Family Vacation Tips

All Inclusive Family Vacations - Finding the best deal

[fa icon="calendar"] Sep 18, 2012 8:02:00 AM / by Sally Black

Sally Black

all inclusive family vacationAn all Incluisve family vacation by definition is a vacation package that includes everything your family needs rolled up into one  price. Prices tend to be lower because you're buying everything as a package deal. sounds like a simple idea right?...but this is where it gets a bit confusing.  There is PLENTY of conflicting and confusing information out there. Much of it is advertising spin to help separate you for your hard earned vacation dollars. So how do you know what you're getting for your money and most importantly, how to you find the best all inclusive vacation deal for your family?...The best way to figure it all out is by examining the base pricing:

ALL INCLUSIVE FAMILY RESORTS - With an all inclusive family resort, the base price that you pay for your hotel room also includes all  of your family's meals, snacks, drinks (alcoholic and non-alcoholic), activities, entertainment, child care, tips and taxes wrapped up into one price. When Vacationkids sells one of these resorts, we also include round trip airport-hotel transportation.  Our agents can prices these all inclusive family resorts with or without airfare.  When an all inclusive resort is booked "without" airfare, it's called a "land package". This allows families the opportunity to use credit card loyalty points or accumulated airline miles to help offset vacation costs.

Generally most all inclusive resorts are found throughout the Caribbean and Mexico. One question we're often asked is, "Why aren't there more family all inclusive resorts located within the United States?". Honestly it's a matter of economics. The cost of labor and supplies in the Caribbean and Mexico make it cost effective and profitable for hotels to operate all inclusive programs there. These costs in the United States would make all inclusive resorts way too expensive for most families to afford. This is why you really won't find true all inclusive resorts in tourist areas like Florida or Hawaii.

NOW, just to confuse matters a bit more....

Many regular hotels, even here in the US, do offer additional "plans" that will make your stay feel more like that of an all inclusive family vacation. Guests can pay extra in advance for meal plans, entertainment or activities.  Even places like Disneyworld offers add on packages where you can turn a regular theme park visit into more of an all inclusive vacation experience. The problem is, when you search online many of these "plans" will be advertised as all inclusive. Do you save money paying in advance for package deals like this? Generally yes, because many people often underestimate the cost of things like food in resort destination areas. These programs do offer guests convenience and some savings but in reality, folks are paying extra in addition to the base price for their inclusive features. For this reason, we can't honestly classify them as a true all inclusive resort vacation

All Inclusive Cruises - Family cruises will often be advertised as an all inclusive family cruise. Many shoppers search for this term on google. Once again, to find the real truth, you have look to the base price.  Most cruises prices include your cabin, taxes and port fees. In addition, all your meals, snacks, kids club programs, ship board activities and entertainment are also included in your cruise fare. Just like an all inclusive resort vacation, our travel agents can price family cruise vacation with or without airfare.  So why don't we consider cruises to be all inclusive?... When you compare a cruise to an all inclusive vacation, you'll be paying extra for things like soda, alcohol, gratuities and airport/port transportation. So can you honestly call a cruise all inclusive?...Well, when you compare the base price features of a cruise against those of an all inclusive resort we honestly don't think so. Families that don't drink soda or alcohol might very well consider a cruise to be fairly all inclusive and probably a much better value for their particular circumstances. But the only way you're going to figure all of this out is by knowing the base pricing and comparing exact features.

More often than not, parents search the internet and get totally overwhelmed with the amount of vacation choices out there. One of the favorite questions we're asked time and again...."Which is THE best family all inclusive vacation option out there?" The true answer is, there really isn't ONE.  Every family and situation is completely different. In addition to base pricing we need to look at things like the ages of your children, the type of wish list you have for your vacation, even things like your departure city and departure date.

Topics: family resorts, Family Cruises, Affordable Family Vacations

Sally Black

Written by Sally Black

Sally is the Founder of Vacationkids.com Travel Agency and author of the book "Fearless Family Vacations". She is also the Director of Travel Agent Initiatives and Training at The Family Travel Association.

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