Mexico has been a popular destination for family vacations for decades. In 2019, Mexico welcomed a record-breaking number of international tourists, with a significant portion of them families. According to the Mexican Tourism Board (CPTM), around 10.5 million international tourists visited Mexico with their families in 2019. The number of domestic family vacations in Mexico is also noteworthy. Mexicans themselves enjoy exploring their own country for family getaways, contributing to the tourism industry's growth. In 2019, it was estimated that over 40 million domestic tourists embarked on family vacations within Mexico.

So why is Mexico such a popular travel destination for families? The country has a  unique blend of natural beauty with pristine beaches, turquoise waters and jungle landscapes. It boasts rich cultural heritage, with Mayan ruins and ancient archeological sites that are educational for kids and teens. Warm hospitality is readily found in many of Mexico's tourist-centric locales, where there are abundant options for families seeking an all-inclusive resort experience. These all-inclusive resorts streamline vacation planning and include everything a family could want for vacation -- dozens of adventure and recreation activities, all-day dining, open bar, family-friendly rooms and suites, kid-friendly pools and splash pads, and childcare services so adults can get some much-needed relaxation. Plus, Mexico is a short plane ride and affordable vacation for families coming from the Americas. 

If you and your family are sold of visiting Mexico for your next vacation, how should you choose where to stay? There are many factors to take into consideration. This guide will help you determine the best all-inclusive resort option for your family. 

Considerations for Families When Choosing a Resort in Mexico

First and foremost, you will want to pick an all-inclusive resort that will suit your entire family. One thing to consider is picking a resort with proper childcare for all your children's ages. For example, Club Med offers kids clubs for children ranging from four to 17. Organized activities like games, water play and crafts are great for young children, while recreational activities like Club Med's iconic flying trapeze circus school, tennis club, sailing lessons, snorkeling and kayaking might be fun for older children. Club Med's kids' clubs allow parents to go relax by the pool or on white-sand beaches while enjoying a tropical drink. Adults might also like to indulge in luxury spa services like hot stone massages, facials or sunset yoga, all of which are available at Club Med. 

Another consideration for your family might be dining options to suit all tastes. At Club Med's all-inclusive resorts in Mexico, all-day dining is included at a wide-variety or restaurants, ranging from casual oceanfront grills, to fine-dining establishments, authentic Mexican cuisine and grand-scale buffets. Club Med even features a baby corner with food specific for babies and toddlers. 

Entertainment is also key to creating lasting memories with your family. Festive dance performances, live cooking demos, musical performances and cultural celebrations are fun for the whole family. These shows are provided at Club Med at no additional cost. 

Location and Transportation Options

Traveling with children can be tough, especially when juggling transportation needs from your flight, to your airport transfer, rides around town, to cultural sites and on day excursions. You'll want to consider ease of transportation when selecting an all-inclusive resort for your next family getaway. 

Flights are easy to come by to Mexico. There are many carriers that fly into major international airports in Mexico such as Cancún International Airport, Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo International Airport and Mexico City International Airport. 

Many all-inclusive resorts offer free or affordable airport transfers aboard air-conditioned hotel shuttles to get your family to the resort. Or, you might consider renting a car at the airport. 

Once you are settled in at your resort, there are many options for transportation including ride-shares, taxis, hotel shuttles and public busses. Here are a few tips when thinking about your transportation needs:

  • Choose Reliable Airport Transfers: If you're flying into Mexico, consider booking reliable airport transfers in advance. Many airports offer shuttle services or private transfers to take you directly to your accommodation. This can save you the hassle of negotiating with taxi drivers and provide a comfortable and safe start to your trip.

  • Utilize Local Public Transportation: Public transportation, such as buses or metro systems, can be a cost-effective way to get around in Mexico. Research local bus routes and schedules in advance and consider purchasing reloadable transportation cards if available. Public transportation is generally safe, but always be mindful of your belongings and follow any local guidelines or instructions.

  • Consider Private Transportation: If you prefer more flexibility and convenience, private transportation options like rental cars or private drivers may be suitable. Renting a car allows you to explore at your own pace and visit off-the-beaten-path destinations. Ensure you have an international driving permit, understand local traffic regulations, and have proper insurance coverage.

