All Inlcusive Not Ohio

Driving straight through the night from Florida the other day, Andy and I had a lot of couple time. Well, not that kind of couple time, there were kids sleeping in the back, and there was this giant center console, and the whole thing was just awkward.

So instead we talked about crap, and one of those craps was birthdays, which, if you are new here, consume the month of April. All our birthdays are in April, save for Jude who’s the first week of May. This is our fattest and brokest month, and by May 9th the thought of cake makes me want to projectile vomit everywhere.

But this chat wasn’t centered around kid birthdays, those are easy. It was for us. And we are, like, hella hard to buy for. We both say we need nothing, but what we really mean is boobs and vagina for him and travel and shiny things for me, and after much debate, we decide to combine those two things and give ourselves something we’ve never given each other before.

A romantic tropical vacation.

Prior to this moment, that would have been a nightmare for me. Like, we honeymooned in Vegas in December. I avoided warm weather like the plague. I used to say I hated beaches, but the truth is, I hated what beaches meant. Bathing suits and summer clothes; not chubby girl who hates herself friendly. But now? Well now this new Could Give two Shits Brittany wants a beach vacation with fruity drinks and wifi and pigs on spits and a king size bed and maybe even some friends. A couples retreat.

Vacation Needed

Also, we’re cold as fuck.

So, I need your input. Where do we go? All inclusive would be nice, just for ease purposes, plus I eat and drink a lot. I’d like the location to be relatively safe and not murdery. White sand and blue water would be lovely. Related: don’t forget, I refuse to go on boats so no cruises, I mean, I still hate the ocean, it’s a pit of nightmares.

What tropical location would you retreat to?

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  1. Adria says

    I’m planning a destination wedding for later this year and I’ve been researching these resorts to death. Never actually been to one so I’m not much help there, but I do recommend using (doesn’t have all of them but is very thorough) and reading reviews on TripAdvisor (keeping in mind of course that you’re always gonna find SOME crotchety people). I’m interested to hear what you end up choosing!

  2. says

    My husband and I went to Costa Rica a few years ago and stayed at an all-inclusive resort called the Westin Conchal Resort. It was beautiful!

  3. Jessica says

    I am not sure where to go and would love to join you but I don’t have a man or any money but I can totally live vicariously through the vacation pics and stories you bring back to us! I will tell them with as much enthusiasm as you type them!

    What I wanted to say was look how cool your sleeves look in your sunglasses…it is very Tim Burton of you!!!!

    Have fun with that hunk of yours showing off your beautiful curves!

  4. says

    I very highly recommend Playa Del Carmen, Mexico. It’s half an hour south of Cancun so it’s not hella touristy, and the beaches haven’t been destroyed by hurricanes. White sand, blue water. I stayed at The Royal Playa Del Carmen and it’s kid-free, has amazing restaurants (it’s all-inclusive), and gorgeous pools. The spa staff also comes around poolside and will give you a mini-massage right in your beach chair if you’d like. I spent a week there, and lifted exactly zero fingers. The drinks come to you, every room has a hot tub in it, we had a huge bed (the most comfortable bed I have ever slept in). For what they charged, I expected a dump but figured a tropical dump is better than a Motel 6 dump. I couldn’t have been more wrong. Have the molten chocolate cake, you’ll thank me later.

    • Liz says

      Although I’ve never been to the Playa del Carmen location, I’m here to second Reál Resorts ( they have several locations in Mexico. We stayed at The Royal Cancún for a week in January for my sister’s wedding, and it was hands-down the best vacation I’ve ever had. In fact, several of us wedding guests have already booked a trip back for more fun next year! As Diana said above about PdC, Cancún is all-inclusive and kid-free with gorgeous pools (and beaches!). I was pleased to find that at least in this part of Cancún, it didn’t feel very touristy, and we were more than content to stay at the resort the whole time and not venture out into other parts of Cancún. They do offer different activities at the resort throughout the week, but I must admit I was more into the INACTIVITY of laying on the beach drinking and getting the occasional massage. The service staff is outstanding- courteous, fun, and ready to cater to your every need- by the end of your trip you’ll have your favorite staff members and you’ll know each other by name. The resort itself is absolutely gorgeous, open-air, and elegant- but not fussy or fancy. I would imagine you would be more than satisfied with any of the Reál Resorts in Mexico. Good luck searching and have fun!

  5. says

    I did Cuba last year, and I really liked it – all inclusive, gorgeous beach, gorgeous weather. My brother in law hated the food, I didn’t hate it as much as everyone else says. Though I feel like we have an easier time as Canadians getting there than you would?

