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Planning an All-Inclusive Family Vacation: Your Essential Guide

by Bethany Braun-Silva


Planning an All-Inclusive Family Vacation: Your Essential Guide
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Planning a family vacation can be an overwhelming process. From picking the location to staying within budget, when all is said in done you’ll likely need, well, a vacation. That’s why simplifying the process by booking an all-inclusive resort is a great option for families. Once you’ve decided on the resort, all you have to do is show up, sit back, relax and enjoy, or run around and try a ton of different activities — up to you, it’s your vacation. All-inclusive resorts are true to their name in that they include everything from your accommodations to food and restaurants to activities and watersports, which are all included in the price you paid when booking.

 

 

 

What to Consider When Planning an All-Inclusive Vacation for Families

 

 

  • Budget: The cost of a family vacation alone can determine where you go and how long you stay. All-Inclusive resorts are great because you know up front how much money you will be spending on each person, and that should not change much throughout your trip. Pick a budget you are comfortable with and then plan for some additional costs, such as snacks at the airport or sunscreen that you might purchase at the hotel.  

 

  • Location: While most all-inclusives generally mean sand and sun, you might want to consider other things, like if excursions are offered, or which beach, in particular, you and your family are most interested in visiting.

 

  • Amenities: All-Inclusive resorts are jam-packed with amenities. Some offer 24-hour butlers, unlimited room service, watersports, free WiFi, and a slew of activities for kids and adults both day and night. If you’re looking for something specific such as nightly entertainment or free Jet Skis, be sure to research that in advance.

 

  • Kids Clubs: Often family vacations can leave Mom and Dad more stressed than before they left. Between wrangling kids in a foreign location and dealing with a possible time change, vacations can be more overwhelming than relaxing for parents. But, with on-site Kids Clubs and free babysitting, parents can have a (much needed) opportunity to relax and unwind away from their children.

 

Booking an All Inclusive with Airfare

 

 

 

 

 

Ready to book your trip? Here are some of our top all-inclusive family vacation ideas to get you started.

Best All Inclusive Resorts in the United States for Families

1 of 14 Image Credits: Club Med

Best Affordable All Inclusive Family Resort

Club Med Sandpiper Bay

Just two hours north of Miami lies Club Med Sandpiper Bay in Port St. Lucie. It is the only all-inclusive chain resort in the United States and has tons of amenities for both kids and families. Sports lovers will enjoy the Club Med Academies, where you can learn volleyball, tennis or golf from pro coaches. Children as young as 4 months old can take part in the world-renowned kids clubs, which run like a day camp right on the hotel property, so MoM and Dad can see their kids traveling with their counselors from activity to activity throughout the day. Children learn sports, circus arts, archery and some water sports, while parents can relax by one of the three pools. Rates start at $112 per night and children younger than 4 stay for free. Club Med often has promotions and deals, so be on the lookout for those, too.

What Reviewers Are Saying:
“Great resort. Loved the all the sports, trapeze, events and shows! Great variety of activities to do. The kids club is great, kids loved going. We went in January which was off season, so you felt like the resort was all yours.”

2 of 14 Image Credits: Travaasa Hana, Maui

Best Last-Minute All Inclusive Family Resort

Travaasa Hana, Maui

If you’re eager to get away from the hustle and bustle of your everyday life and disconnect for awhile ,the Travaasa Hana in Maui is the perfect escape. The resort offers Total Travaasa, which is its all-inclusive package and comes with accommodations, chef-prepared meals daily, gratuities, and full schedule of activities and events. Also, with the all-inclusive package. Guests receive a $175 resort credit per person, to be used toward the spa or private classes. Families will love the wood cottages and trips to the nearby black-sand beaches. Rates start at $725 per person.

What Reviewers Are Saying:
“My family and I were long overdue for our Travaasa fix. The grounds are very well maintained, housekeeping provides excellent service, bell desk is very sociable and professional and the food at both Hana Ranch Restaurant and the Preserve were excellent.”

3 of 14 Image Credits: Mohonk Mountain Resort

Best All Inclusive Family Resort with the Most Amenities

Mohonk Mountain Resort

A historic all-inclusive castle resort situated in the heart of the Hudson Valley, the Mohonk Mountain Resort offers family-friendly activities such as hiking, rock climbing, paddle-boarding, swimming in the summer and ice-skating, snowshoeing and cross-country skiing in the winter. Children will love the Kids Club, which is complimentary for overnight guests. Kids are separated into groups based on age and interest and enjoy a variety of activities, from boat rides and nature explorations in the spring to snow painting and ice skating in the winter. Rates start at $765 for two adults.

What Reviewers Are Saying:
“My parents, children (3.5 and 5.5), brother, husband and I stayed at the Mohonk Mountain House between Christmas and New Year's Day in the spectacularly beautiful Grove Lodge. We had the most magical, lovely, relaxing escape. While we were there, the club offered ALL DAY, EVERY DAY programming (at no extra cost) for the kids including ice skating, a naturalist who came in to show the kids birds, art programming and more. My kindergartener cried when we left after three days, asking if there was a ‘kids club’ near our house.”

