Family Vacation: Baby’s First
Family vacation time is important to Social Impact Traveller because we want to help parents introduce the next generation of travellers to ethical travel and responsible tourism. It’s about having fun, seeing the world and making a positive impact.
We’re walking along the beach in Playa Mujeres, Mexico, and my husband props our 10-month-old son, Nicolás, on his shoulders – the baby squeals in laughter. He seems to take in this new view of the ocean and sand with pure delight; it is, after all, his first time at a beach.
When the baby tires of that, we put him down – it’s another first for him to touch the sand. He reminds me of one of the iguanas we have seen hanging around the resort: first he moves cautiously and slowly, and then off he goes on all fours. But, he doesn’t yet have the grace of movement and he face plants, head first in the sand. Next come the tears.
Such is the ebb and flow of travelling with a baby.
First Family Vacation
This is our first family vacation. After hearing about resorts that cater to families travelling with little ones, we decided to give it a try. We wanted a relaxing vacation, have fun in the sun, and enjoy these precious moments.
Travelling with a baby is certainly not the easiest. It’s hard not to pack the ‘kitchen sink’ (Nicolás had more luggage then we did); I was anxious about the plane ride (he was fine); and I worried he wouldn’t sleep well (again, he was fine).
All-inclusive family resorts cater to even the youngest guests with everything on-site from cribs and high chairs, and even a bottle sterilizer in our room. Kids clubs are great spaces to play, and family pools allow even the littlest ones to wade in shallow water. It makes family vacation with babies that much easier.
Our son loves the pool, but is afraid of the ocean. He flirts with staff, and beams when they give him attention. He masters the art of eating solids on this trip and dines like a king on fresh fish and fruit.
While Nicolas naps in the hotel room, my husband and I take turns slipping out for a yoga class or a spa visit. Our room has its own plunge pool off the terrace, which makes it an ideal place to spend an afternoon.
It isn’t all baby romance though on family vacation!
One day, we book the hotel photographer for family photos on the beach – the perfect souvenir. It so happens that our son has a major meltdown at that exact time, and we cancel our session. A few hours later, we try again. This time, he beams for the camera reminding me that babies have a way of bouncing back quickly. He simply gets on with the business of enjoying his adventure.
My husband and I take our cue from him, watching our son with wonder and awe. In the end, our vacation delivered more than we could have wished for, and most importantly, it was a chance for the three of us to grow as a family.
Tips for Travelling with Baby
- Check the airline’s policy on how much baby gear you can bring at no cost
- Ask your travel agent for a packing list
- Expect travel delays, make sure you have enough diapers
- Reserve taxis with child car seats in advance
- Splurge on an ocean view or plunge pool if you will spend time in the hotel for naps