Picture it: You pull up through the front gates of a posh, luxurious all-inclusive resort and are soon presented with a cold, rose scented towel and champagne before being whisked away in the direction of your room. The main areas, landscaping, pools, bars, even the hallways are pristine and opulent. Your room is divine; the finest linens, Jacuzzi tub, balcony overlooking the ocean, stocked mini-bar, everything your heart could desire is at your finger tips for the next week. It is the stuff of vacation dreams! And, I’ve sworn off staying at another all-inclusive resort for a year. But let me tell you why…
First off, I need to make one thing very clear: We do love all-inclusive resort vacations, really! We recommend them to others quite often and have spent many a vacation day enjoying their pleasures. They are beautiful, pampering, relaxing, and effortless. When we go on an all-inclusive resort vacation, we sample new foods, try new activities, and soak up the sun and the sea until our hearts are content and restored, umbrella drink in hand. We also make it a point to leave the property often to get out and explore the surrounding area as much as we can.
With this being said, please don’t read this post and then go hating later when I finally do get my post up about our latest all-inclusive experience from earlier this year. I generally post as the mood strikes me, not in chronological order. As we plan our 2017 travels, doing different things is our goal, so the topic of all-inclusive resorts is on my mind right now and therefore I’m blogging about it at this moment. I’ll probably share the post on our last all-inclusive resort stay in January or February when it’s 20 degrees below zero and I’m fantasizing about a tropical paradise! Anyway, We have stayed at 5 different all-inclusive resorts in the last two years, and it’s simply time for a break.
I’ve decided not to stay at one of these places for a year. Here’s a few reasons why:
Sometimes it is not worth the money. You really have to do your homework on this. Yes, all-inclusive luxury is nice, but do the math! Look at how much you’re spending on the trip, do the breakdown of what your flights and hotel room cost, and then look at what’s left. Could you find a cheaper room rate at a standard hotel? Would you really spend that amount of money on food and drinks at local establishments for the duration of your stay? Sometimes the answer is yes, sometimes it is no, but you really need to put pen to paper on this.
FOMO. I get that everyone is different, and reasons for travel and vacation vary. For us, sometimes we just need to get away for a bit to recharge our batteries and relax in paradise. However, when spending all of your time in the confines of the resort property, you really don’t get a taste of what the culture is like. When we leave the resort and go into any given city, we love seeing and visiting with the people, seeing the shops, the buildings, the lifestyle, and the landscape. You miss out on what the people and the area are really like when you’re being catered to behind that guarded resort gate.
Monotony. Again, I need to start by saying that we really do like all-inclusive resorts! But, sometimes, they get to feel a little monotonous. While each property and city is different and nuanced, they are all similar. Even if it’s different resort lines in different locations, you can expect the same general experience. The food is similar, the bars are similar, the entertainment and games are similar, even the chairs on the beach are similar. Trust me, I can tell you what three types of cheese will be offered at the buffet regardless of where you stay. You get my point. They are great, but if you visit enough of them, the all-inclusive concept starts to feel a little too familiar.
While I will never get tired of the ocean and palm trees, and I will never pass up the opportunity to head someplace amazing for a week or two, we do really need a break from experiencing this via all-inclusive resorts. Variety is the spice of life and it’s time to spice things up a bit! We have an exciting year of travel in the works for 2017 and nowhere in there is an all-inclusive resort, and I couldn’t be more excited and welcoming of this travel change! The world is a huge place and there are so many other options out there that are all part of a great travel experience. And, while this doesn’t mean we won’t be visiting the ocean soon, it just means our accommodation will be different. While I don’t think I’ll miss themed buffets or bottomless booze during this year long all-inclusive break, I’m sure you’ll find us at some all-inclusive resort in 2018, with big smiles on our faces and umbrella drinks in hand!
Some people love all-inclusive resorts and some people hate them. Comment below with your feelings or experiences at all-inclusive resorts.
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