Tropical Travel Tips and Bucket Lists!

June 12, 2024

Designs by Lolita Tropical Stemless Glass

I get so many questions about the subject of travel that I wanted to write this to share a few pointers with you.

I’m generally not a list person. As a creative, it is hard for me to focus within a task-oriented society, without the deadlines and accountability. But a bucket list is something I love to think about, add to and subtract from. It is one list that is never set in stone.  

Especially this time of year!!! As the warmer temps and spring blooms start, I start dreaming and planning my next trip.

Plane flying over Palm Trees

I tend to think about all the trips I’ve taken; for the most part, I remember the most sensory trips, or the most meaningful by who I was with and when. By that I mean the love of friends and family, the colors, sounds, smells and tastes of the places I go.

I feel so at peace on a beautiful beach, with nothing on my mind but the clouds in the sky, colors of the sea, a sunset, driftwood and seaweed, the waves crashing at my feet or lulling me to sleep.

I operate more creatively when I carve out this kind of time for myself and am exposed to the most natural environments possible. Like how just being in Tulum inspired my set of stemless wine glasses.

I don’t have to endlessly paint or be doing something to get to my kind of creative. I need peace!! I need a massage! I need to sleep and dream and the ideas flow, sketchpad in hand!

No pressure, and therein lies the point.

What sets me immediately at ease is the picture of a turquoise ocean and a white, sandy beach… this gal loves her tropical vacations, and there is nowhere easier to go than to a Caribbean beach.

Rejuvenation is a word I take literally. Because, of course, Life is Better at the Beach! Which is why I HAD to include it as one of my new Life is Better wine glasses this year.

Designs by Lolita Life is Better at the Beach Glass Recipe

Being in a colorful culture and exposed to a new place always influences my creativity. You can see this in the beauty of the bird of paradise flowers that inspired my Funky Florals wine glass. But it leaves little room for dreaming, and my best ideas always come from my wandering thoughts.

This is self-care above and beyond. People might not like your location, the places you select, how you choose to relax, but this is your vacation. I always lightheartedly say back, you don’t know what you are missing.

When I am planning my trip, I make sure it falls along the lines of how much rest I can get for my body and mind; is there a spa? is it highly rated? what is the price? …and what will my surroundings be like?

You can bet, I always choose great places because even while at home on a cold, rainy day like today I love searching websites like Trip Advisor to check prices of my favorite islands, for cruising, new resorts, etcetera which is an endlessly fun thing to do.

Designs by Lolita Swimsuit top and wine glass

I’m considered an unusual female traveler, in that I love to travel solo, to the consternation of my friends and family. That independence gives me rest and rejuvenation for my mind and body.

And raising my girls going to some of these places, well, has given them the travel bug, too. Caroline is going to Japan soon, and Mary Margaret to Croatia! They are bold, curious, and unafraid to make travel a priority in their lives. Nothing can open children’s minds more to growth regarding the world in which we inhabit.

Now, I know that price is a concern for all of us right now. I am showing you the ultimate that I’ve enjoyed in the past but there are TONS of amazing lower priced options in these places.

SO! Here are my top 5 places to go for some peace (and don’t forget to grab the local rum from the airport before you get there!).

Designs by Lolita - A stone building on a cliff by the ocean with Tulum in the background

1. Tulum, Mexico

As an artist, no place I’ve ever been has had the artsy, chic vibe Tulum has. You will find it is surprisingly affordable. There are so many options away from the Beach Zone, that are quiet, with endless little galleries, shops and friendly people.

There are even hotels that are tree houses if you really want to kick back. The natural surroundings of everything are hard to beat. Worth a few nights at least!!

The best part is that there is now an airport so you don’t have to deal with the madness in Cancun anymore.

Check out the next resort I am staying in: Shibari Tulum.

Designs by Lolita - St. Lucia view of a bay with boats and mountains

2. St. Lucia

What a gorgeous island! Mountainous (the Pitons) and lush, the sounds of the jungle and waterfalls are everywhere. I stopped here on my last cruise and can’t wait to return. Resorts run the gamut, but I’m eyeing Viceroy Hotels & Resorts.

Designs by Lolita - Turks and Caicos wooden walkway leading to a beach

3. Turks and Caicos

I took my girls here four times when they were growing up, so it was a favorite. Grace Bay beach has earned rankings of most beautiful beach in the world for a reason. And Conch; Conch fritters, conch salad, diving for conchs, you get the picture!

Resort of choice? I like the laid back feel and the affordability of Ocean Club Resorts.

Designs by Lolita - Cap Cana, DR group of palm trees on a beach

4. Cap Cana, DR

Any of the all-inclusives on this stretch of beach in the DR are amazing (even the public beaches are fun to visit for a Corona (Jalisco Beach) and so are some of the off-resort things to do. The cenotes are amazing near here, eco tours, diving trips, etc.

The resorts are a bit pricey but you can find great deals from June-September. Any of the resorts and all-inclusives are all 5 stars. I love The Sanctuary, Eden Roc, (a restaurant right over the waves worth leaving a resort for) and I’ve stayed at Secrets, and it was amazing!

Designs by Lolita - Caribbean Cruise deck with a view of the water and mountains

5. Cruise to Caribbean (does that count as a place??)

Okay, you non cruisers!! Cruising is popular for a reason! It is the darned easiest way to vacation on Earth. Don’t go unless you have a balcony room because the places you can see with that view are stunning.

The restaurants and food are usually incredible. I love Princess for an all-around great cruise and safe for a solo female traveler. Don’t knock it until you try it.

Beyond that, my list is always open for new adventures…Bring it on!!!

Designs by Lolita Costa Rica with a mountain in the background

What is next, you ask? Costa Rica for sure. The natural surroundings, the beautiful beaches on both sides, the availability of the resorts, the flora and fauna, surfing (one of the things I want to learn!) looks like the best place for me. After a Caribbean escape to Mexico, though first.

Take it or leave it, but I hope this gives you ideas of places to have some fun. CHEERS!!!