Not sure where to begin planning your best all-inclusive vacation with babies, toddlers, or any combination of young children? Start here.
When you vacation with a baby, toddler, or preschooler, relaxation is the driving force between most families’ decisions on where to stay. And few scenarios sound as completely relaxing as staying at an all-inclusive resort.
However, what families with babies and young children will get from one self-proclaimed “family friendly” all-inclusive resort can be quite different from another. So before you jump on the next great deal you see advertised, be sure to read the fine print and consider these tips for booking the best all-inclusive vacation with babies and young children:
Research the number of restaurants available to families.
Some all-inclusive resorts include restaurants that will not serve children under a certain age, often 12 years, and some will not serve children at all.
Check the fine print to know how many restaurants you’re family will really be able to use at the resort, and if that gourmet “Ristorante” will really be an option–or if you’ll only be able to eat at the buffet with a toddler in tow. Usually, a quick visit the resort’s website will help clarify your dining options.
Check whether the kids camp or childcare actually applies to your child.
Most all-inclusive resorts with “kids camps” and supervised children’s activities don’t offer anything for children under 3 or 4 years old, or those still in diapers.
A handful of resorts do, however, so if this is important to your vacation success, make sure you’ll have your childcare covered to make the most of your vacation. Some all-inclusives that cater to the younger set, including babies and toddlers, are:
Beaches Resorts, Jamaica and Turks & Caicos
Club Med, select locations worldwide
Franklyn D Resort, Jamaica
Watch for free stays for children—but check the fine print.
Age matters when it comes to the cost of your family’s all-inclusive vacation, and chances are you won’t want to pay the full 3rd adult price for your baby or toddler—or any child for that matter—if you don’t have to.
Your best deal will be to get “kids free,” but even when resorts offer these deals the maximum age for qualifying free kids may be “kids under 5 years,” “kids under 6 years,” “kids under 12 years,” or “kids 17 and under.”
These offers are usually given when there are two paying adults, with up to one qualifying child staying free in the same room per adult. So single parents and families with multiple children, be sure to check the bottom line–before you sign that dotted line.
For more help planning an all-inclusive vacation with babies, toddlers, or preschool-age children, including more details on these and more of the all-inclusive resorts for babies, toddlers, and young children–check out Chapter 3: Deciding Where to Stay in Travels with Baby.
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More tips and advice are on the way! For help for planning travel of every kind–with babies and children of every temperament–in Travels with Baby: The Ultimate Guide for Planning Travel with Your Baby, Toddler, and Preschooler.
Shelly Rivoli, author of the award-winning Travels with Baby and Take-Along Travels with Baby guidebooks
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