Club holidays aren’t really en vogue, all with independent and adventouros traveling (complete with the newest extreme sport) being the thing of the moment. Going to another country, just to spend weeks at the pool seems kind of uncool. Whereas for some people club holidays imply sun, food, and stressless chilling, for others it means screaming children, survival fights at the buffet and tideous boredom.
I myself haven’t had one in ages but when the opportunity arose (read: the parents were paying), I took it.
The good thing: There is food everywhere, so you don’t have to hunt for it and there is no language barrier between you and the buffet table. You will almost always find something you like.
The bad thing: There is food everywhere, so be prepared to fly home a bit heavier (fine, I did. You can’t let me loose with so much cake arround – I have no self control whatsoever). Also, you don’t have to look for food so you’re probably missing out nice places and local specialities (the all-inclusive buffets aren’t known for adventurous food).
The good thing: if you don’t choose a hardcore animation club, you will be left alone. Also, the locals are taken aback (in a good way) when you speak their language a bit. You can end up having quite nice & interesting conversations. Enriching experience, you know.
The bad thing: you are going to be stuck with a lot of people in a limited area and some of them will be annoying. Also: if you’re from a German or English speaking country you will understand what the people around you are whining about und they will understand you when you slag them off.
If you choose to book a club holiday, chances are, you aren’t terribly interested in seeing the country you’re in and that’s perfectly fine. However, there are no guards at the doors to prevent you from leaving if you choose so. Even if the club doesn’t have a bus station nearby and is located in the middle of nowhere, you can rent a car for a few days and explore your surroundings.
I have already been to Mallorca so I enjoyed the first week at the beach without feeling I’m missing out on anything. Also, Austria is a landlocked country and a sunny summer is something to broadcast about, so laying in the sun at the beach is pretty exciting to me. But I was glad when our rental car arrived (I’d finished all my books and for the life of me couldn’t find decent ones at the tourist stalls), because I was getting bored.
The Internet (for bloggers and internet addicts)
The good thing: While you can’t expect wireless in your room, there will be a computer (room), so you don’t have to search foreign cities for internet cafes. At least that was the situation at my club and from what I gathered by talking to people from other clubs, it was the same thing at their hotel too: I didn’t do a research tour through the Mallorquin hotels/clubs – shame on me.
The bad thing: Chances are whenever you want to check your emails you will have to wait until all the kids in the club have updated their Facebook status. Also, the internet might not work every day and it can be quite expensive. The club I was in had free internet for people who brought their own laptop; everybody else had to pay 1 EUR/10 min.
As with every holiday, choosing the right location – in this case:club – is key: If you don’t like children / can gladly do without them, avoid family friendly clubs like the plague. If you have small children, don’t book a room in a holiday club promoting their amazing nightlife and so on.
And, if you plan to spend time on the beach, check a) how close the beach really is and what kind of beach it is and b) don’t assume that just because your hotel is “right next to the sea” that means there is a beach. “Right next to the sea” could also be short for “stone cliff”.
What are your thoughts on club holidays? Love ’em? Hate ’em? Tell me more in the comments – I’d love to hear about your experiences!