Why Data Roaming Costs so Much

I can’t be the only one who thinks the internet is so expensive when going International right? I mean it is ridiculous! The price for international roaming ranges from $15 dollars a day to $50 dollars a day. If you stay for a week that’s $100-$350 for internet. I mean we have to be realistic… everyone wants internet while on vacation to post selfies and pictures of their food on Snap Chat and Instagram because that’s the world that we live in now..

I started thinking, there has to be a reason for this right? Like the reason why airplane tickets are so expensive is because of the fuel needed to get the customers from one place to another and the maintenance of the aircraft. So, there has to be a reason why cell phone companies charge so  much for international roaming.

I did some digging. According to David Meyer, data roaming charges vary between operators.

To make it easier, the reason why charges are so expensive is simple. When you are two different countries there are two different carriers that are involved. Both carriers (operators) run smoothly with no laws or regulations but they do have long term agreements. Carriers charge different prices for different countries so planning ahead while booking a vacation may be good for your pocket if you are planning to use your cell phone. Charges for a phone call are around $3.00 a minutes and using data is even more, it’s ridiculous. Unfortunately customers will pay this price because they “need” their phone. Like I said, this is the world that we live in now, where we go crazy without our phone and going on vacation without it would be unimaginable. It’s a pure monopoly and it sucks for an average person but we time and time again pay for it.

The problem with the argument is operators don’t build their networks for foreign visitors; they build them for their domestic customers. Most have already made their money back. “Roaming charges are prohibitive, very expensive if you compare them with local charges, and there’s no reason why those prices should be that high.”

There are ways to save though. Honestly not a lot… but there are some steps you can do before going on your trip overseas so your tiny cell phone doesn’t brake your bank account. Some carriers have international plans that allow the customer to just “switch” over to the specific countries data plan. It still gets expensive, mostly for calls though. So using the internet in the long run isn’t that bad. Getting a sim-card and finding a local hotspot for WiFi will allow for you to save money as well.

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Apple Vacations

If you haven’t heard of Apple Vacations you are honestly missing out. This site will help you throughout you’re entire vacation experience. Apple Vacations is the #1 tour operator throughout the world and it is used by people in all different kinds of countries. This website is basically you’re online trip organizer.

I apologize for the lack of accessibly to this picture. I am on my schools computer and it’s a chrome book so obviously I shouldn’t have expected to get a high quality photo.

But Apple Vacations makes it so easy for the traveler, they basically have everywhere in the world on this site so you have a wide range of options of where you would like to go. My family and I have benefited so much by using Apple Vacations and planning our trips to Mexico through this site. If, you would like you could get set up with an apple representative in your city/state and they can basically do everything for you. Kathy, our trip adviser here in Iowa City is amazing. We called her telling her we would like to go to Mexico in the month of December and she did her magic. She played around with dates and different locations to fly in and out of and ended up finding the cheapest deal for us. There are so many hotels in Mexico, obviously. But, Apple Vacations is so nice and they have lots of options to choose from like the ‘Rivera Maya’, ‘Cancun’, ‘Cabo’, ‘Puerto Vallarta’, etc. And within those different places in Mexico you get the option of choosing between HUNDREDS of hotels. There are all-inclusive hotels and then there are some where it only allows a place for lodging.

P.S. look for the golden apples! Those are typically the best hotels with the highest rating!

Apple Vacations allows for guests to comfortably enjoy their vacation because everything gets taken care of. You don’t have to worry about anything. A vacation package comes with; airfare, lodging, transportation, and unlimited food and drinks. All for a considerably decent price.

I think the best part about it all is once you get off a plane there are apple guys all over the place in colorful Hawaiian flowered shirts and they are more then helpful. They also have apple representatives at your hotel in case anything goes wrong. They tell the guests what time they need to be in the lobby for checkout and they help with any excursions you might like to do while on your vacation. These guys are so helpful and will do anything to make sure you have a great time.

I would highly highly recommended using Apple Vacations to book your next trip. I promise you, you won’t regret it.

(Also, there are SO many places to go while using Apple… I just used Mexico as an example since I have had an experience with it)

Happy Booking!! 🙂

Planning Lodging for a Tropical Vacation

So, I want to tell you guys about some good ideas for going on a tropical vacation. Since, if many of you read my blogs you know that the tropical route is my cup of tea.

I mean, planning a vacation is tricky and there a lot of things you need to do before you can just hop on a plane and take off. There is the airfare, transportation, food, lodging, etc. I think one of the most stressful parts is figuring out where to stay and what a good bang for buck would be.

