All the people love All Inclusive holidays. According to ABTA, up to 23 per cent of UK tourists choose trips to closed hotel resorts with full board. However, we think it is a high-risk holiday. Why?
We know All Inclusive from the inside out. Magda once worked in Sharm El Sheikh as a travel agency resident. And even though today we avoid these moods, we have to face it: All Inclusive will have a long-lasting opinion of the best of the cheapest possible holidays.
But although many of us will definitely go for an All Inclusive vacation one day…
– because my husband likes it
– because there are animations for children
– because I do not want to cook
– because you do not have to worry about anything
– because I can lie on a deck chair and do not have to do anything
– because there is a fabulous price
– [insert any explanation]
…it’s worth being vigilant because it’s very likely that…
1. We will get a lot of weight
The curse of All Inclusive is the irrational fear that if we go out for a few hours from our golden cage, we will lose the “paid” meal that “belongs to us”. It is very easy to fall into a typical All Inclusive rhythm: at dawn, throw the towel on the deck chair. Then have a rich breakfast. The first drink at the pool. Full lunch. Nap with a drink in hand on a deck chair. A five-course dinner and pleasant sleep of an innocent tourist. As a result, we supervise the canteen seven days a week and only jump over the pool (because there is a bar with free drinks). And then we land again in the queue for the buffet. And after a week, we’re back 5 kilos heavier.
2. We will not know the country at all
Yes, I know that package tours are relatively expensive, and the company on the bus will not be better than at the pool. But if the alternative is to lie on a deck chair with a glass of warm, diluted whiskey, then there is no money that would not be worth giving away for getting out of this hell. It seems that frying in the sun and reading old magazines seems to be tempting only when is offered to us by the enthusiastic salesperson just after the course of influencing clients with NLP techniques, right? And yet there are many tourists who saw the country where they spent 2 weeks twice – on the way from the airport to the hotel and back.
3. We will not see anything except the hotel
The hotel enclave gives a false sense of security. Going alone to Egypt, Tunisia or Kenya, we switch on thinking and self-preservation instinct. We are not walking in a bathing suit to the mosque. We do not wander around waving the wallet. We do not push camera lenses into people faces. The problem is that we too often forget that although we have holidays, then others live here, work… They just are at home. Normally, it would make us curious. But the restricted world of the All Inclusive resort sucks us in like a modern, air-conditioned mall. Why should we go to the local market, if we buy souvenirs in a hotel shop? Why try dishes from a local restaurant, as on Thursday, or Friday evening will there be a buffet at the hotel with local delicacies prepared for European style? Why should we listen to the noise of some strange music coming from smelly alleys of a nearby city (which name will be forgotten immediately), if here, in the hotel, a soft pop is seeping from the radio?
4. We will have the feeling that we are cool
I know that after a few days of dulling All Inclusive luxury, it’s hard to believe, but behind the wall separating our hotel from the world is also life, although the tourism industry tries to hide this information from us. Why? Because often our well-being, in contact with reality, breaks down dramatically. We like to think of ourselves as benefactors of local communities. After all, it is thanks to our money that the locals have a job. They should treat us like their patrons.
Well, unfortunately… It’s rarely true. If the resort in which we spend holidays is an oasis of luxury in a sea of poverty and dirt, then maybe we should ask ourselves a few questions: Is the travel agency where we buy a trip belong to a local entrepreneur? Or maybe they pay taxes here? Also, no? Spaghetti bolognese and pizza in the hotel cafeteria are dishes from products bought at the local market? No? Maybe cheap wine at the pool bar was created in a nearby winery? Oh no. These are plonks supplied by the world’s largest corporations. And waiters, cooks, maids and porters? They earn the lowest salary or even are hired for a per diem. If they get sick or get old, they will lose their job immediately. You do not believe? Do you think there is a development path like in an excellent corporation? Well, open your eyes. From the receptionist, the staff is international. We will not meet local people here. Once, when there was no hotel here, they cultivated their own land. Maybe they were fishing? Then the company bought the land and built the hotel here. Money – it happens – went to the deep pockets of local politicians. The hotel has dug pools, over which we sit nicely on the sun. But because of that, wells have dried up in the area. There are no more public beaches and small ports. There is no land to cultivate because hotels are on the best soil. The only employer is a hotel that pays for pennies. Locals can also try to set up a restaurant or shop, hoping that rich guests from the resort will emerge for a moment and want to spend a few pennies. Only that All Inclusive attracts tourists like a black hole… And so the hotel is getting richer, and the neighbourhood is still poor.
The truth is that if we want to get know the country, try the taste of local dishes, see what ordinary life looks like, then we have to get out of the hotel and get a few pounds for a bus ticket, a taxi or shopping at the market. With sorrow, you have to let go of lunch in the hotel cafeteria and risk stomach ache, eat something in a place with plastic tables and a menu in a language we do not know. Otherwise, this trip does not make sense. Because if our dream is to sleep well, eat and lie on a sun lounger with a drink in hand, it is really better to go to a very good All Inclusive hotel in Blackpool. At least you do not have to fly…