What to Expect from a Family-Friendly All-Inclusive Resort
By Karen Leiva
Think of your kids smiling day after day, basking in the sun, and enjoying fun activities only tropical destinations can offer – this is what a dream-come-true family vacation looks like.
Across the Caribbean and Mexico, all-inclusive resorts have mastered their offerings when it comes to family travel. Here’s why you should be planning your ultimate family vacation at an all-inclusive resort.
Photo: 2 small children in a resort pool
Something for Everyone
Family-friendly all-inclusive resorts go out of their way to cater to each member of the family, from babies to teens, parents and grandparents. From pools to spas, golf, beaches, and many water activities, there is something for everyone at an all-inclusive resort.
Family fun activities offered at many all-inclusive resorts include snorkeling, scuba diving, and endless days of laying by private pools and on sugar-sand beaches. There are also plenty of opportunities to get kids and parents playing together with activities like mommy-and-me spa days, mini-golf, beach volleyball, or bocce. Many resorts also offer options to try something new like cooking classes, dance lessons, archery, or laser tag.
When it comes to dining, family resorts offer the best of both worlds – many have a selection of restaurants and buffets with food made just for kids (think plain pasta and meatballs), while still giving parents more tasty selections. Most often you’ll find resort cafes with lattes and cookies for a mid-day kick.
With so many options for all ages, all-inclusive resorts are perfect for multi-generational vacations; it’s a great time to invite grandparents to join in the fun.
Wild Water Park Play
There are no shortages of water parks at all-inclusive resorts. For bigger kids, look for resorts with large water parks, daring slides, or even surf riding simulation pools. For example, Atlantis Paradise Island in The Bahamas has one of the largest water-themed attractions in the world featuring water slides, 11 swimming pools, a lazy river, and a kids’ water-play fort. If you’re traveling with little ones, most resorts have family pools – some even have toddler pools, too.
There are also ample opportunities to get off the resort and spend a day at an exciting water park. In St. Lucia, head to Splash Waterpark, the island’s largest water park with two waterslides and a lazy river. In the Dominican Republic, try Splash Water World with children’s pools and attractions just for them.
Photo: Small child in a pool with goggles
When you head to Mexico or the Caribbean, resorts catering to families offer one thing every family will love: kids’ clubs. These clubs, which cater to little ones all the way to teens, have schedules of activities to keep kids of all ages happy and having fun. They are also great for encouraging social interaction and can lead to new friendships on vacation and beyond.
For smaller kids, activities can include board games, arts and crafts, or scavenger hunts. Bigger kids will love trampoline experiences, video game rooms, and organized sports. Some even have nightly movies or campouts on the beach. While kids are having fun, parents get to take a well-deserved, guilt-free break.
Take a Family Break
There have been recent studies showing how giving children experiences, versus giving gifts, can help children feel more socially connected and closer to their parents, building a formidable foundation. At home, parents and kids can get into routines with parents spending a lot of time planning and organizing busy schedules. At all-inclusive resorts, there is no need to worry since there are many activities and shows to keep kids engaged and having fun all day – and into the night. Many resorts even have nannies available, so break the routine at home and let the resort do all the work to meet you and your family’s needs. Give your family a well-deserved break with a dream vacation for both the young and the young at heart.
Reprinted with permission from Ensemble Travel Group