Canna-Tourism: The Next Gold Rush

Disclaimer: I am not endorsing the use of Cannabis in any way. I am just putting out knowledge that I have gathered when researching the subject for someone who had asked me about this type of trip. If you are looking for this type of travel, please do your research and be knowledgeable before even booking.

Cannabis. The once gateway drug that everyone said not to do. It has been in the news a lot through the last 20 years with its legalization coming through many states. With the legalization of cannabis, tourism has boomed. Tours, hotels, bud and breakfasts have all sprung up and provided accommodations to cannabis tourism. But how do you book? Who do you call?

The reason I am writing this is because I have spent at least 2 days looking up how to book a trip for a client. This all started from a simple Facebook post asking if I could specialize in specific types of festival cruises, would they book with me. Well I had a person almost immediately ask about a 420 friendly vacation. I had to tell him that I would have to see what I could find. And since I was already studying Jamaica, I thought this would be a good thing to know for travelers to know if they are looking for this type of vacations.

So, I started my research. It was interesting to find out that ganja in Jamaica has not been legal long. And it is only legal for medical, scientific or therapeutic purposes. I had no clue it wasn’t legal in the country. For decades, if anyone had the smallest quantity on them, they would serve at least 18 months in jail and serve 5 years for anyone cultivating and dealing. This all came about when the Jamaican government went on a anti-Rasta rampage in 1963 when there was a land dispute between bearded men and a gas station owner in Montego Bay that resulted in several deaths and a state-sanctioned violence against the Rastafarian community. Newspaper reports stated that the Rastafan took up machetes and guns against the gas station owner and burned it down after being kicked off that land. However, Rastafarians that were there during that time maintain that it was the bearded men who did the damage and the Jamaican government used this to incident to remove hundreds of Rastafarians in order to suppress the religious movement. This occurred on the Holy Thursday, April 11, 1963.

This was baffling to me! I could not believe what I had read. I had heard of so many going there and was able to get it, but I never would have believed that it was part of an oppressed culture.

Ok, back on task. So my friend wanted a cannabis travel package and I knew since the laws everywhere are different, I needed find out everything I could in order to get him the best deal and maybe make it a group deal for others to join.

So, I start googling and began my search. I found quite a few tours, videos and some hotels who were friendly. But if I looked up on any travel site, it made no mention if it was or not. I scratched my head and started questioning what was going on? It’s 2019 and 30 states have it legalized for medical and/or recreational use depending on the state. It has increased tourism significantly by at least 51% in Colorado. Specialty tours in multiple states have popped up and people are living the “high” life while on vacation.

I was amazed at the different options. They had couples tours, all-inclusive, adventures, foods and just getting to relax. So, what is the best way to book it? Well this is where I was running in to troubles. As a travel agent, I have the ability to book just about any type of travel imaginable. However, the sites that did have the exclusivity to be able to offer the different companies didn’t have an affiliate program set up at this time. The reason: it’s still a work in progress. There is so many regulations behind even being out as vender who deals with cannabis at any level, companies have to be extra cautious on what they do.

Ok, so I had to give them a break on not having an affiliate link for travel agents. Afterall, this is still pretty new to all industries that are out there and there is still the stigma behind being associated with cannabis. Many hotels, bed and breakfast, and other business owners are afraid it could drive away customers, especially the long returning customers who haven’t become accustomed to it. Cannabis still has the all the negative press behind it and though it may be legal in a state, it’s still illegal federally. So keep that in mind when planning your trip.

So there are a few options available to you to book your one of a kind, safe and 420 friendly trip. I found some user-friendly sites that will give you all the resources needed for planning a successful trip. The sites had up to date with fact and resources in order for you to book anything from a tour, to a brunch and resources you need to know for each regulation for each state. Remember, wherever you travel, you must still follow along with the laws and regulations with that state or country. Otherwise you could face fines or jail, so be knowledgeable before leaving. Don’t ruin your trip because of a mistake. I am not going to list the websites I liked at this time because I am in not affiliated at this time with them and I do not want to ruin what could be a potential resource needed in the future.

My goal with this post is to put out there a bit of information to people who are like me and a little clueless when it comes to anything to do with cannabis and travel. I’m not here to judge anyone’s life or choices either. But since I did have a few questions about this type of travel I thought others may have too.

The point of this post is to know before you go. Be smart on your travels and don’t take unnecessary risks. And know the laws.

Safe travels.

