Family Vacation? Is Sanity and Some Relaxation possible? Our Trip to Mexico by Cathy Piso

patio of the hotel roomIn the beginning of January we took a vacation to Nuevo Vallarta in Mexico, about 15 minutes from Puerto Vallarta. I actually wasn’t sure about going to be honest. I have a 6 year old who is generally easy and she is independent which is great, but I also have an 18 month old who is a very busy boy.

I was excited about going don’t get me wrong. However I was worried how are we going to keep him still. Would we be able to relax and enjoy our vacation or would we need a vacation from our vacation? And also how are going to coordinate two kids needs, would be able to ever sit down and read a book?

Rented trike from Lots for TotsMy son is wonderful, but he is fearless. He likes to see how high he can climb and climb and I don’t think he knows what being still actually is; he just keeps going and going! I have been to Mexico before and had rented baby equipment but a year ago when we went he didn’t even move or crawl! Last time we rented a baby walker, baby jumper and a playpen to bring poolside. It made the vacation a breeze. This time he is a lot busier!  I contacted the rental company Lots for Tots and they actually rent toys! I rented a “toy package” which included cars and a little raceway, musical keyboard, an interactive car, lego and also a tricycle! We also rented a playpen and a baby monitor.

Toys rented from Lots for TotsThe toys were a hit with my son and surprisingly even my 6 year old! When were back in the room cooking or just settling in the room for the night they played with the toys which kept them occupied. I almost had not rented a playpen but I am sure glad I did. In the morning we swam with my son for about an hour and after that I was surprised that he was so tuckered out and he was contest to play in the playpen. (never would this have worked this way at home)

My son in the rented playpen pool sideIn the afternoon we went up to the room and put him down for his nap while we went on the patio and read a book. Some days we put our daughter in the kid’s club, so it was complete quiet with no interuptions. My husband and I hadn’t read a book in years! But, if you have a napper, be sure to ask if your patio receives sun in the afternoon, as I know the year before we did not get any sun on our patio. I enjoyed sunbathing while I read overlooking the resort.

When you book your hotel, ask if your resort has a Kid’s Club and check the age group. Ours was for ages 4 and up. Look into resorts that have kids clubs and find out by reviews or word of mouth if the kid’s club is good and what the reviews are like. We loved the kids club at the resort, it was wonderful there, the ladies were wonderful! Also it was very affordable as well. The price for one day was $12.38 Canadian with lunch, if you took them out for lunch or brought a lunch it was $6.60. That price is amazing, as one hour of care for one kid is usually $5/hr in Vancouver.

Kid's ClubAt this Kids Club they made crafts, made food, played, watched movies in a mini theatre, face painting, they went swimming and more.  They even had a pyjama party, beauty salon and pirate night’s at the kid’s club so if you wanted to go have dinner without the kids there is an option. I did find out we could have someone come to our room for $10/hour to babysit. I found this a bit expensive and wasn’t sure if I was really comfortable with it and didn’t feel we needed it.

When looking for a resort find out what is there for the kids to do, are there activities, waterpark/play park, is there a kid’s club and possibly what is near by for kids to do.

We stayed 2 weeks and not one day did my daughter say she was bored. This resort had a lazer river, a river you can ride tubes with waves, there was a kid’s waterpark, a wave pool, a waterslide, also crafts, activities, tons of pools, a beach and also had kid friendly food if you want to eat out. Also you can rent sand toys for the beach at a very low cost, which saves in packing!

My son enjoying the pool and water fountainWe mostly eat in our room, mostly due to cost, but it was nice to come back to the room and have some down time and have a home cooked meal. We found a Walmart close by to buy all our groceries, which made it easy. However don’t expect to find all the same foods as you would find at our Canadian Wal-Mart’s but that is the fun part. For example Mayonnaise there all their mayo has lime in it, so little things like that and the language barrier might keep you guessing, but its fun to try new things and do things differently.

My daughter enjoying the beach2 weeks surprisingly goes by so fast, enjoy yourself, make time for yourself even if you have to take turns with parenting the kids, let the hubby do one hour and you do the next, give each other some time to relax and enjoy. Sanity and some relaxation are possible you just have to find the right rhythm to make it work. If you are planning a family vacation, hope this helps and remember it’s a vacation for you too and try to make that happen, find a balance and enjoy!

Thanks for reading!

By Cathy Piso, Owner of Kids Vancouver.com