How to Take a Caribbean Vacation with Your Kids…and Survive

VacationWithKids

“I haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on my list.” – Susan Sontag

If you’ve been following @mymommyvents on Instagram, you know that we just (okay, over a month ago) returned from our first family vacation in Grenada, West Indies.

Views. #allsummer16 #caribbean #travelisthenewclub

A photo posted by Tiffani G (@mymommyvents) on

Our entire family, including my mother in law, sister in law, aunts, uncles, and cousins from England, spent a week in the Spice Isle for a wedding. The 2Live Crew were finally able to meet and play with their cousins from across the pond while exploring all that Grenada had to offer. Our group ranged in age–The Emcee was the youngest, at 3, with other family members up in their seventies–but we all had a great time. You really can take (and enjoy!) a Caribbean vacation with your kids. Here are my tips for how to do it:

A Caribbean vacation with the kids? Find out how to survive it. Click To Tweet

Plan ahead.
Despite my meticulous packing, my mother in law, sister in law, and I stayed up the night before the flight, arranging and rearranging our stuff into suitcases.

I don’t think we have enough stuff. #familytravel #instapassport #travelingram A photo posted by Tiffani G (@mymommyvents) on

Although I failed (majorly) to fit all of our clothing into a single carry on, my weekender bag came in handy for last minute items, like the 2Live Crew’s sunscreen, bug spray, and all of my shoes. I put our tablets, snacks, sunglasses, and passports aside for easy access at the airport.

Divide and conquer.
We arrived at JFK, ready for our sunny Caribbean vacation adventure. DaddyVents and I each took a boy by the hand and headed to the JetBlue kiosks to check in to our flight.

Available at over 100 airports, the TSA Pre-Check line helps passengers speed through security without removing their shoes, laptops, liquids, belts or light jackets. In June of 2016, Pre Check members waited in a line of 5 minutes or less. Sounds convenient, right? It was. For everyone but me. Everyone else in the family– even the kids!–was “randomly selected” and got the okay to go through the short Pre Check line, while I headed to the regular security check in by myself. Once we met at the crossroads, I mean, our departure gate, we let the boys pull out their tablets for Speakaboos, an interactive reading app where they can learn languages (ask The DJ about six tranches de fromage), interact with stories, read by themselves, or be read (and sang to), until it was time to board.

Arm yourself with distractions.
The boys were excited to hand over their boarding passes, and immediately wanted to dig into their activity kits. I wanted to dig into the latest issue of Essence magazine. Magnetic games, coloring books, and snacks kept the 2Live Crew busy during the 4-hour trip. Aside from one small meltdown, they did pretty well on their first flight.

kids-on-plane

Know before you go.
We picked up our bags and headed through customs and security to catch a cab to our home for the week–the Blue Horizons Garden Resort.

blue-horizon-resort

I had checked out pictures and reviews before our stay, so I knew that it was a 10 minute walk to the beach and supermarket, that the playground was right between the front desk and the pool, and that our room had a kitchen. What I didn’t know was that our room also had 3 sort of steep steps to get to the bedroom and bathroom. We made it work, and the 2Live Crew loved “our number 7 house.”

blue-horizons-grenada

Enjoy the sites from a child’s view.
With the help of WhatsApp, everyone knew when and where to meet to take a tour of the island, visit the Dougladston Spice Estate, shop in Market Square, and take pictures at Leaper’s Hill.

leapers-hill-grenada

Although the boys enjoyed riding on a bus and seeing the sights, their favorite parts of the trip were spotting crabs during our walks to the beach and watching the lizards dart around during breakfast on the front porch.

blue-horizon-resort

grand-anse-beach-grenada

Bring in reinforcements!
While DaddyVents and I sampled the local rum at the River Antoine Distillery, Grandma sat with the 2Live Crew on the grounds. While I checked in at the front desk, aunties showed the boys around the grounds. When we trekked through Grand Etang National Park to see the 1st of the Seven Sisters Falls, cousins pitched in to carry the boys over the hills, rocks, and mud. If you aren’t traveling with family, some resorts, like Grenada’s Blue Horizon playground or the Spice Island Resort’s Nutmeg Pod, offer babysitting or children’s activities.


Have fun!
Since we were on vacation, everyone tried new things, like nutmeg balls and mangoes straight from the trees. We got to see cashew nuts and tiny avocados growing. We (not me) jumped from the falls and hiked through the forest. We (me) fell into a stream while hiking through the forest. Sure, we laid out on Grand Anse beach, but we also accepted every opportunity for adventure.

grenada-mango

Nothing like a near death experience to bond you together as a family.

A photo posted by Tiffani G (@mymommyvents) on

So, you can actually take a Caribbean vacation with your kids–your entire family, even–and survive. Use this tips to make the most of the sun and fun!

Do you have a vacation planned this summer?

Tiffani
Find me here

Tiffani

Tiffani is the wife and mom behind MyMommyVents, co-creator of The Mommy Conference, and co-founder of the digital collective Sisterhued. Her writing and parenting tips have been seen on The Washington Post, Mommy Noire, Yahoo Parenting, and Fit Pregnancy.
Tiffani
Find me here

11 Comment

  1. I don’t have children but I absolutely love family trips! It seems like you all had a great family trip! Thankful for grandma you all had a little adult time! I’ve never tried the TSA precheck, but maybe I’ll try on my next upcoming trip!

    1. It was awesome! Definitely check out PreCheck–they were able to zip through security in no time.

  2. Joanna says: Reply

    So happy you guys got to go. Now I need to know all the best things in Grenada. lol BTW TSA Precheck is bosssssss!

  3. Joanae says: Reply

    Planning ahead, and bringing reinforcements is so important! It looks like you guys had a ball!

  4. Stacie says: Reply

    Looks like you had a lovely time. I’d love to bring my family t a Caribbean vacation. Heck, I need to take one myself!
    Stacie recently posted…At Home Stores College-Bound Challenge VideoMy Profile

  5. This sounds like an amazing vacation. I believe in traveling with distractions for sure. Fresh mangos OMG I know they were perfect. Hiking and jumping in the falls is my kind of fun.
    Mimi Green recently posted…New Orleans Music & CultureMy Profile

  6. Tia says: Reply

    What an awesome trip! One of my good friends is in medical school in Grenada. I said I’d visit before he leaves.

  7. Sounds like a great adventure and some fun quality time with family. Although it isn’t the island getaway we were hoping for this year we are headed to Philly for out family reunion and can’t wait, since we’ve never been.

  8. These are great tips. My parents took me on white a few trips to the Caribbean when I was a kid and they did a lot of the sam things you did!

    LiveLifeWell,
    Allison

  9. Jonna says: Reply

    Unfortunately I don’t have any vacation plans 🙁 Sad but true!
    Jonna recently posted…Preserve Your Edges While Wearing Hair ExtensionsMy Profile

  10. Eva says: Reply

    I got randomly selected for Pre-Check this Sunday! That was an amazing feeling… like I won the lottery! LOL

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