Amber

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Romantic Destination: Jamaica

Are you needing a day to just sit back and enjoy life with the one you love? Need the time to recharge you batteries on for love and energy? Jamaica is the place for you!

Jamaica has a lot to offer anyone who just needs the time to get away. The relaxed atmosphere of the island is enough to set anyone at ease. An added bonus to visiting Jamaica is called Meet the People. This is one way people can not only visit a place but also, be treated like family. The Jamaican Tourist office is in charge of setting up vacationers with locals and they will match their interests. This is better than a tour guide because you will have first hand experience with the people to experience anything and everything about the country, culture, food, and so much more. This can be set up in advance or when you arrive on the island.

Another big detail about Jamaica is that it is one of the largest wedding and honeymoon destinations! And why not?! With breathtaking sceneries, diverse culture and rich history, why wouldn’t it be? Everywhere you look there are ample opportunities to take a beautiful picture or just take a walk with your love and enjoy the moment. There are so many options for couples to do while on the island like river rafting, romantic dinners and maybe a couples massage.

But what if you like adventure? They have that too! Vacationers can take a ride on a roller coaster through the jungle, explore the caves, or check out the night time festivities. This island is endless with possibilities.

Jamaica offers a variety of accommodations all over the island. They offer all inclusive resorts, villas, guest houses, apartments, and local inns and hotels. Most resorts have vacationers choose what type of package works best and have preparations if you are celebrating a special occasion with your loved one. If you want more privacy, check out the different guest houses, villas and apartments available. Each one offers different amenities but watch the fine print. And don’t forget about local inns and hotels available that may fit your needs perfectly.

The island offers a large variety of food and drink. Vacationers can take try a variety of tasty options throughout their stay in Jamaica. Here, you will be engulfed in a melting pot of culinary skills with a mix of island flair. They offer seasonal fruits and vegetables and use a variety of spices, awakening the taste buds ignite with pleasure and wanting more.

Thirsty? Jamaica is known for the rum to flow freely. It was introduced on the sugarcane plantations in the 17th century and has been a large part of Jamaican history. Made from molasses and sugarcane juice, then left in barrels to mature, rum will take on many different variations that can be used in a variety of cocktails.

Don’t like rum? Red Stripe beer is a pale lager with 4.7% alcohol and was first brewed on the island in 1938 from a recipe developed by Paul H Cottler and Bill Martindale. It has become so popular, it is shipped by the caseload to many destinations. They have expanded the variations of Red Stripe to Red Stripe Light, Red Stripe Sorrel and Red Stripe Lemon, along with Dragon Stout and Malta, our non-alcoholic beer.

Not a fan of alcohol. Jamaica offers Blue Mountain coffee that was introduced to the Blue Mountains in 1728. This smooth Arabica coffee is sweet-toned, easily had without additives, naturally alkaline and contains vitamins and nutrients making it beneficial for daily consumption. It is considered one of the most expensive coffees in the world.

This is only a small portion of what Jamaica holds for its visitors. There is so much that anyone could see or do or even experience that the options are endless. And it’s a great way to just get away and relax. So take the time to explore Jamaica. I guarantee you won’t regret it!

Peace, love and escape

Amber

Planning the Next Great Escape!

In a world filled with knowledge at our fingertips, we all can become an expert in everything in minutes. I know I have relied upon google for everything from a recipe to directions to advice. We have information thrown at us from all angles and we choose to accept it. The problem is there is so much out there that we can become overwhelmed and we just give up.

Most of my travels, I have been the one to book things. Some might say it was because I am a planner, but I can say is I hate going anywhere and not knowing what I can do! There’s always the question of “What do you want to do?” and “I don’t know, what do you want to do?” Then the age old “Where do you want to eat?” The conversation is as old as the invention of the American Highway system. In any case it drives sane people crazy!

I have friends to tell me they don’t like to plan and then we spend hours trying to figure out what to do and when and then we arrive, and they are closed or booked because of a lack of planning. Then we also stay in a place where you are a little afraid know what has happened at this hotel. It gets the look over for you to say, “The bags stay in the car, we are sleeping in our clothes and locking the door as soon as we get in the room.”

So here are my tips to have a great getaway and not another “I think this is the Bate’s Motel” moments.

