How to Take Full Advantage of an All-Inclusive Vacation
All-inclusive vacation with kids By Mimi Slawoff
On an all-inclusive vacation, you get more for your money if you participate in all the fun activities. (Flickr: M Cheng)
From resorts to cruises, an all-inclusive vacation can save you money if you take advantage of everything they offer. There are many benefits to all-inclusive vacations for families. You generally pay one flat fee for unlimited food, drinks, activities, entertainment, and children’s programs. Some places even include transportation to and from the airport. That’s a lot of bang for the buck!
Unless you actually indulge in all that goodness however, you may be paying more than you need to. If you’re the type to sit on a beach all day and nibble at mealtimes, an all-inclusive vacation may not make sense financially. But it’s a great option for families that love experiencing everything a resort has to offer.
Here are eight ways to take full advantage of an all-inclusive family vacation.
Book as a Group for Discounts
If you’re traveling with 12 or more people on your all-inclusive vacation, designate a lucky leader. Lucky because some resorts offer group leaders free or discounted travel. Now that’s a deal!
Choose a Resort that Fits your Family Style
Are you looking for sports, eco-friendly activities or mostly entertainment on your family-friendly all-inclusive vacation? Some resorts offer mega sports and activities ideal for outdoorsy families. Eco-friendly resorts offer tree planting and environmental education. Large resorts may offer shuttles to onsite restaurants and entertainment venues. Choosing the right resort for your family means everyone will join in more activities.
Compare Children’s Programs at the Resorts
The kids’ programs at most all-inclusive resorts are filled with age-appropriate activities. Check out the family-friendly schedule of activities and talk to your kids about which ones they want to join in. Be sure to sign up your kids in youth programs as soon as you get to the resort. Get the paperwork out of the way and let your kids meet their groups and start having fun right away.
Take Part in Activities
Join the fun and learn a new sport that would normally cost a bucket load. You’re wasting money if you just sit at the beach or pool, and don’t join in any included activities. Family-friendly fun may include sailing, water skiing, circus trampoline, mini golf, archery, and yoga.
Catch a Free Evening Show
Woo-hoo, free shows after dinner! No point in passing up an opportunity to watch live entertainment. Family-friendly music, dancing, and comedy shows are featured at many resorts.
Put a Pause on the Diet
From comfort food and yummy buffets to international cuisine, enjoy feasts on an all-inclusive vacation. Besides, you’ll work it off with all the fun activities. Check out the restaurants, try new food and find out where the snack bars are. And don’t skip dessert! If room service is included in your package, enjoy breakfast in bed or late night pizza.
Cheers to an All-Inclusive Vacation
Drinks – alcohol and non-alcohol – are often included in an all-inclusive vacation. In fact, many resorts in Mexico even include a free, in-room mini bar. Explore the resort’s beach bars and swim-up bars for tasty concoctions.
Make Friends with the Concierge & Hotel Staff
Find out what other family-friendly services and free stuff are included in your all-inclusive vacation. Cooking classes, introductory scuba, and dance lessons might be free for the taking. Also, attend first-day orientations if offered. They’re a good way to learn about all the included amenities so you don’t miss out on anything.
Mimi Slawoff of Planetfamilytravel contributed this to MiniTime. She is a Los Angeles-based journalist and a seasoned family travel expert who explores the world with her three children and writes about their journeys.