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Old 25 Jul 21, 06:09 PM  
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Goldia
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Jamaican Me Crazy - July/August 2021

Welcome to my last minute trip to Jamaica. We had another Florida cancellation so booked to go to Jamaica instead.

We allowed ourselves 2 weeks to plan the trip!

Here is what I've been up to for the last two weeks...

Who are we?

We are a family of four, Iím Abby, my DH is Dave. We have two children Max who is now nearly 17, I canít believe Iím old enough to have a child who will be learning to drive in less than a month and Kate who is 14. Both of them have grown since you last saw them in The Bare Necessities Trip.

This was taken on the morning of our first day in WDW in 2019. The whole trip stretched out ahead of us and we had just touched Mickey to Mickey and entered the Magic Kingdom.



Like many of you we should have been going to Orlando last year, we transferred our booking to this summer thinking thereís no way we wouldnít be able to travel two summers in a row Ö How wrong were we all?

About 3 weeks ago it became obvious to me we werenít going to be checking in at CBR on 31st July. After moping for a fair while I went to plan 729, feels like

I decided to take a look at the green list and see where we could go. Not many options really. I kind of fancied the Caribbean, I mean weíve stayed at Caribbean Beach Resort twice and we were due to be back there this summer, so it felt right.

Where?

I checked out Aruba and Barbados both looked great but not many options for Aruba with BA a few more hotels and flights for Barbados, then I thought Iíd take a look at TUI. Again, not so much for Aruba and Barbados, but there was Jamaica, for less money and the hotels were all inclusive. This looked promising Meanwhile I was terrorising the kids by singing Kokomo by The Beach Boys repeatedly.

But, there was still one problem, Jamaica was not on the green list. Then all of a sudden the Government made a decree that was in our favour. Fully vaccinated travelers returning from amber list countries would be treated in the same way as travelers returning from green list countries.

HmmÖthis could be on the cards

I like Bacardi



I like Malibu



In fact I like all the rums... I think we may have a winner

Next I checked out the visit Jamaica website. We were allowed to travel there as long as we have a negative PCR or LFT within 72 hours of departure.

I kept looking at hotels and found one that offered us two rooms. This was really tempting now, as while we are used to all four of us in one room - having two rooms, with two bathrooms, would of course be much better. This was all happening on Saturday 10th July.

I was mulling things over, trying to decide if it was crazy to consider going on holiday. I daresay there are many people who would think I am crazy and wouldn't consider going abroad right now. I was still thinking about it when we went to my youngest brotherís house to watch the Euro 2020 final on Sunday night.

He brought his TV out into the garden and we were all watching England together.



I mentioned to Mum my plan of going to Jamaica. She said it sounded like a brilliant idea so I said ďDo you and Dad want to come?Ē and she looked at me and asked if I was serious and I said ďWhy not?Ē.

They had been with us on the 2019 Orlando trip - that's my Mum and Dad in the photo.

Mum said sheíd speak to Dad the next day as he was far too busy watching England to be able to think about going on holiday. She asked when we were thinking of going and I said in two weeks! Letís strike while we can, before the Jamaicans change their mind and donít want us, before our Government change their mind and wonít let us leave. The short notice didnít put her off.

The next day she phoned me and said her and Dad were interested in coming with us. So, Kate and I went round their house after work to show them the holiday Iíd found.

And that was it!

We booked it on Tuesday 13th July exactly two weeks before travel day.

What?

We fly with TUI from Gatwick on Tuesday 27th July.



We booked extra leg room seats, the coach transfers are included. We are staying for two weeks in Riu Negril.



We have 3 rooms and all food and drinks are included. There are even optics in the hotel rooms.

Daily Itinerary

I tried to make it clear to Mum and Dad that this trip would not have such a full itinerary as our Orlando trip. They laughed! Our daily itinerary is going to be something like this:

Have breakfast
Go to the pool
Have a snack
Relax
Have lunch
Go to the beach
Have a drink and a snack
Have a nap (by mid-afternoon weíll be worn out from all that snacking and pool time)
Have a drink
Go to dinner
Sleep
And Repeat - we're going to be worn out by the end of the trip

Ok, so even though Iím shattered and really could do with a restful holiday I reckon by day 2 we will probably start getting itchy feet. Then we will make use of the water sports and snorkelling on offer at the hotel. We will likely book a few excursions, Iíve been browsing them on the TUI website and there are a few that look good fun.

