7 Things to Stay Away From When Booking an All Inclusive Vacation

7 Things to Stay Away From When Booking an All Inclusive Vacation

1. Traveler Reviews – Opinions are always different from another person. Don’t search for reviews written by others. Chances are they could be lying, exaggerating, and chances are they have never been there and want to cause problems. Reviews can be misleading, and untrue. Form your own opinion and travel experiences. If you keep reading reviews, you won’t be traveling at all. You do not want to go to that route. Yes, its nice to value others opinions and ask for them, but ultimately you are the one traveling, Try it out.

2. Over-tipping – It is All Inclusive for a reason right? Everything is included in the price. Don’t go tip crazy. Of course you will want to tip your bell boy who takes your baggage to your room and take your baggage to the lobby area after your vacation and also to tip your room maker, but do not go crazy tipping every single person at the resort.

3. Excursions – When they over pressure you and bother you everyday about going on excursions, chances are they are an arm and a leg. They advertise it so well saying its great, come and don’t miss out and then you get your hopes up and then it’s not as exciting as they said it would be. Do things on your own. It is the best way. Selling excursions may be more expensive than going out on your own.

4. Travel Insurance from the booking company/tour operator – Always decline travel insurance when you are booking. It will cost you more. Buy travel/medical insurance separately or unless you have benefits through your place of employment that already has insurance, go ahead, but don’t jump into buying traveling insurance with the travel provider.

5. Star ratings – Yes, that is one of the first things we see when booking an all-inclusive trip. Everyone’s expectations are different, everyone’s taste as well, we may want more, we may want less. Our perceptions of cleanliness, drinks, food taste, taste buds, room comfort, resort amenities are different. Again it is similar to reviews. Form your own star and review ratings.

6. Beach Soliciting – stay away from those wanting to braid your hair. You never know where their hands have been, or how long they have not washed the brushes and products they use for your hair, or those people who are selling you cigars. Chances are they are giving you fake cigars that are loaded with banana leaves. If they are walking by the shore line and see you, they will always come bother you. Keep saying no and walk away and ignore them. Any local for that matter. You had just come out of the water. They expect you to have money on you all the time and on an all-inclusive trip. Don’t fall for it and walk away

7. Orientation – When you board your bus at the airport and take you to your resort, they give you a pamphlet of your resort, and they will tell you that the next morning there is orientation to get to know your resort, your flight information back home, and all that. They will try to sell you excursions and persuade you to do so, but I wouldn’t waste time being in a meeting where the beach, and the water, and your meals await you. Vacations go by so fast. Don’t want to waste a second of it.

All Inclusive Resort Guests & Their Terrible behaviour

In life after the stress of work, school and other life’s commitments in our daily lives, we look for a getaway to an All Inclusive vacation away from reality for a week or two or whatever duration. We get excited to pack up, fly to our destination and start our trip. It gets exciting up to the point where the resort guests start behaving badly, disrespecting the resort staff, showing bad manners, poor etiquette, not being courteous, littering, and showing people how unsanitary they can be.

Some people think, Oh I will never see these fellow guests again and they won’t see me so I can do what I want and act how I want. When it comes time for these people to eat and head toward their a la carte restaurants, snack bars, and the regular dining room buffet, some people start to lose their minds by cutting in front of people waiting to be served, or start touching food with their hands and handling them by putting it on their plates when they see there are utensils to pick them up with, or you see people eating food before sitting down.

You also see those people who fill their plates up to capacity and then don’t even eat more than half of it, then that food goes to the garbage. People get food more than they can handle it, and then waste it. Then people fill up drinks and only drink about a few sips and then the rest gets wasted too. Some of these guests are so wasteful and its just so unbelievable.

How about those guests who just tend to leave their cups and garbage all over the resort without putting it in proper garbage bins. Yes, I realize people are on vacation and they shouldn’t have to lift a finger, but really its disgusting having to see that from other guests who are pleasant and have manners and etiquette to proper dispose things in the right places.

