Managed to book a holiday? Fantastic! But are poolside activities, excursions and live entertainment still available at resorts? Check out my report below so you know what to expect when you get to your hotel.
Seems weird to still have ‘holiday days’ left to take from work when you’ve been at home for all this time, doesn’t it?
If you’ve been told to ‘use them or lose them’ and you don’t fancy staying stuck in the same place you’ve spent the last goodness knows how many months, there are still last-minute cheap holidays up for grabs for the end of the year.
It’s finally time for a change of scenery!
If you’re ready to throw caution to the wind ‘cause you’re hell bent on getting away this year (and I don’t blame you), here’s a few points on what to expect for activities, excursions and live entertainment at small and large resorts during the pandemic.
No surprise here – it’s not that entertaining watching the entertainers in masks! But it’s only when they have guests up on stage – that’s right! They’ll still get you up to participate! Don’t think you’re out of the water because of Covid! You won’t be touching or near another holiday maker on stage, but you won’t have to wear a mask when you’re up there either. Just the entertainers! Avoid anything where you’re all sharing a mic though. Shudders… It happened. It felt grim. The seating will more than likely be spaced out a little too, so you’re not too cosy with your neighbour.
In smaller resorts, they may cancel the entertainment completely and just have a DJ, which is a shame. In larger resorts though, they still had local dance acts, magicians and singers in to entertain you.
You can also still book taxis into the city centre where there may be some singers to enjoy.
Serious sunbathers… this next one won’t affect you. In fact, it might delight you! Poolside activities are very limited. (I hear a distant rejoice from the relaxers!) If your resort advertises group sports like beach volleyball, unfortunately they’ll likely be cancelled as it’s impossible to stay 2 metres apart from each other. Same with activities that use equipment like mini-golf or table tennis. But some resorts will allow you to play and I hope there’s a strict cleaning regime after! Yoga was on for one hour, just one day a week at a small resort, and it was impossible to book a spot! Although at a larger resort it was on daily along with aqua aerobics – which I loved! If activities are important to your stay, I’d give your hotel a call before you book to understand their schedule.
Also, at small resorts, don’t expect to get a sunbed before 6:30am! Small resorts have a tiny number of sunbeds and it’s extremely competitive. I’m writing this from one of the only 50 poolside sunbeds at a small resort, which we had to get up exceptionally early to nap. They’re luxuriously padded though and worth the alarm! There are still mesh sunbeds available on the pebbly beach about a hop, skip and a jump away from the pool but… they’re not half as comfy and too far away from the bar!
If the country’s not on lockdown, then excursions will still be running! Yay! I know sitting by a pool for 2 weeks with your suntan lotion in one hand and an ice-cold beverage in the other sounds incredible to some, but to me it sounds like a boring sweaty hell!
In most places abroad, tourism is still thriving, hoping to pump money back into their local economy. Thankfully, in the places I’ve travelled to during lockdown all excursions have been running, but be careful when booking if you’d rather not be around crowds. Big boat trips and catamarans are taking slightly less tourists but none I saw were wearing facemasks (the tourists not the boats, although the boats weren’t wearing them either!) or adhering to social distancing guidelines. Private boat trips are a safer option as there’ll only be yourselves and the captain, but you’ll obviously have to pay a premium for the luxury. These trips usually include lunch though, winner!
There may be limited days, or the organisers may choose to take less people on the trips, so I’d book early to avoid disappointment. I managed to get in quite a few; boat trips exploring nearby islands and coves, a water fight jeep safari to discover natural mud baths
and hot springs, a traditional Turkish Hammam bath, parasailing and even scuba diving! Masks are mandatory on coach trips, but not always on boat trips or water taxis. It’s entirely up to you if you want to wear one though to keep yourself and others safe.
If you’re an adrenaline junkie, like myself, and the thought of lying by the pool all day with no entertainment makes you sweat (mentally and physically), then you’re in luck too! You’ll be happy to know that water sports are still a go-go! Jet skis, parasailing, kayaks and paddle boards are immensely popular. They must be easy to clean!
I didn’t expect to be able to go skuba diving, but I did! It was my first time, which was nerve-wracking enough, but the instructors insisted all equipment was steralised. There was 3 of us diving and two instructors, so it wasn’t over crowded and we almost had 1-2-1 tuition!
Small resorts VS large resorts
I hope this has given you some insight on what activities, excursions and live entertainment might be like at your resort while you’re away.
At small resorts, there’s be significantly less people around you. The food will usually be made to order, which is brilliant, but there may be less poolside activities and hotel entertainment. I’d recommend a small resort for purely relaxing. Larger resorts will likely have more entertainment in the daytimes and evening, but you will be surrounded by a lot more holiday goers.
Don’t let this put you off! Most hotels are doing absolutely everything to keep you safe. As long as you’re following their rules and guidelines, you’ll still have an absolutely fabulous time away. Good luck and let me know how you get on in the comments below!
Download my Free Guide to Travelling During a Pandemic, for more tips and advice!