Serendipitous Squad Travel Community

It’s been a little over a year since I started Serendipitous Traveler. Like any new entrepreneurial journey, year one definitely came with ups and downs. It takes awhile to find your footing in a new industry, to learn who all the players are and to decide where you plan on staking your ground.

It’s largely known that the travel industry is a conundrum.  There are so many options a person has when it comes to booking their travel – from Online Agencies like Expedia for the budget traveler, to large corporate consortias, to small agencies like myself. There is no shortage of finding what you need. There is someone out there ready to serve up what you ask for, you just have to be diligent enough to ask. Yet, for all of us out there, no one still understands airline pricing, so at least we all have that in common.

So, when I decided to declare my niche in this industry, it was very clear to me from day one what kind of travel I wanted to specialize in.  Girlfriend Getaways! I wanted to be the #girlfriendgetawayguru. Why? Because I know how important they are and what a cornerstone they have been in my life. So, I set out on a mission – to take care of the people that seem to spend so much of their time taking care of everyone else, and encourage them to travel with their girlfriends.

This was the feedback I got:

  • I don’t have anyone to travel with
  • My friends don’t like to travel
  • My friends can’t afford to travel

And just like that I knew what I needed to do – founded the Serendipitous Squad Travel Community. They say your vibe attracts your tribe and at Serendipitous Traveler we 100% agree. And we say, if you don’t have a squad to travel with, then we want you to travel with us.

We believe in community over competition.

We believe in supporting one another through all walks of life.

We believe that we are our best selves when we practice real self care.

And we want to see as much of this world as we can before our time is up and want to do it in the company of other extraordinary women who believe these things, too.

Because we want to live a life by design, not by default.

So I invite you to join us. We have a private Facebook community called The Serendipitous Squad Travel Community.  Starting in 2020, we will be hosting group trips. We have some domestic and some international plans up our sleeves, but here is the kicker – we are announcing them in our Serendipitous Squad Facebook Group first.

Our first hosted trip will be announced on Black Friday. We will make a general public announcement later, but I’m a little worried that if you wait for the general announcement, the trips might be sold out.

And I’d hate for you to miss out.

So do us both a favor – jump into our private Facebook Group.

Done? Good!

So happy to have you as a part of the squad!

Until next time, happy wanderlusting!
XO Krystal

What Disney Princess Matches Your Travel Personality?

Every girl has a princess inside her. Which one matches your travel personality?

 

Belize:the perfect destination for a Girlfriend Getaway

When it comes to getting away with your friends, nothing sounds better in the middle of winter than a warm destination South of the border.  But when it comes to you and your friends, you  are looking for a little more than an “all-inclusive drunken debauchery long weekend away.” Enter Belize. 

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The ultimate welcome to your resort

Belize has absolutely everything you could want in an ideal girlfriend  getaway:

-Excellent Spas [check]

-Comfortable accommodations with great common areas [check]

-Great food [check]

-Safe Environment [check]

-A beach [check]

-Exciting excursion activities [check check]

Whatever you are looking for Belize has got it.

Depending on what you are looking for in your Girlfriend Getaway, this is what I recommend:

Active/Adventure

Start your vacation off in the jungle at San Ignacio, and stay at Chaa Creek – enough rustic adventure options from glamping, to little cottage rooms, amazing staff, extensive spa, butterfly garden, culinary classes, and guided activities from canoeing to hiking to the more adventurous excursions like canyoning. 

Making the most of your stay you can start the day off with a short guided excursion to a Mayan Ruin. In the afternoon enjoy a quiet massage out on the deck. Then partake in some of the fun beverages at the bar and restaurant at the Lodge.  

Chill and Mature

You want to go to Placencia – Stay at Chabil Mar if you are looking to stay closer to town. Their cute little villas can sleep 6 comfortably, with living room common areas to sit and relax.  For a little more luxury, spring for the three bedroom villas at Naia with the largest Spa Center in Belize. At Naia you’ll also find the only yoga studio in Belize offering aerial yoga, ashtanga, among others. Be sure to head down to the boardwalk for some fun shopping. 

 

Fun and Sun

For a more fun and beach vibe atmosphere – head over to San Pedro. Stay at the Victoria House to get everything you need: beautiful infinity pool, great spa, beach access, excellent food and excellent service.  

Head into town for a little dancing and fun, watch the chicken drop, eat at Elvis’ Kitchen, and, if you are feeling really adventurous, head on over tot he Truck Stop for rotating events each night from Trivia to family movie night. Take a day trip to ATM caves or snorkeling at Mexico Rocks. Diving adventures can also be found here.  

A little of both? Via a short, twenty minute plane ride, you can split your stay for two different experiences. Want to start in the Jungle, and finish your stay by the beach? Start off in San Ignacio and then slide into a different atmosphere and experience in San Pedro.  

Whichever you decide to do, Belize has you covered. 

And if I can help you get there, you’d know I would love to!

Until next time, happy wanderlusting!

XO Krystal

The Dominican Republic: More Than Just Resorts

I don’t know about all of you, but I am over Winter in a big way. I live just North of Chicagoland, and I don’t care what you say – the Groundhog lied.

Thus I am dreaming of warmer climates and warmer weather, because never again will I make the same mistake and endure another winter here. Next year we are rebooking our Caribbean Vacation in the middle of the season to give us a little reprieve. Currently I’m booked on a Caribbean Vacation with 11 girlfriends to have a little fun in the sun.

