Club Med Punta Cana

Hello Loves!

Did you know that Club Med is the originator of the all-inclusive!! For more than 68 years Club Med has been putting smiles on the faces of adults and children alike. You guys know I am a lover of the all-inclusive formula, it’s a great way to see and experience a country without the pressure of wondering where you’re going to lay your head or what you’re going to eat that day. It’s kind of crazy that I had never visited a Club Med location before. I remember when I was younger seeing commercials for their sprawling properties and wishing I was one of those crazy kids splashing in the ocean, so when I was given the opportunity to head to one of my fav countries (Dominican Republic) and stay at the critically acclaimed Club Med, my inner child screamed with delight!

Book your Club Med Punta Cana stay HERE

Location

Club Med Punta Cana is just a hop away from the Airport… literally I could hop there, it’s only a 10 min drive away! However, don’t let this freak you out it’s actually a good thing. You would not guess when you’re on the resort that you are so close… there is no noise and no planes hovering over head, also no sweating profusely in an over packed bus for hours on end to get to your location… bonus!

Rooms

Club Med Punta Cana‘s property has 631 rooms in a variety of styles, from deluxe rooms to family suites. We actually stayed in the adult only space called Zen Oasis. You probably saw from my Instastories that the rooms are gorgeous, so beautifully decorated, they are a bloggers dream! Our little Zen Oasis also included a private garden with a perfectly situated cabana, where Sameer and I spent many a nights watching the stars…. awww so romantic.

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Grounds

This place is humungous, like massive!! I think we only explored a teeny tiny part of it. Every single part of these huge grounds is immaculately groomed, even their 2,000 foot private beach gets a brush each morning. We spent our mornings walking and drone’ing on the calming shores and our afternoons cooling down in the zen pool. Ahhhh… please take me back!

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Amenties

Like I said before Club Med is the originator of the all-inclusive, so there are some things that they just do best… one of these things would be their amenities… the list is endless.

  • 4 Swimming pools
  • Club Med L’Occitane spa

The spa is a must, Sameer and I enjoyed a private beach side couples massage… it was perfection. From the moment you walk in you feel calmer and the massage… wow they know what their doing! We left happy and incredibly relaxed.

  • Kids club
  • L’Occitane Mens Barbershop

The guys from our group got an opportunity to visit the very first L’Occitane Spa for Men. Sameer had a blast, a little whisky and a hair cut, you can’t go wrong.

  • Water sport activities

From sailing to windsurfing and everything in between… Club Med offers it all. I was a little too nervous to sail (I suck at sports… all of them), but after some negotiating and bribing (I’m still waiting for those shoes) Sameer got me into a 2 person kayak. Although, I didn’t actually do any kind of paddling… I was sat behind and Sameer couldn’t see me… I had a blast being out in the open space of the Caribbean Sea. I was pushed out of my comfort zone and thoroughly enjoyed it.

  • Golf
  • Archery

Archery was a clear example of the meme, what you think you look like and what you really look like. I totally thought I was going to be like Katniss Everdeen from Hunger Games, taking names and helping my crew survive, well that is not what I looked like at all…. I was a complete and utter mess. I would not be saving anyone, in fact I was more likely to shoot them in the foot, yep the foot because I never got the arrow above ground. I told you, I’m no good at sports. Everyone else in our group was a total rockstar, Sameer was so good he actually started to grow a braid (get it, Katniss… ugh).

  • Nightly entertainment

Oh gosh these guys know how to put on a show, from professional stage acts to late night dance classes, you are destined to laugh (and maybe sweat) all night long.

  • CREACTIVE by Cirque Du Soleil

Club Med is known for their collaboration with Cirque Du Soleil, what you may not know is that they offer a totally free CREACTIVE space that allows you to be taught by the pros. Spin plates, juggle and jump on the trampoline or soar through the sky on their trapeze. Available daily you can go as many times as you want, heck by the time your trip is done you can join the circus. Our group tried out the trapeze, and although some better than others we all had such a blast.

