An All-Inclusive resort is a great option for young families for many reasons. Mainly you don’t have to carry your wallet around and pay for every drink, smoothie, coffee and meal you enjoy throughout your vacation. Not all resorts are equal, however, so be sure you review the website, reviews (Trip Advisor is a fantastic site for this), and talk to your travel agent or fellow travellers before you book to ensure your expectations are met.
We have experienced a few all-inclusive vacations with our kids over the years and here’s what I have learned:
Consider the Flight Times and Length Before Choosing a Destination
It’s fairly easy to find flights from most major Canadian cities to pretty much anywhere in the Caribbean and Mexico (where all-inclusive resorts are a popular offering) thanks to charter flights. You’ll want to consider connections, length of the flight and time of day. For example, do you really want to do a red-eye flight with your child? Ask your travel agent or use Expedia to search out different country’s flight times, connections and typical departure days/times from your departure city.
Stay Away from High-Rise Hotels
It’s easier to navigate a resort with a stroller if you don’t have to deal with elevators, plus who wants to stay in a ‘big-city-feel’ hotel? You would be heading to a big city for your vacation if you wanted that. Low rise (1-3 story) villa style resorts are much more comfortable over-all.
This is not what you’re looking for.
Ask for a Main Floor Room Prior To Arrival and [most importantly] At Check-in
If you’ve carefully selected your resort, there will be plenty of main floor rooms with patios and green space attached to your room. (see point above re: staying away from high-rise hotels) This means you can put the little one down for a nap and enjoy the sun outside your room in the mean time. Also – bedtime at 8pm does not have to mean you and your partner must also call it a night. Sit outside, take turns walking to the bar, and enjoy your gorgeous outdoor space while your tot gets a full night’s rest.
Grab Extra Snacks at the Morning Buffet
Your morning buffet is sure to have plenty of to-go offerings such as individual boxed cereals, bananas, croissants and pastries. Grab some to-go when you’re done your breakfast. This way you have morning snack (and possibly afternoon snack) ready on-hand when your child gets hungry throughout the day.
For nursing and bottle-fed babes…
Bring a kettle to boil the water for heating and mixing. Don’t share any snacks with baby if they’re not already on solids, no sense in risking sickness while on vacation.
Book with a Kids Pool
If you have toddlers or older children, be sure to look for a hotel that has a kids pool or waterslides.
Hand sanitizer and wipes
You’ll want to have hand sanitizer and wipes on hand at all times. Wipe down the airplane table, hotel room handles, phone and surfaces upon arrival and keep sanitizer with you for outings.
- Hand sanitzer
- Dish Soap (washing bottles/sippy cups)
- Sun Shade for Stroller and beach
- Lightweight blankets (and clothespins for attaching to things)
- Baby safe sunscreen
- Hat(s) with wide brim
- White-noise machine for room
- Baby food and/or snacks from home for new solid eaters
- Airplane activity bag for each child (check these out)
Do you have tips to share?