OUR DREAM HONEYMOON| Santorini, Greece

Since I was a little girl, I always said Santorini was my DREAM destination. I always said that with the mindset that it will never happen… that it was never achievable. That it probably cost thousands and thousands of dollars… AND MAN WAS I WRONG!

If you do not know me, I am terrified of flying. Yes I have an airplane tattoo and that’s just a reminder that I can do anything I put my mind to. But Ryan and I knew if we were going to Europe for our Honeymoon, we were going to make it a trip that would last a lifetime. I am also a super big “fly cheap” kind of person so I will find out if it is cheaper to fly from another City, Country, or etc. Hence why we flew to London to fly back to Miami, USA because rather than a $1,000+ flight from Athens, Greece to Miami. We paid $26 from Athens to London and then $200 to Miami.

So I found a $50 flight from Milan to Santorini, Greece. We flew Aegean Airline to Athens and then a small plane from Athens to Santorini. There is only one Airplane strip on the Island and a tiny airport with one luggage carrier pickup. We also noticed we did not go through any customs from Italy to Santorini. I also forgot to mention that in my Italy Blog… I never got a stamp from Italy because we never went through customs!

As soon as we got to Santorini the sun was beginning to set. We did not book a transfer to our hotel as we did not know how transportation was going to be as many people we know have never flown to the island. So as soon as you leave the airport you will see a few pop up tourism buildings. The best way I can describe Santorini is like being on a cruise. Everyone on the island is hired to work for 9 months straight and then have 3 months off for off season. But… we went to the transfer booth and asked about the transfer to our hotel which was in the city of Oia, the city of the best sunsets. This was about a 30 min drive to the other side of the island. We paid $45 for a private transfer round trip to the hotel and back to the airport. Our driver was the same person there and back and was extremely helpful and kind. We were dropped off at the tourism center where we had to check into our hotel.

When we checked in we were then greeted by a extremely nice gentleman and his dog Roxy, who wasn’t his dog but you will see the island is filled with dogs and cats EVERYWHERE! They seemed to all be extremely taken care of and are allowed in most stores. They helped us carry our bags to our hotel as it was a 10 min walk up and down flights and flights of stairs. The whole island is stairs as it is mostly cave like buildings. We got to our hotel and BOOM! No power! They were experiencing their second power outage on the island. We traveled there mid November which is just about when offseason is going to begin which I did not even know was a thing as well before our trip. When we got there a lot was closed but there were a lot that was opened. The island was pretty empty compared to what you see and read on the island. We did not have to wait to enter any restaurant, bar, or store. We got the best seat in the house, with the best views on the decks. It did not rain but twice late at night the whole trip. We ate at beautiful restaurants and I literally can not say one thing negative about anything I had ate or drank. Even the apple juice was the best!!! They say they grow everything on the island which is how they get the sweetest and greatest flavors.

Restaurant Recommendations-

Our Hotel had the best view and hot tub and was my favorite part of the whole trip! We stayed in the honeymoon suite and was greeted with a note and a bottle of wine! One thing to also remember when traveling to Santorini is since it is an island plumbing is different and difficult. You can not flush ANYTHING! Not even toilet paper… which is really hard to remember when you are half asleep to not throw it in the toilet when you’ve been raised your whole life to do so… So yes it is disgusting but they provide you a trashcan that is inclosed for you to throw away anything. Our hotel provided a coffee bar every morning. We had our own table and hot tub but the hotel also had a beautiful deck with huge chairs and two in ground infinity life pools with an amazing view for all guests to enjoy as well! Our hotel was literally in the center of Instagram photoshoot EVERYONE came a few steps from hotel to take their IG pics with the beautiful water and white and blue churches. Which we also learned on our tour that the churches are blue on top to represent the heavens.

We decided in order to see the rest of the island, as Oia is on the other side of the island and Fria was more in the middle, and that the only way to see the Red and Black beach on the other side was to take a bus tour! We booked it at the same place we checked into our hotel which was at the tourism center. Which I forgot to mention the tourism center is also filled with convenience stores, restaurants and bars. We booked it and a Big Private A/C Short VW Tour bus came and picked us up! We were the only ones at the Oia Bus Stop and was the first of passenger pick ups. We picked up the rest of the passengers which was a lot of fun as the tour guide had everyone introduce ourselves and see where everyone was from we had people from Jamaica, UK, Ireland, America, Canada it was really awesome to get to know everyone and their cultures and come together as a tour group to make our experience the best! Our first stop was at the highest point of the island. We went up a huge mountain and was able to get out of the bus and see the whole island from this point, which was extremely awesome to do!

