Chris – “Dude where the hell have you been!”
Max – “I just come back from Cuba”
Chris- “Fantastic, what did you get up to?
Max – “Just laid around all day by the pool at the hotel, it was five start hotel so it was pretty sweet.”
A recent conversation which I had with a good friend which irritated me. Finding out that he had spent 7 days lying by the man made pool and eating every night at the Paradisus Varadero Resort & Spa in Cuba. Here is five reasons not to be like Max.
1. Get out of the hotel
The hotel swimming pool is not going to tell you anything about the countries culture. Get your hiking boots out explore where you are. This means doing your research before you arrive at the hotel. The hotel concierge wants you to stay and spend money on the resort. If they recommend you to go anywhere, it would most likely be to a restaurant they have an affiliation with or a sister hotel. Spend time way before you arrive, for ONE great thing to do and see each day. The rest improvise. You will find yourself in some amazing places by just following your feet.
2. You are on holiday – put it away
No Facebook, no email, no phone calls or texting. This is your time off. Try and limit it as much as possible. Don’t be that guy on the beach who is glued to his phone for the whole day, wondering what his friends are up to. It is time to let go. Limit as much as possible.
3. Hotel breakfast – How about a punch in the face?
Wherever you travel, eating and drinking the same food you have every day is not really bringing you anything other than the norm. Find out what the local food and drinks are.
For example, if your drink of choice at home is a beer, or a glass of wine. Try going wild and order the local cocktail.
How adventurous will you be? Open your mind and try something new.
4. Never ever repeat
So you stayed at an epic hotel or spent all night drinking cocktails at bar on holiday, and you had an amazing time. So you revisit the same hotel or bar for the next couple of years trying to replicating your experiences. STOP NOW. There are so many wonderful places in the world to go and see. “If we do not explore we do not see. ” Christopher Columbus. You will never be able to repeat that night or day in the same way. And the main reason why you had such an epic time? Because it was a brand new experience.
5. Go where the locals go.
Eating in the hotel restaurants only lead to one thing, a very expensive bill. Get in you car and find where the locals eat. Here is a small clip of local bar which I found in Kauai – which was also featured in the film The Descendents starring George Clooney.
Total bill – $54 – Two Hawaiian Pizza’s – 6 Mai Thia’s and a kick ass local band playing all night. About the price of one meal in the hotel.
It is out of the hotels interest for you to spend all your time at the hotel, but is it yours?
Enjoy the times by the pool but avoid being like Max.
Get the most out of your vacation.