When was the last time you took a vacation? If you can’t quite remember, you aren’t alone. If you said “Oh, I took last weekend off”, that doesn’t count. When was the last time you took a real vacation? If you’re like most American’s, it’s been a while. According to National Geographic, a mere 14% of Americans will take a vacation of two weeks or more.
This article stems from a reader’s question. The reader, Carrie, asked: “Are all-inclusive resorts a good idea for families or a waste of money, and what are some of the best family all-inclusive vacations?” Let’s talk about all-inclusive vacations here…so you can start planning your next vacation.
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What is attractive about all-inclusive family vacations is the simplicity they offer. When you’re going on vacation, trying to plan activities for each and every person each and every day can be a huge hassle, and honestly, make you feel like not going on vacation in the first place. All-inclusive vacations do a lot of that planning for you.
But, are they a waste of money? When trying to answer this question, ask yourself:
1.) What is my budget?
All-inclusive vacations, especially the best family all-inclusive vacations, can be pricey. That isn’t to say they aren’t a good value for your money – it just means that the total price tag may be out of reach if you don’t have a robust (in the thousands of dollars range) budget.
If you and your family can be happy just hanging out on the beach with a picnic lunch than shelling out for an all-inclusive vacation may not be the best use of your money.
2.) Where do I want to go?
While all-inclusive vacation packages are becoming more and more common, they aren’t everywhere. Meaning, depending on where you want to go, you may not be able to locate an all-inclusive package.
In addition, if you want to go some place exotic you’ll need to keep in mind that airfare is not typically included in the price.
3.) What do I want to do while on vacation?
If you and your family enjoy engaging in a lot of activities while on vacation than an all-inclusive vacation package may be just the thing.
All in all, all-inclusive vacations can be a good value for your money. They offer a lot of activities that are pre-planned, a variety of food options, and (usually) childcare so that you, the parent, can actually have a vacation. Another bonus is that you know what your vacation will cost. When you piecemeal, so to speak, plan a vacation there’s a pretty good chance that you’re going to forget something and end up paying more than you originally planned (ex. you forget to calculate in resort tax).
So, you’re interested in an all-inclusive vacation? Now it’s time to find the best family all-inclusive vacations.
What is the best family all-inclusive vacations? That really depends on what type of vacation you and your family want. Are you the beach type? The outdoorsy type? Figuring out what activities appeal to your family will be essential in picking the best family all-inclusive vacation for you and your family. Here are some of the best family all-inclusive vacations out there (according to Travel & Leisure and Fodors).
#1 Best Family All-Inclusive Vacation:
Coconut Bay Beach Resort & Spa
Location: St. Lucia
This 85-acre oceanfront resort has a lot to offer including slides, waterfalls, family karaoke, ziplining, and movie nights.
#2 Best Family All-Inclusive Vacation:
Location: Emerald Valley, Colorado
Located just 10 miles from Colorado Springs, this family all-inclusive vacation destination is spread over 16 acres and is surrounded by Pike National Forest. Activities to choose from include horseback riding, fishing, gourmet cookouts, golfing, and spa access.
#3 Best Family All-Inclusive Vacation:
Dreams Puerto Vallarta
This resort is located in a secluded cove with oceanfront views. Kids three to twelve can be enrolled in the Explore’s Club where they’ll enjoy treasure hunts, movies, overnight camping trips, and more. Parents get to indulge in meals at the adult only restaurant, kayaking, and massages.
#4 Best Family All-Inclusive Vacation:
Melia Caribe Tropical
Location: Dominican Republic
This large oceanfront resort offers three Flintstones themed kids’ clubs. The little ones can indulge in arts and crafts, games, rock climbing, and ziplining while mom and dad take a relaxing dip in one of the 10 pools, enjoy a game of golf, or unwind with a massage.
#5 Best Family All-Inclusive Vacation:
Rancho de los Caballeros
How would you like to vacation on a working dude ranch? Enjoy horseback rides with professional wranglers, scavenger hunts, and golfing.
#6 Best Family All-Inclusive Vacation:
Club Med Sandpiper Bay
Location: Port St. Lucie, Florida
With this all-inclusive vacation, kids will actually enjoy school. Yep, you read that right. The kids will love sailing school, circus school, and trapeze school not to mention sand volleyball and swimming. Plus there are separate activities for teens like a supervised “club” which is sure to get them to put down their cell phones for once.
#7 Best Family All-Inclusive Vacation:
Dunton Hot Springs
Location: Dolores, Colorado
When you see this place, you’ll never believe it was once-upon-a-time an abandoned gold-mining town. The all-inclusive package here includes a full-day hike or snow shoeing expedition, unlimited use of ice skates, mountain bikes, and cross country skis, and much more.