Our next stop was to the oldest city in Santorini, Greece that was preserved into a museum that you are able to even walk through! This was fun as Ryan is 6’3 and the Greeks are known to be short, our tour guide said the tallest greek person is usually 5’2 which is what I am. So all the doors Ryan had to duck under haha! This was a lot of fun and was an extra $6 but worth it to see original history of the city!

Our next stop after was to the Black Sand Beach, the black sand is made from lava which makes the sand warm! We were able to eat at a nice beach restaurant where Ryan was able to try Greek Octopus! We played in the sand and water after and then headed to one of the world famous Wine Museums! We were able to try Greek Dessert Wine which is what they are mostly know for as their grapes are grown to be sweet and they build unique nest like vines. After our tasting we were able to go into an underground Wine museum where you can visually see how they produce their wine and also purchase wine to bring home. When ever you are drinking wine in Greece they always say “Yamas” which basically means “Cheers!” before every drink or meal!

I really enjoyed this trip and the last stop was Oia which is where we stay anyways but for those not staying in Oia they were able to experience the world’s best sunset! I would highly recommend this tour. It was very well paced and we were able to explore at times at our pace rather than feel like we were being dragged along, very personable and worth it. It was $22 but worth every minute! The tourism center offers different tours all the time as well, for example, they also had a volcano tour as well! Just do your research and make a list of must haves and see what season they are offered at in Santorini. Our main goal was to relax which I think we were able to achieve.

On one of our last days we decided to go down the 300 steps which this is where you can go to see the beautiful sunset if you do not have a villa facing the water. We went down and we decided to walk it ourselves, you can get a donkey but we did not want to do so as they are kinda abused. We walked down and all it was is restaurants and a pier. We just sat down and enjoyed the view and then struggled on the way back up haha We got ice cream to make it worth it as well.. which to me Greece had better Ice cream and Pizza than Italy.

We made friends with lots of locals who worked at stores and restaurants and felt like we were at a home away from home. I can not wait to one day go back to Santorini and even though we went on an offseason with everything not completely open I completely loved it as it was quiet, romantic and wasn’t interrupted by thousands of tourists.

Remember we are two recent college grads and we paid for our honeymoon ourselves. We researched cheap flights and flew to Italy to go to Greece, you do not have to pay $3K to get to this island just be smart and you can travel on a budget!

Hope you enjoyed and if you have any questions I may of not had answered in this Blog I would love to try my best to answer it!

Hope you one day can experience this beautiful Island!!!

Advertisement

HOW I TRAVEL THE WORLD WITH NO MONEY

Processed with VSCO with t1 preset

Hey!!!! I know you are reading this because you are thinking “I want to travel but my bank account says stay home.” When ever I see someone after a trip I also get asked “How do you travel so much?” or “omg you must be rich because you travel a lot” or “do you even work?” and the answers are always, “really because I feel like I haven’t seen enough of this beautiful world” and “no I am also a broke college student like you” and “yes Ryan and I work normal jobs like you.”

Honestly HATE when people say “ugh you are so lucky you get to travel” or “I wish I had money to travel like you do.” BUT IN ALL REALITY YOU CAN!!!!

But let’s skip the BS thoughts some people have and get into what I do and my tips and tricks.

 BE FLEXIBLE!!!!!

Now when I say be flexible I mean with your travel dates and travel locations. You may really want to go on a weekend but in reality it may be cheaper to leave on a Wednesday or a week later than when you wanted to travel.

SIGN UP FOR ALL THE AIRLINES MILES PROGRAMS!!!

FIRST OFF WHAT ARE YOU DOING NOT SIGNING UP FOR THESE!!! THEY ARE FREE!!! You get free miles every time you travel with that airline!!! If you travel with that airline often you may be able to get free upgrades, food or even better FREE FLIGHTS!!! I traveled to LA for free because I saved up my miles and got a free round trip ticket!!!! It is so SIMPLE!!!

IF OVER 18!!! GET A TRAVEL CARD!!!

If you are over the age 18 and is responsible and have cash! Get your self a travel credit card because this way you are able to get more discounts on hotels and flights, along with perks like priority boarding but you get DOUBLE MILES sometimes MORE!!! After you spend $1,000-2000 you get 40,000 miles- 60,000 miles!!!! That is multiple roundtrip flights for free. Again only use if you have cash to pay it off and be responsible!

