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Travel tips from a recent honeymooner

My husband and I, honeymooners, are hot off the plane from a wonderful time in Riviera Maya, Mexico with my wonderful new husband, Chris. We stayed at The Royal Resort in Playa del Carmen and it was beautiful! Right on the beach and close to the city, we were able to enjoy the comfort of an all-inclusive resort but step away to the bustling streets of the city's 5th avenue easily and effortlessly. The staff was wonderful, always aiming to please, and the extra amenities like 24-hour room service and a 24-hour game room made for an exceptional stay. We would definitely recommend this resort to any adults looking for a relaxing and luxurious getaway.

Travel tip: consider using a travel agent and pack light!

It was tough for us to pick the right resort to spend our honeymoon since they all look so beautiful online, but for the first time we enlisted the help of a travel agency. Liberty Travel was able to work with our budget and find the perfect resort for us. Agents are also able to offer some extra discounts and perks since they have relationships with resorts. For example, we were given the My Time Package at our resort, which meant a $150 spa credit and an extra overall discount on our package.

Packing light is a pretty common tip, but especially relevant when traveling to a beach destination. I employed the trick of wearing a dress out at night first then reusing it as a beach cover up later in the vacation. Also, I've made the mistake before of packing 4 different pairs of high heels for the vacation. NOT NECESSARY! I wore the same 3 pairs of sandals all week, and I was comfortable and appropriately dressed. Even though our resort had a strict dress code in the evening - it's mainly for the men, cause hey, us ladies always look good!

Good reads

A relaxing beach vacation allows for plenty of time to catch up on a good book. I had many magazines and sleep to catch up on myself, but my co-worker Stephanie was also honeymooning at the same time and read 2 great books she recommends. The first, a novel called "Gone Girl" by Gillian Flynn is a New York Times bestseller suspense novel that Steph couldn't put down. The second she recommends is a fantasy novel called "The Night Circus" by Erin Morgen and was a bit more light-hearted.

Next on my book list is Emily Griffin's new book titled "Where We Belong". I absolutely love her previous series "Something Borrowed," "Something Blue" and "Baby Proof" which focus on two lifelong best friends, Rachel and Darcy, and a love triangle that develops between them. The first installment is told from Rachel's perspective and the second is told from Darcy's perspective.

Activities

Our budget was tight, so we didn't want to spend a lot on excursions. Luckily, our resort provided a daily list of activities that we participated in - everything from kayaking and bicycle tours of the city, to arts and crafts and pool volleyball games. This was a great way to enjoy our time and even get some sightseeing in without spending any extra money. Our resort even had nightly entertainment and shows including tequila tastings and Cirque de Soleil type performances. I definitely recommend asking the hotel upon arrival if there are any group activities that they facilitate.

We loved our stay in Mexico and would definitely go back. What vacations are you looking forward to?

October is Fair Trade Month!

Cooking with Sarah: Wonton wrappers and muffin tins