Whether you’re curious, on the fence or haven’t given it much thought, we dish the dirt on why all-inclusive holidays with kids are always a good idea.
Ah, family holidays. Who doesn’t love heading off to destinations near and far with the kids, exploring new cultures and making fun memories? With Singapore being such a great launching pad for many Asian destinations, amazing short breaks with the family are within reach. And our pick for an easy-peasy, lemon-squeezy trip overseas when you have kids? Hold on to your hats, people: we’re talking all-inclusive holidays for families.
While there are many all-inclusives to be found in places like Mexico, the Caribbean and Europe, there are also lots of options closer to home, such as in Bali, Thailand and the Maldives. Our resort of choice? Club Med Bintan Island (we also visited the one in Bali’s Nusa Dua and can confirm it’s equally fandabbydooby). Here, we share our experience of why we think all-inclusive holidays are so good when you have kids.
There’s round-the-clock food and drink
Show us a kid who isn’t always hungry or thirsty and we’ll eat our Birkenstocks. That’s why all-inclusive resorts rock – you can always banish the snack attacks when hanger strikes. Many of us on Team HKA are foodies who love sussing out where to get our next vacay meal fix. But we loved how all the worry dissolves away, especially when the young ‘uns need topping up umpteen times a day. Being able to sample different food is also heaven for little fussy eaters! While we had no complaints about Club Med’s culinary offerings (hello, ice-cream station!), it always pays to read the small print. Be sure to check what’s included so you don’t get stung for hidden extras. Some all-inclusives charge more for premium alcohol brands, for instance.
All-inclusive holidays = no stress
Our carefree pre-kids holidays involved backpacking around the world, playing Russian gastro roulette with questionable dining options and not knowing where our next bed was coming from. But – **cliche alert** – things change when you have kids. You need to plan. From what flight time works best around your child’s naps to how close the beach is from your hotel, holidays can often become military-precision planning operations. That all goes out the window with many all-inclusive trips. Food, snacks, activities, kids’ clubs, beach access, entertainment – check, check, checkeroo. So, whether you’ve got a babe in arms, teeny toddlers or stroppy teens, all-inclusive holidays with kids mean stress-free breaks. Meaning you can all get into chillax mode a whole lot quicker.
Budgeting is a doddle
There’s a certain allure to going to a restaurant, trying everything on the menu, eating and drinking as much as you want, then leaving without having to pay. This is one of the biggest drawcards for us: knowing we’ve paid for the holiday upfront, so we can pop our wallet in the hotel room safe and forget about it for the whole trip. Of course, do your research beforehand when planning an all-inclusive holiday with kids to check what’s included in the rates. Certain activities (something as simple as a pool table, for example), might cost more or, as with us, the kids’ club or babysitting services if you’ve got really young littlies. One other tip when researching: make sure you pick a resort with the right atmosphere. All-inclusives can be high-end luxury, family-friendly or more geared towards partying, so choose the right fit for you.
You can really make the most of your time off
Annual leave is like war-time rations, or contouring powder: you want to treat it with respect, be smart and use it in the most effective way possible. And let’s get real for a moment: when you have young kids, you’re likely to be stressed as hell from the daily grind. If you really want to maximise your R&R opp, all-inclusive holidays with kids are a GREAT option. All that really matters is you show up, switch off, enjoy the heck out of it and have wonderful people take excellent care of you. Amen, sister. Over at Club Med Bintan, we made full use of all the awesome facilities, including the stunning on-site spa (hello, bliss-inducing facial!). The staff were more than happy to help us book excursions and taxis to local sights, too. Legends!
The kids (and you) will LOVE all the activities and clubs
Do NOT feel guilty about using the kids’ clubs on holiday – both you and the littlies will benefit from it! Many all-inclusive resorts include access to them (check which ages are catered to before booking) and guarantee good times all around. We loved how Club Med Bintan took such good care of our littlies, and even helped us arrange a wonderful babysitter to take care of our particularly young ‘un for a couple of hours (we wanted to take her home with us!). Safe in the knowledge the sproglets are having a blast, it means you’re free to enjoy the adult fun on offer, too. Check what facilities are available at your resort and go nuts: we enjoyed a golf lesson, table tennis, archery, basketball and more. There was even aerial yoga and a circus school to take advantage of – how cool?!
In summary? We’re huge fans of all-inclusive holidays when you have kids, whatever their age. Club Med, in particular, was such a good choice for our young family. Despite it only being a three-night trip, we all totally switched off and felt like we’d had a refreshing break. Hopefully our experience either reconfirms your love or tempts you to give all-inclusive a whirl yourselves. Now go forth and plan those holidays!