October 22, 2014

Making the Most of Family Resorts

It’s a common scene for those traveling with children. Parents trying to tempt their kids away from the perfectly-picturesque pool at their chosen family resort with tickets to an over-priced theme park just down the street. A theme park that may offer only slightly more in the way of water-based fun. Toss in a toddler meltdown or two, and the grownups who are footing the bill can start to feel just as cranky as their younger travel companions.

Over-scheduling can cause serious vacation drama. With today’s all-inclusive family resorts however, stressing out over outside attractions is no longer necessary. Sure, if you’ve got a full two weeks to hang out then working in that train trip to Machu Picchu or scheduling a day at the Kennedy Space Center is fine. Otherwise, there’s likely plenty to enjoy right on site. Here some of our top tips for making the most of family resorts.

Consider What’s Included:

For example, at the One and Only Ocean Club on Paradise Island in the Bahamas, children have access to their own day camp complete with activities, arts and crafts, waterfront bike-riding trails and more. There’s also a separate family pool perfect for splashing. Room rates include day passes to the nearby Atlantis theme park, but also to free private transport back to the One and Only if the crowds become too overwhelming for the little ones. Other family resorts, such as the Marriott in St. Kitts, offer package deals which include all meals and beverages for the grownups.

Amenities Make a Difference:

Business centers, self-service laundry machines, basketball courts and hot tubs are frequently available as free perks at a number of family resorts. This makes getting away with the kids possible, even if you’re working a deadline. Toss in a heated sauna and some complimentary kayaks, and you’re in business. Another often-overlooked amenity at family resorts is free shuttle service. For those nearby attractions that do manage to make their way into your vacation agenda, transportation for the cost of a nominal tip is markedly more affordable than cab fare.

Get Back to Nature:

Family resorts in ecological locations lend themselves to low-key free activities that will entertain the kiddos for hours. Children are naturally drawn to nature, and watching them participate in animal experiences and waterfall exploration with wonder is a true treat. For instance, a vacation to the affordable Plantation resort located on Florida’s Crystal River, can include a once in a lifetime opportunity to swim with the manatees, a scallop fishing experience and some time in a pontoon boat. Likewise, at Termas de Papallacta, a family resort in Ecuador within a day’s drive of Quito, guests can enjoy nature trails, llama encounters and horseback riding in addition to affordable spa treatments and unlimited access to the venue’s natural hot spring pools.