    Recommendations I have heard from close family members are St Maarten (not the St Martin side), and the Cayman Islands (though they don’t do all-inclusive).

    We also did the Dominican Republic years and years ago and while beautiful, I found it very hard to relax with the constant stream of people trying to sell you something/get you to give them money while you’re lying on the beach.

  6. says

    If I could figure out someone who is STUPID enough to keep an eye on our 5 teenagers for a week, I would totally get my husband back to Mykonos, Greece! We went there for a weekend when we were engaged and I would SO love to go back. And I’m pretty sure that it would be worth the cost of a friendship (which would totally end if I dumped my kids on someone.)

  7. Kelly Dupre says

    Mom and I go every year to Orange Beach, Alabama. It’s not tropical and all that but it’s not too touristy and the beach and water are beautiful! It’s also not a long drive and we stop along the way and stop at Bay St Louis and Fairhope for the great little shops and unique beachy atmosphere. Now, very near where we stay is Fort Morgan’s Beach Club resort that is amazing. They even have one pool for the kiddies and one for the adults. Great restaurants and bars all in the Orange Beach area. Pirate’s Cove is our favorite! Hope this helps! We go bc we love it, it isn’t expensive and it’s not the far of a drive for us!

  8. Lisa says

    Beaches Resort, Negrill, Jamaica was the best damn vacation I have ever taken. You do nothing, the water is crystal clear and shallow at the resort, the workers are amazing…..simply awesome.

  9. says

    went to aruba in november, LOVED it, would definitely go back. everyone suggested caymen islands after i mentioned the aruba trip. you should look into what islands have the activities/accommodations you’re looking for cuz they’re probably all really similar otherwise, but one may have zip lining and another volcanoes, etc. have fun!!!

  10. Erin says

    Palace Resorts, all over Mexico. I really liked the Sun Palace in Cancun, but I haven’t been to many of the others. All of the resorts are all-inclusive and I believe one or two of the others are also adults-only. There are a variety of locations to choose from so if Cancun is too packed for you, try another less populated location (Isla Mujeres, perhaps?). Loved that trip for the company, but the endless food and booze didn’t hurt.

  11. Sarah H. says

    The Riviera Maya (south of Cancun)!!! There are plenty of places that book vacations, but I’ve always liked Apple Vacations.

  12. Wendy says

    Couples Tower Isle in Ocho Rios, Jamaica. It is adults only, all inclusive, recently remodeled, delicious food, beautiful private grounds and beach, and hiking Dunn River Falls which empties into the ocean. The only down side was that I felt badly spending my money on a vacation after seeing the impoverished circumstances of so many who live there. I am thinking about going back on a service trip.

  13. alicia says

    come to australia :) we have 5 star resorts, all inclusive, gorgeous beaches, and great weather. except… its at least a 14 hour flight and if you are anything like me, there’s gonna be a lot of champagne and xanax involved.

    so… go hawaii. its gorgeous. the weather is warm. there are tonnes of different things to do, the beaches are gorgeous, you can be pampered all day long… and you dont have to worry about passports and travel visas.

  14. Meghan says

    Ambergris Caye, Belize. Just foreign enough to be exotic, not so foreign you can’t get the drink you want.

    • Kelly says

      We LOVED the El Dorado Royal. I did absolutely nothing all week. It was fantastic. The service was spectacular and there is top shelf booze.

  15. E says

    Riviera Maya in Mexico has all those things, plus a rocking Michael (Miguel) Jackson impersonator. But don’t get a king sized bed – get two queen beds! Me and my blanket thief just got back from a wonderful tropical vacation filled with rum runners and pool bars and beer and weird couples massages. We asked for a king room, they gave us two queens and the next morning we knew we scored, big time. So you wanna cuddle? Go ahead! Wanna have -ahem!- relations? Get your freak on! Then tell your significant other to get out of your bed and spend your night in bliss with BOTH pillows and more than 4 millimeters of the blanket.

  16. robin says

    Others have said it – Playa del Carmen, also known as the Mexican Riviera. Beautiful while beaches that don’t burn your feet because they are actually tiny sea shells that feel like powdered sugar. All-inclusive is good for drinking but unless you stay at a four or five start place the food will get boring. Not as touristy as Cancun to the north and no drunken college students trying to jump from balcony to balcony. Not much shopping to do because they have to truck in everything and make nothing in that part of the country. Also, you can go swimming in an eco-park which is gorgeous!

