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.
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:
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?