The most common reaction I was getting from people when I told them about our trip to Mexico: “wait, you’re taking Josie?” Lil Bit goes wherever we take her. Have babe, will travel. However, I believe this is totally about your personal comfort level and how your child does in cars, planes, boats, etc. Josie typically does well, with minor fussing, in travel [insert “Praise the Lord” emoji]. Our main issue currently is how busy she is and keeping her occupied. My number one tip to help keeping little ones occupied is taking grandparents or family with you. We were lucky enough to be able to take my parents with us and I am SO GLAD. Extra hands mean you can stress a little less and relax a little more. Also, extra picture takers! Now on to getting to your destination and a few things to help you with your stay.
- If you are still nursing, try to save it for during take off and landing. The sucking will help their ears feel normal through the popping.
- Remember to bring your babywearing carrier if you are still comfortable wearing your child. Our carrier of choice was the Ergobaby 360, what a lifesaver! We didn’t bring it this trip because Josie has reached the point where she fights being in it and it just becomes more of a hassle. However, a lot of kids are comfortable being worn through age 2 or more.
- Do research on the carseat laws and car rental situation for your destination. In our case, Budget car rental was able to rent us a car seat when we picked up our rental, however when we called in advance, we were told we could not reserve one. We knew we were going to the megastore after landing, so worst case scenario we would have purchased one there for the week and then donated it before going home.
- Use a small coupon holder to keep passports, plane tickets, customs paperwork, and other papers in – justttt so you have everything in one location for your whole family. Learned this one the tough way… *eye roll*.
- To avoid checking an extra bag for your child’s clothes, snacks, and gear, make a list of what can be purchased at your destination. Diapers and wipes alone can take up so much space. Here’s a recommendation for how to carry everything you need for the babe:
- In your diaper bag
- 2 days worth of diapers/wipes
- Light blanket
- Light jacket
- Dry snacks
- In your suitcase
- Baby clothes for the week (including swimsuits, pajamas, etc.)
- Baby toiletries (just the ones you aren’t sure you can buy there)
- Extra toys/books
- Swim floaties, sunglasses, hats
At the Resort
- Call the resort or hotel in advance to check if they have a pack n’ play or crib you can use. Most places have them, but you don’t want to be stuck without it!
- Skip the timeshare spiel. You will most certainly be offered this in exchange for free meals, bottles of alcohol, percentages off all extra purchases, etc. BUT – You have precious vacation time at stake. You shouldn’t have to give up any of this time to sit in a high pressure sale pitch and you don’t have to. OR do it, if you’re genuinely interested. Just remember it might be 4 hours+ of that sales pitch until you see the light of day. We learned this one the hard way. Also, sitting for 4 hours with a 1 year old, are you even serious?
- Use a high quality umbrella/lightweight stroller. Even if your baby or toddler doesn’t want to sit in it (Josie will only stay in it for a few minutes at a time – told y’all she’s a busy girl), you can use it for carting bags and purses around the resort. Seems common sense, but I almost forgot ours. We are really enjoying our Chicco Liteway stroller and it has quickly become my everyday stroller because of the size and weight of it. Skip bringing large travel systems – they’re just too bulky and heavy for what they’re worth.
- Know when it’s time to call it a day. You want to get your money’s worth and pack everyday with adventures. But remember, you know your kid better than anybody. You know when they’re about to hit that wall, and that will be no fun to deal with on vacation. Try to keep them on a somewhat normal nap schedule, whatever that means for them. Lil thangs need their rest so they can play hard the rest of the day!
- Try not to make purchases in the on-site stores. This one is pretty common sense if you’ve ever been to touristy stores, on a cruise ship, or stayed at a resort. The prices are totally jacked up wayyy high, like $30 USD for a bottle of sunscreen, forreal?
- Scope out the kid friendly areas of the resort toward the beginning of the trip and stick with it. We were lucky enough to go to any pool at any time of the day and we were basically the only ones in that pool (by the way, apparently visiting Mexico in late September is super ideal if you are looking for it to be very calm and quiet), but there were certainly areas of the resort geared toward families.
We had a great weeklong trip in wonderful Riviera Maya, Mexico. Wouldn’t have changed it for the world!from here on out, I have some tips in my arsenal for every trip we take (especially flying) while we have toddlers in our lives. Hope this helps you, too!