  • Arrange Child Safety Seats: If you're traveling with young children, ensure you have appropriate child safety seats or boosters for transportation, whether it's a rental car or private driver. Confirm availability and reserve them in advance to guarantee a safe and comfortable journey for your little ones.

  • Use Ride-Hailing Apps: In many Mexican cities, ride-hailing apps like Uber or Didi are widely available. These apps provide convenience, safety, and transparent pricing. Familiarize yourself with the apps and download them before your trip. Ensure you have internet access or a local SIM card for seamless usage.

  • Embrace Walking and Biking: In pedestrian-friendly areas or compact towns, walking or biking can be an enjoyable and eco-friendly way to explore. Consider renting bicycles or opting for walking tours to discover local attractions and neighborhoods.

  • Stay Aware of Scams: Unfortunately, scams targeting tourists can occur in any destination. Be cautious of overly aggressive taxi drivers, unofficial transportation services, or individuals offering unsolicited transportation assistance. Stick to licensed taxis or reputable transportation providers to minimize the risk of scams.

Remember, Mexico is a vast and diverse country, and transportation options may vary between different regions. It's essential to adapt your transportation choices based on the specific destination, your family's preferences, and the local infrastructure. By planning ahead, staying informed, and prioritizing safety, you can navigate transportation smoothly and make the most of your family trip to Mexico.

Accommodation Options and Family-Friendly Amenities

Family-friendly accommodations and amenities are easy to find in Mexico, particularly in a tourist-centric city like Cancún. The first thing you'll want to consider is a family-friendly room choice. Many resorts, like Club Med Cancún, have family-style rooms and suites that feature twin beds or bunk beds for young children, a separate room for mom and dad, bathtubs for kids, and colorful, playful room decorations. Beyond your room, you'll want to find out what amenities a resort has specifically geared toward children. In terms of the available pools, are there good options for kids? Look for features like shallow sections, water slides, splash parks, or designated kids' pools. Safety measures such as lifeguards and pool barriers are also essential considerations. You also might want an adult-only pool option for when you are ready for some relaxation away from kids. 

Beyond the pool, you'll want to find a resort that has scheduled activities for kids and a kids' club with childcare services. If you have teenagers, you'll want to be sure there are activities for them too. For example, at Club Med Cancún, teenagers might like to try the flying trapeze at the resort's circus school, take a tennis lesson or rent a sailboat. Younger children might enjoy the resort's kids' splash pad, kids' cooking demos and lawn games. 

Of course you'll want to be sure there is a kids' buffet or a range of dining options with food choices your children will want to eat. And entertainment options like live music, dance festivities or celebratory events that might interest kids. 

Safety is another important consideration. Research the resort's safety measures, including 24/7 security, well-maintained facilities, and adherence to safety regulations. Check if the resort has lifeguards at pools and safety protocols for kids' clubs and play areas.

You'll most definitely want to look at reviews from other families who have stayed at the resort. Read about their experiences, paying attention to their feedback on the family-friendliness of the accommodations and amenities.

Dining Options and Meal Plans

All-inclusive resorts in Mexico offer a variety of dining options and meal plans to cater to families. These meal plans can vary from resort to resort. Sometimes resorts offer options like breakfast-only meal plans, half-board (breakfast and dinner), full-board (breakfast, lunch, and dinner), or the most comprehensive, which includes all meals and snacks throughout the day. Club Med resorts include 24/7, all-day dining at multiple on-property restaurants. It's recommended to review your desired resort's website or contact their customer service to get detailed information about the dining options and meal plans available during your stay.

In terms of cuisine options, all-inclusive resorts have a wide variety of styles, ranging from fast-casual eateries to gourmet restaurants. Most all all-inclusive resorts have buffets that offer a plethora of dishes to suit all different tastes. Buffets are convenient for families as they provide a variety of options, including international cuisine, kid-friendly meals, and dishes for people with dietary restrictions.

