Festive seasons are dotted by very familiar paraphernalia. For instance, there’s food. (Long pause) Yes, not just normal food. Where I’m from, we are speaking chapatti, nyama choma, mbuzi fry, there’s also pilau and the infamous minji stew with lots of soup and waru! Planned vacations are also top of the list. People want to get away and take a long deserved break with loved ones. Travelling however can be daunting particularly for a first timer.

Planning is the most crucial as these get always costs an arm and a foot and so the pressure to make everything perfect is more than understandable. This stress can conversely make or break the whole experience. That said, having in mind that mishaps are inevitable here are some pro tips to ensure at least 90 per cent of your little vacation is on point.


This right here is everything! Ensure to get all details correct and call in to re-check the booking. It works two ways, one can either reserve online or directly through the resort’s reservations desk. The key point is being keen with the proforma invoice sent. Key things to look at include check in date, check out and meal plan.

The meal plans to choose from include, Bed and Breakfast (B&B), Half Board (dinner or lunch) and/or All Inclusive. These are important to note as they pretty much shape your stay and vary in charges as well. For example, if your intention is to be out and about the city then one can take half board dinner where you get breakfast and dinner or bed and breakfast which allows you the freedom to scout famous eateries in the said area.

This will help save money while still allowing you to explore and have fun outside the resort, especially for an adventurous person. One day in, and we all want to see what more can be done outside. And you do not want to be rushing in and out to catch the meal times while at it.

The check in and check out time is also important. This again helps in the travel arrangements. You do not want to have the “my flight is at 10 pm and check out is at 10 am” situation. Room types are also crucial, many are set according to the number of beds. A single, double or triple. There usually other requests such as having a baby cot, an extra bed or a room that is near the pool or away from the dinning because of noise. Maybe you had put the preference of a ground floor room and let’s say a non-smoking room as well.

Going through the proforma invoice allows you to see to it that the booking was made to the preferred specifications. It aids in killing the drag of checking in then being forced to move to different rooms later after realising that some information was not captured. Be intentional and get the resort’s direct number to confirm all these.

Last but not least be on the lookout for rules and regulations. Nowadays many resorts in Mombasa are embracing themed dinners hence many are emphasizing on smart casual outfits during dinner. Do not be surprised to see that short sleeved shirts are not allowed for men and no sandles during dinner. This will save you a tone of trouble with the hostesses at the main dining and allow you to be comfortable and not feel out of place haha.


Check in can be a head ache. In this season especially, many resorts are having back to backs, meaning there is check in and check out that is happening concurrently . These are usually hectic and can leave you sitted at the reception for hours on end!

Some guests are a pain and take forever to vacate a room thus cleaning takes ages and one is left stranded in sport shoes and a heavy hoodie topped up with a massai shuka at the reception because Nairobi was freezing cold when you left.

Quick hack for you. Be smart when packing. Have the swim suites on the top most part of the loaded bag. This way it is easy to pull them out and hang at the beach or at the pool as the room is drying out (an excuse given all the time).                           

Resorts have a concierge room hence ensure all of your luggage is tagged and tacked away safely, get the name of the receptionist and their phone number then head out and chill by the pool. The free and fast Wi-Fi will help you kill some time. Discover a sweet spot, a lounge area maybe?? Also before heading out, be ardent on the briefing was given, note the mode of payments allowed and what your meal plan entitles you to have.

Confirm all is in order with your booking, even the charges and remember to have your passport or identification cards back in your wallet after filling in the registration form. Many tend to forget these documents at the reception courtesy of excitement or nervousness. The important thing is to stay calm and graceful. Delayed check in is usual so relax. Smile, do not let that spoil your first experience.


Many resorts have the option of either paying directly for anything consumed or having a bill opened which then payment is paid in a lump sum during check out. These can as well be tricky so be keen. Note all that you have signed for as checkouts can be a snug with bill issues.

My tip, settle the account the night before check out. The front office runs for twenty-four hours, very convenient. After dinner when the resort is chilled, get your card and get the bills settled. This gives you ample time to go through signed receipts, where any discrepancies are noted and handled early, hence aiding a flawless check out the next day. Lol, this also is the best time to request for a late check-out, an unpaid one of course! Thank me later!


Never be afraid to enquire. The room comes with quite a number of amenities, ask if they are free to use or if they are charged for. Ask how the AC is used, how do you control it and how do you turn it off. How do you get the water hot? Can you purchase your own drinks and if so what is the corkage fee? Ask for extra bottles of water, shampoo anything! Even for a room change, Enquire if you can get a room swap. Ask about baby food even. Hotel personnel are super helpful and can make you have the best stay ever. So do not be afraid to ask.


Resorts nowadays have a tone of fun activities organized for guests. Be open to these activities. Get out and make friends over the four o’clock tea. Bask outside at the bar and join in on board games. These will make your stay merrier. You will now have company during dinner to watch the acrobats with over a glass of wine. Vacations are made memorable with such small gestures. Smile and be friendly. Tip there are usually notice boards for these activities so be on the lookout.

Have fun

The last point is just to have fun. There will be that one waiter during dinner who snubbed you or took long to serve your mixed tea in the morning. Lol, the resort might just be a disappointment in general but what to do right? Have fun because you know, Good Vibes Only! Right?…..right(

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