There’s a taboo about resorts within the travelling community – a taboo in which I hope to address and discuss.
People argue that staying at resorts is not authentic travel; and whilst everyone is entitled to their own opinion, so am I and here it is:
Resorts are not the enemy.
Resorts are an option, much like hostels, hotels, B&Bs or camping and are therefore a unique travel style in of itself. The stereotype of alcohol-fueled, beach-obsessed tourists ignorant to the country they grace are as valid as the image of a smelly backpacker in a hostel. Sure, they exist but to succumb to stereotypes? That is a dangerous game to play.
For example, M always told me of a man he met during his time at a resort in Cuba – a man who was only present during the evenings. Meanwhile, in the day, this man was cycling around the villages and countryside, interacting with the locals and experiencing the culture first hand. The resort was his home base and he felt comfort in not having to concern himself with troubles of food or drink upon his return.
The point being here is that no one is forcing you to stay inside the resort at all times. You have the power to make it your own experience. Rent a car. Go on day trips. Walk to neighboring villages. Or don’t. The choice is yours.
I’ve been fortunate enough to stay at three resorts in the Caribbean (Cuba, Mexico and the Dominican Republic) and have had three very different albeit enjoyable experiences. However, I’ve also stayed at a B&B in Trinidad and Tobago. Again, a very different experience.
I suppose it also depends on your budget or position in life. Resorts are known to be hassle-free, family friendly and are often located in sunshine destinations. This might be exactly what you are looking for in a holiday – or it might not. This might be exactly what you are looking for this holiday, but not the next. And that’s fine.
…but next time, acknowledge and appreciate the appeal before passing judgement on fellow travellers. You might think you know somewhere but from each window is an alternative perspective.