The Trip Report Name

This comes from the lovely Joffrey's coffee that we get delivered, I love this stuff. It's a little piece of Orlando every day.



I set up a what's app group for us all called Jamaican Me Crazy so that's what the trip is now called.

Other Planning Stuff

There wasnít much time left to plan the other bits and bobs of the trip. We booked up to stay at the Travelodge at Gatwick overnight before the flight. We sorted out the car parking. We double and triple checked our insurance.

Iíve been making use of the fact Iím averaging 4 hours sleep a night to re-read all the information on the Government website Ė even though I have the alerts on and will be emailed if it changes. I practically know it all off by heart.

Plus, I realised that we would all need new clothes, some of us have grown outwards instead of upwards . Last weekend we went shopping for shorts and swimsuits and all our holiday clothes.

Monday 19th July I had a hair appointment booked so thank goodness Iíd timed that well so Iíve had my holiday haircut.

Yesterday I did the important job of painting my nails I love the colours.





COVID testing and travel authorisation

So, the less than fun part of the planning. Iím sucking it up and kind of view this as a travel tax.

Given that we are going to the airport the day before and we only need an LFT that takes 20 to 30 minutes to get a result Iíve booked us in at 4pm on 26th July at Express Tests in the North Terminal. This was £35 per person.

TUI offer lots of packages that are very reasonable and we booked the return home tests using one of their partners Chronomics. This cost £20 per person for both the LFT we take in our cases and the day 2 PCR test. We have to do the LFT within 72 hours of our return trip to get the fit to fly certificate.

I was pretty pleased with these prices. Prior to booking I had looked up lots of private testing companies online and it looked like it was going to cost between £100 and £150 each. In the end our three tests have cost £55.

DPD delivered the pack in your case tests yesterday Ė well nearly they only delivered 5 out of 6 tests so I joked that one of us would have to stay in Jamaica, this did not impress Dave They did contact me to let me know there was another parcel in their depot so at least I knew they had it. They delivered the last test today though so panic over as we have our 6 return home tests.

To go to Jamaica we also have to complete their online travel authorisation form. This must be done within 7 days of departure. It was a long process filling in all the details and answering all the questions. Similar to ESTAs each individual needs one even children. The questions werenít difficult but it was time consuming. There is no charge and our approval came through within seconds of submitting the form.

Packing

That brings us up to today Sunday 25th July and we really needed to do some packing! Down came the cases. Out came the packing cubes. I canít tell you how nice it is to be packing a case again.





I know ttís not certain that we will travel, we still have to get over the hurdle of the LFTs at Gatwick tomorrow. I donít think Iíll believe it is really happening until we are actually on the plane. I also donít think Iíll sleep properly until we are on the plane.

I hope you will join me on this adventure It's going to be fun writing a trip report again

Next up Pre Travel Day - Monday 26th July 2021. Last minute packing, taking our fit to fly COVID tests and staying overnight in the airport hotel. Fingers crossed we test negative and I actually get to write pre travel day.
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Disneyland 1993.
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Orlando 2014, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020 (cancelled), 2021 (cancelled).


Pizza, Pasta and Prosecco - Rome October 2021 new trip report

All my old trip reports click here NYC and Orlando 2017, Salzburg 2017, Boston 2017, Orlando 2018, Berlin 2018, DLP 2019, Orlando 2019, Washington DC 2019, DLP 2020, Jamaica 2021, Rome 2021.
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Old 25 Jul 21, 06:19 PM  
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EssexSue
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You are on the same flight as my son, dauggter in law her parents and my granddaughters. They are going for 3 weeks hence going out before us. They had their tests in Cambridge and are all clear.
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Old 25 Jul 21, 06:21 PM  
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OB1LukeLucas
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🤞🏻🤞🏻🤞🏻🤞🏻🤞🏻🤞🏻🤞🏻✌🏻✌🏻✌🏻✌🏻✌🏻
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Old 25 Jul 21, 06:26 PM  
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KarenG
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What a fantastic start to a trippie!