  17. Stack says

    The hubby and I went to Punta Cana a couple years ago (like 5…before we started creating a small girl group) and stayed at the Paradisus Palma Real on Bavaro Beach. It was great: food was really good, service was very good (tip very well the first day and you can pretty much get a dedicated waiter/bartender for the whole trip) and the staff were friendly. We kept to the pool rather than the beautiful water and beaches, and I had an awesome spa wrap done. I would go back if I didn’t want to go to a zillion more places. I miss it now.

  18. Lisa says

    My hubby and I went to Barbados last year with 3 other couples and it was THE.BEST.TIME.OF.OUR.LIVES!!!! We are totally going back in Feb with the kiddos this time. The water was amazing, the crime rate was very low….(We rented a house, and felt safe there 100% of the time) I would go back there 100x over…..Have fun planning!

  19. Lisa says

    Not sure if my first comment posted….We went to Barbados last year with three other couples and left the kiddos behind. It was seriously the best vacation spot. We rented a house and the crime rate is very low and the island is very safe. The beaches are amazing and there is a lot to do. We are hoping to go back in Feb with the kiddos. I would go back there in a heartbeat! Have fun planning!

  20. Kristin Zilke says

    Hawaii…hands down! It’s not all inclusive….but it’s Heaven on Earth!!! It’s always a perfect 80 degrees : )

  21. says

    In my opinion, event gifts are the best for grown-ups (and teens). I mean, otherwise you just end up buying stuff for each other that is either useful (pans and pots, anyone?) or collects dust. (Unless you want to give me books.)

    Anyway, I want to see the world. If I could go no matter where without thought of money, I would travel to Asia – Japan or India, for example, or Thailand. I would also like to see Africa – no matter whether the Northern countries such as Marokko or Tunisia, or the South (I went to Jo’burg as a kid). Oh, or Australia! Or South America! Or… – sorry, no big help. ^^

  22. Lee Whitley says

    Caribbean Islands – Bahamas (Treasure Cay) or St. Kitt, Tortolla or St. John. The water is beautiful, aqua blue. We went to Nicarauga last year, it was very nice, but the ocean is not as pretty. Great for surfing.

  23. says

    Hilton Hawaiian Village…

    This is the place! My husband and I went there and have since recommended it to anyone and everyone who would listen. Several friends and relatives have since gone and loved it as much as we did.

    There’s everything you could want, right there, several hotels, shopping, restaurants, poolside bars, even a grocery store. Personally, I never left the beach, but my husband went para-sailing and surfing and I don’t even know what else. I find all that activity on my vacation to be too exhausting. :) Although we did attend a luau and some mixers in the evening.

    This is also the place where they do the lighting of the torches down the beach at night – like in that Elvis movie – and Hawaii Five-0 films there a lot. The sand is white, the water is crystal clear and very blue and every one is incredibly happy. Cause they live in Hawaii, of course.

  24. Steph says

    Playa Del Carmen, Mexico, or anywhere in the Mayan Riviera. We went there at the end of April last year and it was heavenly! I like to book thru Apple Vacations – they handle everything from the time you get to the departure airport thru your entire stay, they even have a person on-site at the resorts. I’ve like the Iberostar resorts – but I know there are so many other beautiful resorts around! Good luck and have a great time!

  25. says

    ALSO, my experience in planning our trip abroad is that you can research yourself to death. For realz. Identify your must haves and must have-nots, find them, and BOOK IT.

  26. Michele says

    I know I said either Puerto Rico or Punta Cana but I’ve since come up with another stellar idea.

    You should come to Colombia…South America, it’s not all-inclusive but I can give you a place to stay, your dollar will almost double into 2,000 Colombian Pesos, the alcohol is cheap, the maid can do all your wash before you return and everything and anything can arrive at your doorstep (doorman) via domicillo (delivery) service 24 hours a day. Even the drugstore, heartburn from too much food (alcohol), no problem….something to help you sleep on the flight home (and a shit ton of stock to take with you because it’s super cheap and no script is required) you got it…. anxiety meds just for fun (also they mix well with the booze and are also cheap and prescriptionless) 10 minutes and it’s at your door… 1 condom at 2 AM, why bother? All the other things will pretty much ensure sterility but sure why not. If you can order it, they will bring it!

    We can start the morning off with mimosas and by mimosas I mean that my husband is a doctor so he can set us up with some IV saline drips every day before he leaves for the hospital to fight off those nasty germs (hangovers) from the night before.

    Also, you can speak to me in English which is always something I look forward to and maybe my mom can send you a care package for you bring me that will include Middleswarth Chips, Hidden Valley Ranch salad dressing, the razors I like, these strawberry gummie things….i’ll give you the rest of my “mom” list when you email me your flight confirmation.

