Tag Archives: Destination Weddings

In Antigua, the Art of the “Boutique” Caribbean All-Inclusive 

Antigua is one of the 2 major islands that make up the Caribbean nation of Antigua and Barbuda. Ringed with coral reefs, the island is known for its many sandy beaches.

The best time to visit Antigua is between mid-December and mid-April when it’s peak season, making it the perfect destination to escape wintery conditions in the US. A good secondary option is to go to Antigua in May or June.

all-inclusive caribbean antigua boutique

This is not the all-inclusive resort you may be thinking of. 

It’s hidden away on the spectacular Turner’s Beach in Antigua, with 29 barefoot-chic rooms, all endlessly private, individual sanctuaries on the sand. 

It’s a boutique, adults-only all-inclusive, where many of the rooms have their own private plunge pool, all with outdoor showers, all of them just a step away from the sand itself. 

But it’s different here, a small all-inclusive where the focus is on the local. 

You might call it a “boutique” all-inclusive, where the focus is on Caribbean personality, about Caribbean design. 

Owner Andrew Michelin says the aim is to “reflect vintage Caribbean living with a modern indulgent twist, encompassing the small wooden cottages with wattle fences dotted around the islands’ countrysides; the flowering vines between cottages for privacy; bathing beneath the stars with our outdoor showers; and living, dining, and relaxing with the sand between your toes directly on the beach.”

And that extends to every facet of the resort: the food is fresh and organic: think breakfast plates like Antiguan black pineapple custard French toast and dinner favorites like escovitch snapper. 

A fantastic inclusion at this resort is the “snack menu,” from 11:00 AM to 4:45 PM, a time during which it can sometimes be challenging to find a meal at many all-inclusive resorts. And it’s not a bag of chips, either: think local fried chips, pizza, fish and chips, tofu burgers, open-face cajun sandwiches, and coconut cookies. 

And it all comes right to your room. 

There is also the Serenity Spa, a boutique wellness center where the soundtrack isn’t piped-in flute music but the revitalizing sound of the waves just outside the door. 

And then there are the delicious rooms, a lovely mix of pool cottages (either on the beach or in the garden), beachfront sunset rooms, or beach house rooms. 

Keyonna also cleverly labels each room as “distance to the beach.” That means as low as 10 seconds from a “sanctuary pool cottage” to just 60 seconds in a garden pool cottage. No matter where you stay on the property, the beach is less than 60 seconds from your room.

all-inclusive caribbean antigua boutique

In other words, there’s nothing between you and your Caribbean beach dreams. 

And that’s the spirit of this boutique all-inclusive, where the island itself is front and center and the emphasis is on an authentic, unfiltered Antiguan experience. 

It’s the way Keyonna has carved out a beloved niche on an island that’s long been home to some of the Caribbean’s top all-inclusive resorts.

“We’ve ensured that everything possible is made locally – the furniture, soft furnishings, placemats, bread baskets, lampshades, and produce – as we seek to build up those communities surrounding us,” Michelin says. With the added benefit that our food and drinks are fresh, nutritious, full-flavored with no preservatives, just like the food from my grandmother’s kitchen in Jamaica.” 

Please contact me of you are interested in booking this fabulous resort!

Call or text me at 770-402-5103

Email me at mary@vacationstoanywhere.com

Travel Planning Mistakes You Don’t Know You’re Making

So you are ready to head out and go on a new adventure…you have contacted me to book your hotel or resort, transportation, and anything else you might want to do or need to make your trip unforgettable, but have you considered a few extra fine details? Below I have listed a few things that you might overlook while traveling.

Not Trying Out Your New Gear

You’ve bought all the gear you need for your trip, and you’ve tried on the new hiking shoes, backpack, and rain jacket. But just trying it on isn’t enough — have you tried it out? Before you can determine whether your gear is truly good, you need to test it in the real world. Find a way to simulate what you’ll be doing on the trip so you can use your new gear before you leave. If you’re planning to spend your vacation walking around a European city, go for a long walk around your city wearing your new shoes to ensure you don’t get blisters. If you’ll be hiking in South America, suit up with your new backpack (plus everything you’re planning to carry) and do a test hike on a local trail. You’ll thank yourself when you arrive at your destination.

Not Learning About the Local Culture

It’s essential to be respectful of local cultures while traveling, but you can’t respect traditions if you don’t know what they are. Do research or talk to someone from the country you’ll be traveling. This can help you figure out how you’ll be expected to behave when you arrive. Is it respectful to cover your knees in the local landmarks? Is coming a few minutes late considered rude? What about tipping? It would help if you asked these questions before you leave, as the answers might affect how you pack.

