All posts filed under: Lifestyle

Blog posts to help you master the art of having a great time on vacation to Mexico. Tips on fitness, tours, resort activities, and lots of fun!

Tipping While on Vacation in Mexico

Tipping While on Vacation in Mexico

It is customary to tip good service in most countries around the world, Mexico included. Besides being good karma, in some countries staff rely heavily on tips to supplement their wages making your voluntary contributions both a necessity as well as a good incentive to offer excellent service. Tipping is a great way of showing your appreciation. How much is a good tip? In Mexico, the precise amount you should leave as a tip is left to your discretion, but the standard is generally between 10% and 20% of the check or cost of your ticket when it comes to attractions. Currency In top tourist destinations such as Cancun, both pesos and dollars are acceptable and you will usually see many prices quoted in both dollars and pesos. While pesos are more convenient for the person receiving the tip, dollars can be favorable depending on the exchange rate. When tipping in dollars, give notes only as coins are not accepted for exchange. Restaurants If you are dining in a big group it is likely that …

Climate and Weather in Cancun

Climate and Weather in Cancun

Taking pleasure in some fun in the sun as you gaze upon the clear turquoise waters of the Mexican Caribbean that contrast against stunning white sandy beaches would be reason enough for most of us to journey to Cancun for an unforgettable vacation.  However, it is thanks to the phenomenal climate and weather in Cancun all year long that you can make this scenario a reality anytime you choose.   Climate and Weather in Cancun While the allure of thrilling outdoor adventures, the remarkable local history of the ancient Maya, delicious food and some of the best nightlife found anywhere on the planet makes Cancun one of the most sought-after vacation destinations in the world, the exceptional climate and weather is what truly makes this Caribbean paradise spectacular.   Here’s a more indepth analysis of the climate and weather in Cancun: The Seasons Cancun has a tropical climate that boasts mild, balmy temperatures all year long.  Humidity remains in the air throughout the year, which is wonderful for the skin and provides a beautiful “lit …

History of Mariachi

History of Mariachi

One of the most beloved forms of traditional music in Mexico is, without a doubt, Mariachi.  Able to evoke a great range of emotions within its listeners, mariachi is a distinctive sound that involves confident singers, powerful harmonies and pulsating rhythms designed to move you.  Today’s mariachi ensembles are a favored entertainment choice to celebrate special occasions such as birthdays, weddings, baptisms, holidays and funerals.  Mariachi is so important to Mexican culture, in fact, that UNESCO named it as an Intangible Cultural Heritage.  But how did this delightful musical expression get its start? A Melting Pot of Sound While the exact birthplace of mariachi remains a mystery, the lively musical style is most closely linked to the state of Jalisco, though other states along the western side of Mexico including Aguascalientes, Colima, Michoacán and Nayarit are often associated with it, too.  Deeply rooted in the colonial period of Mexico spanning from 1519-1810, this time brought together the sounds of stringed instruments introduced by the invading Spaniards as well as the rhythms of African slaves and …

Don’t Forget your Toothbrush! Vacation Must Haves!

Vacations might be the best time of the year, but very often traveling to and from these hard earned getaways can be the most stressful days of the summer. So, whether you’re a super organized jetsetter, a fly-by-night vacationer, or an almost-but-not-quite packer we have a list of things to remember that will take some of the stress out of your travels. These are the key things to have in your carry-on luggage so that you’ll always have the basics, even if you lose your case! Hygienic high-flying It can be a real life saver to keep a clean pair of underwear and socks in your carry-on, as well as a clean shirt, and even though liquids are restricted you can still stay clean and fresh if the worst happens and you misplace your case (or even if you just want to freshen up on a stopover). Bring some stick deodorant and wet-wipes (non-fragranced, ladies!) as well as your toothbrush and a travel size tube of toothpaste to stay fresh on the go. Reading Materials …

How Vacations Can Save your Marriage

Marriages are tough; you really have to work at any long term relationship, and when you add kids to the mix it can be even harder to find the time to maintain the relationship that created the little darlings. Studies show that making time for just the two of you is important to keep the flames of love glowing, and what better way than to take a vacation without your children. Some people believe that taking the time to vacation without the kids, even just for a weekend, can really do wonders for your marriage, and we think they might be onto something. Here are a few things that you can do when you vacation as a couple and leave the kids with grandma: Find What Makes YOU Happy! Many parents put their own happiness on the back-burner in order to keep their kids happy, and while this is admirable, it might actually be counterproductive. Taking even a weekend or two to meet your own needs and goals, to be just you (rather than “mom” …

