I’ve been thinking a lot about Playa Del Carmen, Mexico lately. Partly because it was two years ago this week that we were there, and partly because of the deals that have been waved in my face for the past few days via the daily deal e-mails from Living Social and Groupon.
The deals really do look too good to pass up most days. They are so tempting, when I see them, I feel like our dog Maya who finds it absolutely impossible to sit and stay when she sees a squirrel running across the yard. My finger naturally starts gravitating to the Buy Now button.
It was such a deal that got us to Playa to begin with, two years ago. I know we’ll never see that kind of deal again as it was the result of a perfect storm of factors that made travel to Mexico a tough sale: it was August in Mexico (I learned the phrase “swamp ass” on that trip as it was a daily occurrence) and the outbreak of swine flu. I feel really bad saying this, but because of swine flu we got THE mother of all travel deals. The resort had actually been closed for a month before we went after warnings came out advising people against traveling to Mexico. I guess the resort was so desperate to lure people back they were practically giving away week-long packages once it re-opened.
I’ve mustered the strength to decline those daily Groupon or Living Social vacation deals because:
A) we have been taking mini vacations an average of every other weekend since we got the RV, therefore we haven’t yet reached that need-a-vacation-now desperation that at times has gotten so bad we would have agreed to a week-long trip to Bentonville, Arkansas if the deal was enticing enough. (and with that, I’ve just given Wal-Mart an idea of how they, too, can enter the daily deal vacation market. Weekend stay at the Walton estate with a free tour of Wallie World’s headquarters, anyone?)
B) I’m not sure I can trust those deals. I mean, I’m guessing that as far as service goes, all inclusive is all inclusive. As far as I know there were no levels of inclusiveness at the resort we stayed at, it was what it was. And what it was, was fabulous! It was our first experience at an all-inclusive and I would do that again in a heart beat.
But I’m wondering if they have “special” rooms reserved for Groupon guests, like down in the basement next to the supply closets and laundry facilities where you listen to the pounding of the washing machine all night. When we went two years ago, we booked through American Airlines and our friends booked directly with the resort.
I’m hoping someone else I know will try it first and report back their experiences. If the reports are good, I may be even more tempted to give it a go sometime this winter when we are forced to stare out the window at the snow piling on our parked travel trailer. But, at that point, I will probably be desperate enough to get away I’d happily stay in the broom closet of an all-inclusive resort in the Riviera Maya!
So anyone have experience with the daily deal vacation packages? How was it? Where did you go? Would you do it again?
While I continue to resist the urge to push that Buy Now button, I shall share some Caribbean eye candy.