This month we are sharing our favorite outdoor focused trips with you all on our Travel Babies Podcast. We are all itching to travel and it seems that the safest ways to do that is to plan trips where you will spend a lot of time outdoors. This week’s episode is all about the best warm weather getaways! Listen Now: Transcript: Juliana : Dreaming of sunbathing on the beach or hopping on a jet ski? Who doesn’t love a warm weather trip to escape the cold New England winter? JQ: This is travel babes. We’re just two sisters trying to travel the world in style, but sometimes things don’t go as planned. Each week we talk about important travel topics to help you decide when, where and how to explore the world in style. I’m JQ from the travel blog jqlouise.com. Juliana: And I’m Juliana from travel with Juliana. This month we’re discussing our favorite outdoor trips. It’s important to stay safe while traveling right now. This week we were talking about our favorite warm weather escapes. First up is Aruba. Best Warm Weather Getaways: Aruba JQ: I love Aruba. It’s turned out to be the perfect kind of pandemic vacation spot. Juliana: Yeah. So I know you guys went during the pandemic kind of when things started to open up again. So how did you get there from Boston? What’s the easiest way? JQ: So Aruba, super easy to get to from the northeast. There’s tons of direct flights.…
Home Travel Aruba Podcast Episode 10 – Best Warm Weather Getaways – J.Q. Louise

Podcast Episode 10 – Best Warm Weather Getaways – J.Q. Louise

Podcast Episode 10 - Best Warm Weather Getaways - J.Q. Louise

This month we are sharing our favorite outdoor focused trips with you all on our Travel Babies Podcast. We are all itching to travel and it seems that the safest ways to do that is to plan trips where you will spend a lot of time outdoors. This week’s episode is all about the best warm weather getaways!

Listen Now:

Transcript:

Juliana : Dreaming of sunbathing on the beach or hopping on a jet ski? Who doesn’t love a warm weather trip to escape the cold New England winter?

JQ: This is travel babes. We’re just two sisters trying to travel the world in style, but sometimes things don’t go as planned. Each week we talk about important travel topics to help you decide when, where and how to explore the world in style. I’m JQ from the travel blog jqlouise.com.

Juliana: And I’m Juliana from travel with Juliana. This month we’re discussing our favorite outdoor trips. It’s important to stay safe while traveling right now. This week we were talking about our favorite warm weather escapes. First up is Aruba.

Best Warm Weather Getaways: Aruba

Podcast Episode 10 - Best Warm Weather Getaways - J.Q. Louise

JQ: I love Aruba. It’s turned out to be the perfect kind of pandemic vacation spot.

Juliana: Yeah. So I know you guys went during the pandemic kind of when things started to open up again. So how did you get there from Boston? What’s the easiest way?

JQ: So Aruba, super easy to get to from the northeast. There’s tons of direct flights. There’s direct flights on American and JetBlue. And we’re big fans of JetBlue right now because of the free Wi-Fi and just all the perks that come with being preferred on JetBlue. So we hopped on a direct flight and it’s about a four hour flight away from Boston. So it’s not too bad.

Juliana: Right. So there’s still a lot of destinations that are closed to Americans. So what kind of makes Aruba different?

Keep listening for more on the best warm weather getaways!

JQ: So it’s still tough for American passport holders right now. And it’s just so strange because, like, we’re not used to being in this position, like we’re used to being able to go wherever we want and just hop on a plane to almost any country in the world. But right now, options are still really limited. But thankfully, Aruba is open for tourism and it’s open to American tourists. And it’s really a great choice as a destination to travel to immediately because it has a very low covid risk profile. They have no hurricanes and there’s lots of direct flights. So you’re almost guaranteed like hot, sunny weather any time of year. And it’s just a really reliable place for American tourists right now.

visit aruba

Juliana: Yeah, it just seems like really a safe option. If you want to get some sunshine, if you’re coming from, you know, the Northeast like us, it’s a great option. Definitely. And the other great thing is that Aruba does really cater to tourists. So there’s plenty of hotels for almost every type of traveler. And if you’re like us right now, I mean, I know a lot of people just looking for stress free travel, like they just want to go somewhere relaxing, you know, you know, get to the beach, have some time in the sun.

