Staying all inclusive: it’s the dream image when you visualise a luxury holiday. Think lying poolside ordering drinks at every whim to cool yourself down from the glorious sunshine. While my travels of the last few months have been distinctly more budget – hostels and even a six foot square boat cabin – I’ve managed to save for an all inclusive holiday each year. The essential criteria was pretty simple: one glorious beach, inviting blue water and drinks on tap.There’s something whimsical about knowing that, if you don’t want to, you literally don’t have to move and you can relax without counting the pennies knowing that you’ve already covered your meals and drinks. No nasty surprises when you look in your purse the morning after a heavy night! If you want to get away to relax on a budget, all inclusive can be the best way to go – plus, all the organisation is done for you. It’s as simple as packing your suitcase and getting on the plane, knowing that you’ll have a transfer straight to your door waiting for you at the other end.
But while I do have a soft spot for lazing in the sun getting a tan, going all inclusive can dull your spirit of adventure a little. It’s easy to stay within the resort grounds, thinking that you’ve already paid for your meals and drinks so it would be silly not to take advantage. I can check countries like Fuerteventura, Mexico and Lanzarote off from my list of countries to visit but how much of the country did I actually see? I experienced far more of Prague in less than 48 hours than I did for my entire week in Mexico. Maybe that value for money isn’t quite as good as you initially expect.
So, will I be staying all inclusive again? At just 23 years of age, it’s safe to say that it’ll be years before I decide to go back to that style of holiday again. I find myself looking back at those trips and realising that once my tan faded, I had very little to show for them. Rediscovering my sense of adventure means that I want to experience a country and its culture not just the inside of a resort. To find the cute jazz bars tucked away down hidden flights of stairs, eat fresh not from a stale buffet and visit that cool-looking bar without worrying about the extra expense.
How do you feel about all inclusive holidays?