Vacation Opinions – What’s Yours?

I have opinions; we all do.  Our opinions may not be necessarily correct or shared by others, but we still have them.

Opinion (Noun)
  1. A view or judgment formed about something, not necessarily based on fact or knowledge.

barbados vacation

I think it’s comical to search the web for a particular recipe, find it and then read the comments.  The first  person to comment absolutely loves the recipe and gives it 5 stars.  It’s the best she has ever tasted.  The second person gives it zero stars and says it’s the worst thing she has ever put in her mouth and had to throw it out.  What’s the difference?  It’s our opinions (and sometimes we don’t execute correctly), based on our likes and dislikes.

The same thing goes for restaurants.  When I’m about to try a new place to dine, especially on vacation, I will often go online and check out the reviews.  Just as in reviewing recipes, opinions differ from one spectrum to the other.  That particular dining experience may be the best one reviewer has ever had.  And then it could be a complete disaster according to another.  Opinions.  Likes.  Dislikes.

I said all that to muster up the courage to say this:  I have specific vacation opinions.  I do!  I don’t like cruises.  I don’t.  At all.  Don’t hate me for it.  I tried to like a cruise.  I did.  I have friends that rave about their latest cruise.  I jokingly say that cruises are for people that don’t know how to plan a vacation.  I also say that when I’m on a cruise I feel like I’m a cow in the middle of a large herd on a cattle drive.  I have a song for that:

I should’ve been a cowboy
I should’ve learned to rope and ride
Wearing my six-shooter, riding my pony on a cattle drive
. (Toby Keith)

Friends laugh and give me a puzzled look when I say things like that.  I have a strange feeling that they are laughing at me and not with me.

My dream vacation always, always includes the sea.  It could have something to do with my childhood.  Every summer vacation was by the sea.  I coined another phrase and should trademark it, “If I’m not on the beach, I’m not at the beach” meaning I must have an ocean front room.  It’s a must.  Blame my mom.  She instilled that in me!

barbados-vacation

While I’m boldly stating my opinion, let me just put it all out there and say that I don’t really like to vacation in the mountains, either.  It could have something to do with that horrible skiing accident I told about here.  I’m not a down-in-the-valley type of girl.  I always feel like I’m in a teacup and all those mountains are looming overhead and edging in on my space.  Don’t get me wrong, I love a majestic mountain range in the distance.  I love to visit my sister in Colorado.  It’s simply breathtaking.

But I need wide open spaces, room to make a big mistake (singing at the top of my lungs).  So, my vacation usually involves driving or flying to my destination, having an ocean front room and spending the week exploring (or just sitting on the beach, under an umbrella, daydreaming).

Actually, one of my not-really-in-existence bucket list plans is to visit all of the Caribbean Islands in my life time.  Oh, and I want to make it to Hawaii one of these days.  But every time I think about going to Maui, I think about how long the flight is and put it off for a short flight to the Caribbean. To me, it’s the prefect vacation.  And, of course, any far-away, exotic beach would be icing on the cake (Bali, Tahiti, etc.)  By the way, the time I dipped my toes in the Mediterranean Sea while visiting Israel is one of those events that has left an impression on me for life.  Yes, I’m crazy about oceans!  Looking at them, that is.

And someday (fingers and toes crossed) I will visit Paris and London (also on my not-really-but-maybe-should-start bucket list in my mind).  See, I can have non-ocean vacation dreams, as well.

When I go on holiday, I like to rub elbows with the locals; find the best local places to eat, the least crowded beaches and just pretend I live there. And did I say I like to get away from the crowds?  I also do recon (that’s my I-Should-Have-Been-A-Private-Eye speak) before I leave so I know a little bit about the place I’m going to visit.

Now, back to cruises, I have to explain that I have no ill will toward people that crave cruises.  I have lots of friends and family that cruise quite often.  Yes, I said that twice.  They love it and I say, “More power to you.”  And I’m not saying I won’t ever go on another one (my grands want to go). I won’t judge you for your love of cruises if you don’t judge me for my apathy toward them.  Deal?

My daughter and her family planned a stay-cation a couple of years ago.  They stayed home and visited a different place (within driving distance) each day in their own home state.  They loved it!

So, in your very respected opinion, what’s your fave vacation destination?  Come on, stir the pot with me!  You may just give me some new ideas.  I think everyone deserves at least one vacation a year!  Don’t you?  I want to vacation like the Europeans do!  They rarely take just one week at a time!  🙂

Helpful Hints for Staying Safe on Vacation

  • Never flash large amounts of cash or expensive jewelry.  Leave valuables at home!
  • Be aware of your surroundings – always.
  • Use common sense when talking to strangers (Did you see the movie Taken?  Enough said!)
  • Scan your passport and travel documents and email them to yourself (in case you lose them or they are stolen).
  • Don’t look like a tourist.  Blend in.
  • Find out if there are some areas of the city/island that you should avoid.
  • When in crowds, be aware of pick pockets.
  • Leave a copy of your itinerary with friends or family back home.
  • Beach/street vendors can be pushy.  If you don’t want to buy their wares, don’t make eye contact and keep walking.

