Living in the tiny home has given us some levels of freedom we didn’t experience prior. Like extra trips to Copper Point in Invermere British Columbia. And this one - to Punta Cana Dominican Republic!
We said goodbye in December to 5-6k monthly expenses and hello to tiny living expenses, our 24 hour story can be read HERE. I feel blessed – but I also know that we have to embrace this time that's happening for us right NOW, because as life shifts we will likely have to build a slightly larger home - and invest a lot of time and money into that.
We took a last minute getaway to Catalonia Royal Bavaro Adults only Resort early July 2022- which was totally unexpected and unplanned. We looked at the calendar, realized I didn’t have any in person meetings & knew I could still work on the agency while away and the kids were in the city for drama and soccer camps.
Packing for a trip while living in a tiny house
I get really excited when thinking and talking about tiny home living (obviously). Prior to living in the tiny house, I didn’t think (which was silly) that I had a lot of "stuff." Before a trip I would go buy some new shoes, dresses, shorts…bathing suits, and likely a new suitcase too (consumerism at it’s finest). I would watch influencers and IG stories discuss their travel essentials, and somehow I would end up ordering a new bathing suit from Shein that wouldn't fit anyway.
Living in the tiny home - there’s no friggin way I could do that for a few reasons: I live in Golden British Columbia and there’s no mall, actually very limited shopping, although I do order clothing from Ziva and Em - she's been amazing while I live in Golden, she picks a few key items and ships them!
Before leaving for our trip we agreed to have ONE suitcase, and one carrying each between the two of us. We were hearing horror stories about the airport in Toronto and didn’t want to have to deal with a lot of extra luggage, - but the Toronto International Airport was still a shitshow, so having more or less luggage would not have mattered lol.
I have done quite a bit of traveling to resorts and all inclusives, so I know how I work as a traveller. Previously, - I would map out EVERY SINGLE OUTFIT that I would wear each day, I would overpack and come home with 3 loads of dirty laundry when I only wore 3-4 of the things. For this Punta Cana trip I packed 2 suits, 2 bathing suit coverups, which are also kimonos, 2 pairs of shorts, 5 tank tops, & 2 dresses that I could wear "different" kimonos over. For shoes, - a flip flop, and a Birkenstock. It just feels different when you’re packing and there’s not a ton of stuff to find or fold. I DID go shopping prior to this trip because with our move and a few extra LBS (I call them my Golden 20) I needed some summer things that fit. Thanks Ziva and Em -- truly your items arrived in 2 days!
Preparing the tiny house & land while we leave for a week
When we leave the tiny there’s quite a few things to do. Even though it's not 3000sq ft we have lots of land, equipment, garages, gardens to take care of.
We (aka Neil) set up a pretty fancy auto watering system for my garden. He has to drive to fill the water tank, unload it and make sure the timer/ sprinklers are working great - so we can come home to FRESH veggies. Or at this point – at least growing veggies as it was early July.
Garden boxes / planters that are NOT near the auto water system have to be moved (thanks Kent for helping!)
Once again (we) ..but mostly Neil makes sure the tools, shed, equipment is locked up and properly stored and the cameras are on for security!
We coordinate & organize a human being to come and check on the place 3x during the week - being on an acreage also means wildlife comes and goes - and we want to know if a bear has gotten himself into trouble while we’re away haha. Thanks Sonya - you’re the bomb dot com!
Cleaning up - takes 20 minutes, theres NO mess….its 400 sq ft, there’s nothing to tidy except to make sure the fridge is empty!
Empty the toilet! We have a composting toilet, and there is no way i’m coming back to a week of it sitting in there. (Still gross).
I freeze a few meals for when we return - burgers, soups, fries…nothing sucks more than coming home and not having food to eat!
Why did we choose Catalonia Royal Bavaro Adults only Resort
In November 2021 we stayed at a Catalonia resort in Costa Mujeres Mexico - and we had the BEST experience, I hope to write about it soon. The resort was clean, the restaurants were perfect for us as vegetarians and our room was great. We fell in love with the Catalonia world after that trip!
So when we were searching - we knew we wanted to be at an adults only resort - and a place that was accommodating to vegetarians. Thinking and knowing that it is a franchise – we assumed that some of the restaurants would likely be the same, and sometimes when you’re booking these all inclusives you say screw it and just roll with it. (Right?). Price also played a large factor into our choice - it was under $3500 for both of us to spend an entire week – fed, showered, dranks in hand. The price point was perfect for 7 days away without kids, dogs, cooking, laundry and cleaning.
