Another Summer adventure awaits!
The Abercrombie’s are traveling abroad and bound for the Caymans.
I’m so humbled and beyond grateful for the opportunity to jet set and visit new countries. Traveling is one of my greatest passions. I take it very seriously and never with out a ton of gratitude.
Mr. Chicken Fry has skillfully planned another family vacation. Destination Grand Cayman and I’m so totally stoked. As you might know, international travel involves stamina and patience. There is a lot involved and to think through when leaving the good ol US of A!
Below is a travel tip check list of items to consider months BEFORE leaving the country.
Do you have a passport?
Is your passport in good standing? Are your travel companions and or children’s passports current and up to date?
The last thing you want to happen is to be in the gap of passport expiration because every country is different. Click here to verify the rules. If you need to apply or renew a pass port click above ⇑⇑⇑.
Miles & Awards
If you have high hopes to redeem mileage or award points for travel or hotel, it’s best to do this in advance. The sooner the better. Most award points have strict guidelines and procedures to follow. To ensure the best rates and secure the desired dates, handle this process as early as possible. I use Jim Gray, a world class travel expert. 214-720-1000. Jim’s 40 year travel expertise is second to none. He works with American Express travel and all airlines such as American Airlines. He knows the ins and outs of the business better than anyone. He can help guide and manipulate awards points to work for your advantage.
Cell Service and Data
I always like to call my internet and mobile provider, AT&T, to ensure that we have an international data and calling plan. If necessary I will negotiate the best family plan to fit our data usage. Right now AT&T has a $10 a day international plan per device. This is unlimited calls and text. NOTE: AT&T does not charge international calls or data for Mexico.
Depending on your work, you may want to schedule a direct email reply. This notification email will let clients, friends and family know that your are out of the office and away from email for a certain period of time.
Depending on the length of travel, I also like to suspend all mail delivery. I place a phone call to the US post office and ask for a delivery hold to my address. If you take the local paper, it’s never a bad idea to call or go online and suspend the paper route until you return.
Recently all three of us, Me, Chicken Fry and the teen queen, completed US global entry. This four week process will apparently save us a bunch of time at airport security check points. If you are interested in TSA pre-check and/or global entry the whole process takes about three to four weeks so again plan ahead. It’s a fairly simple online step by step process. If you are an American Express card holder, AMEX will reimburse you for the charges upon completion and approval. This is a no brainer and saves $100 per person. To enroll, complete the online application and wait for approval. You will have to check the website periodically (linked above) Schedule an interview at one of the designated locations and wait for approval. Finally, you will receive a card in the mail. Don’t foget to register this card with US glocal entry and all airline carriers in which you frequently travel. Many people receive their card and skip this step which is the biggest portion of the process!
Schedule a house and DOG SITTER!
We never leave our home home alone! We have a house guest or house sitter. This special person stays in our home, loves on our doggie dog while enjoying our humble abode. However, if you choose to board your pets…this is another step in travel. You must call and schedule in advance because Summer can fill up fast. Also, make sure your pet is vaccinated and up to date.
UP UP AND AWAY….
Our Summer excitement officially begins today. It should be no surprise that I started packing over a week ago because this is just who I am. Packing to me, increases the anticipation of travel. It’s a build up to the ultimate crescendo of vacation. I become one with my suitcase and overjoyed to fill it to the rim. Mainly it’s stuff I will never ever wear or need! Please don’t even try to break me of this extreme habit. I’m quite OKAY with my inability to pack light.
Who knows, maybe one day my obscene packing habits will eventually come in handy. Like what if I was forced to extend my stay? What if my daughter or friend lost their luggage? Back up items are never a bad idea.
What I’m packing!
About a bazillion bikinis, 5 pair of flip flops, one pair of wedges, several sundresses, sunscreen, beach bag and a hat! It’s a given that three workout outfits will hit the bottom of the suit case first along with a pair of sneakers. FIT VACA YALL! Also in the bag are jean shorts, cover ups and a romper for breakfast.
Also…about 3 extra sundress that I will ever wear, a pair of jeans for return flight, several and by several I mean five basic T shirts, bras (plural), panties, jewelry, sunglasses, extra cross body purse and a base call cap!
When I leave the country I often pack snacks! I know it’s stupid and just more crap to carry but I never want to be left hungry! A hungry body is a healthy happy body! I pack snacks in my carry on such as nuts, Special K with berries, Good Thins , gum and Quest protein bars! If I were to be stranded, stuck in traffic or left to wait in an airport or strange situation I at least want some familiar provisions.
This trip will be unchartered territory for all us. Truth be known, I have zero expectations. I’m looking forward to freely going with the flow, sun, fun, humidity, rest and friendship. No agenda or time schedule to fool with.
If time permits and we pick a day or two to explore the island, I have a small list of scenic spots to check out.
On my small list of 5, is the famous 7 mile beach. This piece of ocean front paradise is listed as one of the most beautiful stretches of beache in the world. I must make them prove it. Stay tuned for pictures.
Also on the list is a day at sea! True to form, Chicken Fry has already chartered a private power catamaran for a full day boating extravaganza. I’m already dreaming of becoming a mermaid. I get down with some snorkeling and swimming. I love all things ocean life including swimming with the sting rays. Bring on a full blown underwater experience.
If we can, I hope to snorkel or dive the US Navy shipwreck KittiWake. This under water ship wreck is one of several top diving attractions in Grand Caymen.
Lastly, I hope to find/make our way to the remote Rum Point and kick back with a cold beverage. Rum Point is on the northern point and is supposedly a quiet private place to replete with swinging hammocks facing a beautiful body of shallow coves and salt water. Sign me up!
I have been told to dine at Heritage Kitchen home to fish fritters and all things fried seafood. By the looks of it, I think its super casual with a local flare. My kind of place. I have been appropriately warned that Heritage Kitchen does NOT accept credit cards nor does the menu offer a veggie light healthy plate. In other words bring cash and consider it a cheat meal. I can do that!
Until I return from this tropical paradise please welcome Stephanie Nowell. Tomorrow, Stephanie accepted my invitation to be a guest blogger. Tomorrow will be her debut post. She is sure to be comedic and priceless and no topics off limits. I just know you are going to love her as much as I do.
Love, kick back and laugh!