Amstar dmc eBusiness Account Manager Mariana Najera is a loving mother and experienced traveler. Here are her top 10 tips for travelling with kids to make sure that your next Mexico Family Vacations are an unforgettable and inspiring travel experience.
Who doesn’t remember those family trips they took when they were a kid? It didn’t matter if it was a long road trip, a flight to some distant destination or even a visit to grandma and grandpa; these memories remain with us forever and form an essential part of our identity.
But what about traveling to Mexico?
When people think about Mexico, they often imagine more adult-related themes such as lounging at a beach with a cocktail or an exquisite night out including dinner and a nightclub. However, Mexico has a wealth of exciting options and activities for young and old alike.
Mexico family vacations can be not only a great tool for family bonding, but also the opportunity to provide your children with an incredible experience that they will cherish for the rest of their lives. When you travel with your children to Mexico they, too, will enjoy a worthwhile travel experience.
Top 10 Tips for Travelling with Kids
#1 Make sure you have all the proper documentation
Mexico family vacations with children can be a challenge, but that doesn’t mean it has to be that difficult. Start off the process on the right foot by making sure that every family member’s passport has a validity of at least six more months. Make a copy of every important travel document, scan them and send them to your email account. In that same mail, copy the contact information of your consulate in case you need anything. If you’re traveling as a single parent, remember that you must not only provide a valid passport for children under 18 years of age, but also a notarized authorization signed by both parents or by the one not traveling with the minor granting their permission to enter/exit the country. The letter must also be translated into Spanish.
#2 Choose the right excursions for your family
Pirates, sea turtles, whale sharks, whale watching and even zip-lining through jungle canopy. There are literally thousands of tours and activities in Mexico, and most are guaranteed fun for the entire family. However, not all tours are for everyone and some can be too much for the little ones. Don’t try and do everything and wear out your kids in the process. Choose two or three activities outside of the hotel that will allow your children to enjoy the beauty of Mexico, make new friends and encourage their spirit of adventure. To ensure both availability and adaptability for your needs, your best bet is to contact Amstar online or through our toll-free number at 1-800-895-3000 to resolve any questions or doubts.
Mexicans in general love children and you will find that there are many activities where you will feel more than welcome as a family. That said, most activities for kids are organized for children aged 6 years and older. However, all of the quality Mexican resorts and hotels will have a Kids Club with daily supervised activities for all ages.
#3 Pack light
Go light. There’s no need to overpack for your family trip to Mexico. Prepare your luggage for a two-day supply of basic necessities such as diapers, wet wipes, sunscreen lotion, floaties, etc. Once you get to your destination, be it Cancun, Riviera Maya, Puerto Vallarta, Los Cabos or any of our other Amstar destinations, you can go to the supermarket, hotel convenient store or pharmacy and purchase anything you need.
#4 Reserve your Mexico airport transfers early
We all know that to travel with kids can be stressful. You’ve managed to make it out of the house and survive lines, immigration controls, customs and airplane seats with your sanity still intact. There’s nothing you want more in the world right now than to safely reach the hotel and unpack. Avoid the hassle of timeshare salespeople and unreliable transportation services and pre-book your Mexico airport transfers with Amstar. Remember to mention that you will require a baby seat, if needed.
#5 Protect their delicate skin
Make sure your kids are completely protected from Mexico’s blazing sun. Periodically apply sunscreens with an FPS of at least 30, especially around the midday hours when the sunshine is the strongest. And remember, this is important even when it’s cloudy and there is no direct sunlight. If you forgot to pack a hat simply purchase one at a local store and make sure that you do everything you can to avoid sunburns, particularly when out at the beach or on excursions.
#6 Keep them hydrated
Photo credit: OVC Cancun
More sunshine and more activities mean a greater chance of becoming dehydrated, and this is true for Young and old alike. Make sure you are always carrying around sufficient bottled water for whatever activity you are enjoying, and always ensure that the little ones are compensating for the change in environment. Please keep in mind that the water from the faucet is potable but should not be drunk. It’s okay to brush your teeth, but for drinking water always make sure it’s bottled.
#7 Check out the local markets
Local markets are a great place to find souvenirs for all ages and sizes on your next family vacation in Mexico. Not only can they experience the sights and sounds of a colorful Mexican market, it’s also a great place to find fun things like Mexican wrestling masks, miniature piñatas, local musical instruments and traditional Mexican toys as well as my favorite: Mexican sweets (try the cajeta lollipops, they’re delicious!)
#8 Check the calendar
In Mexico, there’s always something going on. Investigate if there are any local celebrations or national holidays that could provide your kids with the opportunity to experience a colorful parade or firework show. If it’s something more for adults, remember that most hotels also offer babysitting services if you want some time off for some more adult adventures. When in doubt, ask your Amstar representative or the hotel for more information.
#9 Experience the flavors of Mexico
Mexican cuisine is an essential part of our national identity. We can’t live without it and are proud to share it with anyone and everyone willing to savor our delicious gastronomic heritage. And while we have a well-earned reputation for eating spicy foods, you and your kids will be able to explore the explosion of colors and flavors that is Mexican food without having to learn that famous phrase in Spanish, “pica mucho” (it’s too spicy!). And not only will your family be able to learn new words, such as horchata, huitlacoche or birria /yes, you’ll need to roll your R’s on that one), you’ll also find that most restaurants not only have children’s menus, highchair and crayons for drawing, but some are even equipped with play stations!
#10 Be happy and positive!
Try to practice controlling your patience and concentrating on what’s important. It’s easy to fall into that pattern of always saying “No, no, no” to our kids, especially when we’re abroad and are in an unfamiliar place. Nevertheless, let go and try new things. Get out of your comfort zone and discover that youthful joy of experiencing travel with the same emotion, awe and inspiration that you did when you were a kid. Explore, investigate, ask questions, but above all, enjoy your Mexico family vacations as they are meant to be: a time of positive fun and happy family bonding!
Have any questions about your next family trip to Mexico? Send us a comment or contact us via social media and we’ll be more than happy to help answer any doubts or provide any suggestions you need to make your next Mexico vacation an unforgettable experience!
COMING SOON: The top kid-friendly tours in the Mexican Caribbean!
Feature photo credit: Xcaret Park