida’s world-class attractions. When you stay at Encore, you get more time to relax and have fun, with free transportation to and from Walt Disney World, Universal Orlando, and SeaWorld Orlando, which are all just minutes away!

Available through 12/31/2021. Blackout dates: 3/23/2021 – 4/4/2021. Additional restrictions apply.

Royal Caribbean

Cyber Week Sale!!!
Save up to $550 when you book now.  60% off the second guest. Children 12 and under sail free all year long. And “Cruise with Confidence” (for sailings through April 30, 2022): Guests can cancel their reservation up to 48 hours before they sail and receive a Future Cruise Credit. And you’ll get our Best Price Guarantee.

Available for booking from November 24, 2020-December 1, 2020 for sailings starting January 1, 2021 and beyond.

Norwegian Cruise Line

Black Friday Sale 
30% off all ships and all destinations + 5 FREE offers, including FREE Open Bar, FREE Specialty Dining, FREE Excursions, FREE WiFi, and FREE Kids – a total of $2,900 in value! Feel free to Break Free with Norwegian! Must book by November 27, 2020 for sailings starting January 1, 2021 and beyond. 

Carnival Cruise Line

Cyber Blowout Early Saver Sale
Cruises from $65 per person/per day; Reduced deposits as low as $50 per person (deposit may vary by ship); FREE room upgrades!! Must book by November 29, 2020 for sailings through April 2023.

Azamara

Thank You Sale
In the spirit of giving, we have extended our Double Upgrade offer and added a little something more to ignite your wanderlust. With our new Thank You Sale, enjoy up to $1,000 in onboard credit, plus a complimentary two-category stateroom upgrade on select sailings when you book by December 5, 2020 for select 2021 sailings.

Palace Resorts

Gather Everyone for the Holidays

BOOK 1 ROOM, GET 1 ROOM FREE
Give the best holiday gift t—exclusive 2-for-1 savings for stays December 22 through January 3. Set the scene: You and those you love celebrating the season wrapped in all-inclusive luxury, enjoying fine cuisine, premium beverages, amazing entertainment every night, and a resort specially decorated for the holidays.

  • Kids & Teens Stay Free at Select Resorts
  • Free Airport Transfer at Select Resorts
  • 250+ Preventive Health Measures at Every Resort


You can use both rooms at the same time, or you can enjoy your free room to try out one of our other fabulous resorts on a separate vacation. What’s more, you can even gift their second room to someone they love. And don’t forget about Purely Palace, our comprehensive sanitation program with more measures in place to assure everyone’s health and safety.
Book by December 4, 2020/Stay Through January 3, 2021.

Atlantis Paradise Island Bahamas
Atlantis, Paradise Island, | Atlantis Resorts | The Bahamas

Cyber Week Sale
2021 Rooms for $202.10 – plus Book Now, Pay Later! No deposit due at time of booking!! Pay just $202.10 per night for stays at The Royal at Atlantis for stays of 2 nights or more. Offer available for select room types and is based on availability. Book by December 1, 2020. Available for travel December 10, 2020-November 30, 2021. 

Trafalgar
festive street Locorotondo Christmas markets in Italy
It’s here! Enjoy BIG savings of up to $650* pp across our “Best of” trips on all 2021 departures. Now is the time to book your 2021 trip with us, with our risk-free, flexible booking conditions and the added assurance of knowing your wellbeing is our priority.


Disclaimer: Please keep in mind that the availability and terms of any of the above deals are subject to change at any time. Please check with one of our travel agents for the most up to date availability.

 

A big shout out to Aly Hirst for rounding up the best deals!!
Jamaica: More Than Just Beaches And Resorts

Jamaica: More Than Just Beaches And Resorts

My first trip to Jamaica was in 2019 and it definitely won’t be my last! I was blown away by the amazing turquoise waters, lush mountainside but more importantly, the amazing people!

We all know that Jamaica is known for its great beaches and tropical sunsets, but there is a lot more to do than go to the beach. Although this is a great way to spend a vacation, some people want to be able to do a little more and see Jamaica and all the things that it has to offer. Here is a list of some of the most amazing things to do in Jamaica that don’t involve sitting on the beach and catching some rays.

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Water Other Than The Beach

Fire-Water Pond– Windsor Mineral Spring is located at St. Ann’s Bay. This pond gets its’ name because it really can catch on fire. It is said to have such high levels of sulfur that the surface of the water can catch fire. For decades, locals have talked about the rejuvenating and healing potential that this small body of water has. Residents are also known to cook on this water, as well.

Blue Hole– This beautiful “cenote” type body of water is rumored to be bottomless, according to locals. The turquoise blue water is surrounded by some of the tremendous tropical greenery that makes Jamaica beautiful. It is the perfect place for some snorkeling, swimming, and many people love to jump in from the vines in the trees that surround the Blue Hole.

Black River– This 33-mile-long river is the perfect place to see one of Jamaica’s most rare creatures, the crocodile. These animals are a rare sight in Jamaica, but they can be seen in the Black River near the southern coast of the island. A tour of the Black River is a great way to get into the wilds of Jamaica and get in touch with its’ wildlife.

