Planning All-Inclusive Family Vacations : 7 Tips and Tricks

Have you ever needed a vacation from planning your vacation? Sometimes the act of planning becomes a full-time job. Enter all-inclusive family vacations, where all the essentials — accommodations, food, drinks and more — are included with your stay. Designed for those who would rather be transported onto a beach than worry about the logistics of travel, all-inclusive vacations are a one-stop shop to make the process easy. Cruises for instance, are often great all-inclusive options for families and large groups as you need not worry about the essentials as well as the transportation from destination to destination.  
All-inclusive family vacations are the future
While all-inclusive vacations certainly alleviate the pre-departure headache, especially for families, there are still a few things you should know before booking. These are some essential tips to keep in mind when planning all-inclusive family vacations on a cruise.
There’s nothing more frustrating than trying to please everyone. Often times, a family vacation requires compromise and negotiation, and it still leaves some people unsatisfied. Sit down with your family and discuss what kind of vacation each member wants, and consider what all-inclusive has to offer. With all-inclusive family trips on a cruise ship, there’s something for everyone. All-inclusives usually offer spa treatments, cocktail hours, dancing and swim-up bars for adults, while also providing swimming pools, arcades, playscapes and even babysitting services to keep the kids entertained. All-inclusive experiences make it easy to get the family together under one roof while also providing enough freedom for individual exploration.
Planning a traditional vacation means spending hours looking at hotel options, local restaurants, nightclubs, entertainment and fun activities for kids nearby. It requires booking multiple venues and juggling logistics for those venues. Alternately, all-inclusives erase those complex logistics from the equation and give you a one-stop shop for all your vacation needs. With a host of convenient activities at your fingertips, make sure you take advantage of what an all-inclusive cruise has to offer. While it can be easy to simply lounge by the pool every day and sunbathe, you’d be missing out on spa treatments, golf and yoga classes. On a cruise, climbing walls, magic shows, ice rinks and a wide range of fun shore excursions are included as well.

The best thing about all-inclusive cruises is that you can visit many different destinations, but you only have to unpack once. Take advantage of all the onboard offerings that will excite the whole family, and enjoy the convenience of arriving in an exciting new destination each day. Family-friendly cruises pack so much fun into one vacation. Destinations like Labadee, Haiti, and Perfect Day at CocoCay in the Bahamas are like paradise for families.

While renowned for their convenience, all-inclusive resorts aren’t exactly known for cultural offerings. You’ll certainly experience a sprinkling of local culture at hotel resorts, but unless you venture outside the property, you won’t really feel immersed in your destination. That’s why the best all-inclusive for families might be a cruise. Cruises take you right to port cities, with a full day or more to explore on your own. This can not only whet your cultural appetite but also give the kids a much-needed change of scenery.

Cruises are a departure from the traditional all-inclusive resort experience, but one well worth taking. On a cruise, the kids can take advantage of the climbing wall, water slides, shuffleboard, mini golf or surf simulator while you enjoy a couple’s massage or a stand-up comedy show in the theater. In port, you’ll hit the beaches, water parks, local restaurants and more. Because there’s so much to do, you’ll need to plan ahead a little to make sure you have time for everything while still keeping your schedule open enough for spontaneity. Start by making sure you take advantage of the all-inclusive meal package, and then factor in the few specialty restaurants you want to try. Once you figure out how to plan an all-inclusive vacation, you can fill in the rest of your itinerary with whatever your family wants to do.
When you start researching how to book an all-inclusive vacation that satisfies your family’s needs, be sure your vacation package has what you’re looking for. A good all-inclusive trip should have the basics: unlimited food and drinks, accommodations and some entertainment options. Some packages might also include flights, airport transfers, and alcoholic beverages, while others may require you to pay for these things on your own. Activities like onsite workout classes might be included, while spa treatments might not be. Make sure the included offerings are consistent with your family’s dream vacation.
Trying to find the best all-inclusive for kids? Start by looking at the kids clubs available. Many cruises have programs and activities designed specifically to keep kids entertained while parents get a little alone time. Royal Caribbean’s award-winning Adventure Ocean club lets kids play, do arts and crafts and more. Programs for teenagers are also offered on many cruises, such as movie nights and teen-oriented dance nights.

Before booking, make sure an all-inclusive makes sense for your budget. If you’re a backpacker looking to travel through hostels on the cheap and eat ramen every day, an all-inclusive probably doesn’t make sense for you. However, if you’re looking for a comfortable family getaway that doesn’t break the bank, all-inclusive family vacations are a great option. You’ll likely be saving money on food, drinks, kids’ activities and entertainment, and since your cruise ship is your lodging and transportation, you’ll save on costs — and headaches — as well.

All-inclusive vacations may seem expensive at first, but when you break it down by category, it just makes sense. This can be a lifesaver compared with a traditional vacation, where small expenses are tougher to track and add up until you’ve accidentally gone way over budget.

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Source: Royal Caribbean Cruises