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Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Bermuda

Hubs and I aim to take one little trip together every year without the kids. Some years that means a night downtown in a hotel where we crash out early and sleep in late, but this year to mark our 15th anniversary (clearly I must've been a child bride 😉), I managed to convince him to "travel for free" (ha!) to Bermuda!

Free?!? Yes those were his words too, and he wasn't convinced either! Using any and all travel points for flights we booked our airfare to Bermuda for a short weekend away, and booked our stay at the Fairmont Southhampton using some free nights rewards. See- free! (ha! ha!)






Bermuda being a quick 2.5 hour flight away with only a one hour time difference, it seemed like the perfect pick for a couple's getaway for some rest and relaxation.

As our taxi made it's way to the  Fairmont Southampton, I was struck by how beautiful, lush, well developed and clean Bermuda was! The colourful houses and buildings, the lush green trees and plants, the gorgeous blue waters of the Atlantic Ocean.

Bermuda provided us with a weekend of gorgeous, soft pink sand beaches, delicious meals, beautiful weather, kind and friendly people, tons of history and discovery!

STAY: We stayed at the Fairmont Southampton, which is located up on a hill with gorgeous views all around. The rooms are large and spacious, although in minor need of updating. The resort boasts several restaurants, a large well equipped gym, an 18 hole golf course, an adults only Willow Stream Spa, resort and spa pools, tennis courts, a DIVE centre, snorkel rentals, beach chairs and shade, even daily kids programs at their Explorer's Camp.

Fairmont Southhampton


DO:  Bermuda has the perfect pink sand beaches for you to sit and do absolutely nothing, but it also has so much to see and explore. We rented a scooter and went exploring most of the island, where every scenic turn filled us with sights of colourful houses, a variety of lush trees, flowers and plants and of course stunning stretches of beaches.

We spent an afternoon exploring the town of Hamilton, which is also home to another gorgeous Fairmont hotel overlooking the harbour.  There are tons of shops and restaurants and the town is brimming with a laidback cosmopolitan vibe.

Next we went up to the historic town of St George's is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, which is easy to walk around and full of rich history.


The Unfinished Church in St. George's





St George's


EAT: We had some amazing meals! The Fairmont Southampton has The Ocean Club with fresh local seafood. Tip: book a table for sunset - the views are amazing.
We also enjoyed the historic Waterlot Inn which specializes for a fine dining experience. 

The Waterlot Inn is nestled dockside by the Bay

You know, just casual posing outside the Waterlot Inn.
Dress: DVF, Clutch: YSL, Shoes: Vince, Sunglasses: Tom Ford

Other food recommendations include: Huckleberry at Rosedon Hall in Hamilton for great food and wine, The Village pantry for a great vibe, and The Devil's Isle is a great cafe for coffee and sandwiches in Hamilton.

Sunsets views at the The Ocean Club



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That travel bug...

I've been bitten - by the travel bug. Every time I get home from a trip and am super happy to crash in my own bed, and I've done all the laundry and unpacked, I start itching again(um no I didn't bring home bed bugs!) That itch to plan a trip and look forward to the anticipation of exploring some new corner of the world or going back to an old favourite.

Of course, this makes for some higher than average bills to pay and a cranky hubby! When thinking of planning travel I always turn to the resources at hand to help alleviate costs. This mama likes to save where she can, and here's how:

- Credit Cards: check them out, see what yours has to offer. Personally I always log onto our VISA Infinite Aventura program by CIBC to see how many points we've accumulated to help pay for flights, hotels, car rentals etc.

- Aeroplan: there may be some annoying blackout dates and restrictions, but somehow points often add up enough to send one of us someplace (and back!).

- Hotels: I've been going to booking.com to explore the different accommodation options that are available in my chosen destination.  Booking.com has options for free cancelations, so once I've done my research I can go back to easily make changes.
Another recent favourite has been to go to VRBO.com. When travelling as a family, we often look for accommodations with more space a kitchen and two bathrooms are always ideal for a family of 5! For our recent trip to Maui, I found a great deal for the Westin Nanea on VRBO that was less than what the west webpage was offering.  I saved even more money when the vacation rental company contacted me for booking directly with them.

- AMEX: I've been working on getting my centurion AMEX working for me lately.  Like most credit card companies with travel benefits, they have a dedicated travel concierge team to help me with my planning.  I always ask them to provide the properties that they are affiliated with so I can see what benefits and perks may work.
For our family trip to New York City, I chose The Loews Regency from their Fine Hotels & Resorts Program.  This program gave us early check in, late check out ( so I booked a later flight out to capitalize on the that final day in the big apple), breakfast included for 2 people, a $100 food and drink credit and upgraded rooms upon availability. The hotels in this collection are often expensive, but sometimes with the extra benefits it works out!

- Hotel programs: For our adult only trip to Bermuda (post coming soon!) - I took advantage of our benefits at Fairmont and used our two free nights for a quick weekend away. We had early check in and guaranteed late check out so we were able to book early and late flights to stretch out our two night stay into a full three day getaway.

-Airline Subscription Emails: to stay ahead of the game I pay attention to the Air Canada and West Jet emails we get with their special flight offers and use that to plan ahead for future travel. I mean, after all if I'm saving money on airfare, then I'm basically winning at the travel math right?

What travel planing tips do you use to help save money? This mama wants to know! Comment and let me know!


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