Pirate City Under the Sea– Port Royal was once known as the most wicked city in the world, and now it sits under about 40 feet of water. An earthquake destroyed much of the town and killed hundreds of people, and what it didn’t destroy was laid to rest underwater. It is a great place to go diving to tour the pirate city that was cast into the sea.

Luminous Lagoon– This lagoon has a fantastic “glow in the dark” quality that comes from the microorganisms that call it home. The Luminous Lagoon is located in Falmouth, Trelawny, and there are only three lagoons like it in the world. Tours offer visitors an unforgettable experience as they can swim and dive in such a rare body of water.

Swimming With Horses– This is an attraction that is offered at some of the resorts across Jamaica, such as Half Moon Resort. These resort train thoroughbred horses to swim with visitors on their backs. Many people say that riding a horse is a spiritual experience, imagine getting into the water with these majestic creatures who, by the way, are great swimmers.

Into The Mountains

Mystic Mountain Nature Park– There are vast mountainous areas to see in Jamaica as well, including the mountains of Ocho Rios. Whether it is on their “bobsled”-like rollercoaster or zip line, visitors can explore the 700-foot-high peak of Mystic Mountain. It is splendid fun that is a great way to see Jamaica in a way that most people don’t consider.

The Blue Mountains– The Blue Mountain range is the longest mountain range on the island of Jamaica. Who considers camping when they are in Jamaica? Well, these mountains are lush with tropical forests, and they are the perfect setting for camping, hiking, and biking.

Great Places To Eat

Rick’s Café– Rick’s Café in Negril, Jamaica, sits atop beautiful 35-foot tall cliffs overlooking the ocean. Aside from the great food and drinks, visitors can go cliff jumping off these cliffs. Some daredevils even jump from the trees and other buildings that line these cliffs. Then some want to enjoy the Jamaican sunset from these cliffs.

Floyd’s Pelican Bar– This bar and restaurant is built from driftwood and sits atop stilts on a sandbar that is about a quarter of a mile out to sea. It is just a 20-minute boat ride from the coast of Negril. It is the perfect place to spend an evening swimming, sunbathing, and enjoying some great food and a cold Red Stripe.

Most think of the beaches of Jamaica when they are looking for things to do, but take the time to look into what is around, and you may find some memorable experiences. Jamaica has a beautiful culture and a landscape that is just as diverse as anywhere else. There are great people, tropical wildlife, and things to do inland and on the coast. Just expand your horizons and see all the things that Jamaica has to offer.

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Amanda Mann

amanda@livingwiththemagic.com

Top 10 Reasons to Use a Travel Agent

Top 10 Reasons to Use a Travel Agent

Now, more than ever, travelers are seeking assistance from travel professionals with planning their future vacations. With so much uncertainty in the world, having an expert in your corner helping you every step of the way not only helps to give you peace of mind when planning your trip, but it also ensures that you will be able to rest easy knowing that  your Travel Agent has thought of everything for you.

So, why should you use a Travel Agent?

  1. You won’t pay anything additional for your vacation package when you book with a Travel Agent versus booking your vacation directly through the destination. Utilizing an expert that can personalize your entire vacation is truly invaluable; the expertise and knowledge you’ll gain from using an agent will help ensure your vacation is as relaxing and worry-free as possible!
  2. Using a Travel Agent is a huge time-saver! There are way more important things you could be doing than wasting time comparing prices on countless confusing travel websites.
  3. Travel Agents have access to quickly find deals and special offers that may not be clearly visible for you to find in your searches.
  4. You can’t beat the customer service when you book with a Travel Agent. You’ll never get an automated answering service when you call your Travel Agent. Need suggestions or help sorting something out? You’ll get through to your agent a lot quicker than you would if you booked through some of those websites you search through. And your agent will do everything they can to help you get what you need, stat!
  5. Your Travel Agent will be your main point of contact from the time you start planning until after you return from your trip. They can also be as much (or as little) involved in the planning process as you’d like them to be.
  6. Not sure where you want to travel? Your Travel Agent will help you come up with some great ideas for destinations, while also keeping your budget in mind.
  7. Your Travel Agent will follow up and follow through to see that all of your special needs and requests are met whenever possible, as well as make sure you are aware about any deals that you may be entitled to.
  8. When you use a Travel Agent, you can rest assured that in the event something goes wrong on your trip or you have an emergency requiring last minute changes, your Travel Agent will be there to do the legwork for you so you don’t need to worry about any of that.
  9. Most online travel booking sites require you to pay your entire trip cost up front, regardless of when you book. When you book with a Travel Agent, you may be able to set up a payment plan to make smaller payments over time.
  10. Travel Agents love what they do and truly value your business!

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Beaches Ocho Rios

Beaches Ocho Rios

For a limited time, book your family on the ultimate beach vacation for an incredible price! Rates as low as $159 per person, per night in 2021 at Beaches Ocho Rios!

