Deciding on accommodations when planning your vacation can sometimes be disconcerting. You may even ask yourself, “Resort versus condo?” How can you make a decision if you have little to no past experience? Maybe Travel Farther Smarter (TFS) can provide some personal insight by providing some specific differences between the two. And there are quite a few. We will briefly touch on several topics and suggestions that may or may not help you. Lets go ahead and get started!
There are so many different type of resorts and condos to choose from. But before you make a decision on your accommodations, there are four basic questions you should be asking yourself. Take a few minutes to answer them. These questions will have a significant importance in making your getaway more enjoyable by fulfilling your personal or family’s expectations. You can choose exactly how much you want or don’t want to do while on vacation.
Lets start out by asking for some basic criteria. Then we can move forward from there.
- What is the main purpose of your vacation?
- Is this a family or couple(s) getaway?
- How much effort do you want to put forth during your vacation?
- At anytime during your getaway, do you want to spend time doing outdoor activities and/or sightseeing?
Resort relaxing. There are many reasons why people take vacations. A few or all of the following reasons could include you wanting to relax, be pampered and do nothing for the full duration of time spent away from home and work. If that is the case, an all inclusive resort is most likely your best choice. Your travel agent can help you arrange a week of doing nothing but just laying back and enjoying your free time. All you have to do is simply get up in the morning, put on your bathing suit or shorts and head to the pool, the beach or the links and let the resort do the rest. Most resorts have a concierge service that can make all your arrangements with a phone call.
Most resorts offer such amenities like day spas, private trainers and social hours to just mention a few. This would be the way to enjoy a vacation without having to lift as much as a finger, but to only order a beverage. With all this in mind, if you are traveling alone or as a couple, all the above is genuinely a perfect application for staying at a resort.
When traveling with a family, a resort can also be a great choice as well. There is a pool, all your meals and beverages are served onsite, and the kids are safe and sound in the confines of a secured resort. However, you do have the task of keeping an eye on them, especially when in the pool. There are usually no lifeguards on duty and the resort does not except full responsibility for your children’s safety.
Here are a few possible negatives associated with resorts. If you like the all inclusive resort programs, and so do a lot of other vacationers, the crowds can sometimes get a bit annoying. Here is what TFS has experienced with these types of resorts. Unless you plan your trip during the off-season, you will be spending time with hundreds, and sometimes thousands of people battling for the limited amount of chairs closest to the pool or water. You will constantly be dodging people walking in and around the compound. The breakfast, lunch and dinner lines will be long and cumbersome to maneuver around, especially in the buffet dining areas. If you go to the bar and order a beverage, you will wait in line. If you eat or snack during the day at the outside provided food counters, not everyone has the same hygiene skills and practices as you have. And last but not least, personal service will be rushed or nonexistent. Patience has to be a virtue in some cases.
If you like daily entertainment in and around the pool area, you will like the events the resort’s Activities Director and staff puts on during the day. One of the events – shown right, could include a “Foam Party”. This particular event is more adult focused, but there are also children sponsored ones as well. Most resorts do have kids pools that are separate from the adults. To keep the festive atmosphere going, music is constantly blaring in the background. It can go from classic rock, to Motown, to Hip Hop in a heart beat. The activities staff is always looking for participants to play volleyball, water polo or some type of group activity. If you want to avoid the poolside festivities, maybe the quietness of the beach or an out-of-the way deck might be the better place for you to setup camp for the day.
The resorts provide reliable onsite tour companies where you can plan your activities like snorkeling, a bike tour or fishing trip. They usually cost a little more than if you went into town and made your own arrangements. However, the resort does except some responsibility if plans or expectations are not fully met. Most resorts offer their own free activities like taking out a small sailboat or kayak (instructions included), bicycles or snorkeling gear for exploring around the waters just off the beach. Either way you can enjoy being in or out of the water and having fun with family and friends.
Depending how much you want to spend and how many people are in your party, the rooms do vary in size and provisions. You can select from regular hotel styled rooms, to junior and full size suites. The basic rooms are usually pretty small. But then again, who goes on vacation and stays in the room. Depending on how much you want to spend, you can get a choice of views by upgrading when reserving a room online, by phone or through a travel agent.
If the main purpose of your vacation is to spend time doing whatever you want without any responsibilities, a resort – all inclusive is your best bet for couples or family alike. Note; most resorts offer free transportation to and from the airport. Make sure you know where the pickup location is before arriving to your destinations’ airport.
Condo comforts. Renting a condo for your time spent on vacation has lots of advantages. You have more room to move around in, you can prepare your favorite meals, and avoid the crowds that come with the resorts and larger hotels. There are many varieties to choose from which include, but not limited to the number of bedrooms, bathrooms, overall space and amenities that are provided on site.
There are several types of condo communities to choose from. You can choose from smaller communities that have fewer condos, to the larger complexes and high rise towers where there are many more units. Picking the right condo would depend on how many people will be joining you on your getaway. Condos can be ideal for larger families or when several couples are wanting to vacation together.
A condo is ideal if you plan on getting out and doing some sightseeing or a specific activity. If you aren’t wanting to stay in one place all day, then you should consider using a condo as a home base. In most cases they have much more room to store any additional hiking, scuba or other gear you might need to fulfill your adventure(s). Hotel rooms get a little tight, especially if you are sharing the room with other people and their gear and/or luggage.
Having everybody in one location, especially a family with children is easier to keep track of. It is also much easier to plan and coordinate events, such as family outings. You can spend quality time together without having strangers mooring all around and disrupting you. You can spread out and make the accommodations feel more like a home than an all in one hotel room.
If you like to eat certain foods or have a special diet, having your own kitchen allows you to prepare those necessary meals. TFS has also noticed that with a fully equipped kitchen, most people eat healthier. Another advantage to a condo is there is usually more than one bathroom. Even if it is a half bath. People can do their personal business without interrupting others during theirs. If you plan on spending a day or parts of a day enjoying being away from the hustle and bustle of work and home, most condos have a private pool – for guests only. You can relax without the bothersome crowds around you. There might be some other guest using the pool and/or the facilities, but most likely they are there for the same reason you are. Take a relaxing afternoon and enjoy a good book or a nice meal on your quiet patio. You might even be lucky enough to have a private beach.
The cons to staying in a condo can be troublesome to both couples, and especially larger groups and families. In most cases, unless you pay extra to have a maid service, you will have to clean your own condo during your stay. This includes, but not limited to the kitchen, bathroom and making your bed. Fresh sheets and towels are your own responsibility. Some condos have their own laundry facilities either in the condo itself or in the building. You will have to shop for your food, toiletries and other essentials. All this does take time away from your vacation. This is not to say that you can’t eat out every once in awhile. Transportation to and from the airport will be your responsibility. Its suggested that you prearrange transportation as needed.
I hope this has been somewhat informative. I did not mention any formal pricing regarding resorts or renting a condo for the simple fact is that cost depends on when, where and for how long. There are so many different destinations, amenities and available upgrades that come with a price.
We at You, Me and The Dock – in association with Travel Farther Smarter, hopes the information provided above will help you make a more logical decision or give some alternative selections to your next vacation’s accommodations. If you would like any further information or have questions about planning any part of your next getaway, please visit our travel site – www.youmeandthedock.com, and/or email us at email@example.com. You can also subscribe on the site for upcoming travel articles and adventures.