Not Strategically Packing Your Carry-on

A change of clothes, prescription medicines, and any valuable or valuable-to-you items need to be in your carry-on, not your checked luggage. Airlines are 70% less likely to lose suitcases than they were 10 years ago, but still, you don’t want to be part of the small percentage who suffers. Being caught in a foreign city without medicines you need is a recipe for disaster, so put anything in your carry-on that you might need.

Not Alerting Your Bank You’ll Be Traveling

If you begin using your debit or credit card as soon as you land, your bank might see the charges racking up in a foreign city and freeze your account. To prevent this from happening, let your bank know that you’ll be traveling before you leave. Most banks make it easy to notify them with an online system, and you’ll be able to shop in peace.

Do you want to go to an All-inclusive Resort, Plan a Destination Wedding, Book an Unforgettable Honeymoon, or take that Cruise you have been dreaming of?

I am always here to help you with your next travel adventure. Please contact me via email at mary@vacationstoanywhere.com to chat about the travel experience you have been waiting to take! A quick reminder, I can book you anywhere in the world!

COVID-19 Updates: US to drop COVID testing requirement for International Flyers Sunday, June 12th, 2022

Yes, you are reading this right! Starting Sunday, June 12th, US travelers are no longer required to test for Covid before returning to the US. Several people I have spoken with about international travel have been waiting for this day to come, and it is here! Do you want to go to an All-inclusive Resort, Plan a Destination Wedding, Book an Unforgettable Honeymoon, or take that Cruise you have been dreaming of? Please contact me via email at mary@vacationstoanywhere.com to chat about the travel experience you have been waiting to take! A quick reminder, I can book you anywhere in the world! 🙂

According to the CDC, as of Sunday, June 12, 2022, air passengers entering the U.S. will no longer be required to present documentation of a negative COVID-19 viral test (called a Qualifying Test) to return to the U.S.

Please note that COVID-19 testing requirements vary by country. It is important to stay up-to-date with Covid-19 testing policies that may impact your vacation to destinations outside of the U.S.

For more information regarding COVID-19 testing updates, please visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Additional Information:

6 Sunny Spots for a Beautiful International Destination Wedding

Do you want to get married or renew your vows in a sunny, tropical destination? Are you a bride who would like to go on a memorable trip before your wedding with the girls in your wedding party? Please contact me so we can discuss your ideal location for your special occasion.

Sun-and-sand destination weddings will always be in demand. These 6 locales are not only sunny and sandy, they’re also trending.

Destination #1: Tulum

Why: Tulum’s ancient stone remains are unique archaeological attractions that tell the original story of the now bustling modern city. Plus, with ruins situated right on the coastline, couples’ wedding photos will be more than magical.

Legal requirements: For a legal wedding in Mexico, here’s what you need to know.

Destination #2: Cabo

Why: The crystal clear waters of the Sea of Cortez create the perfect scenery for a romantic getaway. If you have a couple looking for a dream beach wedding, many hotels and resort in Los Cabos offers spectacular honeymoon and wedding packages that let you as a travel advisor leave all the work behind.

Legal requirements: For a legal wedding in Mexico, here’s what you need to know.

Destination #3: Cancun

Why: Couples looking for a luxury wedding or a spicy celebration bursting with entertainment will find what they want in Cancun. Convenient to travel to from origins throughout the U.S., Cancun was designed with the needs of a tourist in mind, which makes it easy to design a dream wedding experience.

Legal requirements: For a legal wedding in Mexico, here’s what you need to know.

Destination #4: Costa Rica

Why: Known world-wide for its eco-tourism efforts, stunning natural beauty from the rain forest to the beaches, and an extensive amount of wildlife species that live in the varying habitats, Costa Rica is a top-notch destination and creates a beautiful backdrop for a destination wedding. just legalized gay marriage

Legal requirements: For a legal wedding in Costa Rica, here’s what you need to know.

Destination #5: Bahamas

Why: The Bahamas lives up to its title as the World’s Leading Wedding Destination (earned in 2015), offering more than 700 islands with numerous unique locations where couples can declare their love for one another.

Legal requirements: For a legal wedding in the Bahamas, here’s what you need to know.