I am a huge advocate of all-inclusive hotels! Trust me, they will honestly change your life. You get the best of the best where ever you go. However, everything is already paid for in advance. Food, lodging, airfare, transportation, etc! You get all you can eat food and drinks 24/7 because it’s free…. well… technically you paid for it. Let me tell you, it is a weird feeling eating at a restaurant and getting up and leaving without paying or leaving a tip. It makes your vacation a lot more enjoyable and laid back because you don’t need to worry about money and how much to save for the rest of your trip. All-inclusive resorts are extremely affordable as well! When we went to Mexico for a week it was $1,200 a person… and when you really think about it, it is a great deal.

All-inclusive resorts are honestly the best. I mean look at that! You get gorgeous views, unlimited access to the pools and beaches, and you’re basically stuck on your very own tropical island. It really doesn’t get much better then this. Don’t even get me started on all the accommodations that come with an all-inclusive resort.

Another way to go is renting a home or condo through someone at your destination. There are a lot of great apps and websites like AirBnb, VRBO, and many more! I have never done this before so I can’t talk much about it but I think they would be great. I’m not sure if I would like them parse because I like having people to interact with and having things to do and I think you would be very limited at a vacation rental. However, they would be very spacious and nice for a big group of vacationers.

GO ALL-INCLUSIVE GUYS!!! YOU WON’T REGRET IT!

Gap Year

Like in my earlier posts, college is a difficult thing for me at the moment. I have no idea where the right places to go for me are. How will I know unless I try? but trying something and hating it is the worst. I mean I thought I figured it out and was planning on doing one year at a local community college and then transferring to a 4-year institute in my state. I was going to do the 2-2 program but after talking with my counselor she said for what I want to go in to it would be better for me to do one year and then transfer. So once again, my plans getting jumbled up. But, this is not the purpose of this post.

One of my friends at my high school is taking a “gap year” and is volunteering in Norway. Another friend, is riding her horse across Europe before going to college. I never really thought about doing a gap year because I mean every one always told me to go straight to college after you graduate high school. It might not be a bad idea though. I think gap years could help a student find who they really are and let them discover new things about themselves. I mean, I’m sure you guys can already tell where I want to go right? Mexico. Easy. However, I don’t know where to start? Do I just google gap year programs or volunteering in Mexico? Do I talk to my counselor? Who knows…..

According to Suzy Strutner, a lifestyle writer with the Huffington Post states that students who take a gap year between high school and college are living life to the fullest compared to students who don’t.

3. You’ll get to adventure at your prime.
When else are you going to be 18 years old with no job, no mortgage payments, no significant other, no kids, no homework and no worries? Never. The answer is never.

4. You’ll know what’s important in life before most people do.
College is ridiculously fun, but it’s easy to get so caught up that you begin to believe your fraternity or friend group is the absolute center of the universe. As such, any small crisis might seem like the end of the world. However, if you’ve traveled the wider world in all its complexity and glory, you’ll understand there are bigger issues for humanity than a failed date night or lost game of beer pong.

This were only a few that stuck out to me. When I traveled to Mexico for a week on vacation I came back to the states a different person. I was humble and I realized the deeper meaning of life and it’s purpose. The things that you think matter really don’t and it’s the small things that creates a person’s happiness. I will be 18 turning 19 and it would be the perfect age to go explore. I don’t have to be accountable for much except for myself. I want to study abroad of course during my college time but I think doing something before will prepare me for the adventures in my future.

If I’m not ready now, to go to college.. why not go somewhere and spend a year helping others and exploring new things and finding new things about myself. I think that would prepare me for things in college than anything else. I would retain more knowledge and I would find what I loved to do before I started taking classes during college. Life is unfolding too quickly for me right now… I think I need some time to think. Some time to explore and experience new possibilities.

My Tattoos

Tattoos seem to be a big controversy. My mom has two and she still has to hide them when we see her because my grandma grew up in a time where tattoos where considered a taboo. My mom did too, she almost felt guilty getting them because she grew up being taught that they were wrong. However, now a days, tattoos are a way of expressing yourself. They are art.

When I left Mexico, I realized that I am in love with this country and it was now apart of me. When I was there I didn’t feel anxious or depressed; I felt bliss. Pure happiness.  At the time I was 18 and I knew what I needed to do. I needed to get a tattoo of something resembling Mexico. I needed it because that place is my home and I needed something to remind me of it everyday. A picture of the beach as my phone background is nice but I needed something permanent.

I got Puerto Morelos coordinates on my wrist so if I ever start to feel anxious or depressed I can always look down at my wrist or rub those coordinates and get back to having peace with myself again. It’s stupid I know but that tattoo means more to me then many people know. It has meaning and it helps me get through tough situations. That is why I love tattoos because everyone’s tattoo has a different meaning to them. And you may never know what it means, but to them it might save them.

So, here is my first tattoo.

20.8478 degrees N & 86.8755 degrees W… the place that saved me.

