I’m literally writing this blog as I am on my way home from my trip to Mexico. My husband and I were finally able to take a few days, just us, which we have not done in 4 years due to our hectic lifestyles.
During our stay at an all-inclusive resort, there were some things that I picked up on and felt would be great topics to point out to each of you reading.
It all starts with packing appropriately. A lot of all-inclusive resorts require a certain “dress code” for you to attend dinner at their restaurants. “Casual” meant Men could wear shorts and flip flops with a nice shirt. “Formal” meant Men needed to wear long pants (yes jeans were fine) and closed toed shoes. Nope, not sandals! Most men had on nice loafers to match the beach scene and some even wore nicer tennis shoes. Men also were required to wear a collared shirt with the formal attire. Both “Casual” and “Formal” for Women mentioned nice pants, skirts or dresses. For casual, I did see ladies in dressy shorts and tops with cute wedges.
*Here’s my cute hubby and I heading to dinner! This was “Formal” attire.*
Don’t forget to pack your passport! Boy, that would be make for a bad day at the airport. Also, if you’ve never been out of the country, the flight attendants will give you a customs form to fill out. Make sure you do this before you land. You will then be guided through customs. There, you will hand them your passport with the customs form and they will likely ask you why you are visiting, business or pleasure. You will answer a few simple questions and go about your way. When you reach the last attendant, they will tear off a section of your customs form and hand it back to you. Hang on to this as you will need it again when boarding your plane to come home.
The thing people love about all-inclusive resorts is that everything is included; room, food, alcohol, drinks, shows, etc. The resorts paperwork mentioned that gratuity was included in what was already paid. However, our first day at the resort, I noticed people leaving tips on the table after meals. Now of course we tipped our driver to and from the resort and the bellman, but we did not plan on tipping after meals because it was mentioned multiple times that tips were included. Needless to say, once I figured this out I spent the next day trying to track down each server we had so I could tip them. It was easier said than done and I felt awful. Here is my suggestion for tipping and up to you if you choose to go along with my now “resort tipping method”: $5-$20 for the driver who drove you to and from the resort (amount would depend if you rode in a van or shuttle with others or private car), $5 for bellman, $5 for maid service each day, $3-5 for each meal (I’m sure you’ll want to tip more because they will give great service) and $1 for each time you get a drink from the bartender or the person going around and taking your drink order. Now that you’ve read all of this, yes it can add up, so certainly plan your budget accordingly and bring enough cash. You can easily spend $20 a day just in tips. Whether you choose to tip or not, you will always receive friendly service.
The cool thing is you can choose to be as busy as you’d like. This trip we decided to hang around the resort and relax. There are always excursions you can sign up to do during your stay. We did partake in a few things going on around the resort. I went to an hour class on how to make towel animals and yes I look forward to surprising my house guests with my new talents!
*My chick and swan I made!*
We took a bike tour where we rode out of the resort and around the golf course where we held parrots and saw spider monkeys, plus burned some calories.
*Me talking to the parrot and my husband telling me to look at the camera! Yes I think I’m an animal whisperer. 🙂 Also pictured is, Albert the Monkey, eating lunch!*
Our favorite was the tequila tasting! We tried 6 or 7 tequilas (who’s counting?!) and learned about the history of tequila, how it is grown from a plant called Agave Tequilana, the cooking method to make tequila and how it’s aged. The longest tequila typically ages is around 4 years.
*This is the Agave Tequilana plant- they cut the pineapple looking bottom off and cook it in a big oven. Once it’s cooked the juices will be filtered, extracted, fermented, then distilled twice, which makes silver tequila. Then it can be sent to barrels to begin aging which makes the darker tequilas.*
In your travels, I encourage you to talk to the locals and get to know them. They are eager to teach you their language, culture and history, which I’m always fascinated to learn more about. Also, try to disconnect from the hustle and bustle of life if you can, to be present and spend time with the person you’re vacationing with. On our trip, my husband, whom I’ve been with almost 9 years (including dating and marriage) learned that I am one heck of an air hockey player (thank you skate nights as a kid) and that I know a decent amount of Spanish, which I even sang along with our driver who was taking us to the airport to a Spanish song! You never know the new things you’ll learn about the person that you thought you had figured out….