  1. Use a travel agent. Ok so why would I suggest this other than being a travel agent. Well there’s a lot of knowledge they bring to the table which saves you time. They may have exclusive deals that could include food, beverages, even planning things to do while you’re there. That saves you money. Online travel sites will offer limited information, but wouldn’t you like to know what else you can do? Sometimes the listing may have local attraction, but your travel dates might not work with when you can visit the attraction.
  2. Know what you like. Remember the old saying of “What’s good for the goose is good for the gander”? It’s not always true. I can honestly tell you what I don’t like more than I can tell you what I do. If you travel anywhere, you need to know what you would and wouldn’t like. If you book a Broadway show and the rest of the group are in to racing, they will be talking through the entire show and ruin your time and others. Just know it is ok to split up so everyone can do their thing. Remember the old saying of “What’s good for the goose is good for the gander”?
  3. Have a realistic budget. I know I am frugal. I like getting the most bang for my buck. This is where a travel agent can be helpful. They not only have exclusive deals for maybe hotels or flights, but they know the best places to eat and see and sometimes they can find offers with having it all together. Everyone knows that everything costs. Very few things in this life are free. So, if an agent if stating that the budget that was set is not enough, they are being honest. Remember, they know the cost from either their travels or someone they have booked. They will be honest with you because their goal for you to get there and to have an amazing trip.
  4. Do your homework. Homework? Wait that’s for kids and college students, right? Well no. This is another place where a travel agent will be able to help. They know the times of the year when families, college spring breakers and others are traveling. Some attractions aren’t available at certain times of the year because of various reasons. They know if you want a romantic cabin getaway in the winter will get you a better rate than a cabin on the lake on 4th of July weekend. Trust me when I say they will be able to tell you when it is the best time for the type of trip you want.

The big take away I want anyone to take from this is to remember this is your time to get away and have the best trip possible. No one wants their hard, earned money to go out the window and have nothing to show for it. Proper planning is essential to successful getaway. Sometimes you must consult a professional because even though the information it out there, it doesn’t mean we know how to interpert it.

Thanks for reading!

Top 10 Tips to Start Planning Your Vacation

Today’s world is full of decisions and we hate having to commit to something if we are unsure of the outcome. Life has a way of throwing us a curve ball, even with the most well laid out plans. Here are my tips to make planning easier.

  1. Know who is going. Think about it. If it’s an adult only trip and your friend has kids, it could be hard for them to leave the child behind and finding a suitable person to watch them. Or the budget could be the issue. So, when you start planning, think about who you want to come with you and their situation. Don’t lose a friend because they can’t make a trip.
  2. Discuss in detail of places you want to go. Do you want to try skiing while someone wants to be in warm temperatures? These are big things to think about while trying to decide where to go and what to do.
  3. Agree to disagree. You love your friends and family but some things such as travel will cause problems. No two people will ever fully agree to anything all the time and that’s cool. Be sure to find a common ground and call a truce if the discussion became too heated. Not everyone will participate in every activity.
  4. Set a budget. If you have someone that wants to go but is always tight on budget, keep that in mind. I’m not saying foot the bill because you still must take care of yourself, but keep in mind what they can afford to do. Don’t let them talk you into the “I’ll pay you back” thing because they probably won’t, and it will cause a hurt in the friendship. I know this from personal experience.
  5. Leave the negative people out. First, they need to go out the door if they come in with a negative attitude. Negative people will ruin any trip, plans or evening and spoils the mood for everyone else. These people are toxic in your life and going on a trip is stressful enough. Just leave them at home.
  6. Make a short list after discussions. Whether the short list is for the one’s who want to go or the places you want to see, this short list will help narrow the options for you. There are millions of options available so why not rule out some things early.
  7. Know what time of the year is best. Remember families travel when school is out, and some months are better to rent a cabin in the hills than in peak season. Work schedules can be another issue. Some people have times where they will never be allowed time off work for an extended period unless a doctor was involved.
  8. Check on necessary documentation that is needed to travel. Passports take time if you don’t have one. Marriage license, divorce papers, birth certificates and some places vaccinations might be needed to enter a country. Each country has its own rules for visitors.
  9. Get excited! Look some people wait all year for a break from everyday life. It’s a time to forget all the troubles of work and home life and just have a time to reconnect to yourself, nature, your spirit guide or whatever makes you feel grounded. Remember why you are wanting to get away in the first place!
  10. Don’t plan every minute! Remember this is a time to relax. Yes, plan the big things you want to see and do, but give yourself time to enjoy the scenery and take a nap if needed.

I hope you that you found value in this share with your friends

Peace, love and escape!

Amber King