Courtesy of Barceló Maya Beach Resort

Some of the greatest values for families can be found at all-inclusive resorts, which offer plenty of diversions and schedule flexibility.

Barceló Maya Beach Resort, Riviera Maya, Mexico

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A resort complex comprised of five hotels, this is the destination to pick if you like options on vacation. How many options, you ask? Twenty restaurants; 19 bars; eight swimming pools (two semi-Olympic); two water parks; one surf ride attraction, and two spas. One of those spas is for kids only, and too adorable for words.
Teens can be found in their dedicated lounge, or, often, on the mini-golf course. Wherever you are on property, though, you'll get a breeze from the open-air style of the architecture, and a glimpse, if not a panoramic view, of the ocean. That water! You won’t soon forget it.

In the unlikely event the kids want to be indoors, you can all always go bowling at the newly-installed alley.

Starting Rates: $98.50 per person, per night based on double occupancy. Includes: meals, non-alcoholic beverages, house wine, and well drinks, daily programming, non-motorized marine sport equipment rental, and most entertainment. Extra: Some specialty facilities, such as spa services. 

Family Friendly All Inclusive

Best All-Inclusive Family Resorts

Barceló Maya Beach Resort, Riviera Maya, Mexico

A resort complex comprised of five hotels, this is the destination to pick if you like options on vacation. How many options, you ask? Twenty restaurants; 19 bars; eight swimming pools (two semi-Olympic); two water parks; one surf ride attraction, and two spas. One of those spas is for kids only, and too adorable for words.
Teens can be found in their dedicated lounge, or, often, on the mini-golf course. Wherever you are on property, though, you'll get a breeze from the open-air style of the architecture, and a glimpse, if not a panoramic view, of the ocean. That water! You won’t soon forget it.

In the unlikely event the kids want to be indoors, you can all always go bowling at the newly-installed alley.

Starting Rates: $98.50 per person, per night based on double occupancy. Includes: meals, non-alcoholic beverages, house wine, and well drinks, daily programming, non-motorized marine sport equipment rental, and most entertainment. Extra: Some specialty facilities, such as spa services. 

Courtesy of Barceló Maya Beach Resort

Best All-Inclusive Family Resorts

The kids want to go ziplining—for the third time in two days. But you don't need to think twice. When you're staying at an all-inclusive resort, nearly everything is included, so the pressure is off to constantly tally the cost of your vacation.

The all-inclusive concept has gotten a recent makeover—better food, spruced-up décor, more varied activities—and many are perfect for families. Activities are on-site, so there's no need to wake up early and usher the troops out the door only to wait in traffic or long lines. Beaches Turks & Caicos Resort Villages & Spa offers four themed villages, 19 restaurants, a 45,000-square-foot water park, a Scratch DJ Academy, a surfing simulator, an Xbox Play Lounge, and Sesame Street® characters.

Related: Best Family Getaways 2014

The best all-inclusive family resorts also have programs that give grown-ups a little space. Vermont's Tyler Place Family Resort runs nine camps tailored to specific ages, each with its own facilities; parents meet up with their brood for lunch and activities, but can enjoy dinner in the adults-only restaurant.

These are the kinds of distinguishing factors to look for before booking. "The devil is in the details, so do your homework with special attention to size, quality, and the staff-to-guest ratio," says Zachary Rabinor, CEO of Journey Mexico.

Related: Best Affordable All-Inclusive Resorts

At Kenya's Lewa Safari Camp, families can customize the experience, say, with earlier mealtimes. Before each morning's game drive, hot chocolate is delivered to the door. Now that should keep the whole family happy.

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