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A First Timer’s Guide to All Inclusive Resorts with Families

A First Timer’s Guide to All Inclusive Resorts with Families

Transportation – How do I get to and from my resort?

  • Depending on where you live, you might be in the lucky minority who can drive to an all-inclusive resort. Be sure to find out parking fees if you are storing your personal (or rental) car.
  • To get the best prices on airfare to and from your all-inclusive resort, be sure to check with your preferred resort and/or airline directly. Resorts and carriers often offer air+hotel promotions during the shoulder season, and even “kids fly free” deals that can be a huge cost-saver for families. Additional promotions can offer free pick up and drop off at the airport.
  • Most resorts have connections with shuttle partners that can easily get you to and from the airport if you don’t want to rent a car. Securing a private driver to take your family to the airport means you won’t have to worry at airport landing. Finding your name on a printed card from the resort is a great relief for weary travelers.
  • Taxis are always an option at airports, although it will be up to you to properly communicate your destination. Rules vary from locale to locale, but airports are often full of a mass of drivers hoping to secure your ride. Prepare yourself for this bombardment by having a plan in mind before your departure.
  • Public transportation is typically available, but your resort might not be within the regular routes established by these options. Stick to public transportation only if your resort is within a city center and you can easily determine your route in advance with translation. If it looks too hard to determine online, it is likely going to be a bigger challenge when you have three kids, five bags, and a terrible post-plane migraine.
  • Verify the length of your airport-resort drive. Very young ones will have a hard time with a long car-ride immediately following a long plane trip. I suggest packing an extra, new activity (such as a coloring book or set of action figures) to pack in an easily accessible top pocket of your checked bags. You can quickly grab this for the ride to the resort to keep your little one at ease. Snacks and a post-customs bathroom stop are always a good idea as well.
  • If you are heading from the west coast to the east, consider adding a day to your trip for travel time. Most east coast departures to the Caribbean and Jamaica are offered in the morning, meaning you either add a day or take a red-eye from the west coast.
  • Car seats are not required for children in most Mexico and Caribbean locations. For safety reasons, consider bringing your own car seat for use in taxis or shuttles (the Bubble Bum is a FANTASTIC portable booster for older toddlers and young children). Many resorts promise a car seat pickup but travelers frequently complain about the consistency (and the quality) of these offerings.
  • No matter how you get to your resort, the process is always a bit of an adventure to travelers only used to the rules of traffic in the US and Canada. Prepare for this change, sit back, and enjoy the ride.
  • Going on an excursion? Check to see if your resort offers car rentals on site or if you will be forced to utilize tour groups to exit the resort property.
  • Larger properties often offer some sort of intra-resort transportation such as golf carts (and even an adorable train that choo-choo’d through the property at Palladium Punta Cana). Ask at check in the means of transportation around the resort; some carts are for staff only, some for VIP guests, and others operate on a regular schedule.

Lead Image by:

Katie Bodell