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From Cabo San Lucas to Cancun to Riviera Maya to Playa del Carmen–luxury all-inclusive resorts are scattered all over Mexico.
An all-inclusive rate lets you pay upfront for a vacation package, which covers the cost of your hotel room, food, activities, and resort amenities.
These luxury resorts cater to the idea of a carefree vacation. You won’t have to worry about a penny once you arrive.
Make the most of your all-inclusive vacation by following these tips for all-inclusive resorts in Mexico.
(Honestly, these tips are pretty universal, so you could apply them to an all-inclusive resort in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, Costa Rica, or just about anywhere!)
Fill up on breakfast buffets
Most resorts offer a breakfast buffet option. While buffet-style food isn’t known for it’s excellent flavors, there are a couple tricks to getting the most out of it.
Local cuisine dishes are usually the best. Try finding a made-to-order station where you can request local favorites like huevos rancheros (our personal favorite) in Mexico.Grab snacks for later in the day–pretzels, bananas, pastries, etc. Especially if you are headed off property these already paid for snacks will keep you from wasting more money on food (plus it will keep your kids full and happy throughout the day).
Schedule dinner reservations on day one
While buffet style is a popular serving method at all-inclusive resorts, they will also have a la carte restaurants available in your all-inclusive package. All the dishes are still included, you just place your order with a waiter instead of dishing it up yourself.The popular a la carte restaurants tend to fill up quickly (especially on weekends). Get your reservations set as soon as you arrive to guarantee seats at the resort's best dining options.
Follow the dress code
Each restaurant will typically have its own dress code.
Casual places may allow flip-flops and swimsuit coverups. Meanwhile, nicer restaurants may require dresses, collard shirts, or dress shoes.
Don’t be an ignorant guest. Do your research, and dress appropriately.
PRO Tip: Look up this information before your trip, so you can make sure to pack the appropriate clothing.
Dress code requirements are usually posted on the resort’s website or on information pamphlets. Plus you can always call the restaurant to inquire as well.
Take advantage of special food options
All-inclusive food is not only limited to meal times. Food and snack options are available around the clock at most resorts.
The ultimate family crowd pleaser–ICE CREAM!!!
Vacationing in a tropical destination with access to ice cream anytime you want is the BEST!
PRO Tip: Set parameters for your kids up front so they don’t eat their way into a stomach ache on day one.
Another easily accessible food option–ROOM SERVICE!
Room service and luxury resorts go hand in hand. And guests typically pay a pretty penny for it…but not at an all-inclusive resort!
Enjoy a cozy breakfast in bed with included room service delivered right to your door. Or enjoy a midnight snack in your bed.
Ask your resort for more information on their room service options, and remember it’s usually a good idea to tip.
Pace yourself with alcoholic beverages
You’ll have drink choices galor. Don’t go crazy (especially if it’s a family vacation).
Expect low quality liquor in included drinks. Don’t overdue it, or your head and stomach will be angry later.
If you prefer higher quality liquor, inquire about drinks that are available for an additional fee. Typically this more expensive drink selection is the luxury resort’s higher quality alcohol.
Stay hydrated. Drink lots of water because you’re in consuming alcohol in the sun and hot weather…it’s just common sense.PRO Tip: Ask for BOTTLED water. Other countries' filtration methods are not always the same as back home, so drinking bottled water is helpful in avoiding tummy troubles.
Amenities + Activities
Find pool chairs in a good location
Staking claim to ideal pool chairs can be a challenge. The best way to secure a prime location is to arrive at the pool early and reserve chairs in the shade.
Don’t worry–you’ll spend plenty of time in the tropical sun as you’re splashing around in the pool.
Shaded chairs are the perfect spot for relaxing without the risk of burning. Let your kids take a break from the harsh sun rays (or take a nap).
Besides…you can always move your lounge chair into the sun for a bit if you really want that extra does of Vitamin D.
For families with young kids, try to find chairs next to a Baja shelf. Not only is it the perfect place for lounging in the water, but it’s a great spot for kids to safely play in shallow water while you sit poolside.PRO Tip: Bring (or buy) small toys for kids to play with in the water on the Baja shelf. They will be entertained, so you can have a few moments to yourself.
Give a small tip to hotel staff
It’s always a good idea to have small bills on hand to tip staff members when they provide great service.
