5 Summer Vacation and Staycation Ideas for 2013

So it’s become tradition for me and fam to find a sweet spot in Jamaica and hide for at least a weekend, maybe more every August or December. I started to think about where we may escape to this year and decided that I’d compile a list of cool places you should visit, whether home or abroad. Get out and gather new experiences, the world awaits! And as small as the island is, there are many nooks and crannies right here at home to enjoy so if you can’t make it on a plane don’t worry, enjoy your island paradise right yah so a yuh yawd.

Kool Runnings Water Park

Kool Runnings Water Park, Negril Jamaica

I’m ashamed to say that the last time I went to Negril was in 2008, even though I came close on this trip to Grand Palladium in 2011. That 7 mile stretch is calling my name and so is the water park! I’ve been already, but I can’t wait to bring my little munchkin! I think she will lose her mind, no doubt about it! The rides were insane and they have little kiddie versions that I hope I can convince my little scaredy cat to try out. Have you been to Kool Runnings yet? They just reopened for the summer season!

Mystic Mountain and Dolphin Cove

I wrote about these two before when I went last year but I want to encourage you to check them out if you haven’t been as they are both exhilarating experiences! That bobsled ride was so much fun!!! I want to go back and do the zipline next time around as well, when I grow some, LOL! And swimming with the dolphins was just a truly remarkable experience. They’re so smart! And cute. GO! You’ll have an awesome time. You should totally make a whole family weekend vacation type thing and splurge for a stay at Mystic Ridge Ocho Rios while you’re at it. Gustazos has an excellent deal on right now that gives you a 2 night, 3 day stay for an amazing price that also gives you access to Mystic Mountain! Check out that deal here.

Dolphin Cove Jamaica


Portland’s Blue Lagoon

So I wrote about Negril out west, Ocho Rios in the middle and now we travel to the east of the island to explore Portland’s blue lagoon. Taken from the Yard Edge Blog of 10 Must Do Things in Portland:

Search for the bottom of the Blue Hole. Portland’s Blue Hole or “Blue Lagoon” is one of the parish’s best known natural attractions. Made famous by several movies, this water hole or lagoon is fed by underground fresh water springs and is said to be bottomless but is actually approximately 200 feet deep. The lagoon features a spectacular view of turquoise colored water surrounded by lush vegetation. Rafting from the lagoon to nearby Pellew Island (known locally as “Monkey Island”) is an added attraction. The attraction’s restaurant has been closed for some time but the lagoon is still open to visitors and the raftsmen there are happy to take you for a ride.

I’m in! Honorable mention at this time is the fire water in St. Ann’s bay written about here on the Absolute Travel Addict’s blog and the blue hole in St. Mary that I learned about on Jamaica My Way. Tourists teaching me about my own country, don’t let this be you! LOL let’s go out and explore this summer! Speaking of which, while I was googling images for the blue hole I came across another one just outside Negril?!?!?! Who’s been to this one? It is GORGEOUS! I must go!

Blue Hole Negril, Jamaica


Jamnesia Sessions

Whenever I think of Jamnesia, I think of a Jamaican version of that bar in Love Jones with spoken word and accoustic music. Only, it’s in Jamaica of course so it’s beachside under the moon and there’s a distinct herbal scent filling the air. Doesn’t that sound romantic? LOL I’ve never been so I may be missing the mark by a mile here but it’s on the to-do list. Just remind me to rub down with Off first! I should get some surf lessons while I’m out there in St. Thomas!

Jamnesia Sessions, Live music in St. Thomas, Jamaica


My final spot goes to the Maldives! I know, random as ish but I wouldn’t be IrieDiva if I didn’t throw you for a loop.

South Nilandhe, Maldives

Ok so The Republic of Maldives all the way out there in the Indian Ocean requires a little more planning and a lot more saving than your average summer vacation but this is my encouragement to you to pick a spot, any spot and start planning toward that. I’ve always wanted to visit a country that people probably know very little about and would have trouble locating on a map and this is definitely in my top 5. Ahead of my big trip to the Maldives however are places that I have family or friends who would put me up for a week or two! Write a list of people who would accommodate you for a few days and add those places to your very near in the future travel locations. Why? Because as I discovered on my Trinidad trip, when the cost of ground transportation and accommodations have been severely discounted or removed altogether, it eases the cost of the trip by at least a half! Maybe more! The added bonus of being with someone who can show you around or at least recommend the best spots to visit and give you tips to avoid being taken for a ride are priceless! England, Japan and Australia are the locations on my “I’ve got the hook up” lists. These countries are far enough, exotic enough and different enough than my own country to begin my world travel experiences. Once I’ve been to any of these countries under the guidance of my host, I think I will be brave enough to hit somewhere as far out as Bali or the Maldives all on my own!

So what do you think of my list? Have you been to any of these places already? Let me hear your reviews!!! And have you traveled exotic locations before? Tell me your tips!




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  1. I swear there is a Blue Hole in every parish. Lol. You are so right about JA offering so much in such a tiny space. Ive been to every parsih and my list of places to go and things to experience continues to grow.I’m back again next week for the summer to cross a fee more things off the list. Thanks for including the Fire Water experience.

    Oh and I’ve been to Tokyo. Amazing city as Jamaipanese can attest to as well. Maldives still on the list too.