So that’s why I’m recommending the Debe Aruba all inclusive.

Juliana: Oh, cool. So why are you recommending them?

Keep listening for more on the best warm weather getaways!

JQ: So everybody right now just really wants something that’s stress free and you know, it’s in the name. The divvy is all inclusive. So literally everything’s right there. And the team is super eager to welcome back guests so you can expect great service. The rooms are literally right next to the water. And that’s actually a big thing because at some of these mega resorts, your room, you know, the hotel is on the water, but they’re usually set really far back. Yeah. So, you know, usually there’s like big pools and like all kinds of stuff in between your room and the actual ocean. But since the Divi is it’s a little bit more intimate. I mean, the rooms are right next to the water.

Juliana: Yeah. And that’s especially great to like in all times, but especially during good times because you want to feel like you can just walk out of your room and breathe the fresh air with no because you’re in your own space. I feel like now, you know, going on these trips, people want to feel like they have really their own space and way more so than before because of covid its just safer.

Keep listening for more on the best warm weather getaways!

JQ: Exactly. And in Aruba, they’re known for their Seabreeze. So that’s the other thing. I mean, Aruba is a great choice because they have a constant Seabreeze,

red sail aruba snorkel cruise

Juliana: Right, So it’s never you never feel like too hot.

JQ: You never feel too hot. And, you know, that does make it safer for covid, where there’s a constant breeze and you’re always outside.

Juliana: Right. And so besides, you know, sitting at the beach or the pool and enjoying all of the nice weather, what other activities did you do while you were there?

Keep listening for more on the best warm weather getaways!

JQ: So there’s tons of water sports. So if you’re dying to go snorkeling or scuba diving or jet skiing, you can do all of that in Aruba. And at a place like Divi, you know, the hotel set up everything for you. So this is really kind of a, you know, one stop shop type of travel. I mean, you’re not going to do a lot of adventuring, but you can do a lot of exploring, if that makes sense, right?

Juliana: Yeah, that sounds so much fun. And I mean, with covid, are they?

JQ: You know, I’m sure they have limited capacity and it’s it’s probably pretty safe, too. Yeah, exactly. I mean, the country of Aruba is very strict when it comes to covid regulations because they are so dependent on tourism. They want the destination to be known as a safe. The destination, so they’re very strict with the regulations. I mean, just to get to Aruba, you need a negative covid test. You have to wear masks in public places. Everything is extra sanitized. The staff are very aware of all the protocols. So they everyone that we saw took it very seriously. And because travel is still there, not at full capacity, there’s so much space at these resorts. So you really feel like you have the place to yourself.

Juliana: Yeah, that sounds so amazing. So. All right, let’s move on to Miami.

Keep listening for more on the best warm weather getaways!

Visiting Miami

jqlouise travel guide to miami st regis bal harbour

JQ: We both love Miami, so let’s get into it.

Juliana: Yeah, the last time we both went to Miami together was for your bachelorette party, which is actually just so long ago now, even though it was only summer of twenty nineteen and it was just so much fun. So I’m really missing it.

Keep listening for more on the best warm weather getaways!

JQ: I know that feels like forever ago. I mean, fortunately, I’ve been back to Miami a few times since then and actually during covid we went twice already. So Miami is like the spot to be right now.

Juliana: Yeah, I think it’s perfect for covid times. Again, it’s just it’s not too cold. So you have, you know, pretty much all year round you have warm weather. Obviously in the summer it’s really hot. But right now I feel like it’s perfect because you have you can go outside without being cold. You have the beach, you have a ton of places to walk around. It’s really just amazing.

JQ: Yeah. And right now, it’s like in the mid 70s, honestly, the weather’s perfect down there.

Juliana: Yeah. So, OK, so let’s talk about some of our favorite places to stay. So when we went together, we stayed at the Nobu Hotel, the Nobu Villas, which are amazing. You know, you have a waterview. Like I said, it’s basically right on the water. You have a ton of amazing restaurants around. I feel like it’s also just a great location, aside from being right on the beach. You know, you have an amazing view from the balcony of also the downtown area. So that part I love to.