These same very guests who behave badly and terribly, they are the ones then to write false reviews about the resort and how they felt very sick from the food they ate. Well, GEE, Duhhhh, when people are rooting around the food in the buffet with their germ full and bacteria full of hands and then their germs gets transmitted onto the food, then the next person touches that food and then boom a food borne illness because of another person’s thoughtless and manner less act another person has to suffer the consequences, and then who gets the blame? The All Inclusive Resort does, and then you see the travel reviews bad mouthing a great resort.

I mean come on! There is a common sense and being courteous to others. There are utensils on everything at the buffet, it is there for a reason for guests to use it. I think that all resorts need to have mandatory hand sanitizing stations at all entry and exit points of every restaurant, snack bars, and everywhere. You never know where people’s hands have been.

Then there are those guests whom dirty up the resort so much, it is unbelievable. some of these guests act like slobs. The cleaners of the resort cannot keep up. Give the staff some slack. It is a big resort with a lot of walking and cleaning up. I am sure you do not do this in your own house.

I feel like some of these guests at these resorts are getting worse. It is very disgusting how they act and I have seen it countless amounts of times. Especially in the last 3-4 years.

I always pick up after myself and I dispose my garbage in the proper places. I don’t just leave things and then walk away. That is not how I was raised. I believe that people need to really develop proper etiquette and then come to vacation to these places. It is not right to litter and destroy a resort’s reputation by the actions of guests who behave terribly.

I never believe in traveler reviews, and I never believe in what people tell me about a resort. I will go and judge it for myself. Everyone has their own opinions and the way they see things. I will not read and waste my time on resort review sites online. I know more then 95% of it is a lie, because I go to a lot of resorts and I see what people do and it is not the staff’s fault.

Resort staff work so hard and sweat. I see them running through to make sure things are great. I would like to see guests in their position to have to handle a huge resort and then after being disrespected and yelled at. If the roles were reversed, how would you be feeling after a long day or night?

I am really trying to put into words on why guests do these things? I don’t understand this at all. It is really ridiculous. I just hope that resort chains see this and really implement these changes and add security and health and safety staff especially around restaurants and other places that handle food and drinks. I am just thinking about the safety and security of all guests and I want people to enjoy and yet to think about other people too and not be selfish.

I just want guests to really think about what they do before they do it. I know you are there to relax, have fun, enjoy and all that, but there is a limit and there is a way to act. Just because you are not in a reality setting, it doesn’t mean that you can gallivant and act ridiculously. I just hope people realize that and change their attitudes and respect resort staff and other guests.

That is all for now, but if you would like an Honest opinion and someone who doesn’t lie about reviews, and want travel tips? Please contact me and I will help you. I am honest to everyone and I will not lie about a review that is for sure. What you see and what you read about my travel experiences is what you get.

 

Los Angeles Here I come for the 3rd Time!

In my whole life, I dreamt about going to Los Angeles and Hollywood, California. It was my first time in October 2012, and I must say I did choke up and was so teary. I Saw the Hollywood sign and I just lost it. I just couldn’t believe what I was looking at. Since I was a child looking at movies, television, ads in the paper, travel ads, magazines, entertainment stuff, and all I saw was LA, Rodeo Drive, Beverly Hills and of course; the Hollywood sign. I knew where the celebrity central and the biggest entertainment capital of the world is.

As I was approaching the Hollywood sign above the Griffith Observatory, I cried up a storm. I was an emotional wreck. All my dreams of going to Los Angeles came true. I couldn’t believe I was close to all the stars, seeing the Hollywood Walk of Fame with all the artists, entertainers, then ending up right outside Jimmy Kimmel’s show studio set. Then seeing Capitol Records, and all these entertainment broadcasting corporation buildings. Then I saw the Iconic 405 Freeway everyone was talking about. They say that it was such terrible traffic and you are so right. So many lanes and still lots of traffic. Even the carpool lane didn’t make any difference.

In my mind, I was thinking of all the award shows, the red carpet, and I was keeping my eyes peeled and had my eyes everywhere with the hopes that I would meet a celebrity. That was highly unlikely, but It could happen and it has happened.

