Wednesday, 17 December 2014

don't want to keep dipping in your pocket...

I always love an invitation or the opportunity to explore a new destination, but when an invitation to visit Phuket in Thailand and stay at an all inclusive resort, I hesitated. Then curiosity got the better of me. I was going to experience the world renown, Club Med.

We arrive late at night and I'm slightly delirious as my mind and body are aware it's some godly-hour back home. The greeting staff are joyous and of varying nationalities, after a refreshment and quick check-in I'm escorted to my room, where I have a good nights sleep.  The rituals for the next few days entailed gathering for a leisurely breakfast at the alfresco restaurant, this and the meals to follow became...hmmm, what shall I eat today. All meals are served buffet style, offering a good assortment of cuisine. As the day heats up, we chose to dine indoors with air cooling and enhance our conversation of which foods to try, the pursuits of shopping out on the streets and what activities were going to be explored over the day and into the night.

Me, I love an activity and Club Med is not shy on offering them, all are guided by a G.O (Gentil Officer) or two.  Take your pick, there is an activity from 8.30am to 11.30pm ranging from a morning power walk, yoga and fitness sessions, flying circus, a boat ride and snorkelling, intro scuba dive, putting-golf, tennis, aqua aerobics, beach volley ball and the list goes on.  The G.O.'s are an integral part of Club Med. They come from all corners of the world, most are multi-lingual and they enjoy making you feel you are apart of their big Club Med family.

What I found impressive with Club Med was the attention to entertaining and interacting with children, being all-inclusive means children aged 4-10 years (kids club) participate in the organised activities, whilst the parents relaxed (read) by the pool. Children were encouraged to get involved whether it be playing water polo late morning or on the stage at the evening concert, which had young and old laughing and dancing or participating in little pranks.  The kids were happy.

For those who wanted to dodge all the kid activity and noise, which was me! Retreated to the zen pool, the day spa, fitness room or the beach with white sand and clean ocean water - rarely a hawker to hassle you and a Club Med beach boy there to provide you with a mat and little cane pillow, it was a fab place to retreat.  Also to my surprise, as I always look out for a bit of community or environmental consciousness, Club Med had practices in place.

Would I recommend Club Med Phuket? For sure. It may not be for everyone, but it is definitely for families and those that like a bit of nightly entertainment. Keep in mind there are eighty Club Med - resorts, chalets, villas or cruises - world wide, so there is something for everyone.

How and why was Club Med conceived? Read on >
To discuss your Club Med reservation phone Travel With A Difference:  03-5254 1279
Discover your Club Med sun holiday offers here >  

Monday, 10 March 2014

group travel cringe or embrace....

Group holidays, do you cringe when you hear the word 'group'? 

Don't worry you're not alone; I still hear people say, "oh, I could not stand that".  But the more diverse these group holiday options are becoming the more people are participating and embracing them. 

There's a variety of 'group holiday' experiences to be had. It may be a small group journey - where you join a small group of up to twelve guests to experience a destination. The more niche is the special interest group getaway - where groups of whatever number will experience a footy game, Gallipoli, trekking, a photograph or writing workshop just to name a few.  Then, there's the small 'like-minded' holidays, where men or women gather with their friends to chill-out, share a laugh and whatever takes their fancy - usually a cooking class or a game of golf.  Yes, they leave their loved-(family and pets)-one’s home.
Also, I question. Does then going on a cruise entail 'group travel'? As you are amongst the masses of thousands, all living the same life for the duration of time it takes to embark and disembark on the cruise.

'Generational-holidays' could also be group holiday, as I have coordinated these Generational-holidays where the grandparents take their children, spouse and grandchildren on a holiday...those number of guests soon add up!
Travelling as group does definitely have its merits. It allows you to travel in the safety and companionship of others. It means your holiday arrangements will be pre-arranged and mostly pre-paid, giving a smoother and more seamless journey.  It takes the pondering and decision making out of it, which can be a time waster when on holidays.  For sure, you still have to take the time to ponder and decide, but is mostly done before you depart on your holiday. The pondering and decision making would be on what destination you are going to go, what is it you want to experience, what the cost you are prepared to pay and so on.

So, for your next holiday you may just I travelling in the company of simply a friend or loved one or am I going to cringe or embrace the thought of a 'group holiday'? 
I look forward to hearing your thoughts....

Travel With A Difference CALENDAR has a few 'special interest' group holiday you may be interested in: Uganda - eco and sustainable.  France - history of Julia Child and food. Uganda - charity and sustainable.

trekking Bay of Fires
Bill Peach journeys: Sydney to London

Absolute Sanctuary group yoga retreat

lodging whilst trekking Vietnam
Travel With A Difference through knowledge and experience, can tailor-make a memorable and unique journey for you....