Canít wait to follow along!
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Old 25 Jul 21, 06:27 PM  
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disneypars
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Looking good will be following along to see how you get on.
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Old 25 Jul 21, 06:27 PM  
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Goldia
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Originally Posted by EssexSue View Post
You are on the same flight as my son, dauggter in law her parents and my granddaughters. They are going for 3 weeks hence going out before us. They had their tests in Cambridge and are all clear.
Brilliant, I'm glad they are all clear. I really hope we join them. It still seems surreal!

Originally Posted by OB1LukeLucas View Post
🤞🏻🤞🏻🤞🏻🤞🏻🤞🏻🤞🏻🤞🏻✌🏻✌🏻✌🏻✌🏻✌🏻
Yes, my thoughts entirely. You know I'm going to enjoy a cocktail or two for the both us. Heck I may even stretch to three

A x
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Abby

Disneyland 1993.
DLP 2000, 2019, 2020.
Orlando 2014, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020 (cancelled), 2021 (cancelled).


Pizza, Pasta and Prosecco - Rome October 2021 new trip report

All my old trip reports click here NYC and Orlando 2017, Salzburg 2017, Boston 2017, Orlando 2018, Berlin 2018, DLP 2019, Orlando 2019, Washington DC 2019, DLP 2020, Jamaica 2021, Rome 2021.
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Old 25 Jul 21, 06:28 PM  
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nadya
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How exciting,sounds like a great trip!.Cant wait to read that you are on your way,have a fantastic time.
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Old 25 Jul 21, 06:30 PM  
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Goldia
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Originally Posted by KarenG View Post
What a fantastic start to a trippie!

Canít wait to follow along!
Yay I'm about 90% excited, 10% scared sugar, honey, ice, tea-less or vice versa

Originally Posted by EssexSue View Post
You are on the same flight as my son, daughter in law her parents and my granddaughters. They are going for 3 weeks hence going out before us. They had their tests in Cambridge and are all clear.
You're as excited as me...double post I reckon I will be posting at least twice when (if) our tests come back negative tomorrow

Originally Posted by disneypars View Post
Looking good will be following along to see how you get on.
Hurrah. I hope it will be enjoyable to read. I do love writing trip reports.
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Abby

Disneyland 1993.
DLP 2000, 2019, 2020.
Orlando 2014, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020 (cancelled), 2021 (cancelled).


Pizza, Pasta and Prosecco - Rome October 2021 new trip report

All my old trip reports click here NYC and Orlando 2017, Salzburg 2017, Boston 2017, Orlando 2018, Berlin 2018, DLP 2019, Orlando 2019, Washington DC 2019, DLP 2020, Jamaica 2021, Rome 2021.

Edited at 06:31 PM.
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Old 25 Jul 21, 06:32 PM  
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Goldia
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Originally Posted by nadya View Post
How exciting,sounds like a great trip!.Cant wait to read that you are on your way,have a fantastic time.
Thank you, the relief will be immense. You can be sure I will post when we are in the departures lounge
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Abby

Disneyland 1993.
DLP 2000, 2019, 2020.
Orlando 2014, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020 (cancelled), 2021 (cancelled).


Pizza, Pasta and Prosecco - Rome October 2021 new trip report

All my old trip reports click here NYC and Orlando 2017, Salzburg 2017, Boston 2017, Orlando 2018, Berlin 2018, DLP 2019, Orlando 2019, Washington DC 2019, DLP 2020, Jamaica 2021, Rome 2021.
Goldia is online now Girl Mouse Click to view Members Trip Plans Add Member to Ignore List
Old 25 Jul 21, 06:34 PM  
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snowbelle
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Ooh loving it !
I am living through trip reports at the moment
Fingers crossed and have a lovely trip , spontaneity is always the best way to travel
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