This year my kids were given an entire week off from school in February, and in anticipation of the time off, I booked a timeshare in San Jose del Cabo. It was the first time we were traveling out of the country as a family of 4, and exciting to get our passports stamped together. The last time (and only) I had visited Cabo prior to this trip was for a friend’s wedding many year ago, I was single then and my idea of a Mexican vacation was a little different! So, with 2 kids in tow I was hoping for family fun. Overall, it was a great vacation, we spent most of the time hanging out by the pool at our resort (Coral Baja) and really just relaxed!
At any rate, I wanted to share some tips and ideas of how to prepare and what to do when you go on vacation with the kids in Cabo!
- Passport – Every person traveling outside of the U.S. needs their own (valid) passport. It doesn’t matter if you are 0 or 100, each person needs a passport…and I believe it also needs to be valid for at least 6 months past your travel date. If you do not have passports yet, you need to apply for them as soon as you start planning your vacation! And — for the children’s passport, both parents and/or guardians, and the child need to be present when turning in the application. Give yourself at least a month to get it done.
- Transportation – I knew we weren’t going to do much exploring on our own, so renting a car was not part of our trip. I highly recommend you set up private/shuttle transport from the airport to your hotel/lodging. Do this at least 2 weeks ahead of your arrival. Fortunately, our resort works directly with the TransLife Cabo shuttle service, so once we landed we walked past all the sales people inside the airport, to the shuttle area outside and we’re taken directly to our accommodations. The Los Cabos airport to our Worldmark unit was pretty quick, less than 20 minutes!
- Snacks – I debated about using a local Cabo grocery delivery service or to pack some of our own food and snacks from home for this trip. When you have 2 kids, especially my boys…they always want to snack! I opted to just pack some of my own stuff (crackers, chips, popcorn, cookies, etc… ), and had no trouble at all getting through customs. We also shopped for additional items at markets new our resort. There are plenty of places, including a Costco and Wal-Mart in Cabo, if you prefer to shop once you land. Actually, I would’ve used a grocery delivery service if our stay had been a little longer, just be sure to plan ahead! Other than that we ate at the on-site restaurant, except for one or two meals.
- Excursions – I’ll admit it, we sat through a timeshare presentation to take advantage of the vouchers they offered to do an activity. We were originally supposed to go on a snorkel boat, but due to the high winds it got canceled and we instead opted for a Dolphin Encounter, which ended up being AMAZING! There are a few places to do an encounter in Los Cabos, and we went to Dolphin Discovery. It was probably one of the best things my kids have ever done. You’re able to get in the water with the dolphins in the actual sea, not a pool. And, lucky for us on this activity you also got up close and personal with a Camel and Sea Lion!
- Beach – Our resort sat right on the beach, lots of sand and rough surf (not safe for swimming), but that also makes for plenty of sea shells. Taking the kids out for a stroll on the sand and giving them the task of looking for shells is a great way to keep them busy.
- Pool – The majority of our trip was spent pool side, which was totally fine by me. As always, I pack a few pool toys like these dive rings, plus their goggles, and my boys will swim all day! We also took advantage of the poolside amenities, like ceramics, bingo, volleyball and ping pong.
BTW… I never exchanged any of my dollars for pesos. We were able to open a “tab” at the timeshare, so they just charged my credit card at the end. The few occasions where I did need cash, dollars were fine.
All in all it turned out to be the perfect February getaway. The kids have already expressed a desire to go back..they are also concerned that they will miss the dolphin, Henry, that they got to know so well. If you’re thinking about a Mexican vacay with kids, do it…it is so much fun!