I’ve had a few days to recuperate from Mexico and get back into my regular routine (which, surprisingly, involves just as much rain as Mexico did) and I guess that means it’s time for another travel blog.
My visit to Tulum, Mexico was the first time I’d ever been to an all-inclusive resort, and I had heard both fabulous tales and horror stories from my various friends in the travel business. I ventured out with cautious optimism, expecting great things but also prepared for the worst. I am happy to say that my time in Tulum was brilliant, exceeded expectations even at the start of the slow season during two simultaneous tropical storms. The resort cannot control the weather, but the did all they could to make us forget that it was raining. I’ve gathered a few tips for people who are a bit hesitant about booking an all-inclusive, on how to get the most out of your time there.
1. Book the right resort
Choosing your resort is one of the hardest things about planning your trip. Even harder than picking a destination. There’s a few things you need to consider. Location: Do you want gorgeous beaches, fantastic snorkelling, palm trees, volcanic landscape? Whatever it is pick a region and stick to it or you will be searching all the resorts in the world forever. Resort Atmosphere: this is the most important; do you want a party resort, a couples resort, a family resort? Something louder or quieter? I suggest talking to a travel agent over doing your own research for this one; it’s hard to get a feel for the atmosphere of a resort just by the website. Your agent has likely either been to the resort, or spoken to a lot of people who have, and can help you find the right resort for your needs.
You’re paying for all-inclusive, which means mostly everything is included. So go ahead; order margaritas at lunch, order room service at three in the morning, try out every restaurant the resort has to offer. This is the one time you’re allowed to go out of your comfort zone, because there’s no risk involved; if you don’t like something, you don’t have to finish it, there’s no extra expense. Be prepared for downtime. I know a lot of people who prefer their vacations to be all action, all the time. I can be like this at times too, but a resort vacation is a little more laid back. Bring a book for beach reading, enjoy your naps, take long lunches. You’re on vacation, you’re allowed.
3. Leave the resort
Now I’m not suggesting you just hike out the door to explore on your own, although the more adventurous of us may be wont to do so. Excursions can be pricey depending on with whom you book, but they can be absolutely worth the price. You’re in a different country (or at least a different place from your home) get out and see the sights!
Every resort will have some sort of activities during the day. If you’re not out on an excursion, there will be things to do at your resort. They might be cheesy, but they are guaranteed to be fun. Play beach volleyball even if you suck, no one will judge you. Learn to dance. Sing bad karaoke. Go to the shows.
Resorts can be on of the easiest places to meet new people. Interact with fellow guests during the aforementioned cheesy activities, then set up a dinner date. It will help you from getting so tired of your travel companions that you want to kick them out of your room. Don’t like your fellow travellers? Talk to the staff. Sometimes, it’s their job just to talk to you and make sure you’re having a good time, but everyone from the waiters to the spa staff will usually be willing to chat. Get some local stories, ask questions, just don’t get in the way of letting them do their jobs. (A note: depending on what country you’re in, the entertainment staff will probably flirt with you. This is their job. Do not take it too seriously, don’t be creepy, and probably don’t hook up with them because that could get them fired and we do not want a Dirty Dancing situation on our hands.)
There you have it; just some short tips. People who love resorts; anything I missed? What’s your favourite thing about staying at an all-inclusive?