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.