Whether someone brought you drinks by the pool, or a person helped you set up private tours, a tip is a nice gesture.
Most big name hotel chain resorts in Mexico will take US dollars. However, it never hurts to use the local currency to tip instead (make sure you know the conversion rate and tip the appropriate amount).
Attend special events
As soon as you arrive at your all-inclusive resort, get a calendar of all the events happening during your stay. The resort will offer a variety of events that are part of your all-inclusive rate.
See when kids activities or shows will take place. And find out what types of events are geared toward the whole family.
Decide which events to make a priority during your family vacation. Then make the rest of your vacation plans around those events.
PRO Tip: Take note of which events include a meal, and don’t make conflicting dinner reservations for that night.
Splurge on extra activities (not-included)
Browse your resort’s website ahead of time and do your research. They will list various activities and amenities that are available for an extra charge.
Decide which activities are worth the splurge this trip!
You could pamper yourself with luxurious spa treatments, or take turns with your husband so you both get to relax and rejuvenate.
Embrace the romance at a candlelit dinner on the beach. Dip your toes in the sand and toast with a drink in your hand.
PRO Tip: For adult-only activities, look into what type of kids’ clubs the resort offers. You may be able to let your kids play and have a blast, while you and your man get some alone time.
Pay for a family photo session on the beach and capture moments from your trip with professional photography.
Top 5 Travel Hacks
Discover the secret to stress free family vacations!
Take a day trip to explore
Even though you’ve paid for all the included food and activities at your resort, don’t be afraid to change it up a bit and LEAVE.
Venture beyond the resort on special excursions as a family. Go adventure together and make priceless memories.
Head out for a day, and explore the beautiful destination you are visiting. Discover all the sights, sounds, flavors, and cultures in nearby towns!
Resort staff members can connect you with local tour guides and suggest popular excursions that would be perfect for the whole family.
Avoid Hurricane season
Before you book your trip, consider the timing of your vacation dates. Avoid busy times like spring break or crazy weather during hurricane season.
While hurricane season may offer cheaper rates, be prepared (mentally and physically) for what could happen.
If a hurricane hits while you’re there, you could be evacuated or forced to shelter in place at a specific location in the resort.
Or you could end up like us – We showed up just after a hurricane hit the resort. In the aftermath of the hurricane, several pools were closed due to damage and debris all over in them.
Regardless of what happens, be determined to make the most of your trip no matter what!
We ended up with access to 1 pool instead of 7, but we didn’t let it ruin our trip. We made the most with what we had, and you know what…we had a blast!
A positive mentality like this is what makes it Worth Every Trip!
Find a resort with kids pool areas
I think this goes without saying…but don’t book an adults-only resort for your family vacation.
Instead, find a resort that is not only family friendly but caters to kids.
Look for all-inclusive hotels or resorts (like Hyatt Ziva Los Cabos) that have kid amenities like a kiddie pool, splash pad or playground. Your kids will have a blast, and you’ll love watching them overflow with joy!
Reserve a room with separate sleeping areas
Every resort has different room categories to choose from with varying views and amenities. Choose whichever room category you feel is worth the price tag.
Whichever you choose, find a room with a separate sleeping area for your kids. It could have a second bedroom or a living room with pull out sleeper sofa.
Especially with young kids who don’t stay up as late, this room set up is ideal when traveling.You can put the kids down to bed and have quality time with your husband in your room or even out on your balcony….ahhhhh.
Get points with your travel credit card
Get the most out of your trip financially by using a travel credit card. Use it to book your stay and pay for any expenses (other than tips) while you are there.
PRO Tip: Make sure your credit card has NO foreign transaction fees, so you don’t accrue extra charges.
You’re already going to be spending money on an all-inclusive resort vacation, so you might as well earn reward points at the same time.
Use a credit card that gets you extra bonus points on dining and travel. Your points will start accruing even faster to use on your next family trip.
If you’re unfamiliar with transportation in your destination (bus routes, taxi drivers, trains, etc), use the resort’s preferred transfer service.
Some resorts even offer a complementary airport transfer, so be sure to inquire before you set up anything.
These tips for all-inclusive mexican resorts will transform your family vacation from good to INCREDIBLE! All-inclusive trips can be a blast with kids of all ages because there is something for everyone to enjoy.
Prioritize what matters to your family, and decide to make the most of your vacation no matter what. Then you’re sure to make it Worth Every Trip!