Typically, I view travel as something that is off the beaten path, rugged, a local experience, and honestly even a little uncomfortable. The more difficult meant the more I had to brag about, I was a little obnoxious and self-righteous; and trust me I’m not alone.
I used to judge people who went on cruises and pre-packaged tour vacations, and who stayed at all-inclusive resorts. (Clearly, I have some judgmental issues I need to work on)
Well, José and I never went on a honeymoon, and about 6 or so months after our wedding, we were stressed out; with work, applying to grad school (for me!) and just the general difficulties of adulthood. So, we decided we needed a relaxing vacation. With out low financial resources in mind, I scoured the internet looking for a deal. Finally, I found a super cheap vacation from the website Cheap Carribbean. It was everything I used to judge. A pre-packaged trip, at an all-inclusive resort, that included a guided tour! But, we really wanted and needed a break, so we decided to treat it like a mini-honeymoon.
It was there on our 5 day 4 nights’ all-inclusive stay in Cozumel, Mexico, that I realized my grave mistake. I mean who doesn’t love unlimited drinks and food whenever you want. Lounging on the beach, water activities, and basically never having to be responsible for any aspect of your vacation. One day we did nothing at all, we laid in the same lounge chairs on the beach all day, had drinks and lunch brought to us, listened to music and I finished a book and a half. It was one of my most relaxing days I ever had.
Another day we took a guided tour of Chichen Itza and Cenote Ik Il. Normally I’m not a huge fan of guided tours. I like to be able to take my time and explore at my own pace. But, like everything else I learned on this trip, sometimes not having to be in charge, not having to be responsible for logistics, is a freeing experience. It’s like when you were a kid and your parents did all the vacation planning, you just got to go and experience it all.
Don’t get me wrong, I will always love, and usually prefer, the types of travel experiences that give you an authentic, local experience. The experiences that get you off the beaten path, seeing sights most tourists never get to see. But every once and a while it’s nice to do nothing. Its nice to read an entire book in one day, and get unlimited alcoholic beverages delivered directly to your beach chair.
But most importantly, what is the point in wasting time worrying how other people spend their vacation time. Especially when you could just be enjoying yours! Do you like to go the all-inclusive route when planning a vacation, or do you like to take care of things on your won? Let me know in the comments below!