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Old 8th Apr 2011, 9:58   #931
Lucoid
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Default Re: Travel

I heard a mildly heated debate on Today this morning about the wonders/horrors of all-inclusive holidays, as apparently First Choice will be selling only all-inclusives for next year as demand has risen so much. Not a suprising change, really, as I imagine many many people are finding the money they've got for spending on holidays is drastically reduced, and having been to a few all-inclusives myself I know how easy they make it to manage what you're paying out.

One particular point in the discussion really made me think, being quite pertinent to me as I've just got back from a week in Tenerife where, yes, we were all-inclusive. The contributor was talking about how people staying in an all-inclusive hotel are so much less likely to get out and explore that in some resorts local bars and restaurants are closing because everyone's staying in the hotel all day to get the food and drink they've already paid for. We took extra spending money with the intention of eating out a couple of times during the week, but didn't - the hotel buffet was too good to make me want to be bothered browsing menus, though there were several restaurants around the little harbour about 10 minutes' walk away. The Today feature really struck a chord, as I'd already been thinking about how one of the most lovely holidays abroad I've ever had was when were on a bed & breakfast basis in Kefalonia, and ate out loads in gorgeous tavernas, went for long walks and all that, but for some reason staying all-inclusive always makes that seem so much hassle!

I think the idea that the joys of travel are in the exploration and discovery of the local area and culture is definitely upheld by this thread. I really should learn from that!

PS For anyone who knows I work in travel, don't worry, this isn't a hidden promotion for my employers, I don't work for First Choice/TUI.
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Last edited by Lucoid; 12th Apr 2011 at 13:17. Reason: to stop me sounding quite so moronic.
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Old 8th Apr 2011, 17:37   #932
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Default Re: Travel

Yes, I think these all-inclusive deals are killing the areas around the big hotels. We hear the same complaints in Corfu, though we ourselves always opt out from the hotel food (often even if we've perforce paid for it).
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Old 8th Apr 2011, 22:12   #933
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Default Re: Travel

I've never done a holiday that was in any way inclusive. Book a flight, book hotels, and get out there and smell the city, meet the people. That's my way of thinking about it. I get quite sniffy when I hear people say Mexico, Dominican Republic, Turkey, and wherever else are fantastic because the reality is they've spent the whole time confined to a resort and that's no way to experience a country. I doubt most are interested in the country anyway...as long as its seemingly exotic and there's sunshine. Boring!
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Old 11th Apr 2011, 13:34   #934
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Default Re: Travel

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stewart View Post
Book a flight, book hotels, and get out there and smell the city, meet the people.
Oh, absolutely, all-inclusives are not the kind of holiday to have when you want to discover somewhere properly, but when you want to try to escape the day-to-day, traipsing round a busy city is not going to be fun, and there are so many people sitting at their desks 9-5.30 five days a week, or doing something boring and repetitive in factories, or serving grumpy customers in shops and bars and restaurants, that that's often what they're looking for - the sunshine and rest and no worries and no plans... no clock-watching, no meals to prepare, no choices and decisions to make, just for a few days.

In the 11 years since we got together, my husband and I have been to New York, Dublin, Amsterdam and Havana (though admittedly that was an overnight excursion from our all-inclusive hotel in Varadero), and New Zealand, where we stayed in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch and made sure we saw some of the scenery between by taking the train and ferry instead of internal flights (plus in the UK, York, Edinburgh, the Peak District, Brighton, London, Oxford and Glasgow, each with a packed itinerary), so I'm certainly not averse to some full-on sightseeing, mind-expansion and new experiences, but there's room for both types of holiday in my life, and hopefully in everyone else's too. We've had what feels like a crazy 12 months, so this time we just wanted to chill in the sunshine, cocktail in hand, and keep the exploring to a minimum - there's definitely a place for that, and it's more likely to be a beach resort in Tenerife or Turkey or Mexico or the Dominican Republic than in a worker-filled city (particularly in the UK, and especially in March)!
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Old 27th Apr 2011, 9:30   #935
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Default Re: Travel

Can I give another plug to this year's Big Day Out? Exactly four weeks to go, plenty of time to book that day off and a return ticket to the capital city of Wales (boyo).

I do think Cardiff is going to be ideal for this kind of event, mainly because it's not that big, even the Bay is within walking distance of the centre, really (though if you prefer to hop on a bus that option's there too).

And I'm someone who went from being very wary of an internet outing, to being a huge BDO fan, so it's definitely possible to be converted!
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Old 28th Apr 2011, 16:44   #936
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Plug and invite thoroughly seconded here. I've just finalised my plans for the night before and will be pairing up folk for the BDO book-swap in the next three days, but even after that, it's quite possible to decide and roll up on the day itself, once ono tells us where we're assembling. Everyone who's come on a BDO has thoroughly enjoyed it (I think!) despite initial nerves, and lots of book-buying/browsing is always a feature.
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Old 5th Aug 2011, 0:11   #937
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Off to the Loire Valley for a while, with a ton of books and DVD's and an Achilles tendon that is finally up to walking a bit. Long drives ahead!
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Old 25th Sep 2011, 13:13   #938
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Older daugher and I enjoyed a long drive up (and back) to Stirling yesterday for a uni Open Day and were rewarded with blue skies and wonderful countryside all the way - M74 especially, and subsequent M-roads. It looks like a glorious town and campus too.
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Old 25th Sep 2011, 13:30   #939
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Default Re: Travel

If she goes to Stirling and stays in a Hall of Residence tell her to get an upstairs room if she can. There are an awful lot of ducks living on the picturesque ponds you may have noticed and a favourite jape is, apparently, to scatter large amounts of bread outside people's bedroom windows in the middle of the night - especially if hangovers are known to be in the offing. Being woken by a dawn chorus of three hundred ducks fighting over a loaf of Tesco's own brand white sliced is not recommended.
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