Specialty Restaurants are common at all-inclusive resorts in Mexico, too. These restaurants typically adhere to a theme or global region, such as Mexican, Italian, Asian, or seafood cuisine. Sometimes these restaurants require reservations and may have a limited number of visits included in an all-inclusive package, so be sure to find out about your resort's dining reservations and restrictions. 

À la Carte Dining is another nice option for families because it allows each individual to order from a menu instead of wandering a busy buffet. À la Carte is ideal for families looking for a sit-down meal with more personalized service. Snack Bars and Cafés are a great option for families on-the-go. All-inclusive resorts typically have snack bars or cafés with lighter fare such as sandwiches, burgers, pizzas, or pastries. These casual options are perfect for grabbing a quick bite between activities or for a casual lunch.

Room Service is sometimes included as part of a resort's all-inclusive offerings, but you'll want to find out before ordering. Room service allows families to enjoy meals in the comfort and privacy of their own room, or during kids' nap times.

Kid's Clubs and Activities in Mexico

All-inclusive resorts in Mexico go above and beyond to ensure that children have a fantastic time during their stay. They offer a wide range of activities and amenities designed specifically for kids. Here are some common activities you can expect to find at all-inclusive resorts in Mexico:

  • Kids Clubs: Most resorts have dedicated kids clubs that provide supervised activities for children in different age groups. These clubs offer a variety of age-appropriate games, arts and crafts, sports, and educational activities. Trained staff members organize and lead the activities to keep children engaged and entertained.

  • Water Parks and Pools: Many family-friendly resorts in Mexico feature water parks or designated areas within pools that are specially designed for kids. These areas often have water slides, splash pads, shallow pools, and interactive water features that provide hours of fun for children.

  • Sports and Recreation: All-inclusive resorts offer a range of sports and recreational activities for kids. This can include beach volleyball, soccer, basketball, tennis, mini-golf, snorkeling, kayaking, circus school (a Club Med exclusive), sailing and kite boarding. Resorts may also have outdoor playgrounds or adventure parks with zip lines, climbing walls, and ropes courses.

  • Entertainment and Shows: Resorts often provide family-friendly entertainment in the form of live shows, musical performances, or themed nights. These events are designed to engage and entertain both children and adults, creating a fun and memorable experience for the whole family. For example, at Club Med has live cooking demos, a beach BBQ and Pozole Thursdays. 

  • Arts and Crafts: Many resorts organize arts and crafts activities where children can create and express their creativity. These activities may include painting, pottery, bracelet making, sand art, and more.

  • Movie Nights: Resorts often host movie nights where families can gather to watch family-friendly movies under the stars. This can be a fun and relaxing activity for children to enjoy with their parents.

  • Treasure Hunts and Scavenger Hunts: Some resorts organize treasure hunts or scavenger hunts where children can explore the resort's premises and solve puzzles or clues to find hidden treasures. These activities promote teamwork and problem-solving skills while keeping kids engaged and entertained.

  • Educational Programs: In addition to fun activities, resorts may offer educational programs for kids, such as nature walks, eco-awareness activities, or cultural workshops where children can learn about the local environment, wildlife, or traditions.

It's important to note that the specific activities may vary depending on the resort's size, location, and target age group. Be sure to check the resort's website or inquire with their staff to get a comprehensive list of the kids' activities available during your stay.

Adult Activities and Entertainment

When taking an all-inclusive vacation in Mexico with your family, don't forget about you! Remember this is your vacation as much as it is your kids' vacation. There are many activities and entertainment options created specifically for adults. So drop off your kids at the kids' club and go enjoy. Here are some of the activities and entertainment you can indulge in at all-inclusive resorts in Mexico:

  • Adult-Only Areas: Many resorts have designated adult-only areas, such as pools, beach sections, or lounges, where adults can relax, unwind, and enjoy a peaceful atmosphere away from children.

  • Spa and Wellness Facilities: Resorts in Mexico often feature luxurious spas offering a wide range of treatments and services, such as massages, facials, body wraps, and other wellness therapies to rejuvenate and unwind. At Club Med Ixtapa, there is even a Wellness Fusion Program, which features a whole schedule of wellness experiences like sunset yoga, mindfulness meditation, moonlight couples massages and nutritious, plant-based menu options from vegan chef Chloe Coscarelli.

