- Drink till you drop. I hear from people all the time that they go to all inclusives because of the free booze (it isn’t really free, but we’ll get back to that later). At this point in my life I don’t need to drink till I drop
- Same people every day. It’s like being on a cruise ship and seeing the same people every day. If you like them it’s good, but if you don’t (and how many people have you met on vacation that you want to remain in touch with?) you start dodging areas like the pool because you don’t want to have to spend another minute with them.
- Time to play a game!! I don’t want to hear a guy over the loudspeaker, again and again, organizing a team for a game of something, then announcing the game and cheering people on. I want to sip my margharita, read my book, and watch people as they stroll the beach. Boring? Not to me and my friends.
- Most of the guests are Americans. I was born and raised in the USA, but I’ve traveled the world and love other cultures and countries. I don’t want to sit next to another American who tells me how much better everything is in the US than the country we are in. I can stay home and have that conversation.
- They want to keep you on the property! In many areas the all inclusives have a deal with the taxi drivers. It’s about $50 to take someone from an all inclusive to the downtown area of Playa or Puerto Vallarta, but only $10 to ride back. The properties don’t want people to see what they are missing in town so they jack the prices up for guests to leave.
- All-Inclusive resorts tend to be isolated.
- The “sprawling resort” becomes small, fast.
- The guests are a…certain type of traveler.
- The food is good but forgettable.
- Visiting and leaving a country without ever seeing it.
I don’t like all inclusives: Give me the real thing!
I’m sorry if I am offending anyone when I say, I don’t like all inclusives. I love to travel and I love to eat at the best places that the locals go to. I love watching people whether it’s sitting in an outdoor cafe in Paris, or walking through the farmer’s market in Bangkok or the Central Market in Phnom Phen, or strolling down 5th Avenue, La Quinta, in Playa del Carmen and stopping for a gelato, a drink, or a latte at a cute little place. It’s real, it’s unique and it’s what makes travel such a fun learning experience.
Don’t get me wrong, the all inclusives can be beautiful properties with lots to do, but I need the real thing when I travel.
Why I don’t like all inclusives
In Playa del Carmen there are all inclusives that have thousands of rooms on the property – Barcelo has 5000 rooms. Are you kidding me? Is this someone’s idea of a romantic get-away or a relaxing vacation? You look at pictures for the all inclusives and you only see a few romantic couples on the beach or in the pool. The reality is you’ll never find a quiet place with 5000+ people.
Here’s additional reasons for my not liking all inclusives:
I’ve tried all inclusives and was turned off by the every day sameness of the surroundings, people and food. This isn’t Disney and I don’t need a sterilized setting when I travel out of the country. This morning I happened to stumble on someone else’s blog post, Pin the Map Project, that summed it all up for me. Here’s a link to it, Why I Hate All Inclusives
I love this website and blog, and I hope you do too. Enjoy the day!!
Here’s the 5 main lessons of the article, but read the article
So who wrote this blog I am in such synch with? Here’s the blogger team:
Nikki is the Founder of The Pin the Map Project and started her blog four years ago as a way to flex her travel writing muscles and see the world.
Staff Travel Writer
You can find her either on the trail, re-reading East of Eden by John Steinbeck, or planning her next great adventure: www.beckykivlovitz.com.
Staff Travel Writer
. Learn more at WordsmithChristine.com.
Staff Travel Writer
Camha also blogs at Curated by Cammi. Follow her on Instagram at @curatedbycammi or on Twitter
Halloween and Day of the Dead
Halloween and Day of the Dead are a big deal in Playa Del Carmen! In Playa Del Carmen it is usually a four or 5 day holiday with Halloween events beginning with a parade on 5th Ave October 29, continuing with parties and costumed trick-or-treaters on October 30th and 31st, and continuing with Day of the Dead events on November 1st and 2nd.
Halloween is typically celebrated the same way in Playa del Carmen as in the US with costumes and parties. Consider bringing a costume for yourself and joining the fun! Most bars will have costume contests and parties till the wee hours in the morning. The most popular areas are from Juarez Avenue until 34th St. all along 5th Avenue.
One thing that is different from other countries is the happy vs. scary. When you are out on Halloween night in Playa Del Carmen you will notice how HAPPY everyone is! Families, adults, kids, dogs, everyone is smiling and having a good time. It is not really about scaring people compared to other places and perhaps this is a carry over of the Mexican view of celebrating life and not making death a scary thing. At any rate, Halloween is an amazing time in Playa Del Carmen! Tip: Bring small coins and candy for kids who dress in costumes and travel the street in groups. Children do not really go house to house trick-or-treating here but it is a local custom to bring kids in their costumes to 5th Avenue and walk around and get candy.
For those of you that want to see a lot of costumes and stroll around for free, 5th Avenue in Playa Del Carmen becomes one big parade of scary and funny creatures from October 29 – November 2. If you are in Playa Del Carmen during this time of year you should definitely plan to go out these nights.
Day of the Dead: Day of the Dead, on the other hand, is an important Mexican Holiday celebrating and honoring loved ones who have passed away. You will also see altars set up in numerous public areas honoring someone who has died and inviting them to return to earth for a visit. Altars are built for a specific person who has died and will contain items that have reflect the character and personality of the deceased, personal possessions, or items that had special meaning to that person. The altar invites the deceased back and shows that the family has not forgotten the loved one. Common items include a picture of the deceased, Day of the Dead symbols like skeletons, orange and yellow flowers, colorful perforated paper and more. Day of the Dead followers believe the spirits of the dead will return to earth to visit with their families. It’s a long hard journey from the afterlife back to earth, so traditional Dia de los Muertos altars include nourishment and refreshments for the returning souls, toilet articles to freshen up,
History of Day of the Dead, Dia de los Muertos originated centuries ago in Mexico, and is a festive, joyous holiday for celebrating, remembering and honoring those who have passed. Day of the Dead is Mexico’s most important holiday, which means they invest a lot of time and money into celebrating Dia de los Muertos, moreso than any other holiday.
The Day of the Dead falls on November 1 and 2 of each year, coinciding with the Catholic holidays All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day.
Most people celebrate Day of the Dead out of love and commitment to their loved ones, but some people celebrate this holiday out of fear! Mexico is rampant with folk tales that tell what happens if someone neglects their ancestors on Dia de los Muertos. If a spirit returns to find that no one has built an altar for them, or that their loved ones only left them paltry offerings, they will feel sad and angry… especially when they see what bounteous offerings other spirits received!
Neglected spirits may seek vengeance on those who have forgotten them. Additionally, many folk tales describe how those who ignore their deceased loved ones fall immediately ill and even meet their death shortly after the holiday!
Book now for Halloween and Day of the Dead and join the festivities!! Stay at any of our 6 properties, all are within a 1-2 block walk to 5th Avenue where everything takes place. Contact us for rates and availability at El Taj Ocean, Porto Playa, Magia Beachside, El Taj Beach, Maya Villa, or Villas Sacbe.