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Food

Club Med Punta Cana has 3 restaurants. Hispaniola, their waterfront international buffet available all day, Indigo beach lounge one of their new oceanfront restaurants that offers a adult only dinner and Samana, a huge buffet offering foods from around the world… This ended up being our fav place to go for breakfast, lunch and dinner… their menu was constantly changing and the options were delicious and endless.

We are so happy to have been introduced to the Club Med brand and with over 60 locations worldwide, Club Med definitely has something for everyone. We can’t wait to explore more locations.

 

Book your Club Med Punta Cana Stay HERE

xoxo Fil

Follow me on Instagram

@filipajackson

P.S. Follow along with me everyday via SnapChat. My username is: Filzer

 

My Credit Card Hacks/Tips and Tricks of 2018

Hello Heros!

As a self-proclaimed credit card GURU, I have had over 8 credit cards this past year (2017/2018). Yep 8, that is a hell of a lot!

I may not be the most credible GURU, since I did just start playing the hack game back in early 2017. But I do know a thing or two.

So you may ask, why the f**k do you have so many credit cards and why isn’t the credit bureau breathing down your neck and taking your house away. Well the great thing about all this, is that it is all perfectly legal.

Ok Sameer, so what exactly are you doing here? Well I use credit cards and their points for FREE trips!!!! Yep FREE!!!

So what’s the deal with these points and where do I start?

My favourite credit cards are by American Express. They have the best welcome bonuses and the easiest way to actually use and accumulate points.

The card I started with was the American Express Business Platinum, now there are both pros and cons to this card and it may not be for everyone. But, if you have some big purchases coming up and your merchant accepts Amex then start here. Now you don’t own a business? That is perfectly fine; Amex Personal Platinum is equally a great card.

For a lower spend and smaller but great benefits the Amex Gold card is also an option.

If you decided to go balls deep, and sign up for the Amex Platinum, then you will love the benefits, especially if you are an avid traveller. First off, you get access to most airport lounges, and this is now a must for Filipa and I. Why wait in a terminal for 2-3 hours, when you could recline in the airport lounge with free grub and booze.

You also get some amazing insurance options, you get it all; travel insurance, baggage insurance, flight delay insurance, and a cool one is product purchase insurance. Basically they’ve got you covered. No need to buy any additional insurance when travelling, unless maybe you’ve got some crazy ass disease that no one will cover (hopefully not).

The Amex Business Platinum has also teamed up with some other big brands in the hospitality realm. So when you sign up, you automatically get upgraded to Gold membership at both SPG and Marriott hotels. This is amazing because if you were just a mere civilian it would take you 25 nights a year to maintain a gold status, but with this card it’s included. The perks of having gold at these hotel chains are free upgrades, breakfast, free WI-Fi, 4pm late checkout and bonus points.

With the Amex Personal Platinum you get a $200 travel credit annually, so you book a hotel or flight through the Amex Travel Portal and within 2 business days you receive they credit on your statement.

Also, if you fly with Delta, you will also be eligible to upgrades and preferential boarding.

All in all, this card has it all and if you’re always travelling like us, then it makes sense.

Now like every pro there is a con. The Platinum Business just changed their annual fee to $499. Now you may be thinking, WTF!! I read all this and now you tell me it’s going to cost me $499. Hold up, yes it does have a steep annual fee but in addition to all the benefits I listed above, you also get 60,000 Amex points as a welcome bonus. Now these points at minimum would be worth $600, if you learned a few tricks and trips, they could be worth double if not triple. So at minimum $600-$499 = you’re still up nearly $100 just by signing up for this card. AMAZING!!!

If you go for the Personal Platinum then the annual fee is $699, but with the 60,000 points and the $200 travel credit, you’re still up $100. So win win!

