Do You Have a Baby?
Do You NEED a Vacation?
Those are two questions that seem to go hand in hand...right?
It's always a challenge to come up with vacation ideas for parents with a baby. At Vacationkids, we maintain a list of Baby Friendly resorts in the Caribbean and Mexico that offer complimentary infant care as part of their all inclusive programs.
All inclusive resort vacations are a great option for parents with little ones. The reason is they make it so easy for you to relax. For those unfamiliar, this means you pay for your hotel room AND all of your meals, snacks, drinks (alcoholic and non), daily resort activities, evening entertainment, tips, taxes and free baby sitting are ALL INCLUDED in this one price.
Everyone, will need valid U.S. passports to fly to these Caribbean and Mexico and this includes your baby whether they have their own seat or fly as a lapchild. It normally will take 4-6 weeks to obtain a new passport so plan accordingly. You can go ahead and make your reservations without yet having your passports in hand. Just be sure that the names you use on your airline tickets match the names you will be using on your passports exactly. If there are any name discrepancies it could lead to hassles and penalty fees later on so please remember...keep names exact.
The next question we always get is why aren't there all inclusive resorts like this in the U.S.? Why do we have to fly to the Caribbean & Mexico? The reason for this is the cost of doing business. Operational costs in these foreign countries are far less than back at home here in the United States. To offer the same sort of all inclusive program here would make it cost prohibitive for so many people.
Each and every hotel has their own rules and regulations regarding the hours their baby care club is open and at what age infants are allowed to participate. One rule that remains constant when it comes to baby care at all inclusive resorts is that parents MUST stay on property. You are most certainly allowed to register your baby at the baby club while you enjoy a relaxing meal, a spa treatment or a nap on the beach. Parents are not allowed to drop their baby off at the baby club and head off to go sightseeing or scuba diving. At least one parent must remain on property. Many resorts offer parents beepers so that they can notify you if your baby need you. Most of these beepers will work within the boundaries of the resort. If you are beeped, and you do not contact the baby club then your child will not be allowed into the baby club, you may be asked to leave the resort and forfeit the cost of your remaining nights there. Obviously these strict rules are important and in place to protect the comfort and safety of children. If you are looking for a baby friendly vacation with a bit more freedom for sightseeing and excursions, check out some of our baby cruises. Many of the cruise lines will allow parents to leave the ship during port days and leave their babies in the care of their nursery programs.
Looking to get the best pricing and save the most money when booking a vacation with baby? Here are a few tips that may help you do just that....
- Plan Ahead - Make your vacation plans 9 months in advance of your vacation. This is when you will find the best airfare prices, the best airline seat selection and the choice of any nonstop flights. If you procrastinate, chances are you will be disappointed
- Vacation in September/October - If you do not have older kids tied to a school calendar then this is the BEST time of year when you will find the cheapest rates and best deals. Yes, this is hurricane season but as long as you purchase "cancel for any reason insurance" (which you should have anyway!) then you will be protected if Mother Nature decides to interfere with your travel plans. Second week in December and early May are other times when we see good pricing.