MAKE TRAVEL TICKET HUNTING A PART TIME HOBBY

A lot of the time I travel is because I just so happened to run into a $50 dollar plane ticket to a place or city I have never traveled to and want to go. I literally make it a hobby to constantly check airplane tickets and studying the best times to travel. I use the skyscanner app to see what airlines travel to what cities and when the best times are to travel to certain areas. This allows me to say okay Delta travels to LAX and then you can go directly to Delta’s website and purchase the ticket from the. This app also this cool feature where you click “EXPLORE” and you put “ANYWHERE” at “ANYTIME” from a specific departing airport and it tells you THE CHEAPEST PLACES TO TRAVEL ANYWHERE WITHIN A 6 MONTH PERIOD. This is how I found my families $230 roundtrip ticket to Iceland and back!!! Just from exploring my options. (ps wish this was sponsored but it’s not I just REALLY LOVE THIS APP)

TIP 3: GO TO THE AIRPORT TO BUY YOUR TICKET!!!!!

When you go directly to the airport you do not have to pay all the crazy service charge fees!!!!! Ryan and I saved $70 for going to the airport to buy our ticket for our latest NYC trip we paid $29 for a one way ticket and $42 dollars back!!! IT IS SO CRAZY BUT IT WORKS!!!!

DO NOT BE SEAT PICKY!!!

If you are traveling alone or with a buddy as long as you booked your tickets at the same time you will be seated next to or very close to that person. I say skip the expensive “seat selection” that for some reason always changes… and get your seat for free!!!!

TRAVEL LIGHT!!!

I KNOW! I KNOW! I can hear you all screaming at me! How can you pack light when you have to take a pic in all 20 outfits sitting in your closet right now!!!  My tip for this is TRY ON ALL THE CLOTHES and make outfits that can be reused in different ways. Sometimes you think an outfit may be cute as well and it might not actually be cute… it happens to me all the time and then you think that could of been space I could of saved. Try to pack as much in a backpack or carry on so you do not have o pay for the luggage space on the airplane.

DO NOT ALWAYS TRAVEL BUT AIRPLANE OR UBER EVERYWHERE!!!

ALWAYS!!! Look for what the city’s or states public transportation options are because you may be able to say HUNDREDS of dollars. For example, Last year Ryan and I flew into San Francisco and we wanted to visit family in Sacramento. An airplane was $211 for a one way ticket for ONE PERSON!!! Instead we found a Gray hound that cost $11!!!! The Greyhound has plugs, wifi, and comfy seats!!! We paid $11 and got more than what most airplanes provide for $100s! Yes Greyhounds may seem scary to some and I would recommend you do your research for certain bus stop areas but I just brought my neck pillow and closed my eyes and feel asleep for 3 hours and we arrived!  Also Trains!!! Trains may cost you $3-10 dollars and can get you anywhere from city to city to state to state!!! Just do your research before you jump into a $50 uber. Who knows you may get lost and find somewhere beautiful!!!!!

DO NOT STAY IN THE BUSY CITIES 

I feel like this is a common tip because it’s like common sense, sometimes looking for a place to stay 5 mins away from the main cities may be more peaceful and a hella lot cheaper!!!

AIRBNB OR STALK BOOKING.COM

So I have not personally been able to use Airbnb because people take too long to respond or cancel… but I hear good things and the prices look cheap! but I use booking.com because you can find apartment and hotels and it tells you straight forward how much it is going to cost for the amount of days you are staying. You also get $20 credit when you refer people!!!

Hotels.com

If you use Hotels.com every 10th stay is free!!!

TRAVEL WITH FRIENDS

Who doesn’t love travel buddies!!!! You get to travel with friends and you can split cost of rooming, transportation and what ever else you do!!!

MEET PEOPLE WHERE YOU ARE TRAVELING

I am saying this for two things… one if you meet someone who knows the area they will tell you all the secrets of what to do or where to go for cheap or just for fun! and TWO so you can stay somewhere for FREEEEEE!!!! I know some people may think it is weird but I promise this may be the best thing you decide to do and may lead to long time friendships! Ryan and I’s friend from High school who we didn’t speak too regularly opened her house to us when we went to Vegas and now we consider them to be one of our best friends and love them so much!!! So do not feel scared to step out of your comfort zone and you may friend a life long friend!!!

USE AAA IF YOU HAVE IT!!!!

IF YOU HAVE AAA YOU SOMETIMES GET CRAZY TRAVEL DEALS THAT ARE AMAZING SO USE IT!!!!!

Also keep the option of Renting a car

This again depends where you are traveling to because if you do not have to pay for parking everywhere and there is not crazy traffic and the rates for renting a car is cheaper for a longer travel period then do it!!! (AAA can be used for this as well!) Also if you are under 25 but older than 21 you can rent a car with AAA or the app called Turo!

SAY NO LESS AND SAY YES MORE!!!

