Benefits of Traveling with a Tour Group

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Recently, I returned from an absolutely amazing trip to Antigua.  One of the coolest things about this trip was that I went with a travel group.   Now that I think about it, this wasn’t the first time I had traveled with a group, but it was one of the best tour group experiences I’ve ever had.  All fun and no drama… just 22 women with the common goal of exploring the world and having a good time!

There are so many benefits to traveling with a tour group:

Everything Is Planned For You

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Catamaran boats

Planning excursions when I travel has always been really overwhelming for me.  There are always so many options to choose from.  But in most cases, when you’re traveling with a tour group, everything from meals to excursions is planned for you.  For this particular trip, our excursions and accommodations were all planned for us.

Our trip was kind of short and our only excursions were a day trip to Barbuda (I didn’t go) and a catamaran cruise to private beaches, which were absolutely stunning!  As a special treat, our coordinator even hired a professional photographer to document our experience on the catamaran!

Our accommodations were at the brand new all-inclusive Royalton Antigua resort and it was absolutely beautiful.  I’ll get into my experience at the resort in another post. Trust me, you don’t want to miss it.

 

Great Way to Organize Travel with Friends

When it comes to planning trips with friends I often find that people just don’t want to split up the duties that come along with planning a trip. That either leaves one person to plan it all or no one at all.   Since everything is already planned for when you travel with a tour group, you can eliminate the anxiety that comes along with planning a group trip and have a stress free vacation with your friends.

 

Someone to Show You the Way

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Wes, our amazing coordinator

You don’t have to worry about getting lost or finding the pickup point for your excursions because your guide will show the way.   Many tour group trips come with a guide to lead you on your journey.  They can translate for you and answer any questions you may have.  They can even order food for you (I definitely had to get my guide in Morocco to order pizza from pizza hut for me because my French was TERRIBLE)

On this particular trip we didn’t have a guide, but our coordinator had visited the island a few weeks before we arrived, to ensure that everything was in place for us.  Seriously, Wes was the best coordinator ever!

 

 Your Parents Can Relax

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Day one, and we were already feeling like old girlfriends

 

My mother is the epitome of a worry wart, so when she found out I was going to Antigua and didn’t know anyone on the trip she was definitely nervous. But, she didn’t really need to worry.  When you’re traveling with a group, it’s completely safe for you to go without knowing anyone.  You’re literally never alone until it’s time to go to bed (unless you share a room with someone).  There is always someone to go exploring with, have dinner with, or lay out on the beach with.

I have to admit, I was pretty nervous about going on this trip alone.   I’m not even sure why I felt that way.  I go to concerts, restaurants, and festivals alone all the time when I’m at home.   I just knew that I would spend my entire vacation alone and doing my own thing.  The truth is, from the time I arrived at the resort until I landed back in the U.S., I was never by myself!

 

Photographers Everywhere

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Mini photo shoot in the pool

I know I get on my friends nerves always asking them to take my picture.   When you’re with a travel group everyone is willing to stop and pose for pictures and be tagged in them so that their friends and family back home can see.  Of course, they’ll take great pics for your personal collection too!

We were regularly taking each other’s pics, and we took it seriously too!  We were constantly telling each other which way to pose, and ensuring each pic got the right amount of lighting.  It was pretty fun and absolutely hilarious!

Some of the most epic pics that depict group travel can be found on social media pages like Melanin Globe!

 

You Leave With a New Group of Friends

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Melanin Globe should feature us! #travelgoals

After sharing so many memories and hilarious moments… how could you not leave a group trip without a set of new friends?   You’ll develop a network of friends from all over the country!  It’s an awesome way to stay in touch with the new people you’ve connected with to visit them or even travel together again!

From the start of our trip we were all already feeling like we had been friends for years.  We laughed, and some of us even shed a few tears.   By the end of the trip, we were all already thinking about a trip together in 2020.

Keep in mind that your experience with a travel group all depends on the group you’re with, but having a good attitude about it will make all the difference. You’ll get to meet some cool people and make a lot of awesome memories.

If you’re interested in traveling with a tour group, here are some of my favorite people that plan frequent group trips:

 

I really hope you’ll make your next trip with a travel group!

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Bentonite Me Baby Clay Mask Review

Bentonite Me Baby

A few months ago I was scrolling through Instagram and I came across Alikay Naturals. Alikay Naturals is a line of natural hair care and beauty products for all hair and skin types.  The company is owned by YouTube Vlogger Rochelle Graham and can be found in your local independent beauty supply store, Sally’s, Bed Bath and Beyond, Harmon Face Values and Target. As soon as I opened the site, I was already in love.  Of course, since I am obsessive I bought everything on their site.  My two favorite products from their line have been the Shea Yogurt (Later Post) and the Bentonite Me Baby clay mask.

When it comes to your skin, its really important to use some form of a detoxifier for your skin.  Detoxifying your skin removes impurities and deep down dirt that can clog pores and cause comedones (blackheads) to form.  There are many products on the market that can assist with detoxifying skin and removing impurities but many of them contain extremely harsh chemicals.  Alikay Naturals Bentonite Me Baby is made with 100% natural bentonite clay (aged volcanic ash). Bentonite clay is an excellent clarifier and detoxifier for your hair and all of your body.  Once the clay has been wet, its healing powers are activated.  Once you apply the clay to your skin or hair, it pulls out all impurities and toxins out of your skin almost like a magnet. Since my hair is extremely short, I only use the clay on my skin.

Mixing the bentonite clay is extremely easy.  If you have sensitive skin, It’s recommended that you mix the clay with water. For me, I use apple cider vinegar.  Mix the clay until it is smooth and creamy, you can add more clay or liquids if needed.   When mixing the clay, be sure not to use metal utensils.  The metal from the utensils can deactivate the magnetic effect of the clay which makes it less effective.

Once you apply the clay to your skin, leave it on for about 20 minutes.  Your skin will become extremely tight, this is the clay pulling the impurities from your skin.  Once the clay has dried, rinse the mask off with warm water.   Your skin may be a little red, but this will disappear within about 10 minutes.   After the mask, you can continue with your normal skin routine.

Bentonite Selfie

Once I used the clay, it seemed as if all of my blackheads came to the surface.  I lightly used a black head extractor to remove the blackheads.  After removing the mask I used my Rare Earth Face Toner from Kiehl’s and  Restorative Facial Milk from Julep.  The next day after using the mask, I noticed that my skin was a lot softer than normal.  My pores even seemed to be less visible.   I definitely think this will be a staple in my skin care regimen, especially because I frequently get blackheads.

I’ll be sure to post about the other Alikay Naturals products I have used very soon.  Because I’ve been obsessed with them, they are pretty much all gone so I’ll have to replenish in the next few weeks.

Which Alikay Natural Products have you tried?

 

My YouTube Addiction

Last summer, one of my good girlfriends turned me on to Vlogs and Channels  on YouTube.  For those that don’t know, a Vlog is a Video Blog.  Its basically a way to follow every day people in their daily lives… kind of like Facebook but on video.  Anywho, since last summer I’ve pretty much been obsessed with them.  It started off with my just following one Channel and then that quickly turned me into a YouTube monster! I started of watching Vicky Logan because I loved her monthly favorite videos.  Then a few months ago she and her “YouTube Sisterhood” took a trip to LA for Generation Beauty  and they all did Vlogs documenting their trip.  So then of course I had to watch all of the Youtube Sisterhood LA Vlogs.  So of course I subscribed to them and then YouTube suggested more Channels and then my obsession grew even  more. 
My obsession  got so bad that I even stopped watching regular TV because I was too busy watching video after video on YouTube.  I felt like I had to watch every video each vlogger had (crazy  I know).  They all have so many good points and topics to discuss and I can’t help but watch EVERYTHING.
I decided to list my favorite YouTube channels for my subscribers because I have to share the wealth… I love these ladies and I think you guys will too.
 She’s a shopaholic just like me, so I love when she does her Victoria’s Secret, Bath and Body Works and other shopping hauls.  She also has a series called “From House to Home” which shows the way she decorates the home she and her husband just purchased.  When it comes to home décor, I feel we have similar tastes so I got a lot of inspiration from her when it came to decorating my new apartment.  She is also a product junkie so I look forward to her monthly favorites and  GRWM (get ready with me) videos.
She’s a part of the YouTube Sisterhood I mentioned earlier.  Her weekly vlog “Ray’s Week” chronicles her weekly events.  She’s funny and extremely down to earth.  I feel like I never know what I’m going to get from her and she always keeps her subscribers on their toes.  I love her product reviews and her weave/wig videos make me wish I had hair!  Her sense of style is pretty cute too.

Out of everyone, she has to be my favorite.  Reason #1 is her faith, I love how much she adds her faith to her videos. For me, its a big deal because when it comes to my faith I’ve made some huge decisions that many young adults don’t understand.  So, its really inspiring when I find others that are on the same path as me. She does segments called “Vicky Vibes” where she discusses whats on her mind while she does her makeup for the day.  Everyone once in a while she’ll add a friend to the mix.  She does product reviews, shopping hauls and she and her husband have a cute vlog they post on Thursdays “Life with the Logan’s” its so cute watching their marriage grow.  They are newlyweds and they really inspire single people like me to wait for their perfect mate. Oh and she’s silly, just like me and who doesn’t love a silly girl!

I love her!  She posts all kinds of things from how to decorate your Erin Condren planner and how to budget for school to GRWM and favorite products.  She’s the reason I spent $40 on a freaking life planner… so worth it though. She does “Honeybee Hangouts” where she answers questions and gives advice on how to do things and handle certain situations which is always a plus.  She is the person that turned me onto doing surveys for extra cash on www.opinionoutpost.com (I’ll do an in depth post about it at a later date)

This chick is hilarious! I’m not just saying that because I’ve known her for more than half of my life. Unlike the rest of my favorites she doesn’t really talk about her favorite products or anything like that but, she chronicles her life and silly decisions in short videos.  Her most recent post about eating three donuts while she’s on a diet will leave you in tears.  The in your face approach she uses will have you cracking up for hours!
If I could be any youtuber I would probably be her (I’d keep my brown skin though).  I love her sense of style, her apartment, her dogs, her makeup collection, her closet… ok I just love everything.  She’s so super down to Earth and so funny.  She’s not afraid to be super weird and silly on camera and I love that.  I feel like so many of vloggers of the YouTube don’t show their real personalities so its refreshing when I find people that do.  I feel like many of the products she uses can be used on all skin shades so I don’t mind at all that she’s not a person of color.  
If you all happen to check them out, let me know what you think.   
Until next time lovies….