Anyway, my 2nd trip to Los Angeles was in May 2015, where we went through Santa Monica Beach where we hung out for a bit, then driving through Beverly hills. Seeing these huge houses where majority of them are covered in high bushes and trees, and a lot of the celebrities live there. You would see the home cleaners park their cars outside on the road, and them coming out with buckets, mops and other cleaning products, then you would see super expensive cars. This time, I did see Actor Hugh Jackman drive a black Porsche. It was definitely him. I can tell for sure. Then I looked online and it was true. We also traveled to Fresno, San Francisco, Drove on the Pacific Coast Highway, went to Newport Coast, Newport Beach.

My 3rd Los Angeles trip will be in about 3-4 months from now. I am excited to spend about 10-11 days there. I am definitely going to other parts of LA such as Pasadena, Glendale, Malibu, La Crescenta, and so many other places. I have a lot of time now to plan and I am going to be so organized. Gotta love LA. I cannot believe in just 3-4 years, I will have gone 3 times. I did not go all my life. I am really excited to be amongst the stars again.

I can’t wait to indulge into In-N-Out burger, and also the Famous Oscars Pizza Guy Edgars Pizza. Big Mamas and Papas, and amongst other great restaurants I have heard about.  I hope to see Ellen Degeneres, go to Warner Bros, CBS Studios, NBC Universal and more.

I just want to Meet Bradley Cooper, Jason Statham, Chris Hemsworth, and Channing Tatum. 🙂 Hopefully, will bump into them at LAX Airport or down a street walking or something. Now that would be awesome. I can hardly wait!

Are We Missing out on Life’s Experiences With Screens?

Long gone are the days where simplicity, enjoyment, living life at the fullest extent, enjoying and experiencing life without the use of smartphones, tablet screens and so many more. Are we really missing out on life’s experiences? Everything in life has its limitations, and in today’s society, people tend to go overboard with posting everything and anything they see. They are not really experiencing life, they are merely trying to capture anything and everything to share on social media networks, capture photos and share them on photo sharing sites.

Long gone are the days where people used to go to concerts and shows where everyone’s eyes and attention was looking at the stage without wanding lights coming from smartphones and tablets. Now with thousands of people capturing moments with their devices, these concerts and these special events in a person’s life is being video taped by the videographer’s of the concert, venue, and even when people witness a wedding or a reception.

I understand that you want to keep your personal memories too, of which taking pictures and everything and that is fine, but always wanding a device isn’t really the same as actually witnessing something happen before your eyes. Some moments are meant to be lived without screens, and where down the road you can remember it in your mind, and the good times to remind yourself and those who you lived those memories with.

I mean yes, special and beautiful events such as babies when they are born, their actions, and everything else need to be documented and everything, and there are moments in a person’s life that should be kept private and not for the world to see. Do not worry if you tell someone what your child did, or said that they will not believe you. They will. You do not need to always have proof or a video of something.

You really do not have to be in competition with the world and join a popularity contest because you want to be the first ones to capture something and put so many hashtags, and post something for the sake of posting something. It should never be that way.

People have the perception that if they do not capture, video, then post it on social media, the internet, tweet about it, that some people think that they are lying without providing proof that things actually did occur. I think that everything has its limits and not everything should be published online. Some things should be kept a secret, things should be kept private. Unfortunately, privacy is non-existent in today’s world because of these devices.

When people travel and explore the world, people will always have that force of habit to document every moment with screens, but the world has become smaller and people are more familiar with everything because people do research and look up videos and get more curious to find things out all the time, but the important thing to remember is that it is not fair to capture something, and then the soon to be traveler going to that place will see what it is all about and then that person or person’s will not be surprised anymore. It will all be spoiled for them

Some things are meant to be left unsaid, some things are meant to be explored without having people always telling others about something. People need to experience and form their own opinions.

