A Backpacker in the Lap of Luxury

In many ways backpackers pride themselves on their ability to live horribly. We chose to eat food that might make us sick, we sleep on beds that might be home to bugs that bite, and we travel, well, any way possible to get to the next destination all in the name of saving money. However, when a backpacker is dropped into the lap of luxury, it does funny things to them.

luxury Jamaica

I suppose you can describe my trip to the resorts in Jamaica a couple months back like a kid who has lived under an overbearing thumb of parental control and then been given a free day in a candy and toy store. Normally restricted to self imposed tight budgets and bragging rights, the backpacker can hardly control him/herself from over-indulging and yelling things out to strangers staying at the resort like “you can have as much of this as you want!” and “I’ll see you at the bar, drinks are on me today!!!”

But there really is a bit of a love hate relationship between many backpackers and all-inclusive resorts isn’t it? Call it resent or call it pride but many backpackers would never set foot in a luxury resort, and if they did they would likely act as if they hated every minute of it. Personally, I believe it is what you make of it. You can have fun with a cardboard box if you cut a hole in the top, draw doors on it and act like your driving around.


However, why would anyone want to have to make their own fun in a cardboard box when the lap of luxury and fun is set in front of you in the form of the Caribbean. Truthfully, I would be very hard pressed to think of a place in the world I’d rather spend more time. The Caribbean really is one of the lost destinations to backpackers. It offers as much as nearly anywhere on the planet. While in Jamaica I went cliff jumping in Negril, I snorkeled with massive sting rays, I raced a dune buggy through the jungle and so much more. If you’re not looking for an adventure there is more than enough sun, rum and relaxation to leave you wondering how you’ll ever go back to backpacking.

So to my dearest backpackers, if you find your self in a luxury resort, put that bathrobe on, wrap a towel around the top of your head, wear your cheapest pair of flip flops, pour a glass of the included scotch and enjoy yourself. Instead of being bummed about staying in a potentially “boring” resort, bring the backpacker adventure to the hotel. Just because you’re in a five-star hotel doesn’t mean there aren’t people that want to play beer pong, swim with sharks and make some poor decisions.

This post has been sponsored by The Turquoise Holiday Company, so please contact them now for a handpicked selection of luxury escapes to the Caribbean and other luxurious and exotic locations around the world.

Author: Brendan van Son

Author: I am a travel writer and photographer from Alberta, Canada. Over my years as a travel photographer, I have visited 6 of the 7 continents and more countries than I have any desire to count. If you want to improve your skills, be sure to check out my travel photography channel on Youtube . Also, check out my profile on . to learn a little bit more about me and my work.

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    • @Steph – I am at one right now and I am both loving and hating it. haha. Is it wrong that I miss my dorm bed?

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  1. I totally agree. The few times I have been lucky enough to stay somewhere that actually has fluffy bathrobes, I have embraced it wholeheartedly. Every backpacker needs a little luxury in their lives from time to time.

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    • @Cherina – I think backpackers should hit the resorts from time to time so that they learn to appreciate both types of travel as well.

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  2. I like to say “Nothing says adventure like a neon wristband”, but the truth is all-inclusives are a heckuva lot of fun. But maybe that’s the free booze talkin’… 🙂

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    • @Ray – There is nothing greater than included booze. But the truth is in most countries I go to paying for alcohol is basically free anyways haha.

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  3. I think it all comes down to value, sometimes it’s just makes more sense to go AI, especially in more expensive travel destinations like Europe. I’m flashpacking round the world and sometimes I’ll stay in backpacker accommodation, other times in more upmarket travel resorts, it really just comes down to the destination and cost.

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