Sibling bonding, long-lasting memories, endless laughter and fruity beach drinks amidst a landscape of turquoise blue water, sandy beaches and sunny skies — sounds great, right?
Skrrrt — insert sound of soundtrack abruptly stopping.
When traveling with children, this soothing scene is rarely the case. Let’s be real, family vacation can feel like hard work sometimes. But, take my word for it, it is completely worth it!
Plus, BlueSun has your back, and I’m here to equip you with some hand ways to prepare yourself for a trip with kids. Add these tips to your BA Mom/Dad tool belt, and you’ll be able to overcome any obstacle that comes in the way of your family beach bliss.
6 Things That Always Ruin Family Vacation (and How to Avoid Them):
1. “THAT” FAMILY
You know what I’m talking about.
You sure as heck don’t want to be ~that~ family on the plane. The screaming baby, the fighting siblings, the kid constantly kicking the back of the chair in front of them — it’s chaos.
First of all, know plane mayhem happens to the best of us. No matter how much you prepare, at least a little bit of crying, tantrums, etc. are going to happen. But, if you want to have travel #goals, it make containing and stopping the turmoil that much easier.
Here are a few tips:
Tip 1: Food. Pack favorite snacks. Don’t offer them all at once, but space them out as “treats” throughout the flight.
Tip 2: Bring activities. Don’t run yourself ragged here — I’m not talking Pinterest momming or anything. Think coloring books or stickers or fun little activities that are out of the norm. New can be entertaining.
Tip 3: iPads and tablets — nuff said.
Tip 4: Haters gonna hate. You do you. Plane rides end eventually.
Oh, and I also encourage deep breathing to start off any trip — let’s try one now (inhale… now exhale).
2. NAPLESS MELTDOWNS
Two words: Cranky Baby. That’s enough to ruin everyone’s day — am I right? Why can’t babies and toddlers just get with the program?! Not to worry. There are multiple scenarios for this dilemma – all have marvelous outcomes.
Follow one of these plans:
Plan A: Keep to the napping schedule. Think about it — how often are you surrounded by paradise and QUIET? Take the time on the patio to catch up on a book you’ve been dying to read or even better: sleep while baby sleeps. Word to the wise – visit the bar before heading to the room for extra relaxation.
Plan B: While napping in the room may not be possible for every vacationing family, “beds” do travel. Bring the pak-n-play by the pool under an umbrella or gather a lot of blankets and make a pallet on a pool lounger. Wear the heck out of the kids in the pool and I can almost guarantee they’ll pass out for a nap. Napless meltown averted.
Parents — 1. Vacation-Joy-Stealer — 0
Queue angelic music and the unicorn magic of the ALL INCLUSIVE. They are magical for family vacations because “I’m hungry” can quickly be remedied by snack shacks, pool service, smoothies at the swim up bar and (at many resorts) room service. And bonus — it’s all paid for and no one has to worry about that food tab.
4. BURNT TO A CRISP
Sunscreen. Sunscreen. Sunscreen.
Pack lots of it (more than you think you’ll need). Apply it often. It may be difficult to do, but limit sun exposure the first few days and sit under shade when possible. Pack swim shirts if possible. Also bring aloe vera just in case. Nothing ruins a trip like a bad sunburn.
5. MOOD KILLER
Nothing quite tampers the romantic mood like children (of any age) sleeping in the bed beside you. While sizzling romance may not be the thing on a family vacation, you can still be intentional with your significant other. Order room service for coffee, tea or breakfast for two before the kids wake up. Challenge yourself to get creative with finding some alone time (wink, wink).
6. “I’M BOOOOOOOORED”
You’ve just invested thousands into this family vacation. The LAST thing you want to hear is bratty complaining — especially about boredom.
Here are a few tips:
Tip 1: Good thing you booked with BlueSun Vacations and your BeachMaster has set your family up on a trip that fits your needs (shameless plug). Make sure you are clear on what you want in a family trip. There are many resorts in Mexico and the Caribbean that are incredibly family friendly, so make sure you make your needs known (it’s free to use one, so why not?!).
Tip 2: My advice is to book at a resort that has a kid’s club and teen club (Now Resorts are on point in this department). Parents of kids ages three and up can drop off their kids (yes you read that right — drop off). That means Mom and Dad get to play while kids have supervised fun! Believe me — I too was skeptical, but after I experienced the level of care my four-year-old son got at the Now Jade Explorer’s Club, I was sold. And it was actually my son who begged to go back daily (WIN).
Tip 3: Take advantage of all your resort has to offer. Many resorts provide daily newsletters with the activities of the day. There is NO reason your family should get bored.
Families everywhere — pack your bags because you’re ready to family vacation like a boss.