All Inclusive Family Package Travel Deals: What to Consider

by Jessica

April 14th, 2010

familytravel8While some people consider travel planning to be half the fun of travel, if you’re planning a trip for a family group it’s often that much nicer when you can get things done more quickly and with fewer steps. It’s not a research project you’re always looking for, after all – sometimes you really just want a vacation. Which is one of the many reasons all-inclusive package trips are so popular for family travel.

But it’s important to remember that just because a package trip calls itself “all-inclusive” doesn’t mean it will be cheap, or even that everything is included! When you’re hunting for all-inclusive family package travel deals, you need to make sure you know what the details are before you get too excited or hit the “buy” button. Here are some of the things to look for when you’re considering all-inclusive family package trips.

What’s included?

Generally speaking, the big-ticket items are the things you can rely on being included at all-inclusives – and that means the cost of accommodation and meals that are served on-site. If there are on-site activities, some of them might also be included in the price. Some places will offer periodic deals that include airfare in the price, which can be a great help as it eliminates one more thing you’d need to book individually.

Before you assume that a long list of inclusions means you’re getting a great deal, however, you should take a minute to see what things would cost if you booked them separately. It may turn out that you could get a better deal on airfare or local activities if you booked those on your own rather than booking the package deal.

What’s not included?

With a name like “all-inclusive,” you’d assume that meant everything was included, but that’s not usually the case. And it’s just as important to know what’s not included before you book a family package trip than it is to know what is included. You’ll need to have estimates of your on-the-ground expenses – the stuff that you’ll need to spend money on because it’s not included – to get an accurate idea of what your overall trip will cost.

It’s important to know whether the following things are included:

  • Lodging
  • Airfare
  • Meals
  • Drinks
  • Ground transportation
  • Activities
  • Tipping/gratuity
  • Equipment rental (bicycles, life jackets, etc.)
  • Tours
  • Babysitting/daycare

This isn’t an exhaustive list, of course, but it should get you to look closely at the list of what’s included in order to figure out what’s not included (and what you’ll end up paying for).

Where are family-friendly all-inclusives?

You hear the words “all-inclusive resorts for families” and you probably think of beaches or theme parks. Both of those kinds of destinations offer great family-friendly activities and have plenty of all-inclusives to choose from. But if neither a beach trip nor a visit to a theme park is what you had in mind for your trip, don’t despair – there are other options.

The thing to remember is that some of the places that roll multiple aspects of a trip (things like airfare, accommodation, activities, etc.) into one cost don’t call themselves “all-inclusives.” Another word to keep an eye out for when you’re looking for these sorts of deals is “package” – as in package trip, package tour, vacation package. It’s the same idea with a different name, and you’ll find them to be quite diverse in terms of the trips you can take – safaris in South Africa, adventure trips in Costa Rica, cycling trips in Europe, horseback riding tours in the Western United States.

Anywhere there are activities you and your kids can both enjoy qualifies as a family-friendly travel destination – and any place that offers a few travel essentials in one package deal will help you organize your trip with less hassle and stress.

>> More information about all-inclusive resorts for families

photo by whiteafrican

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