The Family Vacation: Is Your Chosen Resort Kid-Friendly?

If you're taking advantage of the warm weather at beautiful beaches, you're likely looking for the whole package, including a luxury resort with great accommodations and amenities. However, when you're taking the kids along for the ride, you'll find that some resorts are more family-friendly than others. Some resorts won't have much to offer as far as kid-friendly food, activities, and rooms. However, if you know what to look for, you can choose a resort that offers all the luxuries adults enjoy, while also rolling out the red carpet for your kids. 

1. Take a look a scheduled events.

Great resorts have events that resort patrons can attend. If the events include things like wine tasting, comedy shows, and poker night, chances are this resort will not have the environment you're looking for. Resorts that are geared toward families will offer events like visiting story-tellers, sandcastle building contests, parent-child swim time in the resort pool, and other activities that kids and parents can both enjoy. Of course, later, evening events will be for adults only, but this means you and your partner can enjoy some one-on-one time after the kids have gone to bed. 

2. There should be a babysitting service.

While this cost of the service may or may not be included in your resort package, a family-friendly resort should offer some sort of child watch service for a portion of the day. This doesn't mean that your child will be bored. Sometimes, kids-only excursions and activities, like arts and crafts or scavenger hunts, will help your kids get some wholesome stimulation while you can enjoy the beach. 

3. Room design takes kids into account.

Look for resorts that offer great accommodations, not only for you and your partner, but also for your children. Some resorts offer suites that have a separate bedroom for children, or they offer rooms that adjoin, so that you can still have privacy and access to your children, should you need to get with them in the night. Rooms designed for family living might include items like:

  • infant bathtubs
  • no-tears shampoo and conditioner 
  • roll out cots or portable cribs for babies and toddlers
  • hot chocolate and apple cider packets in addition to the usual coffee maker and beans
  • kids gear, like rain ponchos, backpacks, and sunscreen, in case you did not pack your own
  • enough towels for every guest, not just the adults. 

Also, buildings made to house families should be non-smoking, and may even have limitations as to whether alcohol is allowed in the rooms. Some resorts will even childproof a room by blocking off electrical sockets and making sure that cords to the TV and appliances are secured or out of reach. 

4. There's a variety of food choices. 

Resort food can be some of the most delicious. When you go on vacation, you want to taste the local cuisine and enjoy the gourmet experience of resort restaurants. Family-friendly resorts offer the best of both worlds. While there will be some fine-dining, adults-only restaurants and bars on the resort, you'll find several family dining rooms with plenty of options that appeal to both adults and kids. Your kids could order a grilled cheese, while you enjoy roasted duck with orange and haricot vert. Also, to accommodate kids' unpredictable eating habits, the resort may keep some places open all day just in case there's an immediate need for ice-cream. 

Resorts try to bring the very best to the table. When booking your vacation, be sure to look at all the family accommodations that a resort offers. You'll be surprised to find that many resorts have thought of everything-- even down to the training wheels your four-year-old needs when renting a bike for your family bike ride along the boardwalk. 

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