 

 

About Alli

Southern, Morning Person, Jesus Girl, Frugal Party Planner, Writer/Blogger, Mom, Nana, Wife, Beach Bum Wannabe - Let's Have a Party!

Comments

  1. Randi Hunt says

    Ok, so I HAVE to post to this one since I’m a travel agent 😉 I have to say, I love them all! I’ve been on over 30 cruises and understand why some may not like them….but it’s usually because people randomly book a cruise without knowing the difference between the 500 ones out there (usually because it’s close to home and leave from Charleston LOL). Smaller ships, newer, less people, more all inclusive…suites etc. make a cruise so much better. If you go on a 3 – 5 night or sometimes even 7 night older ship…that’s a negative. Same with an interior room…if you book an interior, might as well sleep in your closet. My addiction to cruises stems from the fact I’ve done five Caribbean Cruises and visited every Caribbean Island there is to visit. Had I done that by flying…my goodness I’d have spent ten times the amount of money. I’ve done all inclusive and have to say, I’m not a big fan ONLY because I feel that because they’re offering it all for free, the quality isn’t sometimes as good. I do like the feeling of not having to worry about spending additional money on vacation…a biggy for me. I will say I “feel” that if I can get there in my car, it’s not a vacation. I ALWAYS have to fly to before I feel like I’m on vacation (I suppose it doesn’t help that my in laws live on Seabrook Island right on the beach and we go there ALL the time?) BUT that being said, one of MY BEST vacations was a weekend in downtown Charlotte in my own home town just getting to know my own city a little better staying at the Omni. I’ve been COLD, north, HOT, south, east, west, overseas, you name it. I believe a good vacation stems from how you’ve planned it and with whom you spend it and NOTHING else. Some probably think I’m wrong but hey, that’s okay. I’m in the business OF planning vacations. So basically to answer the main question: 1) either a cruise or 2) all inclusive…..I don’t like budgeting on vacation and don’t like spending extra money. I don’t like dinner bills or bar bills on vacation and insist I don’t have to carry my purse….EVER. 🙂

    • I had a feeling, after I hit publish, that you were going to reply to this one – LOL! I almost didn’t publish it at all. BTY – I don’t do the all inclusive, either. Been there, done that and wound up hating the food and having to go outside of the resort to get decent food. But, you know, I don’t really like the food on cruises, either. Hey, it’s just me.

      When (if) I go on another cruise, I will definitely NOT have an interior room! I have a thing about small, tight places and that could very well be the reason I didn’t like it.

      Another thing, because we hold public office (that’s an inside joke – not political office but pastoral office) we are around people a lot. On vacation, I don’t especially like crowds.

      Thanks SO MUCH for stirring the pot with me. I love it!!!! You may have just changed my mind a tiny, little bit . . . . . . maybe!

      • Randi Hunt says

        Haha, yes! Of course I would have to post. Do have to say we did the same thing at the all inclusive’s we’ve stayed out…went outside…even McDonald’s for food!!!!! Haha It just depends on the cruise…definitely go balcony…love my coffee and wine on my private veranda looking out at sea. As far as food…yes some cruise lines plain flat out suck!!!! IF you ever decide to go on a cruise again, let me know, I’ll tell you God’s honest truth whether it’s a good one to go on 🙂 Thanks for the reply!

  2. As you know, I love the beach! I love to just relax and swim and smell the salt in the air. I guess I got that from you. Lol I also love the mountains. There’s just something great about being snuggled up in a cabin. I want to go on a cruise so I can have an opinion about it. It definitely has to be one to the Caribbean islands. I want to travel and see the world (or at least the United States).

  3. Vacations are rare, so we love them. Mountains. Beach. Rocky Coast. Somewhere different from home. It’s all good! 🙂
    Kendra @ AProverbs 31 Wife recently posted…Marshmallow Jokes and MarriageMy Profile

    • When my husband and I were pioneering our current church (over 20 years ago) we went seven years without a vacation. We were always too busy. So, I know where you are coming from. It is all good!

  4. We went on a cruise for our honeymoon and loved it but I can definitely see why an all inclusive resort would be more enjoyable for someone looking to mostly relax. With the cruise I felt like you could choose to sit around and relax or go and do and enjoy. Sure there were time restrictions but we were able to see and do so much more that we normally wouldn’t have been able to do.
    Andrea @the Distracted Housewife.com recently posted…Goal’s for the week of 6-17My Profile

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