Taking Elderly Parents on Vacation

Taking Elderly Parents on Vacation

Although they may be reaching their golden years, your parents still deserve to experience the fun of a wonderful vacation.  No matter the purpose of their trip, from seeing family members (grandchildren in particular), to visiting an exotic destination they haven’t been to yet, to revisiting a place they once called home, your parents are likely to need some guidance as they turn their travel dreams into reality.  The following tips can help ensure you all get the most out of the process: Research After you have agreed on travel dates and a destination, you can start to plan and make reservations.  Look into multiple travel options for the quickest travel times and routes, and see what types of special services and benefits they each provide.  Senior discount rates are sadly few and far between these days, although Amtrak and Southwest Airlines still offer them.     Request Special Services Reserve seats in rows set aside for disabled travelers, and ask for free wheelchair service for your parent(s) at every airport you will be going through. …

Christmas Dinner Around the World

Christmas Dinner Around the World

Just as each unique family has its own particular way of celebrating Christmas through the food they eat, cultures throughout the world also have their own culinary spin on the holiday.  Although traditional Christmas dinners served in countries such as Great Britain and the United States focus on a meat dish like turkey, roast or ham which is accompanied by delectable side dishes like cranberries, sweet potatoes, green bean casserole, rolls, mashed potatoes, rich desserts and so on, Christmas dinner tables around the globe feature many other types of meals. Check out what some of our global friends feast upon for Christmas dinner: Mexico Christmas meals are a flavorful affair including traditional stews and soups like pozole, fish dishes, savory tamales and sweet treats such as buñuelos. Poland Dishes such as dumplings and borscht feed loved ones as they get together for a massive feast known as Wigilia (Star Supper). Italy Specialty dishes like fried eel star during the Christmas Eve celebration known as the Feast of the Seven Fishes, and on Christmas Day, pasta …

The Origins of Giving Thanks

The Origins of Giving Thanks

As the weather begins to cool and the leaves change color and start to fall from the trees, it means Thanksgiving once more.  Many of us take this time as a reminder to examine all of the blessings we have to be thankful for; whether they are big or small, we all have things we should feel grateful about, and what better way to express our gratitude than to give “thanks”.  It is a word you probably use so often that you may not even think about it, but that doesn’t mean we should take it for granted, as it is an integral element of our dealings with others and keeps society running in a smoother, more thoughtful manner.  So how did the common, everyday practice of saying “thank you” begin in the first place? The Origins of Giving Thanks When you examine the history of “thank you”, you will find that it is rooted in the word “think”.  In Old English dating from c.450-c.1100, “thank” was a noun that, in those days, meant “a …

Importance of Travel Insurance

Importance of Travel Insurance

While it may be hard to imagine that you will have an emergency while traveling, especially if you are healthy, travel insurance is something you will be more than happy to have if an unfortunate situation arises while you are abroad.  We all know there are no guarantees in life and that anything can happen, so choose wisely and don’t skip out on this important travel necessity.   Whether your flight is canceled, a family member dies and you need to return home early, your laptop gets stolen or you lose a suitcase, you will be covered in an emergency when you purchase the right travel insurance.  Travel insurance can help you avoid paying out of pocket for things that could potentially cost you a lot of money, such as an expensive hospital stay, and having that peace of mind will help you enjoy your vacation to the fullest.   Hopefully you won’t need it during your travels, but it is certainly better to be safe than sorry! What Should Be Covered in your Travel …

Best Shopping in Cancun

Best Shopping in Cancun

Although Cancun is probably best known for its stunning natural beauty and outdoor tourist adventures, it also happens to be an amazing destination for shopping with its endless list of boutiques, markets and malls.  Whether you are searching for designer clothing, fine jewelry, European imports, artisan products or tequila, you will find all of this and so much more.  You can even purchase goods from designer brands such as Bally, Cartier, Gucci, Ralph Lauren and Versace which often cost less in Cancun than they would in the United States.   Shopping Hours in Cancun Typical, shopping hours in Cancun are between 9am or 10am to 2pm and 4:30pm to 9pm or 10pm, but do check with the concierge at Villa del Palmar for more detailed information.   Here is some of the best shopping Cancun has to offer, broken down by category: Clothing Flamingo Plaza: You will find general merchandise including souvenirs, sportswear and beach gear at this small yet modern plaza.  There is also a generous selection of duty-free items and popular restaurants including …