Sun, sand and vacation satisfaction
You love adventurous water activities and you have earned your chance to enjoy them as you please. You have already worked more than your grandmother ever said you should have to. Now you owe it to yourself to reap your rewards. Why would you not take your sweetheart and your kids to the beach? Or, given different familial circumstances, why not just your sweetheart?
You need to choose which type of beach resort you will enjoy. Sun and sand are ubiquitous. Parties and casinos and cabanas and umbrellas are everywhere. The question for you, since you are in the driver’s seat, is “What are the advantages and disadvantages of different types of beach resorts?”
Herewith, some factors to consider:
All-inclusive or a la carte?
All-inclusive beach resorts offer the advantage of leaving your credit card in the lock-box in your room. You have already paid for your food and drink. The disadvantage? You should plan to hit the buffet in the first half-hour, since the early bird gets the warm (food, that is). A tired buffet spread does not contribute to vacation satisfaction. All-inclusive or not, there are still some beach essentials you should take along with you to get the most out of your time beside, on, or in the water.
Oceanside or poolside?
Undeniably, the view is the draw (along with the aforementioned food and drink). Consider, though- why is the beach so barren and beautiful? Could it be that because when Mother Nature is working her wonders the exposure of the beach is her natural home? Could it be that the poolside is more sheltered? Consider these factors before you make your reservation.
Stateside or international?
Beach resorts in the States are plentiful and top-quality. The sun rises on resorts in St. Augustine and sets on Balboa beaches. By the same token, Punta Cana sees the sun first and Negril watches it on its way down. Your top consideration could be planning ahead. If you already have your passport both options are available to you. If you have not yet obtained a passport you need to allow time for the process before you can hit the beaches outside the States.
Winter, spring, summer, or fall?
All seasons work for sand and sun and leisure if you have the right latitude. Off-season rates are attractive in the Caribbean during so-called “rainy” seasons, while top rates apply during the more common travel times of December through April. Determine whether your calendar fits with the earth’s seasonal wobble or with common travel patterns.
When considering vacation options, all of the standard caveats apply. One should always have travel safety in mind. The US Department of State maintains a traveler’s safety advisory website. Always incorporate this information regarding security issues when choosing your vacation destination.
Beach resorts are the holy grail of vacation destinations. As stated at the outset, you have earned your chance to sample the finest the coasts have to offer to you and your loved ones. Examine all options, reconsider the above choices, then take the plunge. When you get wet, you will know that you are enjoying the well-earned fruits of your labor. Leave your cares behind, gather your loved ones, and head to your chosen beach resort. Kick off your flip-flops and send me a postcard!