The All-Inclusive Resort – Good For Parents, Fun For Kids

By nature we are not “all-inclusive” types of travelers. We prefer the thrill of not knowing where or what we’ll eat for dinner until the time arrives, giving us the opportunity to discover a culinary treasure (or to end up hungry and disappointed!). While the latter may not be a big deal for most travelers, when children enter the picture meals, entertainment, lodging, transportation and other travel details are the last things some parents want to think about. The all-inclusive resort solves these problems by taking care of all these details for you (and you pay a handsome price for the service as well).

You won’t find us in a resort for every vacation but you will from time to time. Last Thanksgiving we traveled to the Caribbean island nation of Turks and Caicos. Ah paradise. We actually opted out of our hotel’s all-inclusive option, instead doing a combination of our own cooking, eating at the resort’s restaurant and dining outside the resort. Still the resort took care of our transportation and activities so we were well cared for and had to do very little planning on our own.

If you’re looking for a quiet, safe Caribbean destination we recommend Turks and Caicos. It’s far less touristy than many of its neighbors and it’s perfect for a family wanting a relaxing getaway for everyone. We stayed at the Ocean Club Resort on the island of Providenciales, which is accessed either through New York or Miami. There’s not much to do in Turks and Caicos beyond lay on the beach, snorkel, take a boat trip, scuba dive, or visit an island full of huge iguanas. We were looking for quiet relaxation so the island was perfect for us and the extended family who met us there. Our daughter Grace was 9 months old and loved splashing in the resort pools and digging in the soft white sand. What more does a baby need?

We recommend renting a condo with a kitchen rather than just a hotel room. Restaurants prices in Turks and Caicos are comparable to the U.S. or often more expensive, since they cater to wealthy tourists. Even groceries at the local IGA were expensive (everything is flown in from the U.S.) so we brought a suitcase full of non-perishables. We also brought enough diapers, wipes and baby food for the full week because we had heard these were expensive and hard to find, which turned out to be true. In some ways it was easier to do much of our own cooking and dine in our condo, along with our family in the condo next door. This way we didn’t have to figure out transportation to restaurants, worry about missing our infant daughter’s bed time or care if she got fussy at mealtime.

Do you have a favorite resort destination for your family? We want to know about it so leave a comment here.

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4 responses to “The All-Inclusive Resort – Good For Parents, Fun For Kids

  1. Hi: great info on T&C. We’re heading there shortly with our 17 month old and I was just wondering about transportation. Can the taxis and the shuttle accomodate carseats? I’m dreading lugging the big thing with me but it’s obvious the safe thing to do….though our resort is only 10 min away from the airport and we don’t anticipate doing much island travelling…but of course I would be an irresponsible parent if i didn’t put her in it…Any info would help. Thanks!

    • We did not take a car seat when we went to Turks and Caicos but rented one from the car rental agency for the one day we rented a car and drove around the island. Otherwise I just held my daughter on my lap on the taxi ride from the airport to the hotel. Looking back though, I would advise taking a car seat even for that short ride. It may seem like an inconvenience but you would not want to look back and have any regrets about not bothering to bring it, should anything happen. We’ve taken a car seat on every trip since Turks and Caicos (Argentina, Mexico, Turkey, Honduras, The Bahamas) and are always so glad we did. Eddie Bauer makes a portable car seat we have found useful for many of our trips.

  2. Hi Beth,

    I am hoping you can give me a bit of insight. I am very comfortable traveling with my daughter…however, I just had twins and it’s a whole new ball game! We are planning a trip to Turks in June/July, the twins will be almost 1yr and our daughter with be 5yo. We will be renting a villa, with a pool, on the beach. We usually grocery shop and cook for ourselves…how are grocery prices? Crazy expensive? The last Caribbean villa we rented was in St John and food prices were ridiculous. Do you need a car? Is there really much to see and do on Turks?

    I would appreciate any opinions!

    • Hi Melanie,

      Definitely you need a car in Turks and Caicos, especially if you’ll be in a house. There’s little to no public transportation and everything is fairly far apart. Regarding grocery prices, yes I remember to them be quite high. Most everything is flown in from Miami so you’re paying US prices plus transport fees. We took quite a bit of packaged foods with us (crackers, canned tuna, dried nuts and fruit), then purchased fresh foods at the grocery store there. Have a fun time! It’s a lovely place and I’ll bet your kids will love it.

      Beth

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