10 Reasons Why My Resort Vacation Rocked My Pants Off

Last year, some of my closest girl friends and I booked an all-inclusive, one-week trip to the Gran Bahia Principe Coba in the Riviera Maya, Mexico (I’ll write more about those experiences later). These kinda vacations are insanely popular in Newfoundland, as 30 consecutive days of overcast weather tends to make people suicidal.

The closest thing to this in Newfoundland is the St. John’s Harbour, a lovely shade of sewage green.

Yeah, I get it. Resort vacations take away from the real experience of a country. The staff is underpaid. It’s unethical to indulge in such riches from inside a poor country.

You can judge me, but bollocks to you then.

I had a wonderful vacation. I turned into a freckly ginger giraffe, and completely mastered the art of ordering a drink in Spanish. And by that I mean I gazed at the cute Mexican waiters and lustily said, “Cerveza, por favor!”

Holy fish balls, Mexican men are cute.

Anyway, so here are 10 reasons why I think resort vacations are great.

1. They’re freaking cheap

I’ve always wanted to be like Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman, snatched up randomly off the street by a handsome stranger who eventually falls in love with me and we live a life of luxury. Except without the whole awkward prostitute thing. I had a taste of luxury on a tight budget, my entire trip costing less than $1500 (one of the more expensive packages, actually), including a round-trip flight and bus transfers. This is pretty sweet for Newfoundland, considering it’ll cost me about $599 for a one way ticket to Edmonton.

2. Somebody else does all the dirty work

I love the planning part. The guide books, the Internet websites, the stress, the comparison of prices. The hair pulling, the teeth gnashing, the scratching your friends’ eyes out. But sometimes you just want your travel cake and eat it too, y’know? Is that how the expression goes? Anyway, all I had to do was pay, pack and play.

3. It’s the ultimate girlfriend getaway

Our resort was more geared towards couples and older people, but we partied like rockstars anyway and had an amazing time just enjoying each others’ company. Several of my friends are stretched out across the country, so coming together in sunny Mexico created new bonds while securing the old ones.

4. The booze is free

Amazing. On the other hand, returning to St. John’s where beers are anywhere between $3 to $7? Total ass crap.

5. You meet awesome people

My friends and I met folks from Great Britain, other parts of Canada, the USA and France while on our resort. We also befriended many of the resort workers, like this shiny gent named Adrian:

True love. I also found a random boy’s email in my purse many weeks later, and I still have no idea who he is. But he’s on my Facebook.

6. You actually get to relax

In my experience, travel is not for relaxing, catching up on sleep or just going with the flow…especially when your vacation time is limited. Lying on the beach, sipping mojitos and having the sun assault your body with pleasurable warmth? Totally worth having to pick out all those grains of sand from your tush.

7. There’s a lot of naked people

This works both ways. You can either admire exposed nipples, tight abdominal muscles, rippling biceps and bronzed flesh, or you can feel slightly inferior next to the Latino chic with DD breasts. At one point I nearly ran into a tree because an older woman’s massive pancake nipples had eclipsed the sun.

8. You don’t need to stay on the resort

The organized tours are often expensive, but the variety and ease of booking is incredible. I did the dolphin swim, a catamaran tour, a day at Chichen Itza, and a pubcrawl in the Playa del Carmen. Worth every penny.

9. The food, glorious food!

My friends and I gorged on so much food in Mexico it was unbelievable. When we first arrived on the resort, we hadn’t eaten in nearly a full day, so we ditched our luggage and found the nearest snack bar. And then we found the open bar. And then we died from happiness.

10. Everyone deserves a bit of luxury

I’m always a big fan of the hostels and the backpacking scene, but luxury travel is just as “real” of an experience as any other. For us broken students/ex-students dealing with debt, being among such fancy accommodations was relieving. We never asked more from the workers than necessary, and we always tipped generously.

After getting out and seeing a bit more of the Yucatan, the country has since sparked a desire to get to know the place on a deeper level. If I ever go back, I’d like to do so in a way which contributes something positive to the country.

Have any of you ever tried an all inclusive? How did you enjoy the experience?

Other News

I was featured as a guest blogger at OneTravel last week, check out Why Everyone Should Survive a Winter in St. John’s, Newfoundland. Thanks, OneTravel!

  • http://www.candicedoestheworld.com Candice

    Oh trust me, don’t take anything I ever say very seriously. :) Of course there’s lots of incredible beaches in NL, but certainly none that look quite like Coba. Ohh summer, I miss thee.

