Featured, Going Solo, Green Spaces, Lodging, reviews

An All-Inclusive All-Alone: The Occidental Grand Xcaret Solo

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I’ve been waving the solo-travel-is-amazing flag for several years now; I’ve traveled solo to major US (and Canadian) cities, in small towns, to state and national parks, to Disney World more times than I should probably admit, and on several cruise ships.  Heck, I now travel solo for a living.  But there was one vacation-basic that I’d until-now not tackled–the all-inclusive resort.

Even I was skeptical. Very, very skeptical.  After all, how much fun can you have sitting all alone on a beach, under a palm tree, sipping a drink?

The answer is–a lot of fun, that’s how much.

This does not suck.

This does not suck.

5 Reasons Why All-Inclusive Resorts Are Great for Solo Travelers

1. It is extremely safe.  If you are a first-time solo traveler–or, more, if you are first-time out-of-your-country solo traveler–an all-inclusive is a baby step.  It is a controlled environment and you don’t have to leave at all if you don’t want to (I both had to leave and wanted to leave, but that’s me).

2. You don’t need much ‘stuff’.  Most nights, I left my room with only my room keycard and my iPhone; most people wouldn’t even need the phone (but that’s because most people aren’t Instagramming the crap out of everything they do).  And everything I needed for a four night stay fit into my computer messenger bag–four dresses and a bathing suit.  When you travel solo, you are responsible for carrying everything.  It’s nice to not need much.

3. Your day is up to you.  If you want, you can sleep in.  You can stay up late or go to bed early.  You can be the first one at the beach in the morning, or the last one to leave in the evening.  You can stay on property the whole time, or take excursions.  Which brings me to my next point…

4.  You will make friends.  If you choose to take an excursion, you will be in a group.  You will make friends.  But even if you don’t leave the property at all (though I recommend doing so), you will make friends.  Because who isn’t friendly when there are open bottles of vodka and champagne on the breakfast buffet?

5. No matter what, at the end of the day, you are in a beautiful place with likely amazing service.  How can that possibly be a bad time?

To be fair, my stay at Occidental Grand Xcaret was my first and only all-inclusive experience.  And it was likely a little different from most all-inclusives.  As an ‘eco-resort’, it was less beach and more jungle.  And the property had a lot of interesting places to explore–I strolled through the jungle and explored the on-site ruins (and ok fine, I also sat in the sun for a good three hours one day and drank margaritas.)  And I left for the majority of the other days to explore Xel-Ha and Xplore (blog posts coming soon) so in no way was I bored.  But honestly, I could have been happily amused for good three days, all by myself, without ever leaving.  The place had, like, five pools.  And seven restaurants.  I did not count the bars, but I visited three of them.  Sadly, I did not find the gelato stand until my last night.

Yeah.  I was not bored.  I was not lonely.  I was here…

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In short–in case those thousands of words worth of photos were not enough–I had an amazing long weekend.  And I’d return in a hot second–alone, with a friend, or with many friends.  Like tomorrow.

Disclosure: Last weekend, I traveled from New Mexico (blog post coming soon) to actual Mexico, to attend The Festival of Life and Death at Xcaret Park (another blog post coming soon).  And while I was there, I was graciously hosted at the neighboring resort, The Occidental Grand Xcaret.  No one expected or required me to write about the resort itself; that was not the purpose of my visit.  But I feel compelled to do so.  Because it was fantastic.  Yes, even solo.  Especially solo. 

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