    There is not really a “bad” time to come either. I live on the coast so it’s hot as balls year round, there is either 3 fan hot or swamp ass hot which is when you admit defeat and turn on the central air. The beach is close but I have a pool and you can be catty if you like because no one will understand you anyway!

    Sounds great right? Also, throw in your suitcase anything you need stitched or altered, it’s cheap as hell too.

  27. says

    I know you don’t like flying but if you can drug yourself up enough to fly to Oahu, I suggest either of the Ko Olina hotels near the Paradise Cove Luau (which is a must, btw) in Kapolei. One of the resorts is the hotel they used to film “Blue Crush”…I just cannot remember off the top of my head. Plus there is a beautiful private beach that is so not busy at all…plus is is a short drive to the North Shore and Waikiki!

  28. Lee says

    Go to Bora Bora … it’s beautiful, and fun to say! An all-inclusive package like Club Med, all meals are all you can eat, including beer and wine!

  29. Mali says

    Maui is great, but totally expensive…not sure if you would really enjoy it trying to do it on the cheap. My other suggestion (other than the outrageous cost of airfare) would be Thailand. Once you get there its pretty cheap…unless you hate thai food, in which case, def not a good idea. Playa Del Carma is very beautiful, I would definitely concur with others on that. And there’s lots of adventurey type day trips you could take from there if you got tired of beach and umbrella drinks. Personally though, I want my next beach vacation to be in Bali. Whoah.Snap.

  30. Anna says

    My husband and I went to Grand Cayman on our honeymoon, and I’m dying to go back. It had a really safe feeling and was easy to navigate (we rented a car and drove all over the place). There was a great mix of relaxing on the beach and going on little trips to places like the Sea Turtle Farm, the Botanic Gardens, and Stingray City (which you might not like, because you have to travel by boat to get there, but it was pretty darn cool). There were fantastic restaurants, the beaches are gorgeous, and the weather is great year-round! We didn’t stay in an all-inclusive place, but I’m sure they have them there.

  31. Jacquelyn says

    Playa del Carmen, Mexico! Went last year and LOVED it. And no, I didn’t worry about being murdered or picked up by a drug cartel. I stayed in Hotel Cielo – nothing fancy but has everything you need. We also spent a day in Akumal to snorkel with SEA TURTLES, it was amazing and spent some time sipping drinks at La Buena Vida, a bar with swings ON the beach. It was a wonderful trip and I’d go back in a heartbeat.

  32. Patty says

    St. Maarten!! My family used to go all the time when I was little, and my fiance and I will be honeymooning there later this year. It’s an incredible place! The island is split in two, one side owned by France, the other by the Netherlands. The French side has nude beaches and European fashion. The Dutch side has great food and amazing shopping.

  33. Eliz says

    Maybe someone else already said it (not going to read 113 comments): Sun Palace all-inclusive resort in Cancun. Honeymooned there. Awesome. No kids, all-inclusive INCLUDES all the alcohol you want, of course. We loved it. The hotel itself is a bit smaller than a lot of the others, so it doesn’t feel super crowded. They have spa/massage on-site….. and, it’s F’ing CANCUN — amazingly beautiful.
    Have a blast, wherever you end up.

  34. Nakesha says

    I have been to almost all of the places people have mentioned, Maui, Kauaii, Mexico, Puerto Vallarta (worst place ever, NOT white sandy beaches with crystal clear water, it’s a fishing town so think more like murky water with rocky beaches), Mazatlan… Out of everything the place I remember the most is The Grand Caymen Islands. It is hands down the most beautiful I have ever been. Also on the plus side, no Mexican gang cartels! Ha! Also when I went it was not super touristy and often had the beaches to ourselves. If you were to go to Mexico, Mazatlan and Playa Del Carmen were my favorites!

  35. Nakesha says

    Also, if you do decide to do Hawaii, go through Love Song Couples Getaway, it’s a Christian couples get away but even if you don’t go to any of the concerts or marriage seminars, it still saves you about half the cost of staying at the Grand Wailea! The trip this year is end of May. We’ve been twice :)

  36. Avancece says

    OOh! My BFF and I are going to Riviera Maya Aug 30-Sept 3….no husbands, no kids!!!! I’ve been researching, and there are a couple things that seem like “must do/see”
    Ah Cacao: Chocolate cafe. No more needs to be said.
    Mayan Ruins: There multiple to choose from, but reviews advise getting there EARLY to avoid the bigger touristy crowd
    Any of the environmental/CEnote parks, underground water caverns, zip lining, snorkeling, all in one neat package.

    I CANNOT WAIT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I’ve never even BEEN on an honest-to-god beach before (um, Lake Michigan in Chicago does NOT count. Especially since it was like -2 degrees at the time)

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