Destination #6: Jamaica

Why: With beautiful resorts, honey-colored beaches and the faint sound of reggae music in the background, it’s no surprise Jamaica is a popular destination wedding location. Couples can opt for ready-made resort wedding packages or rent a private Jamaican villa for a customizable experience.

Legal requirementshttps://moj.gov.jm/services-and-information/marriage-licence

5 Best Travel Destinations Revealed by Expert Travel Agents

Hello! Sorry for my absence; I have been busy with a few appointments that needed my attention, but I am back and ready to assist my new and existing clients!

When it comes to determining the best vacation spots, narrowing down the list seems like an impossible task—we want to travel everywhere!

One of the nation’s leading global tour operators, the award-winning, and top U.S. travel agents, took a closer look at travel trends and booking demands. From beach paradise to exciting adventure and cultural exploration, whatever your vacation passion, their list has got it covered.

1. Cancun and Riviera Maya, Mexico

It’s no surprise that Cancun and Riviera Maya came up as the number one most requested destination among Travel Impressions’ customers. From the breathtaking landscapes, soft coral sands, crystal-clear waters to an incredible journey back to the mystical Mayan civilization, a visit to Cancun will make you feel like you’re waking in a dream!

Situated on the northeastern edge of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, bordering the turquoise Caribbean Sea, Cancun is known for world-class luxury beach resorts, historic landmarks, and significant monuments—including several historical ruins–as well as lovely dining venues and fun-filled excursions.

A trip to Riviera Maya (just south of Cancun) will take you back to the fascinating world of the Maya. Think captivating archaeological sites like El Rey (The Temple of the Scorpion) and ancient cities, including Chichen Itza, Tulum, and Coba. If you’re in the mood for a bit of adventure, embark on an off-the-beaten-path journey in the lush jungle or snorkel and swim alongside gentle whale sharks.

Did you know:

  • Cancun’s sand won’t burn your feet; it’s made of crushed coral, meaning it will naturally stay cool even on the hottest days!
  • The Great Mayan Barrier Reef is among the largest in the world, second only to Australia’s famous Great Barrier Reef.

2. Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, the Caribbean

The Caribbean has always been an unrivaled beach vacation favorite with a wide range of attractive destinations to choose from. Vibrant Punta Cana stands out from the rest, and here’s why:

Located at the easternmost tip of the Dominican Republic, Punta Cana is often referred to as the Coconut Coast for the coconut palms that dot its 40 miles of white-sand beaches. Despite its increasing popularity, Punta Cana’s beaches remain unspoiled—incredibly wide and evenly flat with clear, warm water that makes Punta Cana the perfect location for water sports and swimming.

And if that isn’t dreamy enough already, Punta Cana also offers plenty of luxurious all-inclusive resorts; places for trendy entertainment and activities, shops, lavish restaurants, bars, and nightclubs; and many magnificent golf courses with world-class facilities. You can tee up by the sea or along lush inland courses designed by some of the world’s most acclaimed golf course architects, including Pete B. Dye, Jack Nicklaus, Robert Trent Jones, Sr., Gary Player, Tom Fazio, Nick Price, and Greg Norman.

Did you know:

  • This destination was home to the late Oscar de la Renta, the world-renowned fashion designer who also designed the Tortuga Bay Boutique Hotel in Punta Cana.
  • Punta Cana International Airport (PUJ) is the most-connected airport in the Caribbean and Central America, receiving flights from 26 countries and up to two million passengers a year.

3. Bermuda, Atlantic Ocean

Travel agents love beach vacations as much as you do, and there is almost no place else quite like Bermuda. Its pink-sand beaches and clear turquoise waters are so beautiful that many often mistake this island just off the Carolinas coast for the Caribbean!

Famous for its lovely pink sand beaches, you can relax while sipping Bermuda’s national drink, the rum-based Swizzle. Or, if you’re interested in history, the story of the Moon Gate and the magic behind the Weather Stone will make you fall in love with Bermuda even more. After all, getting to know the city’s story is half the fun!

Adrenaline-seekers can enjoy the thrills of year-round adventure, whether horseback riding across the shore or diving beneath the waves. If you’re a foodie, its top-notch culinary highlights are a draw in and of itself. And for social butterflies, flutter right on over because Bermudians are known to be over-the-top friendly. Take a scooter (the most popular way to travel around Bermuda) and get to know the locals. You’ll be bound to meet many who will touch your heart with generosity and treat you like their own neighbors.

