If you’ve ever traveled with kids (especially little kids) you realize the benefits of hitting up an all-inclusive resort great for families:
- You don’t have to worry about food, because restaurants and diners abound, all day, every day.
- Entertainment is ready-made.
- There’s little need to leave the resort, which simplifies your trip.
- Did we mention, you don’t have to worry about food?
Needless to say, we might have some experience in this area. We’ve applied that knowledge to compile a list of the best all-inclusive resorts for families in the world.
All-inclusive resorts for families: the short version
Below, you’ll find details on what to look for in an all-inclusive resort for families, and some examples of the best in the world. For those in a hurry, though, here are our top ten recommended experiences.
|Resort||Location||Fly To||Best For…|
|Four Seasons Disney World||Orlando, Florida||Orlando||All around, overall best|
|Iberostar Mexico||Playa del Carmen, Mexico||Cancun||Discount family travel|
|Beaches Negril||Jamaica||Kingston||Best camps and activities|
|Beaches T&C||Turks & Caicos||Providenciales||Security|
|Forest Canopy Resort||Thekkady, India||Kochi||Eco-friendly family experience|
|Harris Batam Waterfront||Batam, Indonesia||Batam||Relaxation for parents and children|
|Franklyn D. Resort & Spa||Jamaica||Kingston||On-site complementary nannies|
|Nickelodeon Resort Punta Cana||Dominican Republic||Santo Domingo||Brand-name kids fun and activities|
|Barcelo Hydra Beach||Thermisia, Greece||Athens||Secluded recreation|
|Pestana Porto Santo||Porto Santo, Portugal||Porto Santo Island||Luxury on a budget|
What the best all-inclusive resorts should include
What, exactly, does all-inclusive mean? It’s imperative you know before you attempt to take kids with you, lest you will have a very crabby 4-year-old, one-year-old, and two even crankier parents. Here are some guidelines as to what an all-inclusive should include:
You pay upfront for everything, which should include:
- Food and drink
- Tips and taxes
- On-site activities
- Some off-site expeditions
Pros/cons of an all-inclusive
As with anything else, getting a great experience even from the best all-inclusive resorts for families means you should “know before you go.” Weigh the pros and cons prior to committing the time and expense.
All-inclusive Resort pros:
- As mentioned before, food and drink are included, so you won’t find yourself worrying about making dinner in an Airbnb or figuring out which restaurant to traipse through every night (“Is it kid-friendly or not?”)
- There’s usually a vast variety of food options available
- Kid-friendly resorts really are kid-friendly
- Many are usually located close to an airport or major city
- Activities are constant: yoga on the beach, glass-bottom boat, etc.
All-inclusive Resort cons:
- You often feel isolated on your resort (you’re not really seeing Jamaica when you’re stuck on the resort for a week).
- You could get sick of the food (“We’ve already eaten at that restaurant four times,” or, “Doesn’t the buffet have something new?”).
- The authenticity of the “real” cultural experience is lacking.
- There are usually people everywhere. If you’re looking for a secluded location, an all-inclusive resort isn’t usually your best bet.
What to look for in an all-inclusive resort for families
What does your family need? Do you have teenagers or little ones? Kids that are wildly adventurous or, like you, content to sit on the side of the pool with a book? Need a kiddie club or are your planning to spend every spare minute with Junior?
Red flags for an all-inclusive resort
When we did our research, we were careful to steer clear of places that look too good to be true. Avoid all-inclusive resorts that:
- Have lots of fine print at the bottom of the website or travel brochures. This can indicate the “all” in “all-inclusive” is a relative term.
- Be aware of not-so inclusive rates (Do some menu items incur extra fees? Low-end resorts actually might charge you for expensive liquor, etc.)
- Are actually timeshare scams
- Don’t actually cater to families. Does the resort have a kiddie pool? Day care? Be sure to check.
Four Seasons Resort at Disney World checks all the boxes as one of the best all-inclusive resorts for families in the world. Regardless of age, there’s something for everyone in this tropical paradise. Built around lushly landscaped grounds and pools, most rooms feature balconies overlooking Disney World making the nightly fireworks right outside your window. Disney Planners are onsite to help with celebrations, fast passes, extended hours at Disney and so much more. The only drawback is cost: with Disney, you get what you pay for…but you pay a lot.
Best for discounts for children
At Iberostar, kids stay free. Iberostar offers 5-star beachfront resorts located in Mexico, Jamaica and the Dominican Republic. Kids can take advantage of kids’ programs, activities, waterparks and Kids Clubs at each location while mom and dad relax.
Best day care/kids’ camp
Beaches’ kids camps are reliably among the best all-inclusive resorts for families. Beaches Resorts offers kids age-appropriate activities for tots to teens. All nannies and Kids Camp staffers at Beaches Resorts are members of the International Nanny Association, America’s oldest and largest in-home child care association. Your little ones will have safe and enriching activities for your entire stay.
Turks and Caicos is renowned for its safety among all Caribbean countries, and we’ll point to Beaches again for its top-notch security as well as its excellent Kids’ Camps. Additionally, kids can meet the friendly cast of characters from Sesame Street. Other options include an XBox play lounge, a Liquid Teen Night Club as well as a Trench Town arcade, not to mention all levels of water sports for older kids.
The best all-inclusive resorts for families make vacation easy!
It’s important to research what each all-inclusive for families offers, as they’re all different. Do your research to figure out which works best for your family. Remember to check all the reviews and pictures on Skyscanner to get the best information on whichever resort you choose.
Our useful flight price tracker will keep an eye on your chosen flight and will let you know as soon as the price drops – or if it starts to rise.