If any of you have a tattoo you know that they become very addicting. Once you get one you start to think about the next one you want to get. The pain from the needle is exciting and the adrenaline from getting a tattoo is exciting. So, I told myself that if you want another tattoo then that’s your choice and it’s your body so go for it!

And then…. this happened 🙂

 sorry about my ugly foot 🙂

But, I got this tattoo because the sun and the water are my happiness. Particularly, the sun and the water in Mexico. However, this has meaning to me as well and I absolutely love this one. These are my two favorite things mixed into one and I don’t think anything is more cooler than that!!

Tattoos are great, they are a way for a person to express themselves without having to explain it to anyone else. Celebrity Justin Bieber has numerous tattoos and he gets judged in the public eye every day for them. If you took the time to hear what his tattoos really mean then people would understand that he didn’t just get them for the heck of it. His tattoos help HIM get through rough situations as well.

Spending a Summer in Mexico

As I made friends with the entertainment team in Mexico… an interesting idea popped in both my friends and I’s heads. Why don’t I go down there during the summer and work as a part of the entertainment team for my summer?

Obviously, there would be cons to that but I could and still can only think of the pros. I mean lets be real here… how amazing would this opportunity be for me? a lot of people have been hesitant of this idea but when people aren’t happy for me that almost makes me want to work harder and go to prove them wrong and prove that I will be alright. I’m going to have to grow up some time… right? I travel for the moments that steal my breath away and fill my soul. My adventure awaits….

Talking to the head of the entertainment team at the hotel that we stay at.. he said that I would have to do an interview and write papers for why I think I am a better fit to work and have this position rather then someone who is a resident of the country… so that honestly makes a lot of sense. But, the bad thing is I wouldn’t be getting paid for working. I would basically be doing it as a volunteer project and for the experience. That is okay for me still though? I mean I want to be an English as a second language teacher to Spanish speaking kids so that would look absolutely incredible on applications and would easily get me into the College of Education. It would be an experience of a lifetime.

I would be alone though, with no family. But like I said before, I need to grow up sooner rather then later. Why not start with this? I would spend half the summer in the Explorers Club with the little kids and the other half I would be entertaining the entire hotel. Could you imagine all the friends I would make from all over the world? This would be incredible.

I would have a place to stay: either at the hotel (the entertainment staff have a big room in the back of the hotel) or at an apartment with all the staff in Puerto Morelos. So I wouldn’t have to pay for food or a hotel… I would have to bring money for shopping and other things I wanted but… remember how I have those two free tickets to where ever Spirit flies, I could use them for my airfare to and from Mexico? so if you really think about it I wouldn’t need that much money because I am there for the experience anyway.

I kind of blew this opportunity off when everyone I talked to about it said it was a bad idea but after writing about this right now it’s starting to come back to me…. I really want to do this. I will get back with you guys on my decision!!! pray for me!

 

 

 

Mexico… The Place That Fills My Heart

Party country, spring break getaway, and the country where “BUILD A WALL” is chanted across the border. Many of you have probably been to Mexico, yes. But, you may be apart of the build a wall chants and get too crazy during spring break. I on the other hand have a different connection with Mexico. It is my place, my happy place. I have a passion for that country.

The first time I went to Mexico was for my brothers wedding in 2014, that was my first time on a plane and the first time out of the country. I didn’t really pay attention to the breath taking country until I went back again with my family in April AND December… 2016. This time we weren’t busy getting ready for a wedding. We got to really take in the country for what is truly was.. and yes, we went back twice in one year.

                  

Okay, so yes, I just spammed you guys with pictures but to be honest I couldn’t decide which one to choose so I just picked them all. Let me tell you, these people are real and honest and genuine. They care about you, like actually care about your well being. They are my friends.. these people that I met and hung out with for only a week are better friends then most of the people I see and talk to everyday. I care more about the friends I made while in Mexico then anyone else. I developed a deep connection with these people and I truly love them with all of my heart. I miss them more and more everyday. See that is the thing about Mexico, the people who live there are so kind and sweet and are so happy with so little and they make you realize that you don’t need much to be happy. While I was in Mexico I fell in love with the culture but more then that…. the people.

How could you not fall in love with those views though? Waking up every morning to the breath taking sunrises. I could get use to waking up every morning to that… and maybe having a cup of coffee on my little porch? yeah I think I could do that.

People always assume the worst when I bring up living in Mexico but at this point I don’t care what people think… it is my honest to god dream to spend my life in Mexico and grow old there. I am not happy with where I am at right now and when I go to Mexico there is an indescribable feeling that comes over me. I can’t explain it, I mean I guess the best was to say it is: bliss. Everything fades away and I am at peace with myself. I love that country more than you guys know…