This summer we went on our second all-inclusive trip with our kids. We have been fortunate to have two destination family weddings in as many years and I have loved having a week away with family. However, there are ups and downs when travelling to an all-inclusive resort with kids.
Upgrading our room was our best decision, and depending on financial ability, I would say this would be our number one recommendation. With a suite, the kids could go to bed in one room while we stayed up in the other. We were able to sit out on the balcony and have other people over. This also gave my husband and I a separate room from the kids which really helps everyone sleep better.
Another piece of advice is change your idea of what “all-inclusive” means to you. The days of lounging in the pool with frequent visits to the swim-up bar are long gone. The only time I had a drink was when someone else happened to get me one. When I was writing my trip advisor review my husband mentioned that if we had been drinking we would have been disappointed with the bartender service. Funny how with kids that becomes our lowest priority.
Going away with friends and family also means having lots of opportunities to go out at night with everyone. But obviously this took some maneuvering. I had a girls’ night out while my husband stayed back in the room with the kids and my dad. He also had a night out while I stayed in (and got some much needed sleep!) As it was our anniversary while we were there, my parents watched the kids one night so we could go off resort to Flying Fish for a fantastic dinner. My mom even stayed with the kids for the second half of the wedding night so that my husband and I were able to go out together. If we had been on our own with the kids, we would not have had nearly as many nights out.
Being flexible with the kids schedule was really important too. Restaurants don’t open for dinner until 6pm; my kids normally go to bed at 7pm. So we did afternoon naps/quiet time later in the day, timing as soon as they got up with baths and going out for dinner.
Also, we really used technology. The only way my daughter stayed up past 8:00 the night of the wedding was bringing the iPads to the beach. The fact that the resort had wi-fi was a huge bonus. The kids were able to watch movies on Netflix which extended the night. We even brought tablets to dinner, which we would never normally do. But it helped the kids stay seated and really made it that much more enjoyable for my husband and I.
Implementing consequences when you’re away are difficult. We obviously let a lot more slide. Luckily there was a kids’ area with water slides that we used as incentive throughout the day. If the kids were good, then the last 1/2 hour of the day could be spent on the water slides.
Again, we were so fortunate to have another week away with our extended family. But I can say that we’re both looking forward to no more All-Inclusive trips with the kids for a very very long time.
How do you vacation with kids?