It was that time of year again. However, it wasn’t time for a mini break like Denmark, Iceland or Switzerland, no, it was a well-deserved two-week holiday in the glorious Mexican Sun. We were going to Cancun. We haven’t had a relaxing holiday since 2013 which is when our yearlong adventure began. We seemed to have caught the travel bug and simply staying in one place seems boring now. A holiday in the sun should be a relaxing one, but that is just no longer us anymore.
Having nearly missed our flights in Copenhagen due to many mistakes by Stef and I, we made sure we got to the airport on time. As a reward, we had the traditional fry up and alcohol. Who cares if it’s 4am in the morning! We were booked on a Thomson plane, took our seats and prepared ourselves for the 9 and a bit hour flight from London Gatwick to Cancun. We were flying on a Thomson Dreamliner. It was one of their more modern planes. It came with a few advantages such as more leg room, fancy LEDs making the cabin look like a disco and buttons, not blinds, which actually tinted the windows! With so long up in the air, the selection of films to watch was very limited and I was very disappointed. After a problem free flight, we finally landed. Walking out the doors of the plane we were instantly hit with the roasting heat. Finally, some heat. Coming from the UK, we don’t get much of that. We have our summer in June. June the 15th to be exact. One whole day of summer. It took a while to get through passport control but nowhere near the hour and a half we experienced in Malaysia. I was going to fake a sickness to get to the front like a woman did there but as us Brits like queuing, we enjoyed standing there and not moaning about it. Picking up our luggage was another issue. Because we spent so long in passport control, I was adamant that someone was going to have my luggage away. We got to the carousel and Stef’s bright purple suitcase was on its way round…where was mine…5 minutes went by…nothing…10 minutes went by…still nothing. Arrrgghh. Would I have to spend the whole holiday in the same set of stinking clothes I flew here wearing? Stef started looking around and found it! Someone had only gone and taken it off but left it to one side! Now that was lucky!
We had booked some transfers with HolidayTaxis.com. For 2 people return was only £12. Now that’s a bargain! We met our man with my name on a sign (which I’ve always wanted to see) and he took us to our vehicle. The doors to the airport opened and we took our first steps into the heat. Wow. It was about 30 degrees Celsius. Once in the car, I saw the sign that said that the booking didn’t include a tip. I had no money. So to stop this being an awkward drop-off, I quickly ran back into the airport and went to the ATM. We use a global traveller card from Caxton FX. It’s a top-up Mastercard that you can use all over the World. It’s easy to use and hasn’t steered us wrong in the past. I put the card into the ATM and it asked me how many Pesos I wanted. $50, $100, $200, $500, $1000, $2000 or $5000. How much is that in English money? How much do you tip a driver? This could be an expensive mistake. I took the $100 just to be safe. I had no idea. I’m sure the driver wasn’t going to tell me if I tipped too much but I’m sure I’d get a look if I tipped too little!
After a 30-minute journey, we made it to our home for the next 2 weeks. I’d handed over the massive amount of $100 to the driver who smiled. Oh God how much had I given him? We’d booked our hotel like we do with every holiday – via Hotels.com. First of all, we get between 8-12% cashback with Quidco.co.uk and also, with every 10 nights bought, Hotels.com give you a free night which you can use mostly anywhere. The free nights sure add up and make for some cheap trips – when we travelled the States, our MGM Grand suite in Las Vegas was free as a result!
We were staying at the Flamingo Hotel in the Hotel Zone. It was all-inclusive, had 2 pools, a few bars and most importantly it was on the beach. The first room we had, had one minor problem in the bathroom. We had water dripping from the light socket. Every time you turned the light on, it would make a crackling sound and the lights would flicker. Each time it did it, you wondered “is this it? Is this how it ends?” So after telling the front desk about the near death experiences they moved us a few doors down. It had no water features from the ceiling but did come with a seaview…sort of (if you stuck your head out of the door far enough!).
I put the Wi-Fi code into my phone and before sending a pic of me on the white sandy beach to rub it in to friends and family, I just had to check out how much money I’d just given that driver. It was on my brain the whole time! It works out that £1 equals $25. I’d given him £4. Thank god for that. I could now sleep at night.
The next few days were going to be just us on the beach chilling with beers and cocktails. But we couldn’t rest for too long as I had some mini adventures planned, including jumping off cliffs, cave diving and even zip lining through forests!