Another guest post this week – who has time to blog with Christmas prep in full swing?! Thanks Corinne for contributing this article!
Maybe staying at All-Inclusive resort is the only way you travel. Maybe a stay at an AI is your idea of Hell. However, if you’ve got young kids, staying at an All-Inclusive resort is definitely an easy way to get away. So if it’s the only way you roll or if you snagged an amazing deal you just couldn’t pass up, here are a few tips to make the most of your All-Inclusive vacation with little ones.
Eat And Be Merry…
Once you’ve checked in and found your bearings, make note of all the restaurants and snack bars and their hours. Hungry kids aren’t happy kids, so as long as you always know a way to get them fed you’ve got that battle won. Pack a few plastic bags or containers to keep snacks handy as well. Fruit from the breakfast buffet is a great mid-morning snack and an extra roll snagged from lunch can keep the wolves at bay if dinner’s going to be a little late. Pack a few favourite snacks from home as well, as munchies can be somewhat lacking at times.
Although most resorts claim that tipping is included, a few extra dollars here or there makes a big difference to the people working there, so we always budget an extra $100.00 to give away as tips. There’s no need to be overt about it, but a buck or two at meals, at the bar and for housekeeping will keep you in good karma and good service. We’ve never felt as though tipping was expected, but we tip at home, so why not on the road?
Be Creatures Of Habit
Traveling with babies, toddlers and small children often means that spontaneity is out the window, so those late, lingering dinners are history for now. Chances are you’ll turn up at the dining room for supper at the same time every night, so try to find “your table“ for the week and stick to it. More than likely, you’ll have the same server (resort staff usually work 6 days a week) who’ll be very happy to see you again if you followed the previous advice regarding tipping. It was nice to enter the restaurant every morning for breakfast and then again in the evening to find “our table” with drinks and highchair at the ready. With larger resorts that offer many options for dining this may not work, but if your kids are picky and you find a place that suits, I’m willing to bet that’s where you’ll be eating for the week!
Unless you’ll be out exploring every day (again, unlikely if you’re with little ones), you’ll also find “your spot” at the beach and at the pool, and you’ll probably find that staff working in those areas look out for you too. Hit the beach early and you’ll probably avoid the dreaded towel game – loungers or palapas “reserved” by towels by guests who never materialize. If you’re by the pool you’ll probably be wanting the unpopular shaded areas, so your chances of getting a sunbed are better.
As with any kind of vacation, All-Inclusive resorts have their pros and cons. If you’re traveling with kids, they’re definitely an easy option, and can offer great value if you’re on a budget.
Corinne McDermott is the founder of Have Baby Will Travel – your online guide to family travel with babies and toddlers. Connect with her online at www.havebabywilltravel.com or www.twitter.com/hvbabywilltrvl