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All Inclusive Family Vacations: Tips for Scoring a Discount on Your Next Trip with the Kids

Apr 13, 2008
You may think of tropical getaways as romantic interludes for couples only, but many all inclusive resorts actually cater to families, with special activities that allow children to have a memorable vacation and that allow parents some special one on one time. Here are some tips to getting a good deal on your next all inclusive family vacation.

Why consider all inclusive?

All inclusive tours can really help you to save money, and they can help busy parents to relax. Most all inclusive resort vacations include beverages, meals, taxes, entertainment, activities, and even gratuities in the price of your accommodations, so you can just relax and enjoy yourself.

Is an all inclusive vacation right for your family?

An all inclusive vacation may mean spending less for your vacation, or it may mean spending more. It all depends on your traveling style.

An all inclusive vacation may not be for you if your family enjoys doing a lot of independent adventuring and exploring because you'll be paying for these additional things in addition to your all inclusive rates.

Also, make sure that the activities included at the resort will be of interest to your children. Some children love the resorts "kids' clubs," which often provide great educational and cultural activities for all different age groups (and they give the parents some time alone). But some children may be wary of joining new kids and new caregivers in a new place. You want to make sure to keep everyone's needs in mind when you are planning such a trip.

If your kids are excited to try new adventures in a new place, and you tend to get stressed out every time you need to pay for yet another thing on your vacation, you might particularly appreciate the all inclusive travel experience.

How to find a Discount All inclusive Family Resort

The Internet provides so much information on different all inclusive resorts, the trick is in narrowing your options and not getting overwhelmed.

The best thing to do when you are first starting out is to ask your family and friends about any all inclusive resorts that they have particularly enjoyed. The experiences at these so-called tropical paradises can vary greatly, and it's difficult to get the information you need from a brochure or a corporate website. Talk to people about recommendations and spend some time combing through travel websites that offer independent ratings and reviews (by travelers) of different resorts.

Especially when you are traveling with kids, it's a good idea to look for a good discount (by traveling during an off peak time, for example) at a quality, well-known resort rather than securing a cheap regular rate at a place you've never heard of. It's one thing to be stuck somewhere you would rather not be stuck, but when you have young kids with you, you want to keep any ghastly surprises to a minimum.

Once you've narrowed down your options of family friendly resorts to just a few, make sure to read all the fine print. Find out exactly which activities and attractions are paid for at the resort, and which are not. Some packages offer free fares to children; others offer discounts. Sometimes, kids stay and eat for free. Sometimes, you'll find kid clubs are included in the price, but nannies and babysitters are not included. It's important to be very clear with the inclusions and exclusions so you are sure you are comparing resorts fairly.

Research the resorts' websites as well as their write-ups at your favorite travel website. Compare rates and check whether the price listed is for the entire group or per person. (Sometimes, the rates quoted online for these types of vacations will be listed as per adult, but will also include your children's accommodations).

Traveling often comes with hidden charges, and savvy travelers are aware of them ahead of time. See if you will be paying any additional airport charges, governmental travel fees, security fees, airport fees, shuttle fees, and so on. If you aren't sure what exactly the price includes, pick up the phone and double check before booking.

A little research will really pay off. An all inclusive family vacation is best planned far in advance. Get the brochures. Do an Internet search on the name of the resort that you have chosen before you book. This is a good way to see what other travelers are saying about the resort in independent forums. Look to see which family resorts have earned top marks and awards from the travel industry, as well.

If you use a travel agent, it's still a good idea to get online and see what's out there. Then you can talk to your agent about the different options and the features and activities that you want to make sure your all inclusive vacation includes.

Whether you want to lounge by the pool, or have an all out family adventure, you'll be able to find a resort that will cater to your needs. Then all you need to do is pack your bags and get ready to relax.
About the Author
Jamie Jefferson writes for Susies-Travel-Coupons.com, where you can find coupons and specials for discount all inclusive vacations including special offers for all inclusive family vacations .
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