Best All Inclusive Resorts in the Caribbean for Families

4 of 14 Image Credits: Club Med Punta Cana

Best All Inclusive Caribbean Family Resort

Club Med Punta Cana

This resort recently underwent a multi-million-dollar renovation and it shows. Club Med Punta Cana offers spacious waterfront family suites as well as a ton of kids programming that includes a circus school by none other than Cirque du Soleil. There’s also babysitting and tons of options or kid-friendly meals and snacks. Kids can enjoy the kids club each day or spend the day as a family on the picturesque beach. Each night, the staff puts on a live show, which is a great way to end a fun-filled day. Rates start at $147 per adult.

What Reviewers Are Saying:
“We had 2 really great weeks at Club Med Punta Cana. The resort is beautiful! Rooms are good, food fantastic, beach is great, pool is big and beautiful. Our kids went to the mini club. 2 oldest (8,9) really enjoyed it. They did circus, archery, soccer and played games.”

5 of 14 Image Credits: Beaches Turks & Caicos

Best Last Minute All-Inclusive Family Resort

Beaches Turks & Caicos

Kids of all ages will have a blast at Beaches Turks & Caicos. With Sesame Street characters on hand for the little ones and an Xbox playlounge for tweens and teens, your whole family is covered. Kids will also love the Pirates Island Water Park and Kids Camp with fun activities scheduled all day. Parents will love the option to dine at 21 different locations and the 15 different bars scattered throughout the resort. Round trip airport transfers are also included, sign us up! Rates start at $355 per person.

What Reviewers Are Saying:
“e absolutely loved staying there! Our 3yo enjoyed the children club, Sesame Street's characters and their shows. The beach is gorgeous, white sand and crystal clear water. Lots of restaurants and good food to choose from.”

6 of 14 Image Credits: Nickelodeon Hotels & Resorts Punta Cana

Best All Inclusive Family Resort with the Most Amenities

Nickelodeon Hotels & Resorts Punta Cana

If you’re in a rush to get away, head to Nickelodeon Hotels & Resorts Punta Cana and have no fear if you left something important behind. The resort’s Got You Covered amenities include complimentary baby food, strollers, cribs, baby bottle warmers, monitors and more for infants and toddlers (we totally wish we had this in our homes, by the way). Kids will love the character dining experience, where they can meet SpongeBob, Dora or the PAW Patrol, or swim in the Aqua Nick water park, complete with a Mass Sliming event. If you want to cool off indoors, kids can head to Just Kidding, a state-of-the-art indoor playspace that has everything from a slide to a ball pit to an arts and crafts studio. This place is seriously a kid’s dream come true. Rates start at $464 per person.

What Reviewers Are Saying:
“It was a great time, the whole family loved it. Resort, staff, food was perfect. Rooms were a great size, balconies were a great hangout spot for the kids. The resort staff really went above to include the kids. Just awesome.”

Best All Inclusive Resorts in the Bahamas for Families

7 of 14 Image Credits: Melia Nassau Beach

Best Affordable All Inclusive Family Resort

Meliá Nassau Beach

At Meliá Nassau Beach, families can relax on the beautiful private beach that stretches over three miles. Guests can try their hand at snorkeling or taking to the ocean via one of the watercrafts provided by the hotel. Families also have seven restaurants to choose from as well as unlimited beverages. The hotel also has a kids club, so everyone in the family is sure to have a blast. Rates start at $393 per person.

What Reviewers Are Saying:
“We came for a family trip, 5 of us, and were not disappointed! We were greeted with champagne and were able to quickly check in with assistance. We got three rooms and they were all next to each other.”

8 of 14 Image Credits: Viva Wyndham Fortuna Beach

Best All Inclusive Family Resort with the Most Amenities

Viva Wyndham Fortuna Beach

There is so much included with your stay at Viva Wyndham Fortuna Beach. From non-motorized water sports to tennis to archery to Caribbean dance classes, families will never be bored (unless they want to be) at this amazing resort. Viva Kids' Club, provides supervised activities for kids ages 4-12. There is also a playground and children’s pool, as well as a mini disco. Parents can also take advantage of the in-room babysitting or laundry service for an additional fee. Rates start at $192 per person.

What Reviewers Are Saying:
“We took our 3 daughters, an adult, teen and middle school, on vacation for our Christmas. We had a blast! The amenities were as described. However, we were pleasantly surprised by the activities, games and daily shows. The crew in charge of the activities were great.”

Best All Inclusive Resorts in Mexico for Families

9 of 14 Image Credits: Club Med Yucatan

Best Affordable All Inclusive Family Resort

Club Med Cancun Yucatan

Club Med is one of the best when it comes to catering to families and kids. Family suites can sleep up to six and cribs are also provided. The Aguamarina is a great place where kids can enjoy the water and play in a place especially designed for them. Of course, like all Club Med properties, Club Med Yucatan has clubs for kids of all ages, where they can play and learn all day. Parents will love the authentic Mayan touches and delicious food. Rates start at $132 per person.