JQ: Yeah, I mean, we had an amazing villa where we had a wraparound balcony. So we had a view of the water and of the downtown because it wrapped all the way around to the other side as well. So like Juliana said, I mean, the Nobu I mean, all Nobu hotels are amazing because they’re all kind of like hotels within hotels. But the one in Miami is awesome because it’s on the top floors of the Eden ROC. So all the Nobu rooms have like the best view of the beach and of the downtown.

Keep listening for more on the best warm weather getaways!

visiting miami faena hotel

Juliana: Yeah, I’m really wanting to go back, just looking at these photos. I’m like, oh my God, the views. And so where are some of your other favorite places to stay in Miami?

JQ: So there’s so many amazing hotels in Miami, like, honestly, you really can’t go wrong. But I mean, lately we’ve been lucky to stay at some other awesome hotels. I mean, the St. Regis in Bal Harbour is awesome. And that’s nice because if you’re really looking for a relaxing stay, Bal Harbour, it’s north it’s in the northern part of Miami Beach. So you’re kind of removed from the hustle and bustle. But you also you have plenty there. I mean, there’s the Bal Harbour shops right there. And you’re also you know, you’re only twenty minutes from, you know, real Miami Beach, South Beach area. So I definitely recommend that. I mean, again, top notch service, super high end, just like Nobu. But if you’re looking for something a little more funky and you want kind of that metropolitan feel, but just with warm weather, I mean, check out Brickle. So we went to Brickle on our last day and stayed at the East Hotel. I highly recommend it. So fun. I mean, it feels like you’re in any big city, but you have the Miami weather and all the Miami restaurants and vibe. It was so fun. Yeah, I love the vibe of Miami just in general.

Juliana: I mean, even with covid, I think it’s still such a fun city because, you know, there’s so many restaurants and a lot of it can still be outdoors because the weather’s warm with all the patios. So it’s just such a fun place. But yeah. So moving on to food, obviously, there’s a huge food scene in Miami. So where are some your favorite places to eat? Chuckling

JQ: Yeah, I mean, there’s Miami is so fortunate that they have this amazing weather because they have so many outdoor restaurants like already. And then now with everyone putting a focus on outdoor dining, pretty much wherever you go, you’ll have the option to sit outside.

Juliana: Yeah, and that’s just amazing. Like, you know, when it started getting cold in Boston, I was really sad because I knew the patios were going to go away soon. And it’s just even, you know, covid aside, eating outside is always so much fun. So I feel like it’s just like that nice vibe that you get.

miami beach jqlouise travel blog

JQ: Yeah, exactly. And one thing that we really loved went on our last visit were all these beach clubs. So one of our favorite new places is Joia Beach. It’s brand new. It’s an amazing beach club, kind of nestled between the McArthur Highway and Biscayne Bay. And it’s actually on Watson Island, also known as Jungle Island and. It’s just the perfect spot. It’s outside, it has a really cool vibe, it’s kind of like a Mykonos scene with all the decor and the food, and they have really great cocktails. So I highly recommend Joyo Beach. That’s probably my top recommendation right now. OK, cool.

Juliana: So what are some of the other beach clubs that you would recommend?

JQ: So there are so many, but we also loved Baia Beach Club at the Mondrian on South Beach. That’s also a new opening and it’s awesome. It’s on the other side. It’s on the western side of South Beach. So it’s a little bit of a different view. It really feels Mediterranean. It feels like you’re literally on the med really chic kind of decor and tables and everything. And the menu is also delicious. But another one is one beach club at the one hotel South Beach. Now, this is this is a really exclusive kind of Tulum inspired vibe.

Juliana: Yeah, I went there, too, like last time I went to Miami. It’s literally the rooftop especially is so pretty. Yeah.

JQ: I mean, everything at one hotel is just awesome. And and this beach club is actually new.  So I don’t think you.

Keep listening for more on the best warm weather getaways!

Juliana: Yeah, I don’t I didn’t go to the Beach Club, but we went to the rooftop pool when we were there last fall and it was just yeah. It did have a really exclusive but very tropical vibe.

JQ: Exactly. So definitely recommend that. And then moving on to restaurants. So one that we always recommend and both of us have been here many times is Bodega South Beach. It’s super cool. I mean, it’s a taco restaurant on the front. And then when you go back into it, there’s a secret door that turns into a speakeasy. So like you have to go here. And right now with all the clubs being closed, this is kind of a great night out option.