Hope all these tips are useful and help you travel more!!! The key to traveling is in your hands it is up to you to save the few dollars of coffee or video games and travel! There is nothing better  than exploring and seeing the world!

A DAY IN THE BAHAMAS

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset
Nassau, Bahamas Photo/Edit: Andrea Jara

Last month my family and I went on a Royal Caribbean Cruise and the first stop was Nassau, Bahamas! So since we visited the Bahamas through a cruise that meant we only had less than a day to explore the island. My family and I decided to take a Taxi to the world Famous Atlantis Resort!

Processed with VSCO with hb2 preset
Atlantis Resort

As soon as you got off the boat, as per usual when you go on a cruise, all the excursion companies and all the taxis driversĀ get all in your face!

Processed with VSCO with hb2 preset
Where all the businesses and taxis driver hung out.

There is also usually loads of shops where residents of the island make homemade souvenirs and sell food/water.P1220600 Before we got in our taxis we bought loads of $1 water from one of the shops outside, as that was probably the cheapest water we would find on the island.

Processed with VSCO with f2 preset
Shops outside the boat on the port of Nassau, Bahamas

So after we bought water, we loaded up a taxis bus and drove to Atlantis resort! Also, since we were on an island they do not drive on the same side of the road like we do in the States, which made things SUPER SCARY. So we arrived to Atlantis and we had to pay for a day pass which allows you to just walk around the aquarium, beach and Resorts of Atlantis. The pass cost around $42. We received our wrist bands and we entered the resort, where the first thing you saw was a huge ROLEX store… I guess when you go to the Bahamas you go for some ICE ha ha ha (am I funny I think not lol.) My family and I decided to make our first stop in the Casino! In the United States you have to be 21 to Gamble but since the Bahamas is not part of the USA you are legal at 18! So we all played, I lost all my money (Don’t worry, I won back my money on the cruise ship.) Jovani and Ryan won money on the Wheel of Fortune machine, LUCKY!!!

P1220693
Jovani after he won on this Machine.

After we played all our money. We decided to walk around the water park area. Which was not included in our day pass but no one stopped us haha. So we walked around and honestly… I was so disappointed when I saw the slide that you see in EVERY ATLANTIS COMMERCIAL!!! It’s literally such a small drop and they make it seem like you are falling from space on TV!!! I WAS LIKE…ARE WE IN THE RIGHT PLACE…? After being disappointed, we decided to go to the Atlantis Aquarium!

P1220708
The aquarium at Atlantis

The aquarium had all the fish you would normally see at an aquarium. I would say the displays around the aquarium were super cool to see though! After the aquarium we just walked to the resorts private beach and walked across a rope bridge that dangles above HAMMER HEAD SHARKS!!! So then we finished up everything we could do with our Day pass, so we went back to the port but before we got back on the boat we went to a bar since again we were all LEGAL!!! We went to a bar called Twisted Lime and we all had our first family drink together!!! We drank BAHAMA MAMAS!!! WHICH HAS OVER 4!!!REPEAT 4!!! DIFFERENT LIQUORS IN IT!!! WHICH ALSO MEANS WE WERE ALL TIPSY L O L (besides Julian my little brother who was in my opinion being a hard ass.)

P1220838
BAHAMA MAMA!!!

So then as you could imagine any semi drunk or “tipsy” person, we were all laughing, singing and SMILING WAY TO MUCH ON OUR WAY BACK TO THE BOAT. We then got on the boat, ate lunch and crashed for a few hours. Bahamas was short but a short good time!

Hope you enjoyed- Watch my BAHAMAS VLOG HERE

HERE ARE SOME MORE PHOTOS FROM THE TRIP

P1220797
ATLANTIS RESORT

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset
GETTING OFF THE BOAT FT. RYAN

Processed with VSCO with a5 preset
THE CRUISE SHIP

Processed with VSCO with f2 preset
MY CUTE PARENTS

IMG_0074
OUR FACES AFTER THE BAHAMA MAMAS

Processed with VSCO with hb2 preset
VIEW OF PORT FROM SHIP

Processed with VSCO with a5 preset
MY CUTE PARENTS AGAIN

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset
ATLANTIS THRONE

Processed with VSCO with f2 preset
MY MOM IS SUPER CUTE

Processed with VSCO with a5 preset
THE LITTLE BROTHERS

Processed with VSCO with f2 preset
VIEW FROM TICKET BOOTH AT ATLANTIS

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset
ATLANTIS RESORT

Processed with VSCO with f2 preset
LITTLE BROTHERS AT ATLANTIS

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset
BOATS AT ATLANTIS RESORT

Thanks for reading(:

%d bloggers like this: