Jamaica 2024 Vacation Recap

It was our first “Mom + Dad Only” vacation since before Dylan was born 2 years ago.

jamaica vacation

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WHERE WE STAYED

We chose the Hyatt Zilara Rose Hall, not by random. This is our 3rd time staying at one of the Hyatt Zilara / Ziva resorts and we LOVE the brand! Back in December 2020 we stayed at the Hyatt Zilara Cancun and it was such an incredible experience that we have sought out the Hyatt “Z” brands since then! Last year we went to the Hyatt Ziva Los Cabos which is a kid friendly resort (Zilara is adults only, Ziva is kids).

What was cool about this one is that the Hyatt Zilara + Hyatt Ziva were right next to each other, which meant we got to use both properties. The adult only pool on the Zilara side and the kid friendly pool on the Ziva side. Not to mention the 6 restaurants + 3 pool side “fast food restaurants”.

I cannot recommend this chain of all-inclusive resorts enough, and I am in no way sponsored to say that! 😆

WHAT IT COST

Someone asked me this today, and I honestly cannot give you a specific price point but I will tell you this:

Between the night that we purchased on our own (not using points) + a massage for each of us + 2 upgraded bottles of champagne, we spent $1,200 (plus cash tip) while there.

Everything else was booked using points.

  • First Class flight tickets for 2, round trip: 100% using our American Airlines points
  • 3 nights at the all-inclusive resort: 100% using our Hyatt points

How did we add up to that?

Well, our stay last year at the Hyatt Ziva definitely added up to a LOT of points accumulated, and with the amount that we travel back and forth to see our families (who live in 4 different states between our two sides), we acquire a lot of airline points too!

On top of that, you can gain points for every dollar spent on your cards. Whenever a big/ unexpected expense comes up we put it on one of those 2 cards (think doctors visits, car needs, etc). But be sure to pay it off RIGHT AWAY! We don’t put anything on those cards that we don’t have money in the bank to pay it off immediately.

Which card is worth it for you? Well, that’s up to you! We first got an American Airlines card when we moved from the Midwest to NC, because we knew we’d be flying a decent amount. Then, after staying at the Hyatt Zilara in 2020 we learned how great Hyatt is for point accumulation, it was a no brainer!

EXTRA THINGS WE CHOSE TO DO

It has become one of our favorite traditions to book an overnight stay in the city we are departing from before a big trip. We started this for our honeymoon in 2019 when we flew to Europe, but our flight left out of Boston. So, instead of booking a layover (say: Charlotte >> Boston >> Rome), we instead flew up to Boston a whole day early, left the airport and had a whole day of adventures in Boston! For this trip, we drove down to Charlotte and had a really, really enjoyable (kid free) day!

At the resort: we chose to purchase massages for each of us, a cabana for 2 of the days there, and upgraded champagne bottles because we like ourselves a good glass of wine. All of this cost about $600 and was well worth it. Especially the 2nd day we had the cabana because I NEEDED SHADE (I might have gotten a little burnt hehe)

WHERE WAS OUR KID?!

The biggest blessing of all was that my parents were able to fly out from Illinois and stay at our house all week. This meant they not only were able to stay with our 2-year old, but that we also got to forego the dog boarding expense (which would be a lot for TWO dogs for a whole week).

I cannot put into words how thankful I am for the fact that I have 2 healthy and supportive parents to help make this trip a reality for us, and I sure can’t put into words how fun they had. So I’ll let the pictures do the talking

WORKOUTS WHILE ON VACATION

During our 4 night stay, I worked out 3 times, and I’m pretty damn proud of that! I did 2 workouts at the truly phenomenal resort gym (posted below in detail!) and one of the workouts from my fitness membership, THRIVE

Join my Monthly Fitness Membership, for women: THRIVE

For only $29.99 per month, this fitness membership offers 4X weekly workouts plus access to the private FB page for unlimited access and accountability!

*there is a pre-requisite to joining the membership and that is completing the 30-day Habit Building Fitness + Nutrition Challenge. This offers 4X weekly workouts AND 4X weekly meal plans including recipes and it has been proven to help women establish habits for self-accountability and consistency! Why? It requires daily check ins. Get started, click the button


Save these workouts for later 🙂

Workout 1: Upper Body + Obliques (and a lil cardio)

10 min treadmill warm up then:
3 sets of:
-Cable horizontal lateral raises (sub out for dumbbells if no cable system) X 10 each
-Cable pull downs (sub for DB upright row) X 10 reps

3 sets of:
-Lat pull downs (sub DB bent over row if no pull down) X10
-Cable tricep pull down (sub tricep overhead ex if no cable) X10

3 sets of:
-Machine chest press X10
-Mountain climbers X20

5 minute cardio “intermission”

3-4 sets of oblique work:
-Horizontal woodchopper X10 each
-Pallof press X10 each
-Standing side bend X10 each
-High windmill X5 each

tag @lifeofcarlyb_ on instagram when you try it!

Workout 2: Lower Body + Mobility

Lower body warm up then:

3 sets of:
-TRX supported squats (sub for bodyweight squats if needed) X 15
-TRX supported single leg RDL (sub for DB RDL) X10 each leg

3 sets of:
-DB alternating curtsy lunges X16 total
-DB leg abduction x10 each

3 sets of:
-Step ups X10 each
-Incline plank leg lifts X10 each

3 sets of:
-DB RDL X8-10
-Alternating step back lunges X12 total

Finish with 30 minutes of mobility, listen to your body!

tag @lifeofcarlyb_ on instagram when you try it!

That’s all of the recap I have for now! For more vacation pics, follow me on Insta @lifeofcarlyb_ 🙂

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