An all-inclusive resort seems like the perfect choice for a family vacation. Unlimited food, drink, and activities, as well as transport to and from the airport all, covered too.
That’s all great, but it doesn’t mean there aren’t drawbacks. As with anything, all-inclusive resorts have their downsides. This guide will take you through all the pros and cons of all-inclusive family vacations so that you can make an informed decision when planning your next vacation.
There are many different types of resorts available. There are the resorts with their own private beaches, others that lie adjacent to a public beach. There are some designed exclusively for couples and others that are 100% family orientated.
While there are pros and cons of all-inclusive resorts as a whole, this guide will focus on only family vacation options.
Pros: There are so many options available to you. Not only are there resorts designed for young families, but there are also resorts to suit every budget.
We would all love to stay at a luxury five-star establishment, but it’s simply not affordable for many families. There are some fantastic all-inclusive resorts in the Caribbean that cater to every budget without taking away any quality of service, for example.
Family-oriented all-inclusive resorts have a myriad of children’s activities on offer. From arts and crafts to dance sessions and from swimming lessons to karaoke competitions, there will always be plenty of fun stuff for your little ones to do while you get some well-earned rest and relaxation.
The staff at these resorts are all highly qualified and experienced, so your little darlings will be in good hands.
Cons: There are some downsides to choosing a resort rather than a hotel or a holiday rental property.
It is very easy to get ‘stuck’ at the resort. With so much on offer, you may find that you don’t leave the resort compound for the duration of your stay which is a real shame. Wherever you are, there will be so much to see and do.
You should make a conscious effort to get out and about during your stay. This will give your family the chance to experience a new culture together.
Food and Drink
Pros: You won’t go hungry, because it’s all-you-can-eat.
When it comes to traveling with children on a family vacation, it is so exciting for them to be able to eat what they want, when they want. There are menus designed especially for kids, too, so even picky eaters will be covered.
There are continental and western menu choices for adults and children alike, so if you don’t have an adventurous palette, you can still enjoy your food on vacation.
Cons: The food offered at many resorts is good, but not amazing, quality.
By paying for an all-inclusive deal you will likely feel obliged to get your money’s worth and as such have all your meals at the resort. Many n resorts lie on the outskirts of towns and very close to traditional restaurants and cafes that serve super tasty homemade local cuisine.
Again, make a conscious effort to stray away from the resort on one evening of your stay for you and your children to experience some real, authentic local food.
Tours and Activities
Pros: For children, from the moment they wake up until they go to sleep, there will always be something to do.
Likewise, for parents there are complimentary yoga sessions, tennis lessons, kayaking and more. You will be kept entertained all day and your children will have to opportunity to experience new activities they may have never known about.
Your holiday may even inspire them to pick up a new hobby.
Cons: With so much going on, sometimes it’s difficult to get a moment of peace and quiet.
The sessions are usually filled to the max, and the resort’s private beach will be used by all the hotel’s residents at the same time. With so much for the children to do, it may seem like you have to fight to get time together as a family.
Again, you may feel obliged to go on tours organized by the resort itself. Although they will be great fun, do your research to see if you can find a cheaper external tour provider. This is good too, to help spread your money around to different companies, especially the grassroots tour groups who need your support.
Pros and Conclusions
With so many options available to you and so much entertainment for children, it’s hard to not be enticed by an all-inclusive family vacation. Our advice is to make the best of both worlds and give yourselves time to explore the local world outside your resort.