Posted by: MummyTravels | May 24, 2012

Too scared to explore?

Imagine the scenario – you pick your perfect holiday, look forward to getting away, arrive in an exciting new country… and then never actually leave your hotel complex because you’re too nervous to step outside. How depressing.

I’ve landed in unfamiliar cities and had moments of feeling overwhelmed – I don’t know where anything is, I’m tired, I feel vulnerable. But after a good night’s sleep, or a bit of time with a map, I always venture out, and I never regret it.

But more than one in 10 people actually said they would fear for their safety if they left their resort, in a new study from Eurocamp. Where are these people travelling to? Afghanistan? Around a fifth never leave the hotel’s grounds at all, a timid third rarely venture out, and 22% confessed they just didn’t have the confidence to explore.

Another third were prepared to travel, but only up to 10 miles away. Fine if your hotel’s a two minute walk from all the sights, but unless it’s a city break, I’m willing to bet you’re missing out. Four in 10 British tourists agreed, admitting they never got a true feel for the destination as they didn’t get off the beaten track, and 18% said they felt bad when they got back home without any more idea of the country’s culture and traditions.

And families were most likely to hang around the pool for the whole break. It hardly seems the right way to introduce kids to travel – I’m not arguing against some time chilling out, and hitting the pool, but surely one reason to go abroad with children is to show them some more of the world.

Teaching them that anything apart from a sanitised Western-style experience is unpleasant or actively dangerous, is just heart-breaking.

Image: allspice1/Flickr



  1. Thought-provoking post. Growing up, we never went on all-inclusive holidays (mainly because we were too poor). But I agree that there is something quite depressing about the all-inclusive where you spend the entire time within the compound. You miss the great sites, the regular people and of course the local food, which is undoubtedly one of the main reasons to travel.

    I get why people are scared. I often feel very self-conscious and, well, like an idiot. In the foreign language you have a baby’s vocabulary (if they can understand your pronunciation), there are some folks who might try to squeeze as much money from you as possible and you could end up ordering something you can’t eat. (A friend recently told me about a trip she took during which she unwittingly ate pig’s colon. It’s the texture that repelled, she said, not the taste. And a bit of the taste too.)

    But when you do venture out and make your own way, you can make the most amazing discoveries.

    • Thanks – and I can definitely understand people using all-inclusives to budget, or wanting a few days chilling out in the sun doing nothing. But it does seem such a waste of travel to huddle inside a compound, worried about what might happen – especially when the chances are the worst will be overpaying for a souvenir, and the best is a whole world of new experiences. Got to admit, I wouldn’t fancy eating pig’s colon! But makes a good story…

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