Being the thoughtful wife that I am, I thought that for our anniversary last year, there was no better gift for my husband than a surprise vacation to Luke Bryan’s Crash My Playa in Mexico. While some may have called it a “trip to see your imaginary boyfriend on the beach,” I tend to think fondly of our vacation as some much needed couple time filled with relaxation, adventure and good music. The fact that my not so secret obsession happened to headline the show was just a mere coincidence.
When planning the trip last year, there was very little information aside from one review from a previous event goer. Now that I’m an alumni of the event, who just booked my reservation for the 2018 Crash My Playa event, I thought I’d share my experience in the hopes that this may help other country music fans plan their own memorable experience.
First and foremost, for those skeptical of a planned vacation package, trust in me when I say that CID Presents did an amazing job planning everything from transportation to the hotel from the airport and from the event to various hotels. My husband and I continued to remark on the trip how well planned and organized the event was. There were people with signs directing you, people set up to meet you and representatives in the hotels to answer questions.
Which hotel do I select?
This all depends on the experience you wish to have. If you want more of the party experience, typical of spring break, then I’d recommend The Hard Rock or Barcelo. The Barcelo was comprised of a few different hotels in walking distance to the event stage. While very convenient in that you could just walk from your room to the stage and many artists had pop up concerts at the pool, the downside was that it appeared to be very crowded. The pool was packed all day long and there were a lot more drunk people in the area. We stayed at the Grand Velas, a property 30 minutes off site. Even though we had a drive to the concert, the bus arrived on time each night and was there immediately after the show to pick us up. The off property locations seemed much more quiet and seemed to be planned for those of us looking for a more relaxed environment. Since the Grand Velas was not offered for 2018, we chose Secrets, which we heard from other couples there, offered a similar experience.
What is there to do?
Of course you can hang out poolside or order lunch by the beach, but I highly recommend signing up for one of the “adventures” when they are posted. Sign up early for these as these sell out quickly. I had really wanted to go on the four wheeling expedition through the jungle but that was gone by the time I booked. We went on two adventures over our four day stay. The first day we went to Talum to climb the ruins and see ancient Mayan villages which were amazing opportunities. We also went on the multi-site adventure where we swam in Rio Secreto, an underwater cave, drove through Mayan towns, zip lined over a canyon, kayaked in the jungle, ate lunch prepared by Mayan women and attended an ancient Mayan ceremony where we were blessed a shaman. Repelling down the canyon was also an option but I sat out on that one…I tend to not entrust my life by a man holding on to me by a rope. * Make sure you take into consideration the arrival time back to the hotel if you want to see the opening acts. Sometimes there is less than an hour in between the arrival and bus departure if you’re staying off site.
What is the concert like?
Over the four-day event, Luke performed Friday and Sunday nights with Little Big Town and Randy Houser playing Thursday and Blake Shelton playing on Saturday. With that being said, Luke was there for the other nights and came out quite a bit. As an added bonus, Gwen Stefani came out during Blake’s set and sang, “Hella Good.” All of the artists joined each other throughout the event and the best part was that they were all so relaxed, funny and definitely had too much alcohol…which made the show even better quite honestly.
You can choose to walk up to the stage, sit on the beach or hang out towards the back under the lighted palms and food tents. I would say the crowd was well managed and I didn’t feel overly crowded or unable to move. My husband is really not a fan of crowds or concerts but he enjoyed himself as we kind of walked back and forth between the stage and food area.
What to wear?
I brought cowboy boots thinking that I’d dress how I normally would to any other normal country concert. Fortunately, I opted for flip flops on night one which was a good call because the girls in boots were struggling quite a bit. The entire concert area is sand so I’d suggest bringing flip flops or sandals as that is what most people wore. The majority of women wore sun dresses while the men wore board shirt or shorts with tees. If you’re going on the adventures, I’d definitely suggest wearing tennis shoes and then packing flip flops if you need them. On some of the more active adventures, there’s a lot of climbing. There are also really nice gyms and exercise classes available as well.
Crash My Playa is worth taking off from work, gathering your girlfriends or significant other and heading to Mexico for a long weekend! Make the most out of it by signing up for at least one adventure and don’t be scared to be shameless in your love for Luke…
I’d be remiss in my Luke post if I didn’t post these old photos of me and Luke..before the super stardom and when Cole Swindell and I were friends….Play it again…Play it again