  • http://www.candicedoestheworld.com Candice

    You MUST! You would love a vacation like that!

  • http://www.candicedoestheworld.com Candice

    Thanks for stopping by! Love seeing new faces. Wasn’t it a great resort?! I’m afraid to try any others now, maybe they won’t be quite as good.

  • http://www.candicedoestheworld.com Candice

    Awesome, THANK YOU!

  • http://www.posatigres.com Sarah

    You go, Candice! Tell ‘em! Even though you can’t compare a resort with a chicken bus, you can pick up all sorts of interesting and bizarre experiences from resort travel, too.

  • Patricia

    Great post! I too did an all-inclusive for the first time last year.

    I have traveled all over the place and most of it solo. Europe multiple times (including living in Germany for two years), Northern Africa (Morocco, Egypt), Turkey, Thailand and many other places. All it it fairly independent travel so I had my trepidations about booking an all-inclusive trip last year.

    Well, I loved it. I wouldn’t hesitate to do it again (in fact i went back to Cuba a second time a few months after the first trip). As much as I love independent travel it was really nice to be pampered. I just put blinders on and said to myself I’m not really visiting Cuba, I’m just on a beach vacation to relax…

    My next trip (April for three weeks) will be to Thailand for a friend’s wedding and a little independent travel but I wouldn’t hesitate to book another all-inclusive sometime in the future.

    P.S. I also work in the tech writing field…..

  • Patricia

    How timely that as I finished the comment above I hit your Follow Me tag on the side to your Twitter page and the first tweet up was a link to a posting Border Crossing Guide: Bangkok to Siem Reap which is exactly what I’ll be doing when i go to Thailand in April!

  • http://www.candicedoestheworld.com Candice

    Totally! Glad someone agrees, hah.

  • http://www.candicedoestheworld.com Candice

    Nice to meet you, fellow techie! Thanks for stopping by, Patricia. I’d certainly do the resort vacation again too, but perhaps not for a few more years. I think I wanna get married on a Mexican beach somewhere, oh yes. Do you have a blog?

  • Patricia

    I did but let it lapse two years ago when I changed jobs and things got really busy. I have to get the backup moved to other hosting and start it up. Maybe I will in time for Thailand…..

  • http://www.candicedoestheworld.com Candice

    I think you should! Us tech writers need a creative outlet, haha.

  • Ashwin

    hi candice, this is ashwin and i liked your blog.
    It is very nice

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  • http://www.candicedoestheworld.com Candice

    Thank you! :)

  • http://www.HeidiTown.com Heidi

    This article is frickin awesome.

    I totally agree with all 10 points! All-inclusive is perfect if you are traveling with a group. On our own, the hubby and I like to do it a little more rugged (the travel, I’m talking about the travel!!). But with a group the all-inclusive makes a lot of sense.

    I totally want to go to Mexico with you! Of course, we’d have to pack about a gallon of sunscreen between us (I am also a redhead).

    Happy to have found your blog today via Twitter.

    I love finding fellow funny redheads. Makes me happy.

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  • http://www.jpfamilynutrition.com Wendy Vaz

    Hi Candice, I was searching for the best “get away” trip for my upcoming 40th birthday w/ my girlfriends in Mexico (Riviera maya) and came across your story! Loved it! I have never been to an all inclusive, and from what i’m hearing it might be best tway to go w/ a large group of girls. I stayed a few years ago at the Fairmont Mayakoba, Riviera Maya and loved it, but not inclusive and on the pricey side. I would like to find a resort that has all what Fairmont Mayakoba has but possibly all inclusive. Any ideas??? Loved ready all your stories, you are funnnny.

  • http://www.candicedoestheworld.com Candice

    Thanks so much, Wendy! I’m glad you dropped by. I totally recommend the resort getaway for a girls’ vacation, it’s just perfect. I’m not sure if you’d be interested in going back to the Riviera Maya, but if you are, I definitely suggest the Gran Bahia Principe Coba. It is a MASSIVE resort, three in one really: Coba, Akumal, and Tulum. So there’s SO MUCH to do, so many people, it’s like a little city in itself. Plus the Hacienda is fantastic, and there isn’t a whole lot of young people. It’s not a party spot but the disco was always active, and my girlfriends and I had a blast.

    I’m planning on Cuba for next year, a similar vacation. :) If you have any other questions, just ask!

  • http://www.candicedoestheworld.com Candice

    Also, the Gran Bahia is a 5-star and it only cost us $1400, so you should be able to score a sweet deal somewhere.

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