Family travel is a special time for bonding and learning about one another. We understand that a trip has to suit all ages and what your 6 year old finds cool and fascinating might not be the same case for your teenage. Luckily, Mexico is the perfect destination for any type of family vacation whether it’s cultural, beach, or adventure. Follow the below outlined advice, concerns, and tips for a relatively stress-free family vacation in Mexico.
Preparedness and Safety
In terms of safety, Mexico is still a safe destination for the savvy traveler despite common misconceptions! For a detailed outline, visit the safety section on our website, but generally speaking, resort areas such as Cancun, Riviera Maya, Los Cabos, Puerto Vallarta, Punta Mita and cultural destinations like Oaxaca, Puebla, Mexico City, and Guanajuato do not see high levels of violence or crime. As with any travel, you should always exercise caution and be aware of your surroundings, even more so in a group with children. Be sure your children are always equipped with contact information in case they ever wander off.
Once you’ve made the decision to have a fun-filled family holiday in Mexico, there are some basic pre-travel tips you should follow. This includes creating copies of all passports and ids, leaving contact information of the hotel and itinerary with someone back home, and ensuring your children know about the journey that lies ahead (including language barriers and other new experiences they might encounter). In some countries, it is recommend to register your travel with your home embassy or consulate; registration allows you to record information and can assist you in case of an emergency.
The most important travel tip we can provide is make sure you pre-arrange transportation from the airport to your hotel. As if juggling a whole family wasn’t enough, think about adding everyone’s luggage, and documents, and other obstacles to that mix! Having someone waiting for your family, easily noticeable with your last name on a sign in hand, and willing to maneuver your luggage for you, takes off a lot of stress and eliminates scurrying around last minute trying to find a taxi.
Eating and Drinking
In beach destinations, there is no shortage of a variety of food and there is something to please even the most picky eater. However, if opting for a more cultural family journey though Mexico’s interior, the variety is limited. For kids, generally, quesadillas or fideo noodles are a satisfactory choice. If planning to bring an infant, no need to fill your luggage allowance with baby food and diapers — most grocery stores carry brands like Gerber, Pedialyte, Huggies, and Pampers. Be sure your family stays hydrated and replenished with bottled water and remember, do not drink any tap water unless your are sure your hotel has a thorough purified system running throughout.
It’s no secret that Mexican food sometimes doesn’t sit well with all travelers so it never hurts to bring with you some anti-acid and pepto. If anyone does fall victim of Montezcumas Revenge, it is recommended to supplement their treatment with a flavored bottle water called “Electrolit” – you can get it at any pharmacy (or similiar) store. It is intended to restore electrolytes for children 6 and older and can help ease the toll of the sickness.
Mexico Family Beach Vacations
Mexico’s resorts are the most popular with families, specifically all-inclusives that offer a “worry-free” stay with kids’ programs, daycare, and entertainment to keep everyone happy. However keep in mind that some hotels are certainly more family-friendly than others and that the wording “Kids Club” can mean a lot of different things (and ages!). It is recommended to always do your research, whether it’s reading reviews from TripAdvisor or consulting with a professional Mexico planner who can help you choose the right property. A good tip is to choose a hotel that offers both a kiddie pool and adults only pool; if the kids are in camp for the day it will be nice to treat yourself to some grown-up quiet time.
Do not assume at all beaches in Mexico are swimmable or suitable for children; there are areas along Mexico’s coastline with rough waves either regularly or as a result of current weather conditions. Again, a destination-specific consultant will be able to best advise.
As tempting as it may be to spend your entire vacation days at your resort, be sure to take at least one or two day trips! Mexico has wonderful opportunities for outings such as themed parks, water parks,an array archaeological ruins and other activities. In Cancun/Riviera Maya we recommend Xcaret, Xel-Ha, and Tulum; in Mexico City, Chapultepec Park, Six Flags, or Teotihuacan can be great for all ages; in Puerto Vallarta we recommend zip lining or a snorkeling or whale watching tour (winter season); and in Puebla, AfriCam Safari or panroamic views on one of the world’s largest ferris wheels are both fantastic options. In most Mexican cities you visit, there is always a main square or “zocalo” which is always a fun family experience; let the youngins’ buy a balloon or small trinket from the street peddlers while the teens soak in their surroundings and culture with all their senses stimulated.
Mexico Family Cultural Vacations
Mexico’s interior is full of numerous architectural and archaeological wonders and there is definitely a way to incorporate this into your family itinerary in a fun way that everyone can enjoy. The first and most important suggestion is to coordinate a private tour so your family can move at their own pace, stay together, and visit what interests them most. From there, there are several different “spins” you can put on these traditional tours – for example renting a bike at the Mayan ruins of Coba , shuffling around on a Segway through Mexico City while visiting its many museums, or dressing up in a traditional miner’s uniform while exploring the mines of Guanajuato. Often times, these added twists aren’t easily found on the internet and it is always best to work with a travel consultant who knows the most reliable providers.
Ready to Plan your Family Vacation to Mexico? Check our sample itineraries here:
Riviera Maya Family Adventure – Ancient ruins, horseback riding, zip lining, snorkeling, and beach time is a great way to fit in culture, adventure, luxurious relaxation, and nature.
Oaxaca Family Adventure – Traditional artisan towns, hands on arts and crafts, pre-Colombian archaeological sites, unique nature encounters, swimming in natural springs, and beach days in Huatulco are a great way to combine sun and culture for the family.
Los Cabos Family Adventure – Pinata workshops, relaxing at the pool, swimming with dolphins and snorkeling is sure to appeal to all ages!