Juliana: Yeah, exactly. I mean, it was really such a fun time when we went, you know, like JQ said, all the clubs are closed now, but I think it still probably has that nice nighttime feel where you still feel like you’re going out and getting out of the house. But you are still doing it in the safe way.

JQ: Exactly. And then here, just quickly, because we have so many Miami recommendations and you out check out our Instagram’s and our blog because we have so many articles all about Miami. But just quickly here, a few we love Dolce Italian, which is on Collins Avenue. It’s a staple if you’re looking for kind of like that Cafe Italian feel. We also love the new Margaux Natural Wine Bar pop up at Nikki Beach. So if you are spending some time at Nikki Beach during the day, maybe make a recommendation or maybe make a reservation at Marco Natural Wine Bar for dinner, because it’s a really cool kind of trendy spot right now. Of course, you know, always Nikki Beach is always a recommendation. I mean, such a classic. And then lastly, Kiki on the River is another cool spot that we visited on our last trip. It’s a really great spot for brunch or lunch because it’s an open air restaurant right on the Miami River. So really fun to go here with friends. And it’s just a great time.

Juliana: Yeah. And just two more quickly, I want to mention that we love and that we both been to a couple of times is Byblos, which is a Mediterranean style restaurant. And it’s so good. And then the other one is the Setai, which is just gorgeous. And they always have like performances while you eat, which is amazing.

JQ: Yeah, all of those are so much fun.

Juliana: OK, so let’s just move on quickly to the nightlife. So I know we kind of talked about it. And right now, obviously things are very different than normal in Miami, but even with covid, it’s still so much fun. So like JQ said, there’s all these beach clubs now and you can still get that kind of like night club night out feel even with covid.

JQ: Exactly. Yeah. Like, look for these kind of speakeasy bars and like cool, trendy restaurants. They definitely have that night out feel even though, you know, you’re probably just be sitting at a bar at a normal table, but you can still get dressed up. It’s still a lot of fun.

nobu miami hotel warm weather trips

Juliana: OK, great. So now let’s move on to San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Keep listening for more on the best warm weather getaways!

San Juan

JQ: So we both actually went to Puerto Rico last year. Like that was for me. It was one of the last trips I took before Covid.

Juliana: Yeah. And for me it was one of the first trips I took since covid. So I went there in mid-November of 2020. So it was perfect time to go because it was pretty much just starting to get really cold here. And you know, you have this amazing tropical weather in San Juan.

dream beach vacation Puerto Rico

JQ: Yeah. And I know we both went to this amazing place called El Yunque.

Keep listening for more on the best warm weather getaways!

Juliana: Right. And so that’s one of their national forests. So it’s really gorgeous. You can drive up partway through or you can hike up the whole way. So we drove up as far as we could parked the car and then hiked up the rest of the way. And it was just gorgeous. You know, with covid, you do have to book a reservation in advance, but it’s basically just so you can drive through. And I don’t know if it’s because we went there during the week or just because of covid, but it was you know, there were so few people we. We only saw a couple other people hiking where we were, and then you walk up to this gorgeous waterfall where you can cool off because the weather does get really hot and humid there.

So it was just an amazing trip up the mountain. You get to see all the gorgeous views of the trees around you, and then you can take a nice quick soak in the waterfall and get some good pictures there, too.

JQ: Yeah, your pictures from the waterfall look amazing. When we went, it was pretty crowded, so we didn’t have, you know, as nice of, you know, kind of a private experience that you guys had. So I’m super jealous. I can’t wait to go back.

rainforest Puerto Rico waterfalll

Juliana: Yeah, I know. I really want to go back. I know that also Puerto Rico is pretty strict with covid. So you do need a negative test to go. So they are being really safe. And I think actually, since I when they closed the beaches down. So that is definitely something to keep in mind. But, you know, it still makes for great. You can walk along the beach, you can take walks like visiting places like El Yunque. Just being outside is, you know, very easy in San Juan because there’s so much so many outdoor restaurants. One of my favorite beaches that we went to was called 7 seas Beach, and it was kind of more remote, like it honestly felt like we were at a private beach just because it was not in a super touristy area. We stayed in Condado, but seven seas was like an hour and a half drive away, like towards the coast. So that was definitely something I would recommend.