What Reviewers Are Saying:
“My husband and I and our two children (5 & 7) recently stayed for 9 nights at Club Med Cancun. We had a truly wonderful and relaxing holiday. We stayed in the Agua Marina complex which is quite new and super comfortable with two bedroom family suites.”

10 of 14 Image Credits: Generations Riviera Maya

Best Last-Minute All Inclusive Family Resort

Generations Riviera Maya

This hotel really stays true to its name in that it is a perfect place for the whole family. Infants, parents and grandparents will find something they enjoy at Generations Riviera Maya. Each hotel room is provided with 24-hour butler service, and the hotel provides everything a family would need when traveling with an infant. From baby food to changing tables, even baby monitors and bottle warmers can be placed in your hotel room for a stress-free trip with your little one. Kids ages 4-12 will love the Eko Kids Club, where they can play all day or even take a Little Chefs class with one of the resort’s very own chefs. Because this is really a family resort, even in peak season, families will find rooms available as many Spring Breakers will choose an adults-only hotel near Cancun. Rates start at $298.

What Reviewers Are Saying:
“We just returned from an excellent 10 day vacation to Generations Riviera Maya. We traveled as a family 4, husband and wife (early 30s) Grandmother (60) and our 6 month old baby. The kids activites and kids room looks super fun. Our babe was too small to enjoy it but the kids participating appeared to be having a blast”

11 of 14 Image Credits: Azul Beach Resorts Riviera Maya

Best All Inclusive Family Resort with the Most Amenities

Azul Beach Resorts Riviera Maya

This hotel takes the term “family friendly” to the next level. Karisma Hotels & Resorts is the same company that brought us Nickelodeon Hotels & Resorts in Punta Cana, so it makes sense that its sister property, Azul Beach Resorts Riviera Maya also has a Nickelodeon Experience for kids. There are character meet-and-greets as well as a toy library where kids can check out a number of different fun toys (great for keeping them busy in the room). In addition, there’s also the Azulitos Playhouse, which provides supervised activities for kids, including My Gym programs, a kids-only pool and mommy-and-me classes for children younger than 4. And while this property is extremely kid friendly, adults don’t have to sacrifice their needs at all. It’s considered a “Gourmet Inclusive,” so all the dining experiences are top notch. Rates start at $427 per night.

What Reviewers Are Saying:
“We loved our stay at the Azul Beach Riviera Maya resort. The staff was amazing. They went above and beyond to cater to the needs of our family. Everyone was so friendly.The hotel room was great and always kept super clean. They had all the amenities we required for our 5-month old baby, which was super helpful.”

Best All Inclusive Resorts in Europe for Families

12 of 14 Image Credits: Pine Cliffs Resort

Best Affordable All Inclusive Family Resort

Pine Cliffs Resort, Albufeira, Algarve, Portugal

There’s truly something for everyone at the Pine Cliffs Resort. Older kids ages 8-13 can take part in the Junior Club, while kids ages 6 months-8 years, will enjoy the Porto Pirata Kids Club, with a lifelike pirate ship and large children’s village that includes a bouncy castle, basketball court, scooters, bikes and a pool. Daily activities are also provided, and kids can take arts and crafts classes, go on treasure hunts, or learn a variety of different sports. Families can also enjoy an 18-hole mini-golf course and dine in one of the four restaurants on site. Rates start at $154.

What Reviewers Are Saying:
“We've been there 2 times with the family. It's a huge and nice territory on the cliffs under the ocean shore. It’s very green and sunk in the pine trees. The rooms or villas are super and typically Portuguese style which is great! So you are "wrapped up" by the amazing nature, healthy climate, kind and sophisticated Portuguese culture! Comfortable for families with children.”

13 of 14 Image Credits: Ikos Oceania

Best Last Minute All-Inclusive Family Resort

Ikos Oceania, Greece

If you’re looking for breathtaking views, a trip to Ikos Oceania will provide just that. The hotel is situated right on the Mediterranean Ocean and families can take part in a number of different land and watersports provided by the hotel. There are also several kids clubs for children of different ages, as well as the football academy for toddlers through teens. Plus, this hotel is so family friendly that the first child up to the age of 12 stays free. Rates start at $210.

What Reviewers Are Saying:
“We arrived with our 8 month old baby to be greeted by so many friendly staff. We had a baby cot in which he slept very well. They also provided us a sterilizer, bottle warmer & microwave which we requested. All the restaurants were amazing I especially loved the Greek and the dessert in the Italian.”

14 of 14 Image Credits: Insotel Tarida Beach Sensatori Resort

Best All Inclusive Family Resort with the Most Amenities

Insotel Tarida Beach Sensatori Resort, Spain

With a kids’ buffet, kids’ club and various kids activities, this is the perfect place for families who want to visit Spain. The Insotel Tarida also allows up to two children to stay free with a paying adult! There is on-site babysitting and a kids club. Cribs are provided and there are a number of different suites to accommodate any size family. Rates start at $169.

What Reviewers Are Saying:
“is definitely catered for families and has an onsite nursery and playroom you can book into. We put our little girl into nursery for a few days and she loved it.”