Heading South to an all-inclusive resort can be a memorable and easy way to travel as a family – especially if you have yet to brave traveling with small children. We found it to be the perfect way to ease into travel, especially after having our second child. It’s a little less stressful + your transportation, accommodation, food, and entertainment are all included in one place!
Trip Advisor is Your Friend
After you’ve narrowed your search to a handful of all-inclusive resorts that have peaked your interest the next step is to always head to Trip Advisor. The reviews on Trip Advisor can be PRICELESS when narrowing down the best resort for your family’s needs. When you’re juggling a budget, location/travel time, necessities, your top priorities whether that be the food, best restaurants, nightly entertainment, children’s pools + programs, the beach is it rocky, sandy.. great snorkeling, advice on family-friendly tours!? I figure if someone is going to take the time to sit down and write a review good or bad that advice is always worth the time to read which can only enhance your vacation experience.
Invest in a Collapsible Stroller (If Needed)
More times than not, it can be tricky to find an all-inclusive resort that is completely stroller friendly. You can find various steps throughout the resort grounds, depending on the size of the resort there could be shuttles and a lot of walking involved, and even limited or no elevators available to access certain areas of the resort. We found the Summer Infant 3D Lite stroller to be the perfect size + weight for our purpose of the stroller which was to let our toddler nap, so we could all stay out and enjoy the sunshine as a family. It collapsed easily and was nice and compact and even comes with a strap to swing over your shoulder for the numerous juggling acts you do as a parent throughout the day!
Don’t Forget the Snacks!
Snack, snacks, and more snacks! This is a necessity when traveling to an all-inclusive resort. While no ones diet is the greatest on vacation, I try to compensate for the amount of fries and pizza the kids are guaranteed to eat with some ‘healthier’ snacks in-between meals. Things like fruit + veggie pouches, granola bars, fruit leather, trail mix, crackers, even just grabbing a couple bananas or apples before leaving the breakfast buffet in the morning. It’s always best to be prepared, because you know as soon as you’re not on your game you’ll hear the words “I’m hungrryyy!” and chances are the snack bars + buffets will be closed.
We love our insulated bottles and use them constantly for school, sports, family outings + even travel. There is almost always a water advisory when traveling abroad, so each morning before we head out I top up everyone’s insulated bottles for the day from a enclosed bottle of water. This guarantees you know where your kids water is coming from + don’t have to worry about finding safe water in a pinch.
Check the Dress Code
If you plan to reserve a few nights at one of your resort’s a la carte restaurants, be sure to DOUBLE CHECK the required dress code! You would think spending your day around the pool + splashing in the ocean that all you would need is a cute pair of sandals and some flip flops, BUUTTT many of the restaurants require closed-toe shoes for all guests.. even your kids, so you’ll want to double check on that!
Consider a Sound Machine
This is completely dependant on your children + the location of your room in the resort. We’ve had both good + bad luck with this, so we come prepared regardless. You’re most likely bringing a tablet of some kind to keep your little ones occupied on the plane and if not there is always your cellphone. We’ve purchased a few white noise tracks through iTunes and downloaded them onto whatever device we intend to use in the case that we need some white noise to block out the late night entertainment or noisy guests.D
Dollar Store Beach Toys
We discovered this on our first all-inclusive trip with our daughter and never again will we go without. Our initial thoughts were just to buy some sand toys from the convenience store in the resort and while they did have all kinds of sand toys, goggles, beach balls and floaties.. the PRICE TAG was absolutely ridiculous!! This can also be a bit tricky, because you’re most likely escaping the cold winter months for some warm, sunny days on the beach so the chances of your Dollar Store having beach toys in stock could be limited. But honestly whatever you can find that will fill the purpose is better to bring than to spend gosh.. $20, $30, $40+ USD on sand + pool toys from the resort. And this way, if you don’t want to haul them back just pass them on to a family that has has recently arrived. You’ll make someone’s trip that much brighter + I’m sure will pass on the kind gesture!
Don’t Forget the Sunscreen.. and Lots of it!
Before we begin our day everyone gets a good lathering of SPF from top to bottom. There’s nothing worse than trying to contain a little one’s excitement of the pool + also trying to get their sunscreen on them. I will also do this after lunch + then top up with a spray sunscreen after each swim, so you go through it quickly! For a week long trip I find packing 3 large bottles of cream, 3 cans of spray and 1-2 SPF lip balms will last us to the end of our trip. In a pinch, you can find sunscreen in your resort, but not without paying a pretty penny for it, so it’s always best to over pack it!
Be Prepared for Anything
I like to make sure we’re prepared for ANYTHING when we’re traveling. So that will usually consist of a toiletry bag for my kids necessities such as diaper creams, hydrating lotions, soothing balms or rollers packed in their suitcase. On the plane I will also keep another travel toiletry bag with me that will include any sickness or allergy remedies, inhalers, extra diapers + wipes, plastic bags.. (you just never know!), change of clothes sometimes two.. , pyjamas if we’re traveling on a red eye ANNDDD swim suits (swim diapers if needed) in whatever case that our suitcase does not show up! I will also take the time before we go to filter through the iPads update some of the movies, and download some of the kids favourites from Netflix because we all know waiting patiently can be hard sometimes.
There you have it! What are some of your favourite travel tips or must haves!? Share them down below!