Getting the Most Out of Your Riviera Maya Family Vacation
It's a no brainer to book seven to 14 days at an all inclusive resort, but is your family really getting the most out of your trip to Mexico? Are you spending quality time together and sharing new experiences or is everyone dispersed throughout a mega resort for the entire vacation? Unfortunately, once inside the resort many vacationers do not leave to explore the coast. Resorts make vacationing easy and comfortable but with just a little more planning and utilizing of the services available, mom and dad can get the relaxing vacation they deserve and the whole family can feel like they've immersed into a different culture.
Get your kids excited about Mexico before they even get on the plane. In the weeks before as you prepare for your trip, view movies, read folk tales and learn songs that reflect and teach about the area. This will build their excitement and get them thinking about the things they will see and do.
Packing can be a daunting task when traveling with small children - they need so much stuff! Make preparing for your trip less stressful. Pack enough for the first couple of days and then trim down by buying things like diapers, wipes, formula, jar food and other baby specific items when you get there. Yes, Riviera Maya has these items and they can easily be found at the Wal-Mart in Cancun and in Playa del Carmen. If you are not renting a car, our affiliate transfer company will make shopping stops on the way to your hotel from the airport. You can even have your condo or hotel room stocked ahead of time with these items by contacting www.rivieramayagroceries.com. Forget shipping items ahead. Mexico does not have mail service and due to an inefficient customs office your packages will not arrive at your hotel until three weeks after you have returned from your vacation.
Choose kid friendly hotels or even a condo on the beach for the first few days. This way you get outside of the resorts and see some of Mexico. Here is where Loco Gringo comes in. Let us help you find the right hotel for your family, perhaps a hotel located near family oriented attractions or one with connecting rooms. Choosing an accommodation other than a resort brings the family closer together because you rely on each other to navigate this new place. Your family's chances of cultural interaction vastly increase, and isn't that why you chose to travel to a foreign country?
Renting a condo or villa does not mean mom has to slave in the kitchen for every meal. Consider cook service for a night! Many of the villas have extensive menus. Mayan ladies will come to your house or condo dressed in their traditional attire and prepare a regional meal for your family - how is that for culture? Have the grocery service stock your condo with milk, coffee, cereal, fruit, bread and jam so that breakfast is always quick, easy and self serve. Get tacos to go from a street vendor or an ecocina (small economical kitchen) like the residents do. These meals are inexpensive and full of local flavor! After 4 days in a resort, meals start to feel more like a cattle call so get out and experience some of the pueblo restaurants. Locogringo.com has many restaurant reviews, descriptions and suggestions so you don't have to go out "blind."
The coast is loaded with eco-parks. Consider visiting some of the smaller parks like Hidden Worlds or Aktun Chen rather than the mega corporate operated parks. There are less crowds, the park is natural therefore reflecting the Yucatan's true setting and the service is more personalized. You can even request a private tour for just your family. You do not need a resort tour bus to take you to the Mayan ruins. They are all easy to find and simple to navigate once you are there. Tour guides for hire are standing just outside the entry. Pack breakfast and go early in the morning when the parks and ruins open so you can enjoy the grounds before the hoards of tour buses arrive. This gives your family private time to experience this new discovery. Check out Loco Gringo's services listings for many activity ideas that are easy to arrange.
Go ahead and book your last two or three days at an all inclusive resort. This way each family member can have some time on their own to explore and mom and dad can "check out" for a while. A couple of our favorite family resorts are Azul Sensatori and Barcelo Maya. Both of these resorts cater to children with phenomenal kids' clubs, swimming pools with water slides and teen interactive centers while still offering pampered service for parents. Our family oriented all inclusive agents can help you pick the right resort for you and yours.
Really put your mind at ease by purchasing travel insurance in case you need to cancel your trip, especially when travelling with young children. You have invested thousands of dollars into this vacation so what is another $100 to make sure you get your money back in case of an emergency? On the LG home page you will find links to some of the travel insurance companies we trust. Be sure to read carefully what each policy covers, i.e. airfare, hotel, tours, etc.
The most important thing to remember when planning your family vacation is that vacations are supposed to be relaxing as well as fun. Keep your itinerary simple by limiting it to one activity a day and you'll find it much easier to make last-minute adjustments and spend time each day to rest. Children can entertain themselves on the beach for hours with an endless sandbox, water to splash in and shells to collect. Focus on spending time with your family rather than staying busy. With all of the resources and services available, it doesn't have to be difficult to plan a custom family vacation here in the Riviera Maya, and the Loco Gringo staff is always ready to help.