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Why All Inclusive Cyprus Holidays are Bad News


All-Inclusive holidays rob you of genuine expereinces

All-Inclusive holidays rob you of genuine experiences

We have all felt the temptation of booking that all-inclusive week in the sun. It is just so easy to pass the controls of your holiday over to someone else, to just hit a single “pay once” button and be done with it. Cyprus is full of hotels that have adopted for this marketing strategy, but how does this affect your overall experience? Will the all-inclusive way of traveling satisfy your lust for scuba diving and other adventures?


Planning a holiday is not always an easy task. The all-inclusive holiday takes care of all the complicated coordination of transport, accommodation and food while limiting the risk of overspending while you are away. They often have activities for the kids too, meaning you can have some personal time with a cocktail in one hand and a good book in the other.


This is ideal for those with young children. Perfect for those with a life and wife completely devoid of a sense of adventure. If all you want is a sunbed with all the conveniences of home then all-inclusive is perfect for you. I may sound like I am against the all-inclusive package holiday in Cyprus, and that is because I am. Strongly against them.


Let me tell you why.


“80% of all inclusive guests never leave their hotel grounds for the entire length of their stay.”


Isn’t that a depressing statistic? Why did you want to go abroad anyhow? Don’t you want to explore? Don’t you want to discover? Don’t you want to get outside of your comfort zone and truly live in the “now”? Cyprus is a country that is oozing with history, culture and tradition. It has crystal clear waters and bath like temperatures, with some of the best diving in the Mediterranean. It has the perfect conditions to learn how to scuba dive, to take the plunge and become a certified Open Water Diver.


Alcatraz is rather pretty at this time of year....

Is Your All-Inclusive Holiday an Island Escape or a Pretty Prison?

I find it strange that so many people choose to fly for hours to a foreign land only to lock themselves away into a rather pretty prison camp that pacifies them with free alcohol and an unlimited buffet. I always thought a holiday is there to get yourself out of the normal hum drum of work life; to get involved in something so out of the ordinary that you have no choice but to forget how much “Tom” annoys you when he takes your parking spot, or how no one seems able to change the ink in the communal printer at the office.


All inclusive holidays change you. They change how you think. The appeal of “getting your money’s worth” overtakes your inquisitive drive to explore your new surroundings. You get trapped in a bubble that is void of anything real. Cyprus cuisine is beautiful, and your sterile buffet layout can imitate it, but it is a far cry from the genuine article. Your hard earned money does little to benefit the local population either. Most, if not all, goes straight out of the local economy and into the pockets of the faceless transnational cooperation who cares nothing for the country that they are exploiting.



Scuba Diving is Total Immersion Tourism

Scuba Diving is Total Immersion Tourism

Scuba diving in Cyprus is total immersion tourism. When you learn how to dive you leave everything behind. You give yourself a rest from all the mental strain that has built up inside you. You are completely involved in what you are doing, completely involved in what you are learning, and completely involved in everything that you are experiencing. Doesn’t that sound like everything a holiday should be? Scuba Monkey is just a phone call away. Let me show you what Cyprus really is. I will not only take you diving, but I will also give you restaurant homework assignments to ensure you are getting the best of what this little island has to offer. All you have to do is escape. You have to escape if you want to explore.


The scuba diving industry as a whole suffers at the hands of the all-inclusive package holiday, just as the local population suffers. Diving in Cyprus is so wonderful, but how can we show you this if you don’t care enough to find out? I go to hotels with the intention of popping this bubble. I give free scuba diving trials to anyone who cares to try, in the convenience of their own swimming pools. Even though it is a free offer, I find it increasingly difficult to get most people off the sunbeds. They are content to lie there, religiously basting themselves with sun tan oil until their skin resembles a badly roasted turkey on Boxing Day. Those who do venture off their sunbed put the regulator in their mouths and breathe for the very first time under the water. I love to watch their eyes behind the mask, nervous and wide at first, but quickly filling with amazement and wonder. The simple joy of being able to go below the surface of even a swimming pool, unrestricted by gravity or one directional movement is usually a life changing event. Most who try in the pool cannot wait to get to the ocean. For those who cannot spare 3 days for the full open water course can sign up for the half day Discover Scuba Diving program, and they do – again and again. Scuba diving is not as extreme as Hollywood leads you to believe. It is an incredibly safe sport when you do it properly and families who try together usually bond on a level that is new to them. I especially like watching an awkward teenager become as excited as a toddler when they emerge from their first scuba session and can’t wait to ask their dad if they saw “that huge octopus too”?


Family holidays are surely about family bonding more than anything else aren’t they? Sure, your tour operator has some all-inclusive adventure trips around Cyprus available, but these are sterile and again, not all that genuine.  When you come out of your all-inclusive bubble you become more than a number. More than a dollar sign.  When you go off the programmed tour your whole family is a component to your discovery. Scheduled tours from your hotel are the same week after week and you are herded around like cattle. It’s not a nice feeling is it? – Being spoon fed a tired speech over the microphone of an air-conditioned coach, segregated from this beautiful island behind a pane of glass. No – you want to get out. You need to escape. You need to go scuba diving!


So do it. Dare to be in the 20% who leave the grounds and escape the battery farm conditions of the all-inclusive environment. It is time for you to be a free-range traveler now!


It is time for you to become a Scuba Monkey!

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