Tagged by: trip planning

Arrivals and Plans…Our Repat Journey

Date Posted: October 30, 2017
Posted in: Expat Life, Personal

Our repat journey begins...back to the USA

Two years ago, we landed in the U.S. for a two-month visit with my family and friends. That’s the longest amount of time we’ve ever spent here together. But this time around, we will be here for potentially six months. This is the longest I’ve spent in Massachusetts since I was 18 years old! So, here we are. We’ve arrived. We’re making plans. This is our repat journey…

Two years ago, we landed in the U.S. for a two-month visit with my family and friends. That's the longest amount of time...

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Housesitting in Southern France

Date Posted: January 18, 2017
Posted in: Housesitting, Travel Tales

TrustedHousesitters in France

Southern France…it just sings of romance and beauty. Rolling hills covered with small vineyards, private yachts and fabulous beaches hugging the Mediterranean coast, tiny villages with traditional stone architecture and colorful wooden shutters on every window. Southern France is dreamy even in reality. And that’s why I leapt at the opportunity for housesitting in Southern France last month.

Southern France...it just sings of romance and beauty. Rolling hills covered with small vineyards, private yachts and fa...

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The Expat Life…Moving On Again

Date Posted: January 3, 2017
Posted in: Expat Life, Housesitting

Serial expat moving again

Another year, another adventure! We’re heading to a new destination this month because of a fantastic opportunity. As is common in the expat life, we’re moving somewhere new because we have itchy feet and we also see a new location as a fun new challenge.

Another year, another adventure! We're heading to a new destination this month because of a fantastic opportunity. As is...

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Roatan Insider Tips: Street Food

Date Posted: June 22, 2015
Posted in: All About Roatan

In case you’ve missed them, I’ve offered a few other Roatan Insider Tips before on local beer, transportation, tropical bugs, Extreme Roatan, local radio, and the best dive sites.


 

People are often hesitant to eat street food, and I can understand why. Nobody wants to spend an entire vacation writhing in pain because of a bad burrito. But if you know where to go then you can enjoy some of the best and cheapest food available without worry. Here are my favorite recommendations for eating safe street food in West End and West Bay, Roatan.

In case you've missed them, I've offered a few other Roatan Insider Tips before on local beer, transportation, tropical...

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Roatan’s 8th Annual Golden Buoy Dive Shop Olympics

Date Posted: April 29, 2015
Posted in: All About Roatan

Hey, guys, guess what? There’s a fantastic event happening on the island right now that you need to know about…even if you’re not visiting until June!

The 8th Annual Golden Buoy competition has officially begun. Benefiting the SOL Foundation, the Golden Buoy is a coveted award won by a dive shop each year for raising the most money for the organization. Beginning this weekend, dive shops will be hosting various events and competitions until June, when the Golden Buoy will be awarded after the Dive Shop Olympics.

Hey, guys, guess what? There's a fantastic event happening on the island right now that you need to know about...even if...

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Roatan Insider Tips: Best Dive Sites

Date Posted: February 9, 2015
Posted in: All About Roatan

Roatan best dive sites

The best dives sites in Roatan is – of course – a subjective list. Some divers love wrecks, others prefer shallow dives with lots of light and color. Some divers seek out little critters in the sand while others prefer drifting along a wall looking for big stuff in the deep. But for those of us who live and breathe (bubbles) in Roatan, these are the best dive sites around.

The best dives sites in Roatan is - of course - a subjective list. Some divers love wrecks, others prefer shallow dives...

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Advice for First-Time Scuba Divers (AKA How to Become a Scuba Diver Without Pissing Off Your Instructor)

Date Posted: June 10, 2014
Posted in: Travel Tales

Word to the wise: When you are embarking on a new venture, understand that you know nothing.

Alright, folks, here’s the deal. I manage a dive shop in Roatan. I know things. You want to become a diver. That is awesome! But you don’t yet know anything about diving. So pay attention to the following…very…very…very carefully.

 

Proof I know what I'm doing: here I am diving with my Irish-Colombian Instructor Roomie/Manfriend

Proof I know what I’m talking about: here I am diving with my Irish-Colombian Instructor Roomie/Manfriend

Word to the wise: When you are embarking on a new venture, understand that you know nothing. Alright, folks, here's the...

