Hi Friends! Have you ever wanted to go on an all-inclusive vacation where the kiddos are happy and the adults are happy too??? A few years ago when we went to UCSB Family Vacation Center that is exactly what we had. I would say that it was the best family vacation we ever had where everyone was happy the whole time and no one was stressed or fighting. Sound good?? Well, read on!
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When my kids were a little younger, I really wanted to go to on a family all-inclusive vacation. I researched and most of the places in the USA that were all-inclusive were on the East coast. Being from CA, I didn’t really want to pay for flights plus an all-inclusive place, so I was pretty excited when I stumbled upon UC Santa Barbara Family Vacation Center – an all-inclusive family fun-filled vacation with everything planned for you!
As a Mom, my ideal vacation is where I don’t have to cook, clean or plan everything. I want a vacation from all those everyday tasks so that I can have fun too. I know all you Moms can relate, right? This is not a sponsored post and I get no incentives from FVC, I am just sharing our story!
FVC was perfect right from the start. Booking was easy and the week we went, toddlers were free, so super extra bonus for us! You do not have to be a UCSB alumni to attend!
When you drive in the UCSB parking lot, you are greeted by a bunch of screaming counselors welcoming you in. That fun energetic feeling never disappeared from the amazing college aged camp counselors!
Everyone attending the FVC, stayed in one huge dorm building. We were put in a 3 bedroom suite, which was great! The beds are twin dorm beds, so not the best, but that is probably the only downside of the whole thing. Take foam mattress toppers if possible! We had the dorm showers and bathroom too, it was like being back in college, but it was just our family of 5 sharing the bathroom.
There is an all you can eat buffet at the cafeteria on campus. It is not the dorm food I remember! This was yummy, farm to fork, and a huge variety of food. My kids could always find something they liked! Huge plus, no complaining about food!!
You were give a calendar of events before you went so you could decide what you wanted to do each day. Sometimes there were multiple things going on at one time like tennis lessons, paddle boarding, yoga, surfing, etc. Some of the activities were extra so you could do just what was included or add-on extra activities.
The kids were all split into different age groups, from babies to high schoolers, and they found friends quickly. Their counselors were tons of fun and actually made my kids laugh and have fun at the same time!
The days were broken down into some family activities and some separate activities.
One day, my hubby and I went wine tasting (driven by a counselor!) while the kids went to a bounce house or on a hike.
Another day, we went to the water and were instructed how to paint pictures while the kids went roller skating or bowling.
Some days, we didn’t sign up for extra excursions and borrowed some bikes and rode around campus. Or we borrowed boogie boards and took the kids to the nearby beach.
We had a few adult night outs. One night we went to downtown Santa Barbara, had a nice dinner and walked around. Another night we had karaoke on campus with other adults from the camp. The kids were not always busy during the nights, but you could hire one of the counselors to babysit for a reasonable fee while you went out.
There was a beach day and a beach BBQ night. There were pool days and the counselors even put on skits!
There was a talent show, skit night, reptile show, carnival night, hikes, pinewood derby races… Something almost all the time!
An extra bonus was that there was a photographer who walked around all day taking pictures so you could just have fun. These pictures were available for purchase at the end of the vacation. Some of these pics are mine and some were taken.
For some families, they attend the UCSB Family Vacation Center every year so they return the same week with the friends they have made. Most of the people we met had gone for several years since they know how amazing it is…a full filled week-long family camp on the beach in beautiful Santa Barbara!
Even though we thought we’d go back again, unfortunately we never did. We absolutely loved our time there and I would highly recommend it to anyone. We like switching up our travel every year, so our big vacations are always different. Maybe when we are grandparents, we will take a multigenerational family vacation there!!
If you’d like to read more about FVC, find the best deal, compare prices, and read what other travelers have to say about it at TripAdvisor here.
Thanks so much for stopping by! Please let me know if you have any questions!