The Ultimate Babymoon

by Jessica Shyba on July 28, 2014

in babymoon,Sponsored,Travel,vacation

The following post was sponsored by JetBlue Getaways.

My husband and I are very different when it comes to budgeting. He comes from a family that prioritizes vacation and saves yearly for them. I prefer to spend as needed on daily activities and other various expenses without thinking too much about it. Justin grew up with regular vacations, whereas I didn’t – our visit to Turks & Caicos with JetBlue Getaways this week was the second time I’ve been out of the country in fact (the first was last year when I traveled to Guatemala with World Vision). Suffice it to say, this week was enough to trigger more than one conversation about really digging into our budget and creating space and priority for vacations both as a couple and with the family.

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My friend Roo asked me something that I had already been thinking about since we embarked on this first trip of leisure for my husband and I. “On a scale of 1 to 10, how beneficial is a vacation for one’s marriage?” Easy answer, “I’d say 9 right now, perhaps 10”. The truth is, we’re in the thick of life right now. We’ve had children in and out of diapers, bottles, toddlerhood, preschool and everything else consistently for the past 7 years, and we’re starting all over in a month or two. It’s not easy on a marriage, as beautiful and challenging as this part of life is.

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The first day was sweet and exciting like a first date. I might have been even a little bit nervous, wondering what our communication would be like. We didn’t talk much, we spent a great deal of the time soaking in the wonder that is the turquoise ocean, white sand and perfect tranquility of the gorgeous Gansevoort Hotel on Grace Bay. After an afternoon of enjoying the peaceful waters, we got a little dressed up for our first date at Stelle, the restaurant located within the hotel that we ended up dining at twice in a row. We talked bit, almost re-learning what it’s like to communicate without absolute chaos happening all around us and responsibilities clawing at our brains.

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Day two, we woke somewhat early and took one of the chartered boat excursions out to go snorkeling, fishing for conch, and eventually for a little picnic of sorts on Iguana Island. The weather was clear and perfect, and there were tons of other couples and families along for the ride with us. Although I have never snorkeled before, it was so much fun to share that experience with Justin… Like an underwater dance between just the two of us, some gorgeous fish and a sea turtle.

On our third day, we rented a car and drove around the island. We chatted a bit with the locals at a restaurant called Bugaloos, peeked at a couple of retail shops and found the most incredible secluded beach that I’ve ever seen in my life. It was a little slice of heaven, a moment in time I won’t ever forget.

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I found myself slightly challenged to write a piece about this trip, as this was something I didn’t ever see myself being fortunate enough to actually do. I just didn’t think it was in the cards for me, and I don’t think I can properly put into words exactly what it meant to me and my marriage that we were able to go on such an incredible vacation together. I want to talk about every single thing that just blew me away, but I find myself also tempered in humility. It was incredible, but I know and realize just how fortunate we were and I’m completely humbled by it. I was shown that these things can be a reality, which is what set forth our conversations about budgeting and making the impossible, possible. Because it is very much possible, and incredibly worth it.

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Our experience at the Gansevoort was nothing short of amazing, and being able to fly our preferred airline abroad made a huge difference as well. For the last five years, I have purchased our tickets through JetBlue because of their incredible customer service and consistency-especially when traveling with children. As an individual doing much more traveling and as a family, I’ve been borderline obsessed with racking up my TrueBlue points. I’m really hoping that we are able to take the whole family for our annual trip to see Santa at Macy’s in Herald Square this Christmas – and as the Head of Household (oh yes I am), we can use our Family Pooling points towards a future Getaways Family Vacation. My key takeaway here was we were able to take our first vacation together and truly not worry about the details, given the fact that we knew what to expect from our airline, and the JetBlue Getaways package was not only thorough and well thought out (there were very few holes to fill once we were at our destination), but the packages are priced well. I’m comfortable and even a bit relieved knowing I can look at JetBlue Getaways for future Marriage Insurance trips and family vacations to include in our monthly budgeting.

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It’s important to me, in business and everyday life, to partner with brands that recognize and support the missions that I do as well, and this ended up being a trifecta of brilliance for my family, my marriage and our philanthropic efforts via Theo and Beau. I was thrilled to learn – unexpectedly – while visiting the local puppy rescue organization in Turks & Caicos, Potcake Place, that JetBlue and the Gansevoort have been incredibly supportive of their rescue and adoption mission by providing cargo space on the planes and flexibility bringing pets onto the hotel property. I felt confident and thrilled about our choice to not only work with JetBlue and their Getaways program, but also as a consumer who would choose these properties and packages naturally as well. And even more happy to share all of this with you.

Thank you to JetBlue Getaways for sponsoring this post. All opinions are my own.

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

abra July 29, 2014 at 1:13 am

oh jess, i’m so happy for you guys. what a refreshing time! and i love your remark ‘head of the household.’ well, of course. :) and i totally agree with budgeting family vacations together, it’s all about prioritizing what’s important.

love the shot of you snorkeling and your beautiful pregnant body in the sun–just stunning. as always. XO

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Laura July 29, 2014 at 1:48 am

When I was growing up, my parents always took 2-4 vacations a year without their four children. Some were with other couples and some were alone. Some were to distant tropical locations and some were just a quick weekend away. I remember my mother once saying, “When we are better as a couple, we are better parents.” My husband and I have continued to follow their lead and I really believe it to be true. If you don’t take the time to nurture your bond with your spouse, how can you really show your children what true love is? Now that we are empty nesters, I’m thankful every day that I never lost that connection with my husband and I truly believe our getaways (while not as frequent as my parents’ were) are a key factor.

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Selena Srabian July 29, 2014 at 4:43 pm

I LOVED this post…what a beautiful get away! So glad you am Justin were able to “pause” and enjoy each other. Xo -S

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Shannon July 30, 2014 at 3:49 pm

A little off topic, but I’d love to know where you got your bathing suits (and your jumper). I’ve had a horrible time finding ones that are supportive and comfortable during this pregnancy. Thanks!

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Cheryl Shyba August 1, 2014 at 1:16 am

Beautiful photos. The trip looked perfect in every way.

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Lisa August 11, 2014 at 1:39 am

What an amazing trip! I’m so glad you guys got to go and enjoyed it so much. My husband and I love to travel, and we have a separate vacation savings account to make sure this is always a possibility even after we eventually have children. I hope you get to go on many more getaways!!

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