It’s happened to all of us: You get back from summer vacation, you’re enjoying the afterglow, and then—whammo—you open your credit-card statement and realize you spent more than you budgeted. Maybe a lot more. There’s a popular fix for such post-trip regret: All-inclusive resorts.
Some people turn up their noses at all-inclusives, assuming the worst: just passable accommodations, bad buffets, watered-down drinks, a party scene, and people who don’t mind all of the above. But hold on. That’s only if you choose the wrong all-inclusive. The right one can be a budget-friendly vacation solution—one especially suited to families with kids. Here’s why:
- You know in advance what your vacation is going to cost.
You don’t have to reach for your wallet ten times a day, feel fleeced every time you go to the hotel’s restaurant or snack bar, or lie on the beach haunted by thoughts of your mounting hotel bill. And that means you can get closer to that elusive state of mind known as relaxation.
- You’re more likely to try new things.
If you’re at a resort where windsurfing or stand-up paddle boarding costs an extra $50, you might not spring for it. An all-inclusive removes that obstacle. And trying activities you’ve never done before makes a vacation more fun and memorable. Choose an all-inclusive where the price includes activities you want to do that would be expensive elsewhere. Scuba diving, for instance: If you dive every day, your vacation will probably cost a lot less than if you had chosen a dive resort.
- You avoid disagreements over which activities to choose.
A slew of activities are at your fingertips at the resort, so family or group members can go their own way and do whatever activities they want when they want. In other words, your group can have both togetherness and freedom. If you’re with your family, you can get “me time” without being selfish.
- You get a free, supervised kids’ club.
If you’re a parent, you’re far more likely to use a kids’ club if it’s complimentary than if there’s a daily or hourly fee. And making use of a kids’ club means you get time to yourself and a few date nights with your spouse. Which means your vacation is actually a vacation.
- There are no arguments over food.
You needn’t worry about your kids not liking the food because there are always plenty of food choices, usually in the form of buffets or family-style meals. If your kids taste one dish and don’t like it, they can get something different without your food expenses spiraling out of control.
Of course, it’s critical to choose the right all-inclusive for your particular needs. The TripAdvisor community has chosen its favorite all-inclusives worldwide, and our friends at Family Vacation Critic have sussed out the best all-inclusives for families in the United States, the Caribbean, and Mexico.
You’ll find more vacation solutions from Wendy at WendyPerrin.com.