For many years growing up all I really knew was all inclusive travel, but as I grew older and began to travel without my parents in my late teens and early twenties I broke the chains of all inclusive and finally realised the potential of the world! Before then travel didn’t really interest me that much, I found it boring and predictable. But once I got out there on my own, discovered things by myself and realised that getting lost and exploring was something to embrace rather than fear. The the world became a place full of endless potential, excitement and one which I could not wait to explore. Travelling All Inclusive shielded me from the real world and robbed my of real experiences… finally leaving that behind gave me the chance to catch the wanderlust bug that has fuelled me to explore the world ever since! So here’s why we say, go and do it yourself!
It’s more expensive and you get less!
All Inclusive package holidays are nearly always really expensive, they play on your need for “safety and security” by scaring you into feeling you need them to travel. This often means you are paying for nothing more than a constructed peace of mind. Here everything is planned out for you and it plays on your laziness! But the ironic thing is that really you get less back, once they have your money they don’t need to work for it. You get served the same slop every night, get stuck in the hotel and see nothing because you need to stay close to get your monies worth! You also pay so much more for excursions you could have easily done yourself for half the price!
it’s predictable and limiting
The thing with All Inclusive packaged holidays is that the excitement of the unknown disappears. You are scheduled for when you have to eat and know what is on the menu months before you travel. Your excursions are pre planned and an itinerary mapped out that is the same for everyone else on your trip! This means that you never really get time to get out and explore properly! You always know what you are going to see, do and experience – it just becomes predictable and generic!
It shelters you from the real world
Many all inclusive travellers end up spending their entire trip inside the compounds of their hotel walls, they end up never wanting to leave unless it is on an accompanied and pre-planned excursion. Drifting through the country in an air conditioned coach and never really touching the real world that surrounds this bubble of home. Often this means that in reality you are just travelling from home and into a place constructed to replicate the same food you are comfortable with, all English speaking and never even getting close to the edge of your comfort zone. Often we forget that really experiencing the culture of a new place is to leave familiarity behind and embrace a totally foreign way of life…otherwise why not stay at home! Even just talking a Cancun airport shuttle rather than a tour bus when you are somewhere like Mexico if you are wary of local buses or taxi drivers is a better option. But local transport is always a great and cheap way to actually meet people and experience real life straight out of the airport doors!
It only provides you with a fake and contrived experience of that country
Reiterating what we said above is the idea that within this bubble of the hotel environment in which you become trapped is manageable, bite sized and westernised chunks of inauthentic local culture with which you are spoon fed. One of the most ridiculous things I have ever heard was when a friend went on a holiday to Mexico and the hotel hosted a “Mexican Night”, complete with misappropriated culture that only really played up to stereotypes rather than reality. I mean, surly every night in Mexico should be Mexican night??
You miss out on a real opportunity
Not only is an All Inclusive packaged holiday an expensive and isolating experience but it is also a huge missed opportunity to see somewhere amazing! I’ve known people fly for 10+ hours only to spend their entire holiday around the pool or on a nondescript beach! They journeyed for miles, sat for hours and paid thousands only to miss out on what is a stunning country with fascinating and once in a lifetime culture! It just seems like such a wasted opportunity, money and time!
You get your hand held and treated like a child
Unless you are an actual child I really don’t know why you would enjoy being treated like one!! Personally I love the freedom that relying on your own instinct gives you, the liberating feeling of stepping into the unknown! But most package holidays involve paying a fortune for pre-planned excursions and tours! Following someone with a sign like cattle and ending up at some awful shop in the middle of nowhere where your guide gets commission rather than diving into the local culture and seeing where you end up! You’re an adult for god sake, you can get public transport and navigate a new city on your own!!
You never really get under the skin of a place
Often you end up only skimming the surface of a new culture instead of really getting to know the ins and outs of it. Stay with a local family, eat the delicacies of the area, get off the beaten path and really learn about how other people live!
The real adventure of travel is missing!
Travel was once a dangerous and wild pursuit only the most brave would dare take part it! Now it is accessible to all and that element of fear is often just constructed to make you stick to only what you know. But at the same time travel is supposed to be about the ups and downs, the crazy situations and the stories that will last a lifetime. Real travel is about adventure, not comfort!
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What do you think about all inclusive package holidays?
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