What’s Your Style?
After 13 years in the travel business one thing is for sure, no destination or resort or experience is “one size fits all”.
Everyone has a different expectation from their travel experience and the more clearly you can identify what you want that experience to be the more likely you are to find the right fit for your next vacation.
First and foremost what is the level of comfort you need to be happy? I recently returned from a 3 star all-inclusive resort and while it wasn’t what I usually book for my personal vacations the fabulous beach it was sitting on made putting up with outdated furniture and fixtures worthwhile.
There are luxury 5 star resorts around the world that are truly luxurious. Great beds and bedding, large rooms that are well furnished, excellent service including many with butler service, gourmet food, top shelf adult beverages, and prime locations. You get what you pay for, and if you’re willing to pay for luxury you’re going to be amazed at what the travel industry is able to deliver.
Speaking of gourmet food what about food quality? I am a dyed in the wool foodie, no doubt about it. If the food isn’t good I don’t want to be there. You are paying for food at all-inclusive resorts so you need to decide before you book if food quality is going to be an issue and select accordingly.
On escorted tours many meals are also often included. Top ranked tour companies offer top quality food that is traditional and yet geared toward an American palate. River cruises do a particularly good job of providing excellent food to a wide variety of travelers and in a wide variety of destinations. Some less expensive escorted tours provide great itineraries but with fewer included attractions and fewer meals.
What about activities? Some all-inclusive resorts have nonstop entertainment teams that keep up the options all day and well into the night. Volleyball, aerobic classes, kayak tours, lawn bowling, you name it, they do it, and it’s a lot of fun. Other all-inclusive resorts are more about peace and quiet, and an active family of four probably would be bored to tears there.
Are you looking for cultural experiences? Many destinations offer interesting and diverse cultural activities and locals can be very knowledgeable and proud of their heritage. In Mexico the Mayan culture is fascinating and there are many fantastic ruins still remaining for your investigation.
Europe is always a culture and history lover’s paradise, which is why Europe is my #1 choice for personal vacations. On both European tours and river cruises the included attractions and cultural highlights are a big part of the itinerary and make the trip worthy of your investment.
Our recent trip to Ireland included my all-time favorite guide (Mark you know who you are), and his nonstop entertaining stories about growing up in Ireland were the hit of the tour. Your tour guide is a big part of your experience on an escorted tour. I never met one I didn’t like -they are by their very nature gregarious, intelligent and entertaining people. Add a great tour guide to an amazing itinerary and you have a winner!
Of course the culinary opportunities in Europe are countless (yes, we’re back to food). Whether you want to experience famous cuisines or even indulge in some cooking classes, both are easily and affordably accomplished in Europe.
To thine own self be true-Shakespeare said it a long time ago and when you apply that advice to travel you’re going to have a marvelous vacation.
Joy Gawf-Crutchfield owns and operates The Joy of Travel LLC. Please contact Joy at 918-339-4805