With different interests, ages, and personalities to take into account, pulling off a successful family vacation can be a bit of a balancing act. It doesn’t have to be. With a range of activities and experiences for guests to enjoy, all-inclusive resorts and guest ranches have something for everyone.
For families whose idea of the perfect vacation is fewer crowds and more fun in the sun, the all-inclusive resort remains a staple of good times and relaxation. With fun activities like cooking classes, yoga, bingo, and nature walks as well as complimentary childcare, prepaid, all-inclusive packages can be an easy, affordable getaway for the whole family. Here are a few of our favorites:
Dreams Resorts & Spas: Dreams Resorts is a great family-oriented chain. Their hotels are located throughout the Caribbean and Mexico, but for travelers looking to indulge in luxury without sacrificing adventure, booking a stay at the Riviera Maya location is a must.
Dreams Puerto Aventuras Riviera Maya has it all: golf, scuba diving, sweeping marina views, and more. The resort also offers guests the opportunity to get up close and personal with dolphins and manatees through interactive swims at the nearby aquatic center.
Iberostar Hotels & Resorts: Another fabulous chain of family-friendly resorts throughout the Caribbean and Mexico, Iberostar properties boast amenities that cater to both adult guests and their children. A unique amenity is their signature Star Camp for children at each property boasting an array of children’s activities and exploration. But for travelers looking for a truly epic getaway, we recommend the Iberostar Selection Rose Hall Suites.
Iberostar Selection Rose Hall Suites offers amazing spacious room accommodations for families, lazy river, game room, splash pool, and an array of exciting athletic activities for a sports lover.
RIU Hotels & Resorts: With locations all around the Caribbean, RIU Hotels & Resorts provides guests with access to adventure and luxury in some of the most beautiful places the region has to offer. But, along with all the amenities and quality service one expects from RIU, the resorts located in Punta Cana stand out for their access to the Splash Water World. With attractions like the Body Vortex and Kamikaze, the park provides an extra bit of fun and adventure on top of an entertainment-filled, luxury experience.
Hotel Riu Palace Punta Cana is definitely worth the mention with over 6oo guestrooms. Not only do families have admission to the Splash Water World waterpark, but they will find three outdoor swimming pools and a children’s pool with slides. Children will also have fun at the RiuLand Kids’ Club!
Club Med: Serving as Club Med’s only U.S property, Sandpiper Bay more than lives up to the resort chain’s luxurious legacy.
Located in beautiful Fort St. Lucie, Florida, the all-inclusive resort offers guests a variety of choices when it comes to entertainment. From standards such as miniature golf and tennis to more offbeat alternatives such as trapeze lessons, the Sandpiper has something for everyone. And with childcare starting from four months and up, you can bring the whole family.
All-Inclusive Guest Ranches
For those looking for a more off-the-beaten-path all-inclusive vacation, guest ranches can be ideal. Modern trappings such as laptops and streaming apps are replaced by a rich atmosphere of wilderness. The experience is also incredibly communal, with guests bonding over horseback rides, cattle drives, and campfires.
And for travelers that might not be the biggest fans of roughing it, fear not. While some can be more rustic than others, many guest ranches offer some of the same accommodations you’d find at any luxury resort such as internet, private hot tubs, and fully stocked kitchens.
Here are three of our favorites.
C Lazy U Ranch: Nestled deep within Colorado’s rolling hills, C Lazy U Ranch is a four-season guest ranch that offers the opportunity for families to be as active or as relaxed as they’d like. Enjoy horseback riding year-round thanks to the property’s indoor heated arena. Guests who visit in winter can also enjoy alpine or cross-country skiing. In the spring and summer, trail rides through fields rife with wildflowers are the way to go. Other activities include fishing and trap shooting, with the ranch adapting its offerings to best take advantage of the seasons.
Red Horse Mountain: On the more traditional end, the Red Horse Mountain Ranch in Idaho presents the perfect opportunity for your family to become immersed in the great outdoors. From the comfort of its classic log-style accommodations, guests can enjoy horseback riding lessons that cater to all skill levels. The ranch also offers zipline rides, a climbing wall, and a kids program, making it great for families with younger children. Meanwhile, adults and older children can indulge in yoga, archery, and kayaking. The ranch can also arrange guided fishing trips and massages.
The Resort at Paws Up: For the quintessential glamping experience, look no further than the Resort at Paws Up. Located in Montana, Paws Up is essentially a series of luxury hotel rooms under an oversized tent, complete with beds, chairs, tables, trunks, and drawers. But a focus on high-end comforts doesn’t mean that the resort is lacking in natural splendor. With 37,000 acres of pristine “Big Sky” country to explore, Paws Up provides wilderness adventures on horseback that give guests the opportunity to get up close with herds of bison, deer, and other residents of the wild. The resort also offers a robust selection of kids activities that include wagon rides, pony rides, and a “Kids Corps of Discovery” camp with programs for children ages 5 to 12.
Why You Should Book in Advance
Generally, better prices are available when booking earlier rather than close to departure. Many tour companies can adjust prepaid hotel packages to lower rates and better promotions that may become available.
How The Travel Team Can Help
A travel advisor’s knowledge helps clients plan the perfect holiday based on their requirements as far as budget, trip length, and personal preferences. We can help find the perfect resort or guest ranch based on your children’s ages, your family dynamic, and your expectations for the vacation.