It is my pleasure to introduce Peter Dellegrazie, my husband, who is guest posting today about his large family group travel experience to Turks and Caicos.
Ever thought about taking a family vacation? I’m not talking about the typical family of 4 kind, but one that includes your WHOLE family?? I just did it with 30 other family members!
Sounds like a potential disaster, right? Not at all!
For us, it was decided that staying at an all-inclusive resort in a warm weather location was the best fit. Not only did a break from the harsh New York weather sound welcoming, but the warm temps were sure to put everyone in a good mood. Plus, needing less clothes meant less packing…always a good thing!
But, perhaps the most important reason of them all, KIDS LOVE POOLS and a third of us were kids, ranging from 1 to 16.
So, for a week (Yes! 7 whole days), the 31 of us descended upon the Beaches Resort in Turks and Caicos, with its stretches of sandy beaches and beautiful turquoise waters, and…we had a blast!
3 Reasons for our Successful Trip & How Yours can be too!
1 – Logistics
Many extended families choose places like Disney World or a European city like London or Paris that include sightseeing, museums, and dining out. These are great destinations, but they can become logistical nightmares when traveling with a large family group.
Many years ago, several of us attempted to get around the Disney parks by staying together. I’m still not talking to some of those people!
The Beaches Resort and its amenities are all contained on the property. The restaurants, beaches, pools, and villas were all in close proximity to one another. This made it simple to meet up with family members and coordinate throughout the day. The WiFi was exceptional, which allowed us to communicate with text messages and quickly find where family members were.
Within the Resort, there are four separate villages lined up along the beach that do their best to re-create the ambiance and architecture of Italy, France, Key West and the Caribbean. Walkways easily lead from one village to another and made it easy for us to move around the resort together or to find each other.
2- All-Inclusive Food and Drinks
Hungry and thirsty relatives are cranky and complaining relatives. 31 people ordering a la carte from a menu and then arguing over how to split the bill can derail an entire vacation. All- inclusive packages are not for everyone nor for every type of trip, but they are essential to smoothly feed 31 people of different ages and taste buds.
Breakfast at Beaches was solid with eggs, pancakes, fruit, bacon, sausage, and oatmeal. During lunch, there was a salad bar, sandwiches, and pasta. Dinner was themed based on the 4 separate villages within the resort. There was a lot of variety and the kid’s menu made everyone happy.
The most popular spot after dinner? The ice cream parlor, of course.
The all-inclusive also made it simple to grab bottles of water or to head to a bar for Pina Coladas and Daiquiris.
3. Activities/Free Time
It can be tricky to get a large family group of 31 to agree on daily activities. An entire week can also be a lot of together time. Balancing structured activities, like beach Olympics and fishing, with free time to spend together or enjoy a few quiet moments alone on the beach, took the pressure off having to stick to a schedule.
The Beaches Resort ensured no one was bored. There are pools, lounge areas, game rooms, water sports and nightly shows that provide entertainment for the whole family. The luxury spa offers deserved pampering.
Beaches expertly keeps kids busy. There seemed to be a pool every 20 feet and the kids couldn’t get enough of them. The water park is by far the most popular place at the resort. It features multiple water slides, a surf simulator, and several kid-friendly pools. It was hours of fun for kids of all ages.
Jackie booked a roundtrip award flight on JetBlue from New York to Providenciales. With the current American Express 25% transfer bonus (Bonus Done) to JetBlue, I was able to get a 1:1 transfer ratio of Membership Rewards points to TrueBlue points. Typically, I would have needed 5 Membership Rewards Points to get 4 TrueBlue Points.
A little bit of flexibility went a long way. Being flexible allowed me to save roughly 30k points by booking my departure a day earlier.
I stayed at the Beaches Sandals Resort at Grace Bay. No points needed! Thanks to my Uncle for celebrating his birthday in Turks and Caicos and paying for our all-inclusive accommodations.
What have your large group family travel experiences been like? Share below in the comments!
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