The GOLF was included in the package price - this was a bit of a ‘hook’ & smart marketing because in July at 40+ you don’t really want to golf – so we didn’t but I thought this was genius to get people to choose them.
What We Love about Catalonia Royal Bavaro Adults only Resort
- Adults only - this was really important to us, it’s tough not having the kids on vacation and when you’re away without them you don’t exactly want to see families (plus…it is way quieter without kids). Actually that’s not true some adults behaved wilder than kids (ill get to this). Visit the website to see the full adults only experience.
- The restaurants - there was quite a variety, and even the lunch buffet had a ton of fresh options - fresh pastas, fresh breads, fresh veggies, salsas, we had tons to eat! The Catalonia resorts now offer a speciality vegetarian option -- and this was wonderful! Check them out HERE.
- The pools - there was a ‘party’ pool, and then a very quiet large lounge pool - it was nice to have a variety depending on how we were feeling that day.
*image source: https://royalcataloniabavaro.com
- The staff - they were SO SO SO nice, they were polite when you gave tips, they were kind when you asked for food modifications - I think they’re likely always this way – but given that the resort was likely empty for 2 years from the pandemic they definitely seemed full of gratitude to have a full resort
- The evening entertainment - is AMAZING, the live music, the violinist, it was a perfect way to end the day without feeling like you had to dance.
- There were ALWAYS lounge chairs and gazebos at the pool for us - whether we went at 10am or 3pm, chairs / space was not an issue - people weren’t putting their towels out at 6am like other resorts (If you know you know!!)
- The internet was GREAT, as this was a work-cation for me I needed to have amazing internet and I had no issues getting on zoom calls or working from the beach, room or lounge.
- The quiet of the lounges, there were enough options to sit and drink, sit and snack or just sit and stare at the beauty!
What we didn’t enjoy about Catalonia Royal Bavaro
- Some guests can get rowdy at these all inclusives lol so if you were looking for a completely quiet gateway you may want to not go somewhere that offers 24/7 alcohol ;) This has nothing to do with the resort..and everything to do with fun groups of people who like to sit and pee in the pool (#honesty) it’s always been strange to me, but cest la vie!
- The language barrier (this is not really even about the resort!) I felt bad that I couldnt tell them I was allergic to shellfish and that I can't eat seafood, and I'm also vegetarian ….this is more of a ME issue than a resort issue. Learn the language or a few key words!
- The rooms are dated, the hotel was built in 2005 I believe, so things are aging. I think the price we paid reflected this, again this wasn't really a big deal to us. If we were to go back I would pay the extra money and get a pool side suite - they were all booked up when we arrived and tried to upgrade.
- Sadly - the beach was full of seaweed on our trip- it really is a STUNNING beach, unlike anywhere but the seaweed feels and looks a bit nasty.
*image source: https://royalcataloniabavaro.com
What did our days look like while we stayed at the Catalonia Royal Bavaro
I would wake up at 6am to work until 12, take a little break from 12-3pm, work again 3-6pm and then we’d head for drinks and dinner.
This isn't a review for the resort - more of a tiny home and business piece - I wanted to put this in here because I think it’s important to mention that YOU CAN work from anywhere now. Actually you always have been able to. But living in a tiny has given me the freedom to travel more financially and my business has given me the ability to work different hours. Do not get me wrong - some days while we were here I’d be on client calls from 6am-4pm…but that’s the beautiful part of it.
I knew i’d have two full travel days but other than that was fully available for our clients and team.
Extra things we can say about the Catalonia Punta Cana Bavaro (Adults only side)
- Bring tips - it says it includes gratuities but they are SERVING you …tip! $1USD goes a long way at breakfast, $4 at lunch and $7 at dinner was what we spent. If we got drinks at the pool we would tip the person $10 knowing it would be the same server the entire time.
- Learn a few key words if you have allergies or special requests. I should have done this haha. Knowing how to say "margarita" is not a real skill ;)
Hope you can take some things away from this review we were happy to take a work-cation mid summer and soak in the beautiful area of Punta Cana! Let us know if you have a favourite resort that you visit :) Thanks to April - our travel agent for finding us great deals!
- Megan xo
Marketing resources can be found HERE.