I'm proud to have a variety of interests and passions. One of many: TRAVELLING!
When I was little I dreamed of travelling the world and kept a "travel book" filled with pictures of the places I'd hope to visit.
Last August, I was lucky enough to travel to the beautiful country of Costa Rica! I went with my boyfriend and a group of our friends. It was totally spontaneous and planned only a month and a half in advance, but it was one of the best experiences of my life.
While I tell you my story, I'll also be sharing some travel tips that you might find useful for anywhere you go.
TIP #1: Look for Cheaper Flights by Leaving from Different Airports
Our friend Madison took the lead on looking for travel accommodations and flight information, and she did an amazing job. One of the best things that she discovered was that we could save almost $300 on our plane ticket by departing from the Tijuana airport instead of the San Diego airport. Huge money saver and totally worth the price!
TIP #2: Bring Something to Entertain Yourself Just in Case of Delayed Layovers
On our way to Costa Rica, we had a total of two layovers. Depending on how long your layover is, I definitely recommend taking advantage of where you are and exploring the city. We had layovers in Guadalajara and Mexico City and made sure to get out of the airport to sightsee some local monuments that were close by. The most memorable layover of the two was in Guadalajara, it took Alex, my boyfriend, a little while to get over his fear of travelling alone when we weren't fluent in Spanish, but he quickly got over that. If you have the basics of the language, a translator app, and a full battery, I wouldn't worry too much about travelling a short distance from the airport. We saw beautiful architecture and grabbed some lunch to kill a total of 4 hours before heading back to the airport. The one hitch that we weren't prepared for- our flight departing Guadalajara to Mexico City got delayed and we were stuck in the airport for 12 HOURS! Guess we could've stayed in the city longer. It was awful! We were uncomfortable, bored out of our mind, and grew increasingly irritated as each additional hour passed by. I'm telling you... bring a book and of course a portable phone charger. Even if it's an hour layover, bring a book! You never know when your flight will be pushed back. The delay was so long that we had to cancel the hotel night in Mexico City and arrived 2 hours before our flight to CR was going to take off.
TIP#3: Schedule your Ride Ahead of Time
Finally! Touch down in Costa Rica! We had scheduled a van to pick us up and take us to our hotel, Los Suenos Marriott Ocean and Golf Resort, and it was the best "taxi" experience I've ever had. Make sure to read reviews and get suggestions because they are well worth the experience. Along the way, our van driver ensured we got the best welcome to Costa Rica by stopping at some pretty cool shops and landmarks. We were able to get fresh fruit, walk across the crocodile bridge, meet some of the locals, and experienced our first tropical rain. Then he dropped us off at the hotel where we continued to receive the best hospitality.
TIP#4: Check the Activities the Hotel has to Offer on the First Day
The next three days in Costa Rica were absolutely breathtaking! We rode quads through the jungle, jumped off a waterfall, went ziplining through the trees, ate the most amazing seafood, met even more incredible people, and went out to some pretty cool clubs. My only regret is not checking the activities the hotel offered on the first day. We had already planned what our trip was going to look like before our arrival, but decided to ask the hotel what they had on the second day we were there. We found out that they had an excursion that would take us out to turtle island where we would ride a banana boat, snorkel, have a day full of food and drinks, swim with the turtles, and much more. The only problem, we only had two days left in Costa Rica, one of them we were busy, and the other we were free, but the hotel forgot to mention that it wasn't available on that day. If we had asked upon our check in, then we would've been able to do it on the day that we asked. Oops- lesson learned!
TIP#5: If you Have Medical Issues, Make sure you have your Medicine!
I have the worst luck in the world. On our last evening in Costa Rica I had an allergic reaction to something- which having something happen to me shouldn't be too surprising because I'm allergic to nuts, have extreme seasonal allergies, asthma, and I'm anemic. So yeah, I've got issues! But I failed to bring my epi-pen and forgot my inhaler at the hotel when we went out to a local club. While we were there, I began struggling to catch my breath. I'll save you a lot of time and drama and just tell you that I ended up in the hotel room, all hived out, eyes closed, unable to breathe, with everyone panicking around me before finally the hotel got ahold of emergency services and a crew of EMT's were sitting over me trying to figure out how to save my life. I ended up getting poked 12 times in various places but they couldn't find my vein, so finally I got a huge shot of epi in- you guessed it- my butt cheek. So to avoid all of the chaos and an extra bill- bring your medicine! Side note: Costa Rica medical bills are very affordable compared to the U.S.
TIP# 6: Don't be Scared to Try Something New and Live Your Life
Yeah, sounds like a pretty scary and chaotic trip, but it was so remarkable that it's hard to put all the good parts into words. What made it the most memorable was experiencing new things. It was filled with a ton of firsts: first resort, swim up bar, ziplining, quad riding, travelling out of the country, kayaking in the ocean, waterfall jumping, and even eating the eyeball of a fish! We explored every city that we stopped in along the way and saw places we never knew existed. Enjoy every moment of your travel adventures! There are bound to be hiccups and mishaps along the way, but take them with a grain of salt. Don't let it get in the way of living in the moment of an unforgettable experience, and hey- now you know what not to do on the next trip!
Below are some pictures from the trip that will further illustrate just how amazing our trip to Costa Rica was.
Since I was a little girl, writing was always my go- to way of expressing myself and escaping from the rest of the world.