JQ: Yeah, that looked awesome. Yeah, I would love to get back to San Juan, so hopefully we can go back there soon. But there’s definitely so much to do and so many like outdoor things that you can do, whether it’s the beach or hiking or horseback riding. There’s just so much to do.

Juliana: OK, so the other thing that I want to mention about San Juan that I really loved was, you know, all of the different food. So, I mean, I love Puerto Rican food. I think it was, you know, such a nice change from, you know, just like being in covid, in quarantine, just getting out and trying something new. In my favorite restaurant was 1919. It’s one of San Juan’s most Fine dining restaurant, and it’s literally known as the best restaurant in San Juan. Oh, well, so yeah, it was amazing. Literally, the staff, if you ask about anything on the menu, you know, you ask them for recommendations. They have an answer right away. They know the menu inside out. It was just so great. And we were actually kind of celebrating my birthday when we were there. So they did a little like birthday candle for me and with little desserts. And it was just so good. And then the other thing that I really loved about San Juan one was old San Juan. So we didn’t stay there, but we walked there from the Condado area and it was about, uh, forty five to an hour walk. So it was great. It’s just so colorful. The buildings are really, you know, kind of that historic, you know, it’s called old San Juan. So it’s definitely worth a trip out. Just walking around and grabbing lunch outside somewhere.

beach Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico – Beach front at the Wyndham Grand Rio Mar

JQ: Yeah. When I get to go back, I really want to explore old San Juan because we didn’t get to do that last time because we were just too booked up. So there’s definitely a lot to see.

Keep listening for more on the best warm weather getaways!

Medellin, Colombia

Juliana: Yeah, for sure. OK, so let’s move on to our last outdoor trip recommendation, which is Medellin, Colombia. Awesome.

JQ: I can’t wait to dig into this because this is one place that I still haven’t been. Juliana went last year and it’s been on my list for a while. Yeah. I mean, I honestly loved it. I think we talked about it in one of the other episodes. It’s really just a place that, like all Americans should go to. I think it’s like full of culture. There’s amazing food. Everything is so cheap. There are tons of museums there. So, yeah, I really would highly recommend it. I think some of my favorite spots was the Tusi rooftop, which had an amazing view of the entire city and we just got drinks there. But I heard the food is really good too. And the drinks are super like artistic, like they have, you know, different silver and gold and all of the different kind of garnishes for the drinks. So that was just really a great spot to go before going to dinner.

JQ: Yeah, I’m looking at these pictures on your blog right now, and they look gorgeous. They look like super crafty cocktails. It’s just like high end cocktails.

Juliana: Yeah, exactly. And another thing, you know, Colombia is so cheap, especially if you’re coming from America. So that’s just one thing that I really love. You can get like the most amazing stuff and it’s so cheap.

JQ: So, like, how much were these cocktails? Do you remember?

Juliana: So I don’t remember exactly, but these are probably around five dollars, you know, you can get and they tasted amazing. So you can really get, like, amazing stuff for really cheap. I mean, I got my nails done there for like a gel manicure with chrome and like, decorations on them. And it was like under twenty dollars. So it’s just crazy.

JQ: Yeah, it’s crazy. Super affordable for Americans. So I think this is really one of those up and coming really cool hidden gem spot that’s going to blow up soon. So.

Juliana: Yeah, exactly. So you want. Try and go before it gets really touristy.

JQ: Exactly, so what were some of the other restaurants that you guys went to? I mean, all of them sounded amazing.

Juliana: Yeah, I mean, one of my other favorites was called Restaurant Celio, which was in the 11 course tasting menu with the wine pairing. So, again, super affordable. I think 11 courses here would easily be in the hundreds per person there. I think it was like seventy dollars per person with a wine pairing and the food was amazing.

JQ: Yeah, I mean, that would easily be like two hundred dollars a person.

