Well, the reason we're thinking all-inclusive is that the teenagers can eat plenty and if we do the AI it will keep the cost down. Don't you think going to restaurants for breakfast, lunch and dinner, (5 people) would be very expensive in Aruba? My daughter and I are light eaters but the other three can really put it away! :ignore:[/QUOTE
It still might be more cost effective without an all inclusive. I say this because my sister and I both planned trips to Aruba one year by coincidence with travel dates within a couple days of each other. She did the all inclusive route with her hubby, had no car rental, stayed only 1 week and stayed at a place that wasn't as nice (we went to visit them and check it out, basic 2 dbl. hotel room, that was outdated too), plus they had indirect flights. They paid the same as we did, within a hundred dollars and we were there 2 weeks (1 week used exchange, 2nd week paid $1000 for getaway week), had a car rental for 2 weeks, had 4 people vs. 2, had direct flights out of the same airport as her and we had a 2bdrm modern condo (stayed 1 week each at Marriott's Surf Club and Ocean Club). We also didn't skimp on eating out or ordering drinks, we had dinner out each night, ordered lunches by the pool or on the beach each day and had drinks ordered whenever we desired, our costs also included groceries we got for snacks, drinks and some breakfasts to have in our unit). I don't know where you are from, but for us, everything cost double there....if you go out to dinner here and your steak dinner is $20 it would be $40 there, a cocktail $6, $12 there, etc.... that might help if you figure the costs. If you decide to not go the all inclusive route, it sounds like your family would enjoy the Marriott's Surf Club, it has awesome pools (including a lazy river), it's has water sports tents right out front and close enough to walk to shopping, restaurants, movies, clubs, etc... Have fun!