Why? This conversation can go on forever. If you are a dedicated beach lover with a beach house in Holden Beach, who likes nothing better than to sit on the porch with a glass of sweet tea and watch the sun rise and set, you might want to read this column just to see how the rest of us spend our vacations. I mean just for fun – OK?
Since we are on the subject of North and South Carolina beaches, we will choose a vacation at one of those beaches, just to compare costs for you. There are beaches in other states and other countries that compare very favorably with our beaches – just a thought.
Myrtle Beach is probably the best known beach, so grant me an indulgence and let’s stay there for 7 nights in mid June 2018. Also, we need to be fair to all our faithful readers. Some have 12 kids, some have 6 grandkids, some are single. We can’t look at every possibility, so let’s take a vacation with just 2 people. Before we compare prices, lets look at what you are getting at each
Drinks, Room Service, Meals, Snacks, Entertainment,Transfers, Transportation are all included in All Inclusive. With Standard, you get none of these.
From there, let’s look at some prices; First a resort in Myrtle Beach can be most any class and most any price. For comparison I priced 2 well known resorts. The Courtyard by Marriott is a very well known mid price range, and well respected. The Landmark Resort is beachfront, has been there forever, has a dedicated following, and is also well known. We average the 2 for 7 nights and we get $1361
It is about 400 miles round trip by car. If we add 200 miles during the week, we are at 600 miles. The IRS considers about 26 cents as mileage costs, and that varies year to year. Now we will spend $168.
Everyone eats differently so I will use $16 $16 and $30 as the costs for 2 persons, bringing us to $434.
If we do non alcoholic drinks for 2 for a day at $12, that is fair to all. At A/I resorts, Alcohol is included
That brings us to $84 for drinks. If my faithful calculator does me justice, we are at $2047 for Myrtle.
We can look at this to many different locations without a lot of price difference. We will get into how to choose later in this article. For now, we are going to pick Playa del Carmen in the Riviera Maya. Today we can offer a World Wide Brand Hotel on the beach, same dates in June, for $1879.55 for TWO.
This includes Direct flights to and from, ground transportation to and from, room for 7 nights, alcohol in room and at 6 different bars, snacks and meals in 5 different restaurants, nightly shows and daily entertainment, room service, all taxes and fees.
Other factors in the “why” category are unpack once, then visit where and when you like on your schedule. These resorts now offer the biggest variety of off site activities in the history of the travel industry. There is now a resort in this same area that is located on the fringe of a famous eco park called Xcaret. This resort offers free access to that park where you will find 2 zoos, a lazy river, a beach, a museum, a Mayan Village, and restaurants, scuba, snorkel, wave riders, and the list goes on. Another factor is entertainment in the resort. It is included, you don’t have to travel, and it often is very good.
It is not hard to see why the all inclusive experience is becoming the most popular vacation today. It is also the number 1 destination wedding choice by far with over 400,000 weddings a year.
Check back next week for Part 2.