Girls Trip on Beach
Enjoying a Girlfriend Getaway on the Beach

When many people think of the Caribbean, they think of great resorts, Jamaica, and Cuba. But what they don’t realize is that the most popular destination in the Caribbean is the Dominican Republic.

The Dominican Republic is on an island that is shared with Hispaniola and Haiti and it sees over 6 million visitors a year. This results in 2 million more than Cuba. This Caribbean destination has a lot more to offer visitors than your run-of-the-mill resort. The Dominican Republic has a lot more to offer than just resorts.

Here are some great things to see on your trip to D.R.

Scenic Locations And National Parks

Lake Enriquillo- Lake Enriquillo is the only saltwater lake throughout the Antilles. It is located in the center of the Parque Nacional Isla Cabritos and is a haven for wildlife. It is one of the largest natural reserves for the American crocodile.

Lake Enriquillo

Eastern National Park- This World Heritage Sites is one of the largest marine parks in the Caribbean. Rhinoceros iguanas, bottlenose dolphins, sea turtles, and manatees are just some of the amazing wildlife that visitors will get to experience when they visit Eastern National Park.

Bahia de las Aguilas and Jaragua National Park- The picturesque turquoise waters that line this 6-mile stretch of beach is best accessed by boat from the small village of La Cueva. Its’ marine life and amazing views will make for memories that you couldn’t possibly forget anytime soon.

Jarabacoa- Jarabacoa is best known as an area ripe for ecotourism and the location of the Dominican Republic’s only whitewater river, the Rio Yaque del Norte. The terrain, rivers, and waterfalls make it perfect for adventurous activities like hiking, climbing, and mountain biking.

Samana Peninsula and Bay- This peninsula and bay are lined with beautiful mangroves, caves, rock formations, and one of the most beautiful beaches in the Dominican Republic. It is also home to the Parque Nacional Los Haitises. Marine life is present in this area year-round including mother humpback whales giving birth in January and February.

Cultural Locations

Basilica of Our Lady- The Basilica de Nuestra Senora de la Altagracia is an amazing example of modern architecture. This is one of the leading sites of pilgrimage in Latin America as it hosts a huge mass every January 21st.

Basilica de Nuestra Senora de la Altagracia

Santo Domingo- This is the bustling capital of the Dominican Republic. It is a mix of its’ Spanish colonial past and the present times. Visitors here can see the oldest cathedral in the Western Hemisphere, aptly named, the First Cathedral of America. There is also the World Heritage Site known as Zona Colonial (Colonial City). Its’ cobblestone streets and colonial architecture make it a site to be seen. For more modern viewings, there is the Plaza de la Cultura where you can see the Palace of Fine Arts, the National Palace, and the Museum of Modern Art.

The resorts may be a great place to stay when visiting the Dominican Republic, but they surely are not the end all be all. If you are looking to get a real sense of what the country has to offer, you will need to leave the resort. Do some research before leaving on your trip so that you can find some great things to see that are near where you will be staying.

Girlfriend Getaways are what cures your soul

Google “girlfriend getaways” and you will be hit with a myriad of articles telling you that it’s been scientifically proven that time away with your girlfriends makes you happier, healthier, and can lead to a longer life.

And women everywhere read that and let out a collective, “Duh.”

Because we know it. And we feel it every time we get together. The camaraderie. The community. The laughter. All of it.

So why don’t we do it more?

There are a lot of reasons, but most of them center around the same idea. We are the caretakers. Of our jobs. Of our families. Of our marriages. Of our homes…..the list could go on and on.

But every once in awhile, we need to lay it down and be the caretakers of ourselves. Which is why I do what I do. I get to be the caretaker of other women who work so hard to take care of every one else.

So what kind of girls trip are we planning in the next year? Here I’ve listed a few of my favorites:

The Wellness Trip

2018 Advisor Contest

Wellness vacations are on the rise for 2019, and there’s no wonder why. Its a vacation in the truest sense. A chance to recharge in all the right ways, whether it’s via a swim up bar, a spa retreat, or a yoga and fitness escape. Wellness travel focuses on the whole individual – from spa resorts on land or at sea, to fitness camps, to full wellness retreats travelers have a treasure trove of options to create the perfect wellness getaway with your girlfriends.

The Culinary Experience

Culinary travel is an industry that is really coming up these days. Travelers looking for well-rounded culinary experiences that are immersive, interactive and educational needn’t look very hard. Itineraries for culinary experiences are a fun, interactive way to travel with your girlfriends, taking it a step further from traditional wine and dine options. Options can include dining with a local, taking a food-centric city tour, and actively taking part in food-sourcing and preparation.

The Wine Trip

You know that Napa was listed as one of my top destinations for a Girlfriend Getaway in 2019. But your options for wine don’t have to end there (although it wouldn’t be the worst place in the world to end up). A Bordeaux River Cruise through France, experiencing local vineyards is another option. Wine tourism is on the rise all over the world, and I bet you anything your favorite travel advisor can point you in the right direction for the best options wherever you want to go.

The options are certainly not limited to what’s listed here. There is hiking and adventure and so many more options. However you decide to spend your vacation, I hope you are taking the opportunity to do it with the ones that really know you – your girlfriends. For your own health and wellbeing. And if I can help you, you know where to find me friends.