I am all for and support smartphones, video, cameras, tablets and other devices, and I have them as well, but there is a limit and a lot of people now have crossed that limit. Screens have become addicting and it is so on the rise, that some people cannot go 5 minutes without looking at their phone. They bring it with them to bed, they check messages before bed, waking up, during meals, at work, during cooking meals, tending to their families, even while driving. Nobody should have their phones or other devices while driving. That is not only dangerous but very ridiculous.

In the past before all these devices came out, how do you think people passed their time? There was twice as much homework to do after school for the students, school times were longer, there was no use of devices, people had to make their own games and toys to physically play with, not one of those gaming consoles, people were outside playing, enjoying the true essence of life, more love, respect and family time, people didn’t have the luxury of instantly finding information, where they had to jet off to the library to find books, encyclopedia’s without the use of the internet or software.

With all that being said, people need to put their screens down and look up to enjoy life more, to witness things, to observe, and to capture the beauty of the world with your eyes. Not with screens. They shouldn’t be your eyes. Be more social, talk, take a pen and physically write without the use of keyboards and keypads.

Think about it. Experience life, put down your device and do it right now.

A Day In The Life in Cuba – The Reality

In life, one of the most incredible experiences is travel. I believe that when you travel to see the world, different lifestyles, realities, different people, places is something that is such a great thing. You become more aware, educated, informed and get in touch with your personal self to get a better understanding than what you hear in the media and pictures, also to change your perspective on things of the way your life is and in your own backyard to appreciate, count our blessings, and to be grateful for everything you have in life where others are less fortunate and do not have much. For example, in Cuba.

I have traveled to Cuba 13 times in my lifetime. I have traveled almost all over the island and have seen cities, and towns along the way. I have spent time with the locals, and met families, and have seen the way people live their day to day lives with the bare minimum. Some people make about $12.00 – $30.00 a month. Maximum 35 if they are lucky. Most people work in the resorts and touristic parts, some who are teachers, doctors, room makers, cleaners, bartenders and more.

A lot of people nowadays are so picky about what they want to eat, some people have a fridge full of food, pantries full, stomachs full, and they still are trying to figure out what to make. I admit, I am one of them, but It is really an eye-opener when you see the world. Not only in pictures, but when you see it with your own eyes. That is a whole new ball game. Well, some people in this world unfortunately do not have that option. Cuban people get a certain amount of food per month or every 2 weeks and that they need to space out how much food to eat during the day, some have to struggle to make their own food.

As I was going through towns from Cayo Santa Maria, back to Santa Clara where the airport is to come back home, I saw some of the most saddest things I had ever seen, there are run down buildings that look like they will collapse any minute, people walking around the streets with heavy bags, people cutting grass with machetes or some sort of cutter, some people going somewhere with horses, busted up cars, and it just made me tear up and think to myself, how can people live like this day in and day out? I teared up and so did the person who was sitting next to me and I overheard 2 ladies behind me saying that, we shouldn’t complain anymore and be choosy about everything we have. This really opened up my eyes one of the ladies said, and the friend of hers or whoever it was said, yes that’s true, you are right.

I have been through towns and cities in Cuba, and some of the conditions of the homes the Cuban people live are terribly sad. It breaks my heart. They don’t have proper windows, the roofs of some of the houses are coming apart, a lot of the houses are the size of a 14 to 17 foot place and some of the houses are even smaller than that. Can you imagine a family of 5 living there? Well, I met this family of 5 and they live in such a small house and they have to go outside of the home to use the toilet and to shower they have buckets inside the house and there is running water outside, so they have to go out to get running water then come back to wash up inside where there is just a drain.

In Cienfuegos, Cuba when I went. I had met an entertainer and then he invited my family and I over to his house, so the next day we took the taxi over to his place. We met his family and I remember how hospitable they were with us and so friendly. So, we took them a few items we do not need anymore and they were so happy. So the mother of the entertainer made us a whole table full of food, and started preparing the day before when the entertainer told them we are coming over. The dinner we had was so delicious and it was probably their months worth of food for us for that night. It was done without our knowledge or else we would have refused and if we did, they would get offended, so we ended up eating all of it as we were hungry. They then served us coffee and then we went back to the hotel.

