When someone thinks of all-inclusive vacations, they often think of those fancy resorts that market to newlyweds and couples. But, you can get a good family vacation that’s all-inclusive at a reasonable price if you think outside the box and plan ahead.
Perhaps the first thing that comes to mind when you think of all-inclusive vacations are cruise ships. Families looking for an all-inclusive vacation will often go this route, and you can get some really good deals if you book very early. The key to getting a good price on any kind of cruise, whether it’s just for you or for a family of 10, is to book at least a year in advance. For example, right now tour companies are offering some specials on packages for this year, but many are already marketing tours for 2017. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that just like many other aspects of travel such as hotels or airline tickets, the closer you get to the date you want to travel, the more you’re going to pay.
Do some research with all of those great online services that claim to find the cheapest deal, but don’t rule out using a real travel agent to help you package together some discounts and use their expertise to save even more money. It doesn’t hurt to get a quote from a real, live travel agent just to see what kind it magic they can work to get you the best deal.
Dude ranches are probably an option you’ve never even really considered as a great all-inclusive, family vacation. According to Budget Travel, some are even open all year round, offering skiing in the winter time. While the kids are swimming or horseback riding, you can fantasize about your own spin on being the Pioneer Woman (or Man), but without all that cooking.
Most dude ranches typically offer rates that are all-inclusive so you don’t have to worry about extra expenses for meals, gas, and you won’t be tempted to splurge on manicures or luxury treatments like you might find on a cruise. (That may be a positive or negative depending on your frame of mind.) Dude ranches such as The Flying L average $90 per night for mom and dad, and $40 for the kids. That includes teenagers, which you’d be hard-pressed to feed for $40 a day.
While these kind of vacations may not be super expensive, the Flying L has hosted John Wayne and Willie Nelson among others, so don’t think that budget vacation packages mean compromising on quality.
Many families love to take a day visit to a working farm in the fall, to pick a pumpkin and enjoy the spirit of a harvest season vicariously through real farmers. But, did you know that you can actually vacation on some working farms?
While this may sound very similar to visiting a dude ranch, working farm accommodations usually cater more to younger children who can learn to do simple tasks like gathering eggs, milking cows, or going on a hayride. The Inn at East Hill Farm in Troy, New Hampshire, offers water-skiing in summer and ice skating you in winter. You could also experience sleigh rides if you choose to visit in the winter time and if you do come in November or December, you could even cut down your own Christmas tree.
How’s this for a great deal: fall rates, which are all-inclusive, average a mere $78 nightly for adults and $58 for kids. Expect to pay a little bit more in summer and winter for stays of less than five nights.
If your idea of an all-inclusive vacation revolves around sitting by the pool and getting luxury spa treatments, never fear, as these typical resort-style packages are now catering to families as well as couples and honeymooners. Resorts like Beaches offer nanny services, which are included in your pricing between the hours of 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. every day. You can also hire additional nanny care after hours, and Beaches boasts a staffing ratio of 3:1 for their child care services.
As you might expect, these Caribbean resort vacation packages tend to run a little more expensive than some of your other options, but if you want to splurge, this is something you might want to look into for a family vacation. Depending on current specials, you might be able to land a really great deal as long as you’re willing to book early. Basically, approach booking an all-inclusive resort the same as you would approach booking a cruise, trying to make reservations at least a year in advance for the best deals.
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