Just Returned From → Baffin Island, Nunavut. Headed To → Zoagli, Italy.

If there is one thing I’ve learned from my adventurous life—it’s how to BE PREPARED.

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All-Inclusive Resort Survival Guide

dreams-los-cabos

Heading to an all-inclusive Mexican or Caribbean resort? Here’s my travel guide to help you make the most of your trip.

In This All-Inclusive Resort Article You Will Discover

  • Tips For Making The Most Of Your Stay
  • Health & Fitness Advice
  • How To Experience Local Culture
  • And More!

There’s always some debate among the traveller sect on whether or not a trip to a quintessential “all-inclusive resort” is real travel. Well, as far as I’m concerned — anytime you leave home and visit somewhere new and/or different… you’ve travelled. Even if it is to Club Med.

However, there is no denying a trip to location such as Cancun can end up having little more to offer than a tanning salon. The choice is yours — will you give in to the sloth and lethargy of poolside full-service, or will you get out and make the most of your weeklong all-inclusive vacation?

Here are 6 tips to make the most out of your all-inclusive vacation:

1 Limit The Sugary Drinks

For some reason, even the manliest-men and most discerning women immediately de-evolve into pink-slushy drinking teenagers the moment they arrive at the resort. Sure, it’s about the only time in your life you won’t get mocked for drinking something called a “Miami Vice,” but do so with caution. These drinks have more sugar than a handful of sour soothers — enhancing your hangovers, caloric intake and generally contributing to ill-being. Mexicans drink cerveza and tequila. Do as they do, as much as possible.

2 Get Out

The joy of sitting poolside and eating fatty foods and guzzling pre-paid drinks wears off fast — keep it up for a week and you’ll need a vacation to recover from your vacation. Remember: you’re not trapped on-site. Wake up, have breakfast, and return for dinner. Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula and Baja Sur or the Dominican Republic and other all-inclusive hot-spots are surrounded by lovely cultural and natural wonders. You won’t miss the resort, I promise you…

3 Easy Does It…

It’s been a long flight. Drinks are pre-paid. You order six. Then wash those down with six more. And on it goes… the first night can be the worst night, leaving you hopelessly hung-over and sickened by even the smell of tequila if you don’t take it at least a little easy, at least on the first night.

4 Eat Off-Resort

Generally, since the resort is all pre-paid (no, food and drinks are not “free,” as people seem to think… just pre-paid), most visitors insist on getting the most for their money. However, even with six to 10 different on-resort eateries, the choices get tired. Eat lunch off-site during your forays. You’ll get a better sense of local culture and you won’t get sick of the resort’s food.

5 Fruity Breakfasts

Ironically, breakfast buffets are usually the healthiest place to find food. You just have to possess some semblance of willpower. It’s all very tempting to load up on cheesy omelets and syrup-covered pancakes, but more often than not, such a morning ritual will just leave you bloated and lethargic for the rest of the day. Start every morning with whole grains and fresh tropical fruit — and water! — and you’ll feel strong and healthy every day. Strong enough to drink your face off, sure, but strong nonetheless.

6 Be Active

I’m willing to bet your day-to-day life does not entail lying on your back drinking and eating until your stomach blows up like a beach ball. So how do you think your body is going to react to this type of behaviour on vacation? Listen, this is no temperance pronouncement, but making even the slightest effort to get your blood flowing (swimming, snorkeling and surfing works) every day is not only going to make you feel healthier — but it’s a much better way to spend your time than in permanent semi-siesta.



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About the author: David Webb is a Vancouver, BC-based travel writer, photographer and magazine editor.

7 comments… add one
  • Realtors Dec 9, 2015

    We going away next week and will keep this in mind. In the past we have learned some of these things the hard way. This time we intend to get off the resort and explore a little more.

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  • Velda Oct 10, 2013

    Nor might the vast majorikty of Americans work for the very low wages paid.
    If you find yourself esigning a holiday, among the mmost important considerations is
    most likely the budget. Are the neighborhood settlers thrilled to see foreigners?
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  • David Webb Apr 2, 2012

    Thanks Samuel, I appreciate it!

  • Nomadic Samuel Apr 1, 2012

    David, this is a great guide! I’ve yet to visit an all-inclusive resort but I’ll bookmark this for future reference.

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