They were so incredibly friendly and we got to see how they lived the whole day. They struggle so much with the deplorable conditions they live in. Some places though are really nice. It depends on the monthly salary as well. Again, I came to my resort and I just thank my lucky stars. I showed a few Cubans my pictures from my Camera, and they have never even seen an airplane in their lives, they have never even seen a camera, let alone the type of clothing I was wearing. It absolutely broke my heart to pieces.

I will continue to visit Cuba. I really like the people there and they are so friendly, witty and energetic, but for some people you can see the sadness and depression in their faces and you can tell some of them don’t have much, and some show they are happy, but they are not. The desperation can be seen. They love it when you give them shoes, clothing and anything else. For these people I will donate and give them the shirt off my back. Put yourself in their shoes and see what its like, but some people don’t realize.

I see them working so hard at the resorts, non-stop and they have to travel long ways to make a Buck which is a Peso there. There are people who come to these resorts who travel there, and I see how rude the guests can be to them and waste so much food on their plates, demand things from them. I mean at the end of the day, they are human beings just like us and deserve to be treated with respect and to have patience. Those Cubans see it and they said, I wish I had this much food at my home and I can see the frustration and sadness in their eyes. I am very observant when I travel. Some of these tourists don’t realize that, however I do and I am compassionate and patient with them. I put myself in their shoes and I go from there.

Moral of the story is that you should always be thankful for what you have. You never know what someone else is going through and people in this world do not have anything, so we must stop begging for more, being desperate for buying the next newest and latest smartphones, or super expensive things that really suit no purpose in life. Some people are so spoiled to the fullest extent. It is unbelievable. We should always count our lucky stars because people in this world aren’t so lucky.

Have you been to Cuba or anywhere else and have seen the way people live?

Do you travel to other destinations to see other peoples reality and what it is like?

Would love to hear from you.

Driving on Two-Lane Highways – It Feels Awesome

As you may or may not know, one of the most therapeutic things for me in life is to drive and I like it very much. I especially love to drive on major Highway/Freeway Arteries, big and small, long and short. When I drive, it is very relaxing to me. I remember when I got my G2 drivers licence, I began driving on highways in Ontario, Canada, especially the Highway 401 going back and forth to Montreal from Toronto, and when I used to go up to my cottage in Tweed, Ontario on Highway 37 which is a two-lane highway in some parts. Then after I got my full G licence, it felt awesome taking control and having that experience to drive all on my own from Montreal to Toronto, which is about a 5 hours drive. I loved it. Listening to the radio/cd’s, Myself, my car and the road. It was so peaceful and incredible.

With that being said, I absolutely love driving on two-lane highways as well. I feel like I am driving out in the country, different lifestyle, seeing farmers, pick-up trucks, old cars, overlooking trees, scenery, farmland, agriculture, fruit and veggie farms, animals, a house or 2 within a few km’s away from each other, followed by passing pick up trucks, big trucks/rigs on opposite side of the highway, then seeing solid lines, then broken lines for cars that are able to pass at that moment, say if there is a very slow moving vehicle in front of you, then quickly merging back into your lane, of course when it is safely to do so. I love road-trips like that, and I have to be the driver, but I am not the one who can stay in a car for more than 8-10 hours. That is my maximum limit. Anymore than that, I would rather fly somewhere.

I know sometimes driving in rural country/county township highways take longer to get to places, depends on where you are going, but it feels incredible to see greenery more and to get up close and personal with nature as you drive along.

Do you usually drive in the family or when you are amongst your friends? Or do you like being a passenger a lot more? I am in the mix between both, but I am the one who likes to usually drive. I cannot sit in a backseat of a car. I feel uncomfortable. I have to either drive or sit in the front.

Do you have a driving memory or story?

Our Ultimate 1308 Miles of California Getaway

A couple of weeks ago on May 21st, 2015 after a long wait and anticipation, Our ultimate California getaway had arrived when I went with my Family. We were so impatient and anxious to get to Toronto Pearson’s YYZ Airport to take our Air Canada Flight AC 789 to Los Angeles Airport LAX at 8am when it took off. As we submitted my boarding pass to the Air Canada attendant and as we made our way to the Aircraft and grabbed our seats, we were absolutely excited for the 5 and a half hour flight, which to us did not feel long at all, as we are used to flights. We arrived at 10:10am LA Time, so we had the full day ahead.

