Cancun is calling and I must go. As a travel advisor, I need to experience destinations to be able to give travelers a vacation that is personalized to their specific definition of perfect. So the end of this month (Apr 2021), I’m leaving on a jet plane. Follow along with me as I plan my trip and then enjoy going on it and posting about it.
I know, it’s a terrible burden but someone has to do it. Seriously though, for me it won’t be all fun and games. The main part of this trip is a FAM (travel agent FAMiliarization) trip. So that means there are mandatory meetings and site visits that I am required to participate in – for 3 straight days! But as much as I love the snow, it’ll be good to have some beach time.
In Cancun, I will have some down-time before and after the FAM since I am going a day early and staying 2 days afterwards. My husband thought about going with me, but he is excluded from the FAM part and didn’t want to spend 2 days traveling to have 2 days on a beach. When I was looking to see if I could get him different flights, I saw that Southwest Airlines allows you to bring your golf clubs as your 2nd piece of free checked luggage. Then when he decided not to go – I had this brilliant idea to bring my golf clubs. 🙂
Well, that presents its own problems: I only golfed once last year and only went to the driving range once this year so I’m a “bit” rusty! AND it’s supposed to snow here in Conifer Colorado up until about a week before departure. *sigh*. That means I’ll be going to the driving range, working on putting and my short game (which always kills me) and trying to get a couple of games in the week before I leave. Like I don’t have enough to do before leaving on a trip! See my Twelve Month Countdown Check List which I’m squeezing into a month.
Part 1 – Figuring Out Where to Stay
For the FAM trip part, I am staying at the Azul Beach Resort by Karisma. I requested to have my pre-night also be at the Azul, but I haven’t heard back yet. Isn’t this just gorgeous?!
Now I’m rethinking that pre-night accommodations (with only 10 days before departure). The Iberostar Selection Cancun has a golf course on site so I’m thinking maybe I should stay there for the first night…
When I was looking at resorts that I might want stay at for the last 2 nights, I spent about 4 hours researching. This has helped me immensely know what kind of questions to ask you prior to booking your trip for you. Questions like, “Is it important for drinks to be served by the pool and at the beach?” Seriously? I found one resort which didn’t do that! Isn’t that why you go an all inclusive in Mexico? (For most people, yes. But if you don’t drink, then that might actually be a good resort for you.) As a travel advisor, the most important thing I can do when working to find the perfect destination for you – is to know the right questions to ask you.
When I thought my husband was going with me, I was looking for resorts that have a business center so he could work on Monday before going home. When he decided not to go, my top priority was having an ocean view and lots of water activities (like Hobie cats, Kayaking, Windsurfing, Water aerobics, Water polo and Snorkeling). With only a couple of weeks before my trip, that helped narrow down the search considerably. And I personally like more culturally designed exteriors, so I choose the Now Sapphire Riviera Cancun with it’s Mayan thatched roofs and open air concept. Cancun is calling!
An Aside – Why Golf?
You might be asking (if you’re not a golfer), “Kathie, why are you throwing golf into a mix that’s already a bit crazy?” And the answer is, because it’s on my list of Goals for 2021. And I want to be informed about golfing in Mexico so if travelers want to add that to their trip, then I can help with that. (I already found out “twilight” tee times can start at noon and driving ranges can close around 3pm.) Plus, I don’t want to go to to Chichén Itzá and Xcaret without my husband so I will wait until he can go with me to see the further away places.
Preparation for Travel
The first thing I did to prepare for my trip was to schedule a vaccine. I had been checking occasionally, but I read that the vaccines are effective 2 weeks after your shot. So I got the J&J vaccine on April 12, right before they paused it, and 2 weeks prior to my trip. The main reason that I got it was to lessen my chances of testing positive so I can get back into the US. I wouldn’t mind staying in Mexico longer, but I’ve got things to do! 🙂
Then I started investigating travel agent yearly trip insurance and attended a webinar and did comparisons and eventually chose RoamRight.
Then when I was trying to book the pre-night, they said they need a copy of my IATAN card to get travel agent rates. Oh oh… My card expired in February! So I got on line and ordered an expedited one – hopefully it gets here before I leave.
Vaccine and Travel
Just a note on when to get your vaccine prior to travel. I had read that your vaccine was effective two weeks after getting it. Well, I had the J&J jab and there is a scare going on about blood clots so I called my primary care doctor to ask if I should take baby aspirin. The doctor’s office finally called me back and for me personally said not to take baby aspirin (you need to ask your own doctor) but also mentioned that symptoms could occur up to 3 weeks past the date that you got your vaccine. Just an FYI. I have good travel insurance and I really haven’t been having symptoms, so I’m not worried about me.
Travel Calendar Created
For all of the Custom Tours that I put together for travelers, I create a calendar. I was trying to figure out if I had all of my transfers scheduled but I was behind on creating a calendar for my Cancun is Calling trip. That has been fixed. Now I can see that I need to call about the transfer from the Azul to the Now Sapphire.
Normally, I wouldn’t recommend staying one night at a resort, but in this case it made sense because of golf. The Azul doesn’t have a golf course, but the Iberostar Selection Cancun does. So when I was talking to the people at the Azul about staying the first night at their resort, they said they would provide transportation to the golf course – at the Iberostar! – but I would have to pay full price for golf. Then they realized it was only me golfing and they said they only provide free transportation for 2 people. *grrr* But if I stay at the Iberostar Selection Cancun, golf is included and the course is on the property!! AND the Azul is providing 2 transfers and the Now Sapphire is providing 2 transfers, so I think I’m covered. Shazam!!
I have tee times!
Here is a great map from golfmexicoteetimes.com to see where all of the Cancun golf courses are. I’m playing Iberostar Cancun which is in the Hotel Zone and the El Camaleon at Mayakoba Riviera Maya.
Part 2: Arrival in Cancun
See part 2 here: Arrival in Cancun