Whether your destination is a beach holiday at a Caribbean all inclusive, an adventure holiday in Nepal or Africa, a cultural vacation through Europe, or backpacking along the Australian coast, there are so many options, how do you choose?
I am facing this decision as I plan a one week getaway for November. Don’t get me wrong, I am all about the adventure holiday. Trekking in Nepal, cycling across Canada, backpacking South America – some of my best holiday memories come from these adventures. I can’t wait to explore Costa Rica, hike the jungles and take part in all the adventures Costa Rica has on offer. I have yet to settle the adventure vs all inclusive debate, but I am tending towards all inclusive for this November.
There are many factors to consider, including what am I looking to get out of this trip? Is it a total R&R event after what can only be described as one of the craziest years I have had to date, or get out and explore and experience a new place? Back to my old wanderlust self, I have 3 trips in the planning – a yet to be determined vacations south, Christmas in Prague and cycling in Mallorca early next year! My holiday plate is full and I am already day dreaming about that African safari! No doubt, unless I win the lottery, I will not be heading to Africa in 2012. There will be no pictures of wild game – the lizards and the locals may be the wildest game I see!
Earlier this year, I won an amazing trip to Antigua. I had the opportunity to stay in a luxurious all inclusive resort, which I followed up with an extra few days in a quaint cottage. I loved the all inclusive – didn’t have to worry about where to go for dinner, how I was going to get there, or anything really! Everything was taken care of. The only thing I needed to concern myself with was getting to the dock on time for all the activities I planned on doing! It was heaven on a beach! I had the same experience at a the Grand Palladium all inclusive in Jamaica – this time I did fewer activities and came out of there so incredibly relaxed – no one could believe that I spent so much time sitting down!
There is something to be said for getting out and exploring a new destination, experiencing the culture and food of the place. I love going to the markets – buying the local foods and meeting people. While you can certainly still get out and experience a country when staying at the compound (all inclusive), it certainly doesn’t lend itself to the same kind of experience. Staying at the cottage in Antigua, we (there were 4 of us) would head out every day, exploring different beaches, checking out the fresh markets in town. We danced all night to the vibrant music at Shirley’s Heights (I highly recommend heading out there on a Saturday night). Basically, we just got out there and explored! We took the city buses, ate “street meat” and experienced a different part of the island than had we stayed at the resort. It was a great time!
I am still torn – all inclusive vs adventure destination – either way, it will be an amazing holiday. The one thing I know for sure, I will be out there, exploring the island, having another adventure of a lifetime.
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