Did you know:

  • While many believe Bermuda to be part of the Caribbean, the island actually rests hundreds of miles north of the Bahamas in the Atlantic, a mere 650 miles east of North Carolina.
  • Its unique location in the Atlantic provides an extraordinarily pleasant climate that rarely sees extremes of either hot or cold.
  • John Lennon had a home there!

4. Key West, Florida

If you desire a more colorful and vibrant vacation, look no further than dynamic Key West. Named one of Travel + Leisure’s “50 Best Places to Visit in the World in 2019,” Key West is an attractive holiday spot with fun nightlife, a beautiful coastline, and year-round sunshine. You can feel positive, lively energy floating all over the town while being blown away by an incredible confluence of history, cultural diversity, natural beauty, architecture, and romantic ambiance.

Key West was once home to celebrities like Ernest Hemingway, Tennessee Williams, and Robert Frost, who discovered solace and inspiration in this island city. Experience Key West’s footprints from the past by visiting some of these historic sites: Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum, Harry S. Truman’s Little White House, Robert Frost Cottage, and Audubon House & Tropical Gardens. 

Besides relaxing by the beaches or challenging yourself with fun water sports, a visit to Duval Street must also be at the top of your list. Duval Street in Key West’s center of entertainment and nightlife, where great restaurants and fun bars wait for visitors to explore. If you’re a party-goer, this is the right place for you!

Did you know:

  • During Cuba’s unsuccessful war for independence from Spain, many Cubans sought refuge in Key West, bringing with them a thriving cigar-making industry. Cubans set up 200 factories in town, producing 100 million cigars annually.
  • The term “key” is a corruption of the Spanish word, “Cayo,” which means small island.
  • The climate of the Florida Keys is classified as tropical. The weather is hot and humid from June to October and relatively drier and cooler from November to May. The Keys are the only frost-free place in Florida.

5. Barcelona, Spain

Travel agents with Travel Impressions can’t help but include the enchanting seaside destination of Barcelona as one of the best vacation places this year. With its dynamic arts and culture, stunning landscapes, and plenty of splendid architecture, there’s always something to do and see whenever you are here.

If it’s your first time in Barcelona, hitting the iconic sites like La Rambla, La Sagrada Familia, Picasso Museum, or one of Antoni Gaudi’s whimsical buildings is necessary. And while a lot of people come to Barcelona for a beach getaway, there are also lesser-known sights and neighborhoods worth visiting. Places like Poble Espanyol featuring unique art and architecture; Parc del Laberint d’Horta, a historical garden known to be the oldest of its kind in the city; or Gracia neighborhood offering the real spirit of Barcelona with its relaxed promenades.

When it comes to the culinary scene, Barcelona is well-known as one of the world’s food capitals. Embedded in the city’s heart and soul, its gastronomy offers fantastic dining experiences featuring plenty of great restaurants with various cuisines to savor. From paella to Ferran Adria-inspired dishes—especially when paired with a glass (or a bottle!) of vintage wine—gourmet lovers will find their food heaven in every city corner. No trip to Spain would be complete without a food feast in Barcelona!

Did you know:

  • Barcelonians are huge fans of soccer. It is home to one of the world’s largest and richest football clubs, FC Barcelona. The Camp Nou stadium, home to the FC Barcelona, is the largest football stadium in Europe and the third largest in the world.
  • Voted one of the best beach cities in the world by the National Geographic many years ago, Barcelona didn’t actually have any beaches until the early 90s, when the town council set about the creation of an artificial beach in preparation of the 1992 Olympics

So what do you think? Do any of these destinations speak to you? It’s time to get out and travel! Please get in touch with me so I can help you plan your Dream Vacation, Honeymoon, Destination Wedding, or Cruise!

Welcome to Travel Expo – Mary Mills!

Hello! I am excited to launch my official website for my travel career! There are details about me on my About Me page so that I won’t repeat myself here. I have a page devoted to Request a Quote and a Contact Me page. So take a look around, and please don’t hesitate to contact me for all of your travel needs!

So I want to start with what I have been up to lately. Just a few days ago I worked at a bridal show representing Sandals at the Georgia Aquarium! The ballroom was beautiful and we had these gorgeous Beluga Whales to watch, not that I could, it was a super busy event! 🙂

Bridal shows are often hectic, but it was a special treat to attend a show at the aquarium and see the Belugas play in their tank! I met a lot of excited brides ready to plan their dream honeymoon and even a few couples looking to renew their wedding vows, just as my husband and I did in May 2021 at Sandals Ochi!

I will update again soon and I look forward to hearing from you, and thank you so much for your support! 💕