Since being back home and settling into somewhat of a normal existence we have been busy planning our next long haul. When we speak of our plans to travel from Eastern Europe and into the Middle East the majority roll their eyes and with a puzzled expression say ” That sounds great, but I have no interest in that area of the world”.
I am brave enough to generalize and say the majority of Canadian tourists fall into two categories; the Western Europe traveler and the all inclusive beach destination traveler.While I may be slightly prejudiced towards the all inclusive experience I understand that it may be just what some people are looking for. On the other hand I have met many people who seem to envy the freedom an independent trip can offer and for those people I have written my recommendations based on ease of travel and the rewards which come with venturing away from the typical all inclusive resort.
3. East Coast, Australia
Difficulty – Extremely Easy
While the flight may be a deterrent for many of my country men, what awaits on the far side of the pacific is a friendly nation with some of the cleanest and pristine beaches on the planet. For those who fear living without their creature comforts of home, East Coast Australia is a great destination as everything from restaurants to hotels are exactly what one would expect in a developed nation and for those who speak fluent English communicating with locals is not an issue. Australia is surprisingly easy to travel with efficient public transport options or even better, amazing roads which make a self drive the optimal choice for beach hopping. There are next to no cultural obstacles to overcome with Aussies being extremely hospitable although for those looking for a budget trip, Australia is just about on par with Canada in terms of costs. Our recommendations include Byron Bay and Fraser Island although depending on the season can be overcrowded with Australian domestic tourists seeking a little sand and sun of their own.
Difficulty – Easy
Ever close your eyes and imagine sand so white it looks like its been bleached, surrounded by the calmest, warmest, turquoise water imaginable? If that sounds too good to be true its not. Boracay is like something out of a dream and is certainly a place both Lianna and I still continually fantasize about on a cold day. Sure its getting a little over developed but for someone used to an all inclusive resort the ridiculous selection of international food will certainly keep them in their comfort zone.
With shockingly friendly locals and a host of activities from SCUBA diving, sailing, kite surfing or just kicking back on the beach no one could ever describe the place as boring.
The beach itself is MASSIVE and accommodation choices range from top end to bungalows set back a bit from the beach for less than 15USD a night. A short flight from Manilla and a quick ferry make getting to the island not as simple as an airport pickup from an all inclusive but still very hassel free if a little time consuming.
Difficulty – Moderate ( need a little sense of adventure)
For anyone who may have wondered what the Caribean might have looked like had the massive resort companies like Sandals and Club Mead had just stayed away. Big Corn and Little Corn lie just off the coast of Nicaragua and may require just a little effort to reach but the rewards are so breath taking it may just be the most inspiring place you ever reach in your life. Big Corn has more development but still retains that laid back island vibe but the jewel is really Little Corn. A small village of tin houses is located in one corner of the island while a handful of cheap accommodation options and restaurants serving up plates of rice,beans, plantations and fresh lobster are located near the jetty.
The rest of the the island is a tangled network of foot trails leading to a few truly isolated beach side bungalows inlcuding Derek’s Place, a seriously chilled out place with family style meals and bungalows made of coconut palms. The island feels completely untouched and the days or even weeks can pass with wandering to a new beach each day or undertaking something a little more active such as inshore fishing and some really great SCUBA diving.
Of course if gorging yourself on cheap lobster, fresh fish, cheap rum or spending your days self driving from breath taking beach to breakt taking beach doesn’t sound like that something that may interest you, by all means book that resort and head off on another all inclusive holiday but for those looking for something with a little more independence, try it, I’m sure you won’t regret it.