We all thought it was too good to be true. The weather in September was so nice- It had to come to an end at some point. Now its October, how did this happen? What comes after the delightful season of fall, with its Pumpkin Spice Lattes, colorful trees and fun fall fashion?
WINTER, THAT’S WHAT!
I don’t know about you, but the thought chipping ice off my windshield in the morning before work is depressing. I want to be able to go for runs, sit on patios and wear cute sundresses- is that too much to ask???
Unfortunately it’s the harsh reality that I need to come to terms with, and the only thing getting me through is knowing I can book a winter getaway somewhere hot. I will stare at photos of beaches and palm trees until the day my departure arrives.
So now that you have:
a. Decided you are going to book a trip, no excuses!!!
b. Rounded up the travel partner of your choice.
c. Convinced your boss to give you the time off.
All that is left is deciding where to go.
It all depends on what you are looking for and whom you are going with. If you plan to go down south to the Caribbean, there are a few different ways you can swing it, however I have done both by all inclusive and by cruise. There are pros and cons to each you should consider before booking.
Personally I am VERY Pro- Cruise. I have been on 5 cruises in the past few years and it’s been nothing but great experiences. What I love the most is that you wake up every day (or every other day) and you are in a new place with new beaches, new shopping and new culture. HOWEVER there are ups and downs to everything.
1. Your cruise ship is basically a floating resort. You are with the same staff and guests all week, so you are able to create relationships with people as the week goes on.
2. As I said earlier, you are able to see numerous places in a matter of a week. All the islands are beautiful, but often after one day you have done the shopping/seen the beaches at the port. It is nice to get back on the boat, go to sleep and wake up to a fresh start with new scenery.
3. There is a never-ending supply of food!!! Throw the diet aside, there is no way you will be able to resist the 4 course dinner menu, THEN the after dinner pizza buffet, THEN the late night ice cream bar.
4. There is always something to do, even if you choose not to get off the boat at a port. You are given an itinerary the next before with all the activities and shows going on through out the day, so you can map out your day/night accordingly.
5. Whether you are a family with children, a couple or a group of friends, there is something for everyone. There is often a kids club, to allow the parents some alone time, numerous bars & lounges and evening shows. The boats also usually have pools, water slides, running tracks and gyms. However- some ships are more fancy then others depending on age. You need to make sure you research the ship to ensure they have the amenities important to you.
1. If you are big drinker, alcohol usually isn’t included in the cost. You are able to buy special wine and drink packages for a separate fee though.
2. Sometimes the cruise schedules don’t align with people’s exact preferences. You may want to see 3 specific islands, but they may not all be included on the same ship itinerary.
3. There is a fee added to the ship card you receive at the ending of your cruise. It is usually approx. 7$-10$ a day per person, used for tips for the wait staff, bartenders and housekeepers. This is instead of tipping through out the week. If you aren’t aware of this, the tab you’ve accumulated without knowing may surprise you.
4. If the boat is sailing to islands further away, there are often days at sea, where you don’t get off the boat at all. There are always fun things planned for these days by the staff, although it doesn’t always compare to being on the white sand beaches.
5. Getting on and off the boat is sometimes a hassle. There are usually long lines when arriving at an island and everyone wants off right away. Also, you have time restrictions when you get off, so you need to wear a watch to ensure you make it back on in time!
You pay one price. You pack a bag. You get on the plane. You drop your luggage off in your room and change into your bathing suit. That’s it; you have no more chores for the next week. What is there to complain about?
1. Like I said, you have no obligations, no one to answer to and no watch to look at. The only concern you have is scoring a good chair by the pool and making sure your drink is always full.
2. You often have your choice of excursions through the resort where you are able to go on adventure tours, catamaran rides, swim with dolphins, etc.
3. If you are going to a safe island, you are sometimes able to venture off the resort and go into town to see how the locals live.
4. AS MUCH FOOD AND DRINKS AS YOU WANT.
5. People are always happiest when they are on vacation, right? You will most likely make friends with people at your resort, whether they are much older or younger then you.
1. The weather is always important- if its raining and miserable, there isn’t much else to do besides drink and play games in the lobby bar. (Some may not have an issue with this, though)
2. If you are someone who is always on the go (like me) you may get bored of the same beach every day, and there are only so many excursions you can go on.
3. If you don’t do your research you may end up at a resort you don’t like. They may have a bad beach, or a small selection of food/drinks. You don’t really have a choice but to tough it out for the week. Make sure you look the resort up before you book- trip advisor will be your best friend!
4. Certain times of the year are more expensive. For example if you’re a teacher or have kids, March break and Christmas break are usually MUCH more expensive, where as the week before or after will be half the price.
5. Resorts always have to be maintained, so sometimes amenities such as pools, hot tubs, tennis courts will be under construction with no notice.
Now that you have read the list, head to the website of your choice and start your research! The winter is creeping closer and the beach is beginning to call your name!