Ok so how do you grow your point balance? If you’ve got some friends and family that want to get into the point game, then that would be your best place to start. Referral bonuses under the Amex Business Platinum are 15,000 points. So for every referral that signs up, you get enough points for a short-haul national flight. Crazy right! But true…

Now if I’ve convinced you, remember to sign up with this link to get your 60,000 points. Yes, I do get a referral bonus, but we’re all friends and some of you my family. If you don’t sign up with this link, you only get 40,000 points, now that is not nearly as fun nor does it cover your annual fee.

Plus, if you guys have any questions or concerns you can always contact me. I am more then happy to help.

Happy shopping, and safe travels!

CLICK HERE TO START TRAVELLING

Instahusband out,

Sameer @playingwithapparelmen

Travel Bloggers

Hello Loves!

You all know that I recently made the switch from the ‘fashion’ community to the travel. Sameer and I made the decision that we were going to invest more of our time and money into exploring the world. What you don’t know is just how important the travel community is to me, on my darkest days I have found happiness just by scrolling through my Instagram. Their feeds and encouragement (literally I have received so many amazing messages from some of the most incredible people) have given me so much hope. Their images are what keep me inspired to continue to create work that I love.

I am consistently stumbling across travel IG pages that leave me breathless and have shared most of my favs via my instastories (I will continue to share via Instastories as I find new pages on the daily). But I wanted to take a quick moment to give some recognition to some of the pages that have had the biggest impact on my life.

Mel (@mvandersluis)

I met Mel at the start of my travel blogging career while in Cuba. This was probably the best thing to happen to me, she was and is a big support to me. She encourages me to push myself and has taught me so much. Her page is outstanding and continues to grow with love and support from her readers. She also sells her presets which funny thing, I actually had purchased before meeting her… They helped shape my page into what it is now. You can purchase Mel’s presets HERE.

Jen (@jenkvieira)

I recently stumbled across Jen’s page and was blown away by the pure zest for life that she portrays. We have been able to chat a little bit since I slid into her DM’s (haha) and she is just as cute as she is in her pics. She is one to watch.

Tracy (@tracy_komlos)

This girl is all kinds of badass. Not only is she founder of Pangea Dreams which is legitimately genius (read more about it here), she is also the sweetest person. I recently got to hangout with her over lunch where we chatted about anything and everything. I left our meet feeling inspired and just happy… she really is a rare soul.

Merel (@andathousdandwords)

I have been a follower of Merel for years. She was the first travel blogger I ever followed and the only one for a long time. Her pictures had me in awe, in fact one of the reasons we went to Bali for our honeymoon was because of her page. She beautifully captures the culture of wherever she is and is always there to help me with any questions I may have. She’s a gem!

Jess (@thewonderingdreamer)

This English born (yasss BRITISH PRIDE), Bermuda living beauty has been a great introduction to the travel community. Before finding her, Bermuda had never even crossed my mind, but with her beautiful imagery of the country it has quickly reached the top of my 2018 travel wish list.

Anais (@mynextwanderlust)

I am so happy to be able to call this French cutie my friend. I was able to hangout with her on my recent trip to LA, and if I didn’t love her before I sure do now. Her stories of her world adventures and the fact that she fell in love with so many places that she ended up staying for months even years at a time left me in complete awe. She has quickly become a main source of my inspiration not only for her gorgeous page, but her kind heart and eagerness to see the world.

Be sure to take a look at these beauties pages, they are sure not disappoint and will leave you with as much joy as they do me.

The Man Behind the Lens: HAHAHA!

Hello Heros!

So some of you may have noticed that I am now being tagged as photographer on Filipa’s Insta posts. Woohoo I made it! Although, I don’t consider myself a photographer, there have been some tricks and tips that I have learnt on this journey… and oh boy what a journey it has been. I swear at one point I couldn’t pick up the camera without us getting in a fight… being an instahusband sure has its perks but it most definitely has its struggles too.

Anyway therapy session over, lets get to the point, what you’re all here for.

Equipment

You might be surprised by how much equipment we’ve gone through, I would like to say I graduated from each level but really it’s been a struggle to find the perfect match.

