So you decided on Mexico. Congrats! Picking the destination is one of the biggest hurdles in planning a trip. As someone who swears that every country is at the top of my bucket list- I commend you for making a decision and going with it! NOW you get to start planning! The fun part!
The thing about Mexico is, there are so many more options within that big decision you already made. But just a minute, I have a confession. All three times I’ve been there, I’ve been the worst tourist. I like to think I haven’t been the full-blown stereotypical American that drinks herself to oblivion and dances on the tables…I like to save those stories for my home country…but I’m ashamed to say I’ve spent most of my time in our neighboring country at a resort. I have some major guilt over not having truly explored Mexico for the gobs of rich history, natural beauty and immense culture it has to offer. So it remains on my bucket-list.
But that’s okay! Even as someone whose personal mission is to connect the world through shared experiences. Sometimes you just want to relax! So while I haven’t fully experienced all Mexico has to offer, I can help you in deciding which type of experience you should plan for: the all-inclusive or the a la carte. Here are a few questions to help you choose…
1. What part of the country are you visiting? Is the conference you’re going to in Mexico City? Is your friend not shutting up about this picture she saw of Tulum on Insta? My experience tells me most of the all-inclusives are along the coast. So if you’re heading anywhere inland, stick with the normal hotel stay.
2. What is the goal of your trip? Do you want to just relax by the beach sipping margaritas? Or are you ready for action-packed excursions? Maybe you want a bit of exploration and relaxation? Really, both types of accommodations can provide this, but I feel that if you’re wanting to really explore and immerse yourself in the culture, you’ll want an a la carte option.
3. Do you drink alcohol? Do you need top shelf liquor? There are some luxury all-inclusive resorts that provide these options, but in general, a lot of the cost goes to booze. If you’re not a drinker, you might want to consider not including everything in your package.
4. Are you easy to please when it comes to food? Do you have any dietary restrictions? Most resorts do a great job of accommodating requests and usually have a lot of options. Either way, be sure to check this out before you go. You don’t want to show up ready for your all-inclusive package and have to dine off property and pay for food that was already included in your rate.
5. Are you okay with the same scenery? Maybe it’s because I grew up in the Midwest, but there’s something about the beach that just never gets boring. But maybe you know you get sick of it after a few hours? If you’re roped into the all-inclusive, you’ll likely be spending most of your time, if not all, on property.
6. Who are you traveling with? Are you traveling with a group and hoping to avoid the dreadful separate checks at the end of the meal? Or you’re always the one getting stuck with the entire bill? Maybe the family loves trying authentic cuisine recommended from that blogger who always finds the best hidden gems? Consider the group’s opinions before you throw down the dough for everything included.
7. Do you have club access? A lot of hotel rewards programs have club access either for a price or included with your status. These can be incredible money savers when staying at an a la carte hotel. You might not even need that all-inclusive anyway!
8. When are you traveling? Will it be spring break with a pool full of Jägerbombs (Is that even what they still drink? Now I’m dating myself.)? Or are you traveling in the off-season with your pick of rooms? The time of year can definitely impact the feeling of the hotel.
9. What do you want to see? If you’re wanting to get out and see the ruins and other landmarks, I’d probably say to embrace the local culture and go for an a la carte, maybe even a boutique hotel. Remember to pack your blingsling® so you’re ready to accessorize for any occasion. But if you’re excited for days and days of that same ocean view, all-inclusive the heck out of your vacation, girl! Don’t forget those tassel earrings!
10. Why are you going to Mexico? This is probably the most-telling answer. For example, my latest trip was specifically booked for me and my husband to totally check out. Switching it up from our usual we-must-see-and-do-everything vacations, we wanted to not feel bad about doing absolutely nothing. And that’s exactly what we did. All-inclusive style with spicy margaritas everyday and ALL the tacos. Too many tacos. Basically the usual, but in Mexico.
As I said before, when it comes to the brilliance of Mexico, I’m really no expert. Someday, I’d love to be. But for now, I can tell you it’s a perfect place to relax and recharge. Whatever your style of vacation or whatever you’re looking to experience in Mexico, I hope you fully enjoy every bit of it. I’d love to hear what your experiences have been, if you’re planning to go, or if you have any must-sees for me to explore next time!
Love. Inspire. Grow. Enjoy.