Juliana: Yeah. So we had and this place I really love because it was more I don’t know, we the first course was literally like pouring, they poured like a chocolate sugar coffee mix on our hands and then you look it off your hands and then you clean your hands and it’s and you also exfoliate your hands. It was just like a really cool kind of science. And then, you know, one of the last courses was had like the like a smoke, like a smoke coming out of it. And it was like a drink. So it was really like a science experiment, the entire thing, which I really loved about this place. And I think all the food here was like local. A lot of it was from Columbia. So it had a really a lot of really good local dishes, which I really appreciated.

JQ: Yeah, that sounds awesome. I mean, it sounds like they’re doing a lot of molecular gastronomy.

Juliana: Yeah, exactly.

JQ: So in these dishes, just look beautiful. So I’m sure it was amazing.

Juliana: Yeah. I really want to go back to that restaurant and then. Yeah. I mean like I said, Medellin

has a lot of really cool cultural aspects. So they have the Mamm Museum, which is the Museum of Modern Art, and we went there again, another amazing rooftop. I think it  has so many great rooftops that something in Boston we only have a few. So I think that was something I really appreciate. You can see amazing views from all these different rooftops of the you know, it depends. So Medellin is kind of like actually in a valley. So you look out and you see like a mountain kind of around you.

JQ: Oh, wow.

Juliana: So that’s something that was really cool. And then the other place where you can get a great view is if you take a ride on the cable cars to park Arvi so that’s another kind of like national park that we went to. And on the way up, you ride in these cable cars and it’s literally like an hour all the way up, probably more, because I think you have to switch at one point. But they made that not too long ago. But it’s basically Medellin form of public transportation for people who live higher up in the mountain. They want to come down into the city. It’s a really easy and really, really cheap way for people to go in and out of the city. So that was honestly, it’s worth it just to go up for the view.

JQ: It was crazy. Yeah, that’s awesome. I’m looking at your photos now, and it’s so cool that that is literally it’s a practical thing, not a tourism thing.

Juliana: Yeah, it’s a practical thing. Like all of the people who live in in managing either in the city or out in more the suburbs take it every day if they need to work or just to get food, whatever.

JQ: Wow. That’s cool. So see, like it’s I love like cities like this where they’re real cities that just genuinely have interesting things about them. Yeah. And then that’s what kind of turns them also into a tourist hub because they’re so interesting that people want to really just see how the people there live and how they, you know, what is their day to day look like.

Juliana: Yeah, exactly. Medellin is definitely one of those cities where it’s just interesting just to be there so they don’t need to create anything that’s going to become like a huge tourist site or anything like that because it’s just all around. And then just the last thing I wanted to mention, which I love, was this vegan cafe. I’m not vegan myself, but honestly, any of the food there I could have ate all the time. It was so feeling so healthy, just very Colombian food, too. And so it was called Cafe Ceres and everything was just so delicious. So I think that’s definitely kind of more of a hidden gem, too, because it was right next to a hotel. So we literally went there every day for breakfast, sometimes breakfast and lunch. I was like, let’s just go there. It’s so good.

JQ: Yeah. I mean, it looks so healthy. Like I love places like that where, you know, it’s it’s a health food spot. But you go there because of the flavors.

Juliana: The taste. Yeah. And I mean, I was there for a little less than a week, so I mean, I wanted I didn’t want to just eat like very heavy food all the time for a straight week because I was also doing a little bit of work while I was there. So when I you know, when I travel, I like to mix in, you know, some a lot of healthy food, but also with a lot of like to traditional to the place. So which can sometimes be pretty heavy. So I think mixing it in like this is a great way. So I really appreciate these spots that are like healthy options. And actually from this place I ended up buying like it was probably like twenty American dollars, but of chocolate there because they also sold like some stuff that you take with you and I bought like kale chips, all of these, you know, vegan foods, and they were just so good and again, so cheap.

JQ: Awesome. Yeah, definitely on my list.

Juliana: We hope you like our recommendations for your mother trips. You should take this winter. Catch us next week for some more ski trip ideas. We recently went to a few new mountains and just had to do a second installment. Thanks JQ.

JQ: Thanks, Juliana.

We hope you enjoyed listening to the best warm weather getaways!

best warm weather getaways medellin

The post Podcast Episode 10 – Best Warm Weather Getaways appeared first on J.Q. Louise.