We began with the Nikon D6000. Oh boy, we were super excited, it was our first camera that wasn’t a point and shoot. But did we use it any other way, NOPE! I had no f**king clue what I was doing, I think we thought get a DSLR and everything will just change automatically. Yeah, we were wrong, after shooting in AUTO for so long, I couldn’t figure out what was going on. So after a few months, hundreds of fights, and knocking my head on the wall, the next obvious thing to do for a man is not blame himself but the equipment. So what did we do, yep you’re right, get another camera.

You would think I would’ve learnt my lesson but after a Canon and a Sony later I found my perfect match, the Canon 6D Mark II. Wow, was I blown away, everything just worked. Maybe it was the fact that I actually was interested in how to take pictures or the fact that I figured out what the “M” meant on the scroll wheel (thanks to @mvandersluis for some much needed coaching), it means MAN right!! Lol.

So once I learned what all the settings under the MAN function meant, it was a walk in the park. HAHAHA! I wish! Yes, things made more sense, but what I didn’t realize is that every location, every shot, every subject, had to be set up completely different. And for the guy who loves his favourite pair of jeans, and has his butt imprint on his couch. I know what I like! But back on my horse I went.

List of Equipment we use NOW:

Angles

Instahusband’s out there, this is key! The amount of shit I got for just pointing and shooting at eye level is definitely not worth it. I now enjoy being knee deep in sand, covered in ant bites to get the perfect shot. Did I mention my instahusband squat is on point?!? Now that is a workout on its own. Remember it’s worth playing around with angles; every angle has a different effect. For us, Filipa might kill me for saying this but, she likes to look taller, who doesn’t? So I usually end up on my knees or in a squatted position.

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Tripod Bob

Now most of us husbands out there know a thing or two about a machine involved in your relationship. HAHA, what do you think happens when you’re away at work or travelling?

Well this is a different kind of contraption. It actually helps me out, and gives me a break every now and then. My suggestion, get a good tripod, something that doesn’t blow over in the wind and is sturdy. We have the Vanguard Espod CX204AGH, it works great. We either have the camera set on timer or use the iPhone as a remote trigger. Check out these fun shots with Tripod Bob.

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You can find our tripod bob here.

Man vs. Auto

Ok I admit it, it’s not called Man it’s Manual. I know right, weird! Anyways, with camera tech these days Auto is a great setting for people who don’t want to learn anymore then pointing and shooting. It’s pretty fantastic. But if you want a bit more customization or personalization then the manual function is where you want to be. Learn how changing the ISO, shutter speed, or F point will alter the effect of your shot. Heck, I even turn my lens to manual so I can focus on what really matters, the beautiful woman I call my wife! Brownie points anyone!!!

Editing

Wait, what, all that info wasn’t enough and you want more. Phhh, well that’s enough for me. I leave the editing to Filipa, as far as I know she uses Lightroom. Now I refuse to learn that, I got to leave her with some work!

 

So I hope this was helpful, heck I feel like I’ve learnt a thing or two. And as always, feel free to DM me with any questions or comments you have.

 

Instahusband out,

Sameer W @playingwithapparelmen

Excellence Punta Cana x Air Transat

Hello Loves!

I gotta say, last week was one for the books. You guys know I have been struggling recently, so I was in great need of a getaway, a chance to press pause for a beat and re-inspire myself. So last week Sameer and I jetted off on a last minute trip to Punta Cana, with the fabulous Air Transat.

We have been to the Dominican Republic twice prior, once to San Juan and another time to Samana… However, the last time we were in the Dominican we were just a couple of drunken Uni kids with no care for where we were. We just wanted food, booze and sand. This time we are a little older and wiser, we are here to watch the world go by, breathe in the culture and of course soak up the sun.

Our trip started off smooth as smooth can be, traveling with Air Transat is always a breeze, check in was quick and the flight was easy going, I slept like a baby while Sameer binge watched as many movies as he possibly could.

