By: Jordan Elizabeth
When I started to plan my Honeymoon, I had my heart set on an adventurous, once in a lifetime vacation. I wanted to trek across Europe to see Iceland, Amsterdam, Barcelona, Italy (yes, ALL of it)...then it came time to book it and I realized we weren’t getting that much money for wedding gifts. Begrudgingly, I agreed to book an all-inclusive resort in Negril, Jamaica, on the recommendation of a co-worker. I have always shied away from resorts, since you’re kind of locked in. Well, let me tell you something. Maybe I’m not a “true” adventurer at heart, because I have never enjoyed a vacation more. And here’s why.
It’s ALL. INCLUDED. Seriously. We landed in Jamaica and were directed to a lounge, where they took our luggage and we were instructed to wait for our transportation to the resort grounds. I’ve never been classy enough to sit in any kind of travel lounge before (unless you count those bootleg airport massage chairs that probably haven’t been wiped down since 1989) so I was feeling like a real 1-percenter. We were given a Wifi password (free airport internet?! When will the perks end?!) and were told we could have a beer while we wait.So we go to the bar, and I ask the bartender how much for a Red Stripe (when in Jaimaica, right?). He gives me a look and says it’s free. My husband and I downed 2 beers each in about 10 minutes - we were famished from the plane ride, but also totally gluttonous because it was FREE and nothing tastes better than something you didn’t pay for (or steal). We also took one to-go for the bus ride, obviously.
Once we were at the resort, I probably asked “is this...free?” about 100 times before I felt comfortable accepting anything that was handed to me: a champagne welcome, drinks on the beach, every food item they offered, 1 Litre bottles of liquor (and mixers) they brought to our room every afternoon. For someone who was raised on the “even if you’re dying of thirst, you never take anything from the mini bar in a hotel, you find a CVS” rule, I felt like I was getting away with something obscene - or worse, that we’d get a bill at the end of our trip. Heaven forbid the credit card you give for incidentals gets charged! Of course, we paid a decent amount for the stay upfront, although truthfully, they give you really great deals for these resorts.
The best part of doing an all inclusive was that staffers aren’t allowed to accept tips. I felt bad not tipping them, and tried to on a few occasions, but they refused. So then I didn’t feel bad laying on the beach and frantically waving the “I need a cocktail” flag every hour for a refresher. I’ve never been on a vacation where I didn’t need a purse or bag to carry a wallet, camera, phone, room key, and whatever other unnecessary things I schlep around on a daily basis. It was so freeing - and truly felt like a total vacation - to walk out of the room each morning with a towel, a book, and a roadie cocktail for the treacherous 50 yard trek to the beach. I have never been so completely and utterly relaxed in my life.
As an aside, the added benefit of travelling out of the country was that our cell phones didn’t work and we didn’t care to add an international package for the week, so we were pretty much off the grid. We checked our email once or twice a day, to send proof-of-life to our families, but were otherwise content just being with each other and staring lovingly into each other's eyes for a few minutes (eye contact longer than that unnerves me).
Everything about our trip exceeded expectations. I think sometimes - in the spirit of “Seeing the World!” - we forget what a vacation should be. To me, there’s nothing worse than coming back from a vacation, feeling like you need another vacation to decompress. If you really want to get away, unplug, totally relax, and have the hardest decision of the day be: beach or pool? or Rum Punch or Pina Colada?, I wholeheartedly suggest going to an all-inclusive. Because it’s seriously all included. All of it.
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JORDAN ELIZABETH - Life
Jordan Elizabeth is a comedian, TV Writer/Producer, collector of hobbies, and master of putting off adulthood. She can be heard on the Podcast "3 Dudes and a Broad" and performs stand-up comedy with "Girls Gone Funny." She lives in Manhattan with her fiance and two dogs. Read more about her life at Jordie Elizabeth and follow her on Twitter at@JordiElizabeth.