10 Ways to Get the Most Out of Your All-Inclusive Vacation

img_4178 img_4153 Drink mucho top-shelf margaritas. The end.

img_4207img_0831I kid, I kid, there are many OTHER ways to get the most out of an all-inclusive vacation.

Our family of 5 recently returned from a trip to our favorite gourmet all-inclusive resort, Karisma Hotels & Resorts Generations Riviera Maya and over the course of our 3 day visit (yes, too short but still wonderful) I kept thinking of all of the things I wanted to share here on Pretty Prudent when I got back. Basically all of the ways that we got the most out of our little relaxing adventure.

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img_4148Fine Dining

Clearly the #1 reason to pick a gourmet all-inclusive is for the delicious food. I always do my research before I arrive at my destination. Besides the Chef Market Grand Cafe and a outdoor terrace featuring Mexican street food, Generations offers a Pan Asian Restaurant, A Mediterranean restaurant and a chic Wine Kitchen Restaurant & Tasting Room. Did we hit every single one with 3 kids in tow in 3 nights? Yes we did. We all loved dressing up every night and virtually traveling the world with our palettes.

img_4137 Had we stayed a few more days, we would have relaxed and sampled some scrumptious room service in our PJ’s but on this timeline it was all about hitting the restaurants hungry and looking sharp.img_4144 img_4123-copy

Pick Your Room Wisely

Besides the cuisine, one of my favorite things about Generations is the floor plan. While many all-inclusives are spread out with multiple buildings and restaurants sprinkled throughout the grounds, this resort is all together in one building and the restaurants are stacked in a 5-story building. You never have far to walk whether you are going to the spa, the kids club, or to a lounge for cocktail.

img_0890Make New Friends

My husband and I love to talk people up on vacation. YES, that is us that you met on your last trip! As a result we are always bumping into our new friends by the pool and at the beach. Being friendly with fellow travelers and the hotel staff can be really helpful when you are looking for tips on the best hotel experience. Finding little friends for the kiddos? That can help make the entire vacation one they will remember forever!

img_4204 Spend Time Together and Alone

While I don’t want the kiddos to miss out on the amazing dinners, I’m all from letting them enjoy some fun kids club activities while my man and I enjoy some alone time. While they were cooking and crafting and playing with friends, we went for a long stroll through the neighbor property, El Dorado Royal, which is adult only. It was nice to spend a little quality time together, with some tasty beverages, on our busy family vacation.img_4191

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img_4173Make Time for Something You Love

When I know I’m going to have downtime on a trip, I bring watercolor supplies. Painting tropical flora puts me in my happy place. Doing it with my girl? Well it’s just about the best this life can give me. If painting isn’t your thing, bring books, a writing journal, your camera or a portable craft project.

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Be a Good Sport

Don’t fear the Social Director. On an afternoon away from the kiddos, we found ourselves roped into a competitive game of water polo with 30 other guests of all ages. My husband was on board, he is always happiest playing a sport and by they end, I was hooked. We went back every day for another game. Yes, my team won. Yes, I had 1.5 wardrobe malfunctions.

fullsizerender-135-copyEat All of the Courses

Yes, of course I am bringing this back to food. You are sitting in a fine restaurant behind a menu that has you drooling! You want to order it all but you feel weird. Greedy. Unsophisticated. It’s All-In-Clu-Sive! You aren’t wasting, you are having a dining experience! Order all the things. You are on vacation!img_4217

img_0960Play Games

Since the kids have reached the golden ages of 5-7-9, you know, old enough to do fun stuff with you, young enough to want to do fun stuff with you, we have started bringing games on any trip that we take. On this trip, Sleeping Queens was the big hit. It’s a deck of cards so it’s easy to pack and everyone in the family can play it. Games are a really fun way to spend some vacation down time together in the suite.

img_4233See Some Shows

By the end of the day you may want to tuck your all-inclusive belly into a perfect bed of lux white sheets. If you have a little bit left in you, venture down to the outdoor stage for the nightly show. These resorts have brought in the finest acrobats, and dancers to put on a show. The kids, and you, will love it.

img_0498-copy Eat the Sugar

Oh what? You on a diet? No, you can not get out of this place without sampling the brilliant sweet treats created by the resort pastry chefs. They are works of art! You may even come back to some as a turn down service surprise. Open your complimentary wine or pull a cold drink from your all-inclusive mini bar and enjoy some on the balcony. You can count calories next week, when you don’t have a PASTRY CHEF!

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