We hopped off the plane and were greeted by the most beautiful man with crazy green eyes (hey don’t get mad, those were Sameer’s words). He helped us with our luggage and shuttled us to our resort. After a scenic 30 min drive we arrived at the fabulous five star Excellence Punta Cana, an all inclusive, luxury adult only haven.

Check-In

Check-in at Excellence Punta Cana was super simple, as we were staying as an excellence club member we had a VIP lounge check-in area that had air conditioning, plush chairs and drinks galore. After check-in we were moved into an adjacent room with a couple from Utah who were there celebrating their anniversary (they looked so happy and in love), this is where the staff explained exactly what excellence club had to offer.

Excellence Club

When you stay in the excellence club there are certain perks that you receive, that are way worth it.

  • VIP check-in/check-out
  • Lounge access
  • Bvlgari toiletries
  • Premium mini bar
  • Private beach area
  • Private pool area
  • Club restaurant
  • Upgraded room service menu
  • Nespresso machine
  • Fresh flowers at arrival
  • Free hydrotherapy per person

 

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Room

We were staying in a beautiful second floor junior suite. The decor was modern and fresh, and my dreams came true when I walked in to see a humongous soaking tub in the room, you know where to find me. We had a pretty view which consisted of palm trees and a blue pool. Bvlgari products, flowers and fruit at the ready.

Grounds

The Excellence Punta Cana is a stunning beach front resort, designed to perfection. It provides its customers with plush beach seating, which happens to be where Sameer and I spent all of our time haha, three pools, an extensive list of restaurants which trust me I’ll get to, shops, spa and a bloody botanical garden!! You may remember my Instastory which featured the garden, because I pretty much freaked out when I saw their resident Flamingos. I have such a soft spot for Flamingos, I remember seeing them for the first time as a child in England and being in awe, they are pretty brill.

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Spa

Like I said before as a excellence club member one of the perks you receive is a free hydrotherapy service at their beautiful Miilé spa. Now I’ve done hydrotherapy before at Scandinave but I’ve never quite had one like this. Here is what you do:

  1. Sauna
  2. Cleansing shower
  3. Ice bucket challenge
  4. Steam room with body scrub
  5. Pure ice shower
  6. Tropical shower
  7. Massage pools
  8. Warm bath
  9. Cold path
  10. Massage

It was quite an experience that we thoroughly loved. Although, we didn’t get a chance to try any of the other services Miilé spa has to offer, we did get a chatting to a couple from Texas when we were in the sauna who had pretty much tried everything at the spa haha… guess they offer some pretty great services.

Food

You are most definitely not going to starve while staying at Excellence Punta Cana. Food is what they do best. With delicious room service, pool/beach side orders, and 11 restaurants! 11!! There is something for every kind of craving. These restaurants offer a variety of culinary experiences from local delights to Asian dishes. We tried to cram as many places into our 5 day stay, I think we were able to enjoy all but 2. Our fav restaurant though had to be the club member only Magna… their passion fruit pancakes were scrumdiddlyumptious… I’m drooling just thinking about them.

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Nightlife

Don’t hate us, but when we saw that this was an adult only resort with a great amount of the guests being older than us, we were a little worried that the night would end at 7pm. Hah we were wrong. Excellence Punta Cana has the BEST nightlife. There are nightly singers/musicians and some of the best shows I’ve ever seen, the couples challenge one gave us a real laugh. There is an on sight nightclub which is pumping and bars open till late. It’s a LOT of fun.

There is seriously SOOOO much do at Excellence Punta Cana: daily activities, culinary experiences and nightly entertainment that will leave you wanting more. Trust me you’re never want to leave this place, I wish I didn’t.

BOOK YOUR AIR TRANSAT EXCELLENCE PUNTA CANA EXPERIENCE HERE

BOOK YOUR AIR TRANSAT EXCELLENCE PUNTA CANA EXPERIENCE HERE

xoxo Fil

Follow me on Instagram

@filipajackson

P.S. Follow along with me everyday via SnapChat. My username is: Filzer