The 5 Secrets to a great Family Vacation…
If you’ve ever traveled as a family, you know it can be an opportunity to create wonderful memories…or a horrible nightmare. As with all the other types of travel you will read about on this web site…Families too, need help planning a memorable vacation. That may sound like a bold statement especially when there are usually only one or two decision-makers. But the reality is every member of the family has expectations about the new adventure! At All-Inclusive Vacations we practice listening to you and making notes as to what you’re looking for in a family vacation and we know which hotels and what destinations make a good fit for all the ages of your younger travelers.
So, whether you’re traveling with toddlers or teens or both…include these five steps when planning your next family vacation and it will help you meet those expectations.
1. Get the whole family invested in the vacation.
Ask your kids what they would like to do on your next family vacation. Present them with the options that fit your budget, give them the time frame you’ve set aside for the family trip and be fair in setting realistic expectations for them. Keep notes. Planning in this way becomes a life-learning lesson for kids that can be adapted and applied to other areas of their life such as school work, doing chores around the home as well as communicating their wants. You will validate their wants of course, but they also need to learn to compromise when working in a group.
Kids benefit from having a say in their family’s vacation plans. Their young voices are being heard on such web sites as www.boundround.com and www.kidzcationz.com . On these sites kids have the chance to review hotels, rate restaurants and pick their favorite attractions according to their unique perspective. Sure Mom and Dad paid for the trip, but if the kids came home “underwhelmed”…this is their chance to alert other kids before more parents make a similar mistake. And, if you are a hotel that says you provide satisfying family vacations, wouldn’t you want to know if the kids that just left will be recommending your stay to their friends?
Save mementos of your trip and once you get home, keep the memories alive by sitting down with the kids to create a picture book about your trip. They will become lasting keepsakes! www.shutterfly.com can put a nice trip book together for you or you can still find memory books at your local hobby store.
2. Make traveling easier.
We’re living in a time when more and more is pushed on the consumer to take care of. Whether that’s choosing a health insurance plan for the family or checking in for a flight. At All-Inclusive Vacations, our travel advisors are aware all this extra work takes your time. We anticipate these action steps on your part, and make you aware of them when they come up. But in addition, we can change our service level to match your needs. We can call ahead to the hotel for you. We ask, “What can we do for you to make your trip run more smoothly”?
On the other hand you may have questions such as, “can I take a Pack ‘n Play on the airplane and will it fit in the overhead bin?”. Does the destination transportation company provide seat belts and booster chairs in the van for our little ones? Will the hotel have a crib? And, so much more.
In the December 2015 Travelagewest magazine there was a great piece entitled “Family Getaways”. There is an article called “Guide for Gearheads”. This article points out a number of child-friendly items well-traveled families have come to appreciate. My favorite is the “Flye Baby”. www.flyebaby.com Flye Baby is a hammock type seat that can be used on an airplane as a comfortable and convenient place to put your baby during the cruising part of your flight.
Contact us for more great travel items and ideas for your family on the go!
3. Can we stay all together
…but not in the same room? We are often asked by parents if there are any all-inclusive hotels that offer families an accommodation where the where the baby can take a nap in the bedroom while Mom and Dad relax in the living room? Or, here’s another one, will hotels guarantee adjoining rooms to families with kids? At All-Inclusive Vacations we sort through the hotels that are truly family-friendly to bring you a list of room categories that match your requests…whether it’s the room configuration, the age and hours of the included “kids Club” or the rates for babysitting. In the Caribbean, Beaches Resorts™ offers some of the best child-friendly inclusions of all the all-inclusive resort companies.
[Click Here] To get started working with one of our Agents.
In Mexico you will find similar, excellent family-friendly amenities at the Azul Resorts by Karisma in the Riviera Maya, outside of Cancun. Please call or referrals to other destinations!
From the Nickelodeon Experience and Azulitos Playhouse to the My Gym programs and Karisma Gourmet Inclusive® baby amenities, Azul Beach offers fun around every corner. And thanks to Azul Beach’s boutique size, everything is close at hand. Here, children can have breakfast with SpongeBob. Take a cooking class. Enjoy kid’s yoga, face painting or a relaxing spa treatment. When the sun goes down, the stars come out for live shows and movie nights with popcorn and dinner. At Azul Beach, when we say just bring the baby, we mean it. With our Gourmet Inclusive® baby amenities, you’ll find exactly what you need to care for your little ones, everything from bottle warmers to gourmet baby food.
- Bottle sterilizers
- Bottle warmers
- Baby monitors
- Pack n’ Plays
- Baby baths
- Baby robes
- Baby sleepers
- High chairs
Gerber baby food is available in all our restaurants and room service.
Natural baby food can be prepared with previous request. (re-printed from www.karismahotels.com)
4. Activities to suit everyone’s needs
…for a new, stimulating adventure! Family-friendly, all-inclusive resorts offer organized, age-related activity programs for all the kids in your family. Your child will meet other kids their own age. You can check them in, come back to have lunch with them and in some cases even let them participate in a mock Camp-Out right on the resort! Language classes, cooking classes, dolphin swimming and tours to learn about local animals and plants are all part of the vacation experience for today’s active child.
But of course, kids are not the only ones on vacation. Moms and Dads can choose to have some “adult time” on the resort when their child is checked into one of the supervised kid’s programs. Whether it’s a romantic dinner for two, a luxuriant Spa treatment or a round of Golf…each of you can enjoy something different and come together over dinner to share your day’s experiences.
5. Getting a good value for the money.
Working with one of the travel professionals at All-Inclusive Vacations, we will present you with the best resort options to fit your budget. This will save you time. We expose the potential of “hidden extras”, advise you about Citizenship documents and much more.
Child Passports are only good for 5 years. All passports must be valid for at least 6 months from your return date.
Different resorts offer different discounts for children so it’s important to know how old the children will be at the time of travel. Most all-inclusive hotels only allow up to 4 people in their standard rooms. Some have larger accommodations which will take up to 5. And, still others will offer 2 or 3 room accommodations so that two families may travel and stay together. Booking in advance is your key to having the most options. During peak travel such as Summer, some family-friendly all-inclusive resorts offer kid’s Free under certain Terms and Conditions. Ask for these details.
Many of the same rules for getting a good value hold true whether you’re traveling with children or not.
* Off-Peak travel may be cheaper at the hotel and with the airline.
* Booking in advance gets you the lowest price.
*Purchasing travel insurance through companies like Apple Vacations will guarantee you get the lowest price if your package should go on sale after you’re under deposit.
* Some destinations cost less than others. For example The Marival Resort & Suites is a very family-friendly hotel in Puerto Vallarta. And it is a quality hotel at a more affordable price than say the Dreams resort at Tulum.
You need the resources of a professional travel advisor from All-Inclusive Vacations to make the right choices for your family. We are paid a fair commission by the hotels we sell and we can sell any hotel because we are truly independent in our affiliations.
Your time is valuable. Spend it with the kids and let the honest Advisors of All-Inclusive Vacations plan your next great family vacation!