  • Fitness Centers and Classes: All-inclusive resorts typically have well-equipped fitness centers where adults can maintain their workout routines. Some resorts also offer fitness classes, such as yoga, Pilates, or aqua aerobics, providing opportunities for guests to stay active and energized.

  • Sports and Recreational Activities: Resorts offer various sports and recreational activities catering to adults. This can include tennis courts, golf courses, beach volleyball, water sports like kayaking or paddle boarding, golf and organized tournaments for friendly competition. For example, Club Med Cancun has lessons for wind surfing, water skiing and wakeboarding.

  • Nightlife and Entertainment: Resorts often provide entertainment options for adults, including live music performances, dance shows, themed parties, and DJ nights. Adults can enjoy socializing, dancing, and savoring cocktails at resort bars and lounges.

  • Excursions and Tours: Many all-inclusive resorts in Mexico offer organized excursions and tours to nearby attractions and cultural sites. These can include visits to ancient Mayan ruins like Chichén Itzá and Tulum, snorkeling or scuba diving trips, zip-lining adventures, or exploring local markets and villages. Adults can embark on these excursions to immerse themselves in the local culture and venture off resort grounds.

  • Cooking Classes and Culinary Experiences: Many resorts offer cooking classes or culinary experiences where adults can learn to prepare traditional Mexican dishes or participate in tastings and wine pairings. These activities provide a fun and educational experience for food enthusiasts.

  • Relaxation Areas: Resorts often provide serene relaxation areas such as hammocks, loungers, or cabanas, where adults can unwind and enjoy some quiet time while soaking in the beautiful surroundings. For example, Club Med Cancún benefits from an unspoiled spot with three postcard beaches and a calm lagoon, away from the crowded hotel areas.

  • Cocktail Workshops and Mixology Classes: Some resorts offer cocktail workshops or mixology classes where adults can learn to create their favorite craft cocktails under the guidance of expert bartenders.

  • Casino and Gaming: Some larger resorts may have on-site casinos where adults can try their luck at various games such as blackjack, poker, or slot machines. It offers a lively and entertaining atmosphere for those who enjoy gaming.

The availability of specific activities may vary between resorts, so it's advisable to check the offerings of your chosen all-inclusive resort in Mexico. 

Safety and Security Measures

As with traveling to any foreign destination, it is important to learn what safety and security measures their are to protect your family at your desired all-inclusive resort. Many resorts go to great lengths to ensure the safety of their guests. For example, at Club Med's Mexico resorts in Cancun and Ixtapa, there are private security guards on premises to control access points, watch surveillance systems and ensure the safety of guests and their belongings. Security personnel frequently stroll the premises to monitor public areas and address any security concerns. Specifically for children, Club Med has trained their childcare providers in first aid and CPR, as well as enacted safety measures to maintain and secure play areas. All-inclusive resorts like Club Med have access to medical facilities or have on-site medical staff to handle minor medical issues and provide immediate assistance when needed. They may also have partnerships with local medical providers in case of more serious emergencies. Club Med resorts have established emergency procedures and protocols in place to address various situations such as medical emergencies, natural disasters, or inclement weather. 

Choosing the best all-inclusive resort in Mexico for families requires careful consideration of various factors. By focusing on family-friendly accommodations, amenities, and activities, you can ensure a memorable and enjoyable experience for everyone. Look for resorts that prioritize the needs of children by offering dedicated kids clubs, pools with water features, and age-appropriate entertainment. Consider the dining options available, including kid-friendly menus and flexibility in meal plans. Safety and security measures should be a top priority, with lifeguards, secure premises, and trained staff. Additionally, explore the range of activities and entertainment for adults, ensuring there are opportunities for relaxation, fitness, and cultural experiences.

Reading reviews and seeking recommendations from other families can provide valuable insights. Ultimately, finding the best all-inclusive resort in Mexico for your next family vacation involves finding a sweet balance between family-friendly amenities, personalized services, and the resort's location and nearby attractions. By taking these factors into account, you can make an informed decision that meets the unique needs and preferences of your family.