Well now that I’m a… ‘seasoned’ traveler… I can pass on my gems of holiday wisdom learned through trial and mainly error.
I can highly recommend business class.
Talk about letting somebody else do all the worrying – picked up from our doorstep and returned back to our doorstep with our hands held pretty much every step of the way …can’t be bad.
The ‘Emirates’ lounge – again a real quality set up – complimentary food and drinks, and none of your cheap booze this was the top shelf stuff proper single malt whisky and champagnes from the best suppliers.
So definitely worth the extra expense to experience how nice travel can be.
The first ‘error’ on our little break came with booking only half board in our first ten night Maldivian Island. Warning signs were noted that the Nespresso capsules that I had been guzzling down with gay abandon were actually an ‘extra’ at $5 dollars a pop.
Note a dollar equates to roughly a quid. So 5 quid for a coffee pod then.
Then you begin to notice that everything has a price tag on it, water, bread, nuts ….in fact …anything that you touched. Beer was 25 dollars for a pint. As a guide to see how pricey a place is I always use a champagne that Mrs Clough likes to have as a treat. UK prices range from £85 out in the countryside to £130 at posh hotels in central Manchester.
Maldives price £1290.00 – no you haven’t read that wrong – one THOUSAND TWO HUNDRED AND NINETY POUNDS…
So I was a little tense around the poolside bar and had to shout loudly at the wife – ‘step away from that drink menu…’
The second place we stayed at was all inclusive. Much, much more relaxing, again there are games being played with cheap wines being included and anything ‘fancy’ being an ‘extra’. But overall a better experience and one that left my wallet feeling much happier.
I think I did do the old ‘switch off thing’ – but there were moments which made me uncomfortable.
I do consider myself ‘environmentally aware’ so some of the activities based around watching whale sharks or following turtles left me a little cold. These creatures are endangered and finding it increasingly difficult to live in our modern world. Do we really think it helps to have thirty or so boats full of snorkel wearing tourists descend on them every time they appear?
What if Whale Sharks only have one moment a year to reproduce and this happens to be when all the snorkeling idiots arrive to take pictures. What if Mr Whale shark gets performance anxiety and simply can’t do what he needs to do in front of a crowd and this year’s crop of baby whale sharks just doesn’t get produced.
Manta rays and sand rays were to be seen nearly every day – we were told that the Hotel was built on their migration route. Errr why ?? If you knew it was their migratory route – why not build somewhere else?
When a turtle or a dolphin was spotted – again the crowds descended.
I’m just not comfy with this.
I know you’re all thinking – ‘well you’re part of the problem’ – and yes to a certain extent I agree – but couldn’t we have some way of viewing these creatures that was less invasive? Couldn’t we watch from a distance and just keep well away??
I’ve come away thinking holidays are good but at what cost…?
The world just keeps getting busier and busier and places like the Maldives will struggle to keep their identity whilst catering for the potential huge numbers of tourists that want to visit. The Maldivian people depend on tourism so will encourage development – but if development continues at its current pace, the Maldives won’t be able to sustain the coral and sea life that people want to see.
Big trouble ahead methinks.
Maybe I should just stick with North Wales.