My favorite part of winter, is escaping winter. I plan early – normally at the end of the summer. Winter and snow days become manageable when you know you are heading south of the border within a few weeks. Below are six tips I have learned that make tropical travel with little people enjoyable – before, during and after:
- Basket: Start a travel basket before you go. As you close out summer put all important items you will need in the travel basket. Goggles, sand toys, leftover sunscreen, summer pajamas. Whatever you find that is out of season in the fall, but makes your life easier when you are packing in the winter…
- Balcony/Patio: This is imperative. Get a room with some outdoor space. This way you have an opportunity to leave the little voices inside and escape outside for a few minutes of alone time. Also great if your kids go to bed before you and you want to stay up later to read or talk.
- Freedom: Give it up. Let them serve themselves at the Breakfast buffet. Don’t ride them. This is vacation. Nobody knows you – you can let the reigns go. Even if it means they serve themselves a plate of bacon and chocolate croissants.
- Siesta: This is a mandate my mom introduced when we went to Mexico every year as kids. Get out of the sun, rest in the shade. When you spend eight days together, a certain amount of quiet time is a necessity. And the next item is much more enjoyable if all are rested.
- Cocktail Hour: Make it a thing – get dressed up. Order fancy mock-tails for the kids. Have them ask the bartender to refill the free snacks. Bring lots of card games (Gin Rummy, Uno and Play Nine – are all great…)! Stretch this phase out – it helps with dinner.
- Date Night: Plan for when you return. There is always that moment on a family vacation when you look at your spouse and wonder why you paid twice as much to bring little people with you. If you know you are coming back to a night without bedtime rituals, and sibling squabbles, it reminds you to enjoy the time together while it lasts.