12 tips for traveling to an all-
inclusive resort with kids
*for your convenience, there may be affiliate links throughout this post, so you can easily find the things i am showing you. by using these links, your pricing stays the same, but i earn a small commission. you can see my full disclosure here
Before I start here are some things we packed/ wish we would have packed:
- Snorkels and masks
- Loads of Sunscreen
- Floating toys
- Some extra toys for in the hotel room
- Pack snorkels, masks, and floaties. We were so lucky Brent happened to come across something about our resort mentioning when they mention snorkeling is included, they’re referring to the water you swim in. They often have equipment available for purchase but the prices are outrageous. We ordered these snorkel sets online, and these for the kids, and they were worth every penny. So much cheaper than purchasing there. We also brought arm floaties, but if we went again, we would also bring a couple of inflatable floats. There were so many for sale on the resort, but again insanely overpriced.
- When you check in, ask for a list of scheduled activities for the kids. It was our second or 3rd day before we realized there were planned activities for the kids that didn’t require us to drop them off at the kid center. There were also a couple of things that we may have participated in had we known about them sooner. Poor planning on our parts made us miss out.
- Pack a couple of small toys or activities for the kids to do while you’re in the hotel. There will be times you will be in your room. If you’re traveling out of the country, the choices for English speaking TV shows will be limited, there won’t be any toys in the room, and your kids may start bouncing off the walls before you are ready to leave.
- Pay attention to when and where regularly scheduled adult activities occur. When we decided to explore pools other than the kids’ pool, we were excited to find a pool that had a little more action going on. The only problem was the children in the pool started to clear out in the afternoon, and before we knew it, the pool was filled with rowdy, drunk adults. They were having a blast, and it was all in good fun, but it just wasn’t really appropriate for young kids. After that day, we learned to steer clear of that pool in the afternoon.
- Book a shuttle from the airport to your resort before you leave for your vacation. We didn’t realize this was necessary until really close to our travel date. My sister happens to be a travel buff, but even she didn’t realize this. Had we not figured it out before leaving we would have paid an arm and a leg for a shuttle!
- If you’re traveling out of the country, be sure to bring lots of small American bills for tips. We traveled with $200 in singles (and ran out way too quickly). You are expected to leave tips for many things, and we had read that the workers prefer American money. The conversion rate is NOT the same on the resort as if you were to go to your bank prior to leaving, also they will not give you dollars for change. So, if you pay $20 US dollars for something that costs 5 pesos, your change will be given to you in pesos, and the conversion rate will be awful.
- Bring your own cups and cups for the kids. I REALLY wish we would have known this in advance. It would have saved us countless trips to get drinks. My sister and her husband had brought their Yetis with them. I wish I would have thought to bring some. Their drinks stayed nice and cold for them!
- Book your reserved dinners early. If you have the option of reserving dinners before you actually get to the hotel, it would be worth it to do so. We reserved our dinners the first day we got to the resort, and time slots were already very limited, and some of the options we were left with were either way too late for kids, or practically a late snack.
- Pack a first aid kit. Like many things at an all-inclusive resort or on vacation in general, if you are unfortunate enough to need medicine while you’re on vacation, and you don’t have it, you’re going to pay a small fortune for it.
- Be prepared to walk. A lot. We brought a collapsible wagon, and it was definitely a lifesaver for us. Of course, not all resorts will be as large as ours was. That said, it’s safe to say you would be doing a fair amount of walking.
- Pack snacks or grab a banana, apple, etc before leaving the buffet. Dining options aren’t always open 24/7 and chances are, your kids are going to be starving at some point during your vacation. We did not bring snacks, that was a mistake.
- Pack at least one pair of closed toed shoes per person, and a shirt with a couple of buttons for the boys. When you go out to eat for your reserved dinners, you will often be required to dress up. Flip-flops aren’t acceptable. Guess who didn’t have one pair of shoes with covered toes… ME, and every one of our children! They let us slide, but I would have been so upset if they were strict about that rule.
You can see more of our vacation here—>
Are you planning on taking a vacation to an all-inclusive resort with kids? What are you most worried about?