As soon as the aircraft attendants announced that we will be landing momentarily to LAX and as we saw the Los Angeles Buildings in Downtown while landing, the hills, valleys, and the beauty of LA, we began to get more excited then ever and then I said to myself, it is about to get real now. So much is waiting for me to discover, my family to see, my cousins wedding to attend to, Facebook Friends whom I met for the first time, and covering so much ground in so little time. 10-11 days went by like a dream.

It was an incredible time when we went through towns and cities, and firstly after getting our rental car, we made our way to Newport Coast, where we stood the night, taking the 405 Freeway, where then we began driving north to Fresno where my cousin got married, and reunited, and united with family and friends, then after Fresno, we made our way to San Francisco passing through San Jose, Oakland, and many other towns. After San Francisco, we ventured out to Highway 1 Freeway 101 which is the Pacific Coast Highway. It took over 8-9 hours to drive from San Francisco to Los Angeles. We made a stop in Santa Barbara for a night, Then we stood in Northridge Area, visited Santa Monica Pier and Beach after that we went back to Newport Coast where we ended our trip with more family time. On May 30th we returned our rental car, then at 10:20pm we departed Los Angeles LAX airport to arrive back to Toronto on May 31st, at 6am in the morning our time.

In Beverly Hills, we were on our way to Santa Monica, where I saw Actor Hugh Jackman driving a black Porsche when he was getting out and stopped on one of the streets in Beverly Hills close to Carmelita Ave with the tall Palm Trees around the homes. All the cars were either Range Rovers, Porsche, Mercedes, Ferrari, BMW, Maserati, Teslas and so many more crazily expensive cars around there, and then there were cleaners and maids coming out of some of the stars homes as I was driving and watching the streets. It was quite awesome to see a celebrity in LA… What is a trip to Los Angeles without seeing a celebrity?

With all that you hear from Movies, TV, Entertainment websites and all the hype of Los Angeles with the home of Celebrities, Music Performers, Directors, Producers and a huge Population that works in the entertainment industry somehow are scattered all over Los Angeles area’s. LA is just so huge that you need at least a month to comfortably go all around. 2 weeks is not enough. There is just too much to see, too much to do. If I lived in Los Angeles, I would definitely be in the entertainment industry.

Now Los Angeles is not just about Film, Entertainment and everything. There is far more to it than just film making, awards, studios, mansions, Malibu beach houses, movie sets, the glitz, glamour, vanity, fashion and everything is not just everything about it. There is so much more to do. If you have never been, you should make a trip there whenever convenient for you.

Now, they say that the Highway 401 here is jam packed and so much traffic. You haven’t seen and heard nothing yet. We took doses of the 405, 110, traffic and that is extremely brutal. I do not know how residents of California, LA area can handle that day in and day out. It takes patience, skill and guts to go through that almost everyday. Highway 401 traffic in Toronto is nothing compared to what they go through on the 405 and 110. I would go crazy with that everyday. People of LA are brave.

I love Los Angeles so much. I am excited to make a return next year. I have been back for a couple of days now and I miss it so much already, especially my family and my friends there. Next time I will be there longer to see my other Facebook friends that I didn’t have time to see. Cheers to LA!

There is so much more that I have to say about my trip, but this was just the bit of it.
Now to take off my bucket list:

– I saw the Painted Ladies and the Full House TV Show house, and Alamo Square in San Francisco,
– I saw the Fisherman’s Wharf, also the skyline of San Francisco, the Golden Gate Bridge.
– I saw the Santa Monica Pier
– I Drove on the Pacific Coast Highway
– I went close to the Hollywood Sign
– I saw Beverly Hills and glimpse of Celebrity Homes
– I saw a celebrity in LA – Hugh Jackman in his Black Porsche.