In my BC (Before Children) travel life, I never would have considered an all-inclusive resort. It seemed too… confining. But once I started traveling with kids, particularly a picky eater kid, I discovered the joys of the all-inclusive buffet line and plethora of things to do.
Being a mom is wonderful, yes. But it also can be exhausting. And the idea of a vacation during which I would do all the things I did at home, but from the confines of a small hotel room while paying restaurant prices for a meal my son wasn't likely to eat, did not feel much like a vacation for me.
Still, my travel snobbishness kept me from investigating all-inclusives until I was invited to visit a Beaches resort in the Turks and Caicos with my picky eater son. The minute we stepped foot on the property, I knew it would be a vacation we both would enjoy.
There was no lack of things for the active boy to do and I could park on a pool lounge chair while he did them. Then, when we got hungry, we headed to the buffet line where I encouraged him to take a spoonful of anything he thought he might eat and, once he tried it, he could head back for a full helping of anything he liked. What a relief for both of us not to be fighting over every meal.
Our next all-inclusive experience was at the Club Med Ixtapa in Mexico. Same great service, wealth of activity choices, extensive buffet and relaxing time for mom while still being fun for kids.
And, the coup de grace: Because, by definition, pretty much everything is included, you know going in how much you'll spend. No penny-pitching, dollar counting or budget keeping necessary.
Cindy Richards is the mom of two who gets her muse from traveling the world, usually with kids in tow. She also writes for TravelingMom.com, where she also serves as editor.
See more of Cindy's stories here.