10 Reasons to Head South with Your Family
By Karen Leiva
When winter takes hold, there’s one thing many of us long for – the sun! Taking your family on a trip down south has never been easier. You won’t have to worry about the details in organizing your tropical vacation – let your Ensemble travel specialist take care of it for you.
Here are 10 reasons why heading to a sun destination with your family should be top of your travel plans.
Photo: A young girl with water wings running in water
Family Fun TimeThink of the quality time you will spend with your family on a sunny vacation down south. There's no stress, no routines, and only family bonding on the agenda. When you choose an all-inclusive resort, there are lots of things to do on-site or off on a day-long excursion. All the planning is done, so you can focus on having fun with the kids.
Try Something New
In tropical destinations, kids can delve into exciting new experiences that will add to their personal growth and development. Kids can learn new skills, such as snorkeling or diving into exotic waters (or look for an all-inclusive resort that will teach you scuba skills in the pool). There are also many activities to try that many kids don’t get to do in their day-to-day lives: sailing, kayaking, and even riding in a mini-submarine.
There’s no better place than the beach to forget your worries. Bask in simple pleasures: play in crystal-clear water or get down in the sand and build sandcastles with your little ones. Enjoy an ice cream (or pina colada) by the sea and unwind. Stunning beaches offer an abundance of simple joys and memories of sand, sun, and family fun.
For close-up experiences with exotic animals, be sure to visit aquariums or wildlife sanctuaries to meet turtles, dolphins, sharks, manta rays, and more.In the Cayman Islands, you can get right in the water with rays at Stingray City. From January to March, try a whale-watching excursion in the Dominican Republic or near Puerto Vallarta or Nayarit, Mexico. For a different kind of animal encounter, in Curacao, there’s an ostrich farm where kids can feed these massive birds.
Photo: Young girl covered in pink powder from festival
Explore New Cultures
The Caribbean offers an abundance of colorful culture so be sure to take in a dance show, try new food, or pick up a few words in Creole or Spanish. Little kids will love visiting local towns to see buskers wearing carnival costumes, singing and dancing. Be sure to check out local artist markets, and pick up pottery, paintings or figurines as souvenirs.
All-Inclusive Ease for New Parents
Even new moms and dads need a break! All-inclusive resorts are bountiful in Mexico and the Caribbean, making it easy to vacation with little ones, including babies. It can be challenging to travel with babies and all the gear they require – car seats, strollers, cribs, etc. But some family-friendly resorts take the pressure off by offering just about everything new parents need, from highchairs and cribs to baby food at buffets and babysitting services.
Kids have a way of keeping parents on their toes, literally and figuratively speaking! A sun vacation brings out the best of us when it comes to staying active and healthy. Swim together, snorkel side-by-side, or join your kids in doing cannonballs off the deck into the pool. Kids love when their parents get in on the action – so pick up a ping pong paddle to play with them or start a soccer game on the beach.
History Lessons Abroad
Indulge in your tropical destination’s history while also absorbing its culture – the Caribbean is full of old plantations, historic churches, and pirate legends. It’s a great way for kids to learn about other societies and history while enjoying the beauty of the country. For example, in the Bahamas, put on a pirate hat and explore the Pirates of Nassau museum to learn about this island’s rum-filled past.
Ramp Up the Adventure
Bigger kids will love exciting activities like zip lining in the Dominican Republic or going off-roading in the desert in Los Cabos. Look for parks, like Bavaro Adventure Park in the Dominican Republic, which offers thrilling activities like wall climbing, buggy driving, and bungee jumping – fun for the whole family. For a slower pace, turn beach time into unforgettable memories with a family horse-back ride along the seashore, offered on various islands.
There will be no shortage of new memories guaranteed to last a lifetime. Join the kids in lots of selfies, and post to Facebook or Instagram with fun frames for keepsakes. Be sure to ask the resort photographer for a family photo to capture all those smiles. Some resort photographers even offer a full family photo shoot and will put the photos into an album for you – it’s one of the best souvenirs you can bring home from your vacation.
Reprinted with permission from Ensemble Travel Group