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2014 cost of living in Roatan: One month

Date Posted: March 25, 2014
Posted in: All About Roatan

In case you missed it, I’m breaking down what it (approximately) costs to come to Roatan for a week, a month, and a year. Check out the weekly estimate in my previous post and stay tuned for my yearly estimate. Here’s my cost of living estimate from 2013 for more info. Keep in mind your costs can vary GREATLY depending on the depth of your wallet. These are averages, but I’ve seen people blow an incredible amount of cash here and I’ve seen others skate by spending only the bare minimum. You can have fun and enjoy your vacation either way so just do what works for you! Without further ado –

Here’s what you should expect to pay…

if you’re coming to Roatan for a month:

Housing: Rent a house! It’ll save you tons over a hotel. $500-$6000, depending on how fancy schmancy you want to get.

Food: This goes with the rent a house thing – it’ll save you tons over eating out every single meal for a month. Let’s not even address what that would do to your arteries and just talk about your wallet. Go grocery shopping, cook some dinners for yourself, and eat breakfast at home. It’s so worth it. Keep in mind the groceries cost the same as or more than they do back home. It’s easy to drop $200 on a cart of normal (not crazy super healthy hard-to-find organic stuff) food. Whatever you spend back home on a monthly basis, estimate the same here.

Transportation: If you’re staying in West End or West Bay, no need for a car and you’ll be fine spending the $5 roundtrip for groceries every once in a while. If you’re renting a place slightly outside of town, you may want to consider renting a car while you’re here. Keeping in mind what you’ll save renting a house over staying in a hotel, renting a car would certainly make your stay more convenient. Again, not at all a necessity, but a convenience. You can probably work out a good deal for a month-long rental, but estimate around $1000-1500 depending on the size of vehicle you need for your group.

Activities: If you’re diving the whole time you’re here, it’s best to stick with one dive shop to get a killer deal on dive packages. A month of diving? Let’s say you end up doing about 25 dives during your stay, you’re looking at about $1000 once you factor in gear rental, Roatan Marine Park fees, and TIPS!!! Did I mention tipping your divemaster/instructor yet? Because it’s important. And managing a dive shop has made me even more sensitive than I was as a waitress because at least Americans and Canadians acknowledge that tipping your waitress/bartender is just part of going out. However, apparently people just completely brain fart when they dive and it blows my mind how many people walk out the door after absolutely raving about how wonderful their dives were and how grateful they were with the extra time and attention they received and the incredible customer service they experienced. Amazing. Just gone. No second thought. PLEASE TIP THE PEOPLE WHO KEEP YOU ALIVE AND SHOW YOU AN AWESOME TIME. /end rant. (Also, sidenote, I don’t receive any tips for what I do nor should I. I’m just ranting on behalf of my divers and boat captains who don’t have their own blogs to be able to rant.)

Other expenses: A month’s worth of expenses could include utility bills, drinking water, cleaning supplies, fuel, you name it. This should be the same as your random expenses back home based on your family/group size so plan accordingly. (ie I live with a walking talking garbage disposal so our grocery bill is astronomical, but on the flip-side it costs us only a few bucks to get to and from work each week together.) Plan accordingly based on your vacation style – are you coming here to relax and lay on the beach every day? Your expenses will be minimal beyond rent and food. But if you’re coming here to partake in any and all fun island activities available, bust out the Benjamins. (Speaking of which, in case you didn’t know the U.S. Dollar is accepted everywhere here. The basic exchange rate is 20:1 but some places change theirs based on the actual daily bank rates. Super important: lots of places do not accept credit cards and the power goes out frequently so ATMs may or may not be your friend. Bring cash. And make sure that your U.S. cash is not ripped/taped together/written on as nobody here will take it. I know that sounds silly but it’s for serious. You’ve been warned!)

Maybe that wasn’t very helpful for planning your trip because I can’t give actual numbers since you could be traveling solo or with a giant posse. Lo siento. But I promise to keep providing more info on my lovely home and all the cool things you can do and see here. In the meantime, stop worrying so much about budgeting and just come visit already!

In case you missed it, I'm breaking down what it (approximately) costs to come to Roatan for a week, a month, and a year...

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