Parents don’t really go on vacay; they just take care of their kids in a different place.
NOT! Time to bust that statement.
We landed in Cabo, Mexico… our first real trip with three boys under five. Call me crazy, but we did it… and it was the best. trip. ever.
Why? Because I got to be a kid with my kids. I got to relax. I got to unplug (except for Insta). I got to spend QT with each of my kids individually… and with my husband. It was a much-needed escape for all of us, and I’m so glad we braved the venture.
Luxury travel with kids… it’s possible! Here’s how we did it, and here’s why you should, too… even with young kiddos.
1. Save mula by going all-inclusive. (My Cabo pick: Pueblo Bonito Sunset Beach blissfully secluded on a private coastal bluff.) The kids will get a kick out of ordering food galore, and you won’t be slammed with the bill at checkout. My youngest- 18 months- perfected a “salud” with his virgin daquiri to my Greyhound. We had ceviche while they ate hot dogs; fish tacos to their mac and cheese. It was a win-win for everyone.
2. Research family-friendly amenities. Make sure you know what you’re getting prior to booking. Look up resorts that cater to kids… many have supervised Kid’s Clubs so you can ditch ‘em for a few hours of adult time. (Did someone say spa??) And know the whole pool situation. We have mediocre swimmers, so a shallow end is a must.
3. Book a suite. Bite the bullet; extra money equals extra space for the kids… and privacy for you. Truth be told, the kids will pass out within seconds after a full day of sunshine, so you’ll want some space with your spouse without having to whisper (BTW, we had an oversized balcony AND hot tub…score!). Oh, and divide and conquer with your spouse. Take turns waking up with the kids, granting each of you some morning sleep time. (For me, sleeping past seven is a miracle.)
4. Date night is still possible!! Yes, it’s a family vacay, but NO, you don’t need to spend every single solitary second as a pack. Some properties offer legit hourly babysitting services, so treat yourselves to a mom + dad dinner date!
5. Schedule a pro photographer. Why? Because you’ll want the pics. Instagram and review sites are great for finding a good shooter- why not capture that holiday card picture in paradise? (And OMG- sunset pics are the bomb!)
6. Set a flexible agenda. Avoid over-doing your day by planning one big activity daily. Do something bucket-list worthy… fish, swim with dolphins, jet ski- whatever floats your boat… just make sure you slot time for poolside R&R.
7. And speaking of an agenda, prioritize spending special time with your kiddos. If you have more than one child, do something with each of them individually- they’ll appreciate the one-on-one, and so will you. It can be as simple as getting ice cream or taking a walk on the beach. I parasailed with my eldest and it was ten meaningful minutes of just us. The best thing you can gift your kids is you.
8. Pack strategically. Are you an over-packer? Join the club… however, surrender your luggage stuffing ways knowing you’ll live in a suit, cover up and flip flops. With that being said, make sure to bring the essentials. Some of my favorite beachy fashion finds include:
- Women’s full-piece bathing suit
- Women’s cover up
- Beachy blouse for dad
- Men’s polo
- UV Safe board shorts
- Cool shades for kids
- Photoshoot-worthy outfits; shirt and shorts
- AWAY Luggage
9. Embrace that inner child and show your babies you can disconnect. Surrender your “at home” routine; let your baby nap on-the-go and stay up too late. Instill in your kids flexibility, and a love for travel and culture. Prior to the trip, talk to them about where you’re going and teach them basic words in a new language… get them excited and immersed in the experience.
10. Remember, a family vacay isn’t a honeymoon. Reframe your perspective… realize such a trip serves a beautiful purpose: enjoying uninterrupted family time for fun and bonding. I’m telling you, the memories made will forever have a place in my heart.