Wednesday, July 23, 2014

{within works | top 20 tips for working in Puerto Rico}

Hello Friends!
I've been travelling all over this summer and am now finally getting to catch up on my lovely blog. I've missed you! One of my favorite trips this summer was to the gorgeous Puerto Rico. I learned a lot about myself as a business owner and traveller on this trip and picked up a lot of helpful tips along the way. So today I want to make a list for you the young business owner, to help you on your next trip to Puerto Rico. 

During this trip I had to do FaceTime meeting with clients, professional meetings with architects and of course tour the lovely island all the while attempting to look professional amidst the humidity, heat, rain, and beach hair. =) So below is a nice long 20 point list of my thoughts and in BOLD you will see the must have items to either bring with or buy there. Enjoy!

So, here's my list of MUST HAVES and TIPS when travelling in Puerto Rico.

  1. If you want to have good hair, head over to the local Walgreens upon arrival and get yourself some HAIRSPRAY. Hair product is KEY here. The great thing about this island is that Walgreens stores are everywhere so there is no need for you to travel with a giant can of AquaNet..I actually purchased mine at the hotel.
  2. I love to wear jewelry on the beach but cannot stand how heavy it feels nor do I like it when my favorite pieces are covered in sand and grit. I found the next best thing: Flash Tattoos. Oh my goodness.. I love these things! I will be blogging about them again on my Tuesday To Sigh For in the future. But seriously get yourself some of these! Gorgeous! *helpful hint - do not mix them with other metal jewelry because your metal jewelry/watch will rub off the flash tat. Instead mix it with leather or other soft items*
  3. Bring your Ipad. It's not worth bringing a giant laptop..did I mention that it's hot here? the Ipad is enough for you to FaceTime with clients, check email and bonus you don't have to pull it out of your bag while going through security. And don't forget your ear buds for those last minute conferences.
  4. Rent a car. There is no way that you can truly explore this island without one. Bit the bullet and do it. You'll be so happy you did.
  5. Invest in BUG SPRAY. Again the very handy Walgreens will be full of options. THe minute you land go get yourself some. As you tour the island in the great car (see #4) with your great hair (see #1) and not too flashy jewelry (see #2) you will want to pull over and check out the beaches. Well some parts of the island have standing water and trust me, you do not want to go there without protection.
  6. Buy or bring an umbrella. Not just for the occasional rain shower but for the sun! I loved that we could pull over whenever we wanted and lay out on the beach with our lunch. But that sun was blazing (I went in June) so having an umbrella can really save you in a pinch. If you don't want to travel with one, you can easily find their version of the Dollar store and get you a big one for about $8.
  7. Try the Mavi/Mauby at least once
  8. Don't expect food to be fresh fish, fresh veggies like your last trip to Mexico. You are not in Mexico and we will not be eating fresh fish tacos. Expect rice, beans, and fried things. Just sayin' This is where Yelp can come in very handy. Learn to hunt for great restaurants with great reviews and you will be so glad that you did! You will want to have Mofongo mmmm.... good stuff
  9. If you're going to be touring the island via car (see #4) make sure you bring some toilet paper. I stopped in many gas stations that were empty empty empty. Again, your best bet is to find a Walgreens for this too (for the bathroom I mean).
  10. Buy yourself a bottle of rum to take with you. I know I sound like an alcoholic but there's nothing like a great bottle of rum that you can sip from the privacy of your hotel room, or beach picnic. It will save you money and you'll feel like a king..or queen. I recommend swinging by Casa Melaza in the heart of Old San Juan. It is a Rum Boutique that you don't want to miss.
  11. Do not bring your good sunglasses to the beach or in the water. It's not worth it. The ocean will eat them alive. Take a drive to your local Walgreens or Target back home and pick yourself up a few pairs of cheap sunglasses. I lost my Target pair on my first dip in the water. Just like that! A bonus to our cheap sunglasses is getting a pair with mirrored lenses so you can take great shots like this:
  12. Go local and drink Medalla Light. I tried the other beers and they were terrible. This one is refreshing and cheap and very much worth it. May I recommend a great bottle of rum, Medalla light, and lots of fresh fruits for an island lunch treat. I happened to really like that the gold label matched my manicure.
  13. Speaking of manicures, pay extra and get yourself a shellac mani/pedi before travelling. The ocean water and sand can kill your regular mani/pedi so if you want to tour the island and have your nails looking fabulous for your meeting the next day, go the shellac/gel route.
  14. Another very important thing to bring is a HAT!!! I am so so so so grateful to have found one..yes Walgreens for $16. It saved my life! This photo was taken on an impromptu hike in the wilderness and it was soooooo hot!
  15. Bring a towel/blanket something that you can use on the beach to sit on. Travelling by car is great and you want to be able to pull over whenever you want and set up shop so be prepared for that. This is something that I would bring from home.
  16. Now onto beach life. The beaches are super accessible so now that you have a car and an umbrella, and your blanket get to a local grocery store and stock up on a cooler, beer, ice, lunch fixins and these super tasty mini bananas. It's a super healthy alternative to the fried food nearby and better on the pocketbook.
  17. One of your stops should be El Pozo de Jacinto in Playa de Jobos. It won't take you long to get there but it's a must see. And then you can take this cool photo and send it to your parents.
  18. Tour Old San Juan, just do it. At least once and really get in's beautiful. All you need is one afternoon and then get out... there is SO much more to see on this gorgeous island and time is ticking...
  19. Bring lotion. I thought I wouldn't need any because it's so humid here but I was wrong. Bring it!!! Stay hydrated with water too. It's deceiving for sure. 
  20. Don't come here if you are scared of bugs, frogs, lizards, reptiles of any kind, bats, cats, etc... they are here and you are bound to run into them. If you are afraid of  cats (and I recently met someone who is) do not go to Old San Juan AT ALL!!! I'm not kidding. Be ready to see some fun animal life. 
    And please be kind to these animals. Don't go messing with them, leave them be. I saw a little girl pick up a baby chick and hang onto it forever..while the mother hen and the other chicks scrambled away...the little girl, after taking photos etc was about to just leave the baby chick on the grass..near a very hungry iguana. I ran over to her and made her follow me to where the mother hen was hiding and had her place the baby chick in the bush with its family. I was furious. Do NOT mess with nature people. Leave them be. Had I not interfered, that little chick would have been lunch. What blew my mind even more was that mom, dad, and grandma were with this little girl and didn't say a word. I should have known when I saw the father poking at the nearby iguana with a stick. *getting off soap box now*
OK so there are 20 tips for you! Please continue reading my blog for more Puerto Rico adventure posts!!!
Happy Travels!

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