…BECAUSE A 5 YEAR OLD AND 3 YEAR OLD TWINS ARE PLENTY OF ADVENTURE
My family of 5 recently went on a very last minute vacation to Riviera Maya, Mexico. Literally, we booked the tickets Tuesday afternoon and flew out Wednesday morning. Why? Because it was a smoking deal, which allowed us to take the kids with us. We had been to Mexico on our honeymoon, and various couple or individual trips in the last 10 years of our marriage, but we are just feeling like our kids are getting to a fun age. Yes, the other ages were cute, hard, and I completely forget what happened in all of that time. So we decided to take a journey will all 3 kid in tow – to get some relaxation time in. Yes, you can stop laughing. We planned on getting time to relax, read, and enjoy the beach… and the company of our 5 and 3 year olds. It wasn’t until we returned and everyone asked us about travelling with the kids that we realizes it was a bit crazy of an idea. Honestly it was pretty smooth sailing – you can totally enjoy Mexico with kids.
So, if you have young children and think you can’t go anywhere, here is how to survive a vacation with your kids and having fun while you’re at it!
BOOK AN ALL INCLUSIVE VACATION
Some people might not enjoy the all inclusive idea and want to venture out on their own exciting adventures. Let me tell you, this is not the time for that. The fun excursions, zip lines, exotic food and drinks, are not the most fun with kids in tow. Take the time to enjoy the resort. Not only can you rest assured on the set price, you won’t be worried about paying for food that kids won’t eat because they can enjoy the buffet. Parents can have sushi and made to order meals while the kids enjoy cheese pizza and ice cream. Its wonderful.
STAY IN A FAMILY FRIENDLY RESORT
A resort doesn’t need to be the Disneyland of mexico in order to be awesome. My family stayed at the Catalonia Yucatan (also known as Catalonia Riviera Maya) and it was fantastic. While not specifically branded as a KIDS hotel, it wasn’t an adult only hotel either. I really like that there was a kids club from 10-5 every day, and my 5 year old loved joining in on pirate day. Who wouldn’t love making pirate hats, dressing up, and going on a treasure hunt? It was honestly adorable and while we hesitated to send him to the kids club at first (we wanted to hang out with our kid!) he begged to go back every single day afterwords (while we were out of the resort at different parks). We also enjoyed all the activities they had for our kids, and the 5 pools with a large shallow section kept us swimming and splashing.
GET OUTTA DODGE
I know I said that leaving the resort with kids wasn’t very fun, but it can be if you have realistic expectations. Off roading, zip lines, waterfalls are all not in the cards if you have smaller children in tow. However, if you are in the Cancun or Riviera Maya area, I highly recommend Xcaret and Xel-ha for families of all ages and stages (see my family review of xel-ha).
Nobody likes a sunburned baby. I like the old fashioned lotion kind for their bodies, legs and arms. I am thrilled with the stick kind for faces, neck, and behind their ears. We bought this kind and loved them.
Enjoy throwing the rocks, kids. Its the only toys you will have for a long time!
HIT UP THE DOLLAR STORE BEFORE
You are more than welcome to leave your existing water toys at home, but know that you will pay about 20x the price for a really sad looking pool toy at the hotel. Instead, go to the dollar store and get as many floaty tubes and pool toys that you can find. Trust me. Its worth hauling them.
- RELAX If you end up jumping back and forth from the pool to the ocean 20 times a day, its ok. Don’t worry about what you see and don’t see. Just enjoy being at the beach and in the beautiful warm sunshine. The kids are just thrilled to be there and to see you happy. If you don’t feel like doing something, don’t!