If you have fond memories of vacations that you took with your parents when you were a child, you know that, for kids, going on a trip with mom and dad can be a peak experience that they’ll remember for the rest of their lives. There is no reason to postpone that great tropical excursion until your children are older – you can travel to Jamaica with your kids right now.
Having a great vacation always requires careful planning, but that’s especially true when you travel with kids because children have a way of making sure that things never happen quite the way you expect. Luck favours the prepared, though, so in this article, we’re going to discuss the things that you can do to ensure that you’re prepared for anything when you plan a tour to Jamaica with kids.
Get Ready for the Flight
The first thing you need to know about traveling with kids is that things will always take longer than you expect. If you’re a seasoned traveler, you’ve probably gotten used to showing up at the airport shortly before takeoff and buzzing through the check-in process in a few minutes flat. That’s not going to happen when you travel with kids, so make sure that you arrive at the airport well before your flight is scheduled to leave.
When you pack your luggage, you’ll naturally be tempted to bring just about everything that you could conceivably need in every possible situation. It’s much wiser, though, to avoid overpacking and only bring the essentials. Overpacking makes it very difficult to get around – and by the end of the day, there’s a good chance that you’ll be carrying a child as well.
- Bring any essential medications along with something for motion sickness. Chewing gum can be handy for helping kids equalize their ear pressure.
- Bring one or two familiar items from home. A favorite stuffed animal or nightlight can help a child who might have difficulty sleeping in an unfamiliar bed.
- Bring a change of clothes for everyone in case there’s an accident or your checked baggage is lost or delayed.
- Bring plenty of snacks. Your kids are going to get hungry throughout your trip, and food may not always be readily available. You don’t want to be out late at night hunting for food in an unfamiliar location when almost everything is closed for the day. Conveniently, filling your bags with snacks will also leave plenty of room for the souvenirs that you’ll accumulate during the trip.
- Bring a few books or games to keep the kids busy during the flight and throughout the trip.
Make sure that you have an easy dinner planned for the first night. Your kids are going to be tired, and they won’t want to get ready for a nice dinner at a fancy restaurant. Having something delivered is probably the best option, so make sure that you know what’s going to be available.
Choose Kid-Friendly Accommodations
As with every other travel destination, some accommodations in Jamaica are more appropriate for children than others. Making the decision to rent a Jamaica villa might be your best option. Coconut Cottage, for example, offers a huge selection of kid-friendly activities such as a private heated swimming pool, lawn games, board games, a video game console, and more. A stay at the villa also includes a membership to Round Hill Resort, which offers plenty of supervised activities for children and can make it possible for you to get away with your spouse for a little while.
Leave Plenty of Room in Your Schedule
One of the most important things that you can do before your trip is sit down as a family to discuss your plans and expectations for the vacation. Talk about the things that you’ll be doing while you’re in Jamaica and gather feedback from your children about what sounds fun to them. Setting everyone’s expectations is a great way to help ensure that everything goes as smoothly as possible during the trip.
It’s a good idea, though, to avoid scheduling things too tightly. Don’t plan too many activities for any single day – and don’t forget to schedule downtime between activities. Nothing is very much fun when your kids are tired and cranky. Giving them plenty of time to relax will help to ensure that your planned activities are as fun as they can be.
Choose Kid-Friendly Activities
Traveling to Jamaica with your kids can be incredibly rewarding – both for you and for your children. The trip will leave all of you with memories that will last throughout your lifetime, and you want to make the most of your vacation by seeing everything that you possibly can while you’re there.
One important thing to keep in mind when you’re choosing your activities, though, is that your children may not have the same endurance or attention span as you. Activities that involve remaining on your feet – or remaining silent – for hours may not be appropriate for children, so you may not want to schedule an all-day mountain hike or buy tickets to the opera. If you ensure that your expectations are reasonable, you should have no trouble finding activities that the whole family will enjoy.
Make Safety Your Biggest Priority
The final thing to keep in mind when you travel to Jamaica with your kids is that safety should be your highest priority at all times. If your child has an independent streak, he may wander off to go and look at something interesting when no one is paying close attention. Nothing can compare to the panic that you’ll experience if you look around and aren’t sure where your child is, so you need to make sure that there’s no chance of that happening. You or your spouse may experience moments in which you’re temporarily distracted negotiating a purchase, making reservations, ordering tickets or hailing a cab. While one of you does that, the other parent needs to watch the kids. Make sure that your children are never out of your sight.