Beaches Ocho Rios has something for everyone in the family. If you’re game for “surf & turf,” from a huge action-adventure waterpark to championship golf for the whole family, look no further than Beaches Ocho Rios all-inclusive resort, voted among the Top 10 Best Beach Resorts by Parents magazine. Twenty-two acres of lush tropical gardens, a gorgeous private white-sand beach, seven gourmet restaurants, five fantastic swimming pools, a dedicated scuba practice pool and an entire ocean of watersports are just a few of the places & things to explore.

If you’re looking for a family beachfront getaway with an intimate private beach, a Pirates Island Waterpark, extra large accommodations, the only all-inclusive golf program for kids and near Jamaica’s best attractions, Beaches Ocho Rios is for you.


Image may contain: ocean, sky, tree, cloud, outdoor, nature and water
Greek Honeymoon Beachfront Walkout Concierge Suite

This resort is ALL INCLUSIVE!!! That doesn’t just mean food and drinks….that also means:

  • All tips, taxes and gratuities (NO TIPPING!!!)
  • Roundtrip airport transfers
  • Kids Camp with certified nannies
  • Pirates Island Waterpark
  • Caribbean Adventures with Sesame Street®
  • Liquid at Beaches nightly teen club
  • Xbox Play Lounge
  • PADI-Certified SCUBA diving
  • Snorkeling
  • Complimentary Green Fees in Jamaica
  • Unlimited land sports
  • Unlimited water sports
  • Fitness center with state-of-the-art equipment
  • Day and night entertainment including live shows
  • All amenities and inclusions at all other Beaches
  • WiFi in room & all common areas

*Select dates available. Blackout periods apply. Rates above are sample rates based on a family of 4, 2 adult and 2 children). Must book by May 20, 2020. Rates are based on booking 7 nights. Rates are available for less nights but the same discounts may not apply.

Self Care and Travel

Self Care and Travel

With back to school upon us, self-care for moms is a ubiquitous topic on social media and even the news. We are told everyday in the media we should be taking care of ourselves. Sounds simple enough, right? But what does self-care look like, and how can we really do it? Sometimes seeing past the stress to even know what we want to do is hard. Like any other task, breaking down possibilities into smaller segments is a fantastic approach.

Start small: how can I rest today? This week?

This month? In the next six months?

For today, try taking a walk. Unplug the phone. If you have small kids, even just a lap around the block with the stroller or putting on some dance music in the house can do wonders. If you are working, maybe a quick walk outside at lunch or an outdoor spot for an afternoon coffee break will help. Be sure you take those lunches and coffee breaks! The daytime downtime is important. A few times a month try to schedule a date with a friend or your significant other. Not everything has to cost money – simply going to a park, the beach, or a walk around the neighborhood will give you a chance to talk and reconnect.

Happy Coffee

My neighbor and I walk in the mornings after she drops her kids at the bus
– it gives us an hour or so to exercise and chat, before she’s off to start her workday. My husband and I try to go out to dinner a few times a month. We talk about the mundane but we always try to add in a “hopes and dreams” section in our conversations. It’s fun and helps us stay focused on each other. It’s so easy to get caught up the day-to-day demands of work, kids, house, stress.

Photo of Woman Wearing Pink Sports Shoes Walking

One of my favorite self-care opportunities is taking experiences with the family. My husband and I try to get away once a year overnight just the two of us. We are fortunate to have parents who are able to stay with our kids. We don’t always do something big – sometimes it’s a hotel in our city, sometimes a neighboring city, sometimes it’s a big bucket list trip like a cruise. If family isn’t available, see if you can swap childcare with a friend. It takes a little planning and coordination, especially if you have special
needs kids, but it’s worth the time and effort.

Two Person Holding Hands While Sitting on Grey Cushion

The last planning point for self-care is to dream big! What’s your bucket list item? Maybe a family trip to Europe. Or Disney World. A beautiful beach somewhere. The mountains in the fall.

Travel has a way to refocus our priorities and connect the family. My very favorite thing about travel destinations is seeing families (multigenerational, teens, toddlers, parents) connect. They are walking
through the theme parks laughing, talking, and enjoying their time together. In more exotic travel locales, many phone plans don’t work so there is an absolute disconnect from daily life.

Here are a few ideas for long-term planning:
– Take a trip to Beaches (with family or friends) or Sandals with your significant other. Everything is included but your airfare, leaving with you nothing to worry or think about.

– Cruises – something for everyone. Activities for kids, a spa, deck sports, shows, and amazing food. Unpack once, visit many locations!

Girl Enjoying on Beach


– Disney/Universal/Sea World – perfect for families, multigenerational trips, and even adults. My husband and I enjoyed a 24 hour date at a Disney Resort before grandma brought the kids down. It was amazing.

– Living With the Magic is hosting a Girls Getaway Weekend in April 2020. I went last year with my college sorority sisters – we celebrated 20 years of friendship! There is something special about spending time with your village.

This weekend, set a short term goal to look at the calendar and see what’s open. Make a plan for short and long term self-care. Together we can strengthen our human connections, relax and refresh!

Let’s get excited, plan a trip, and I’ll See Ya Real Soon!

Contact Andrea