All-inclusive resort vacations make for a great family vacation! A few weeks back we enjoyed a fantastic family vacation to the Windjammer Landing in St Lucia and last year we took a trip to the beautiful Barcelo Maya Palace in Riviera Maya. I know a lot of people are quite apprehensive about the idea of taking kids to an all-inclusive but, don’t be! As long as you pick a family friendly resort there are endless things to do and everyone will have a total blast!
Here are a few tips to help make your trip amazing!
Research your all-inclusive resort
Do your research and pick a resort that doesn’t just say they’re family friendly but shows it! Make sure to look for a spot that has lots of kid friendly pools, activities & dining. You want to make sure your kids will have fun and that other guests won’t be surprised to see your little one there enjoying themselves.
Make the flight part of the fun
Plane rides shouldn’t be painful, they should be the start of a great vacation adventure. Every kid is different but I find the key to a good flight is being well prepared. Yummy snacks, an iPad full of great games, shows & movies as well as a bag stacked with some fav toys are a good place to start. Our little guy is a seasoned traveler and every flight gets even more enjoyable than the last because he views the flight as fun rather than scary.
Prepare for the sun
Proper sun protection is a must with little guys, one small sunburn can quickly ruin an otherwise great vacation. A good SPF is incredibly important but getting a squirmy child fully covered and reapplying often enough can be a challenge especially when you little one just wants to swim and play. That’s why we always make sure to have a full brim hat and UPF 50+ shirt or swimsuit so that sunscreen reapplication isn’t as big of a concern. The sooner sunscreen application becomes a habit the easier it is to convince your little one that having it applied isn’t so bad.
Strollers are a must
Having a comfy stroller is a must when you take a little one to an all-inclusive resort! Even if they start the day promising they will walk everywhere it won’t be long until they need a break and you don’t want your day to be limited by tired little legs. The stroller also gives you lots of extra storage space for bags, toys and snacks as well as a place for your little one to catch a few 💤 if you’re on an all day adventure. It doesn’t have to be big and fancy, just comfy!
Look for awesome parks and facilities
Sometimes little things are the most fun! Take time to explore the resort when you arrive because many have lots of fun parks and kids’ areas. These are a great time filler and help your little one burn up some energy.
Be a beach bum
One of our favorite all-inclusive resort activities is spending time at the beach. Some little guys love the beach, some hate it, the waves and sand aren’t for everyone. If your little one isn’t a beach lover try getting them a pair of water shoes, they help to keep the sand away from their toes and make them feel a little more secure. Also, try taking a visit to the beach when the waves aren’t as big to give them a chance to get used to the sensation. Sand toys also go a long way in making beach play even more fun.
Make nap time fun
Vacation naps are amazing when you’re an adult but convincing your little one to take one in the middle of all the fun isn’t always that easy. So, you need to find a way to make naps part of the fun! Rolling naps are great (and my fav way of getting a nap into the day) because your little one can just fall asleep in the stroller wherever you are and your day doesn’t need to stop. Another great nap idea is the hammock nap, it’s fun, comfy and has the added bonus of being able to subtly rock them to sleep. Just make sure the hammock is well shaded.
Shall we swim?
In my opinion a good resort has an amazing pool (I’m sure many of you would agree!) but equally important, if you’re traveling with little ones, is finding an all-inclusive resort with awesome kid pools/water play areas. If they are good they can keep your child happily entertained for hours and because they are also shallow your little one can have a bit more freedom to play and discover (we are about two feet away in this pic but he has the illusion of freedom 😉) Also, if your resort has multiple kids’ pools it will give your vacation some variety and keep it exciting for your kiddo.
Search for more fun
Once you’ve been at a resort for a few days you may need to start looking for some activities beyond just the normal park, beach & pool. Most resorts offer other family friendly activities like bowling or mini-putt. These are a great way to change up the day and escape the warm midday sun.
Don’t stress about dining
Kids are picky eaters. It’s a fact. Even the most easy going, eat anything kids have their quirks. If you’ve never seen your kid have a quirk with eating try taking them on vacation and you will soon discover one. ‘This plate looks different’ ‘what’s wrong with the ketchup’ ‘what is that?’ ‘This doesn’t taste like my eggs at home’ you’d be amazed by what can turn your little one off their food. So, what to do?
Get them to eat something, anything! Then work your way up from there. Usually they will start to calm down about the food once they’ve had a good meal, then you can start introducing different foods onto their plates. Don’t be surprised when the fav foods go first, but hopefully they will at least try the other ones. And, if your kid only eats hotdogs and fries for a week, so be it! It’s not worth the fight and life will be back to normal in a week anyways.
So, the moral of this post is take your kids to an all-inclusive, it will be well worth it!! Looking for some resort recommendations? Check out our review of the Windjammer Landing!