For us college kids, Spring Break is the best holiday of the semester. This week means, friends, drinks, and tan lines…all my favorite things. In the past few years I have definitely learned a thing or two about traveling in large groups and exploring the Caribbean.
When traveling with a lot of people, plans can get more complicated so it’s best to make sure everyone is on the same page. First step is figuring out where you want to go (obviously). Every year there are so many events that come around during Spring Break so I always like to check and see what people from my school are doing first. Whether its a cruise, an island, or a festival there are plenty of already organized easy trips to go on. Events like these make it easy for large groups to organize travel and hotel plans, and sometimes give discounts for larger groups. Spring break is for relaxing, so inclusive deals are definitely something I always look for. Once we know where we want to go, next step is how to get there and where we can all stay together. Hotels are usually easy to organize through certain events, but sometimes Airbnb can be a better option for more space and privacy with a large group. I definitely staying somewhere with a small kitchen so you can take your own water, alcohol, snacks and quick breakfast foods which can get pricey ESPECIALLY in Bimini and other islands. Next is making sure you have a way around because not every destination has uber, so a car (or golf cart in our case) might be necessary to get around. Once everything is all set in stone it’s just a matter of organizing who brings what and making sure everyone is accounted for.
This spring break I went to Bimini, Bahamas which hosted the STFU & Party event. This event is very helpful in helping large groups organize their trip and accommodate everyone. Although it was simple, we decided to only buy the event tickets and do the rest on our own.
Bimini is about a 4 hour boat ride away from Miami so we went in a friends boat, but there are plenty of other options if you don’t have a boat. A few years ago, my family chartered a boat with a captain and we were driven there and back with no stress at all. Another option is the cruise which takes a little bit longer, but can be booked through the event. Another option is to charter a small plane, but this is usually for groups of eight or less.
On the Island there is only one Hilton hotel, and plenty of villas and houses. Most of these are all listed on different websites like airbnb, homeaway, booking.com, and so many more. The villas and homes accommodate larger groups and are always beautifully decorated and homey. All of the colorful villas are walking distance from pretty much everywhere you need to go (pool, beach, casino etc.)
Like I said most things are walking distance, however it is much more convenient to have a golf cart to move things along faster and to be able to venture out and see more of the beautiful island.
What to do
During spring break the STFU event tickets gave us access to daily pool and beach parties throughout our stay. If you don’t go to the event, you pretty much do the same thing but it’s much more of a relaxing vibe. Drinking and partying is fun and all, but there’s a few things I can’t leave the island without doing/eating.
Buy Kalik Shirts (and beer)
Get hair braided in town
Packing made easy! Here are a few of my carry on necessities.
- Neck pillow, inflatable pillow, teddy bear, or whatever you need to be comfortable during your travels, especially the long ones. Even if you don't like sleeping on planes (I sure don't) being comfortable is SO important.
- Eye masks, that way you can sleep whenever YOU want. It's great if someone next to you has their reading light on or the windows open.
- Headphones, this ones obvious but I always end up having to buy them at the airport. I tried airpods recently and I love them!
- Melatonin, this is my favorite sleeping aid its a more natural sleeping aid that increases a natural hormone. If i'm ever feeling under the weather i'll buy Nyquil. I'll link the brand I use below.
- I always like to bring a few simple toiletries if i'm feeling gross from all the airports. Deoderant, body spray, travel tooth brush & toothpaste, travel face wash & moisturizer. This is essential for my carry on because I've had to deal with lost luggage too many times. I love buying sets that come with everything I need, that way I don't forget anything.
- Talking about lost luggage, I always like to keep extra undergarments, pajamas, and a simple outfit. The worst feeling is getting to your destination to find out your luggage is lost and you have no clothes to change into.
- Simple makeup if you have a busy day planned as soon as you land. I always like to refresh my face and put a little mascara on a few minutes before landing, that way I kill some time and I'm ready for the day. I've been loving tarte makeup sets, they're perfect for travel!
- Phone charger!! This is probably the most important. I always use so much battery at airports since everything is digital and I'm constantly looking up the status of my flights, and you never know if you'll end up spending more time than planned at the airport.
- Traveling for long hours makes my skin feel really dry, so if I'm feeling extra, I'll take a hydrating eye mast or face mask that doesn't require rinsing off.
This post is dedicated to my quick two day visit to Brussels, filled with everything I loved about the city.
Brussels is the capital of Belgium and Capital of the European Union Government (and waffles, fries, and chocolate) which happened to be right next to my hotel! Brussels is a relatively small city so it was easy to do everything in about a day and half. Walking down the streets of brussels was absolutely magical with cobblestone streets, live music everywhere we turned, and twinkling lights lighting the way.
How to Get Around
Walking - If you stay anywhere near the plaza it's a perfect place to walk down the cobblestone streets.
Uber - Yep, they have uber, and if you're traveling with more than four people they have an Uber Van option which worked out great for us!
Where to Stay
Radisson Red - We had a great experience at this hotel, it was inexpensive, close to the EU, and the decor was all comics making it feel very authentic AND the breakfast was delicious.
Hotel Sofitel Brussels - If you're looking for a more luxury hotel, this hotel is a five star hotel with the best of the best service.
Airbnb - This is always a good option to look into when traveling with groups.
What to Eat
Peck 47 - Eggs Benedict is great, but have you tried it on a waffle? This cafe is so cute and cozy perfect for a delicious brunch whether you want sweet or savory, they have it all. PS. The bloody Mary is SO good.
Chez Leon - If you want to dive into the culture, this restaurant is perfect. It's a family owned restaurant thats been around since 1893 and has traditional Brussels Cuisine.
Cafe Delirium - Great spot for the pregame! This place is perfect for all the beer fans, Cafe Delirium has the world record for serving the widest variety of beers (over 3000!).
Fries & Chocolate: Belgium is known for having the best fries and the best chocolate. I can't even recommend where to get them because they're all so good. MUST try.
What to Do
The Atomium - My biggest regret about this trip was not going to the Atomium. This is a breathtaking landmark in Brussels with the BEST view of the city. It's a little far from the city center
Beer tour - We learned a lot, we drank a lot.
Chocolate Museum - Quick visit to see how Belgium chocolate was made, and we got to try so many chocolates while doing it.
Statues - Brussels has statues scattered everywhere that might go unnoticed, like the cute little guy (Manneken Pis) that saved brussels when he peed on a fire??
Spirito Martini - This club is considered the "temple if the night" housed in an old Anglican Church. This place is open Friday and Saturday and can get a little pricey, but it's totally worth it.
Play Label Rooftop - Bars with a view are always a plus, specially when it's located right in the city centre but this one is only open Thursdays! Keep up with their Facebook page to learn more about special events happening while you're there!