What is a Great Family Vacation with Young Kids?
As a mom with young kids, do you ever wonder if you will ever enjoy a vacation again? If you are like me, vacations sometimes seem like more work that fun. The laundry, the planning, the food preparation, getting a baby to sleep in a new environment and packing endless baby gear can often seem overwhelming. This got my thinking, what is the best family vacation?
The need to get away this Christmas season was imminent. My husband’s beloved grandmother passed away and we flew with Anjali to Illinois to the funeral the week before Christmas. Then we were back for a day and we flew to Oregon to spend Christmas with my entire family for the week. Anjali flew close to 9,000 miles in two weeks!! We were home one day and we drove to Club Med Sandpiper Bay for some family rejuvenation time.
As we began to explore the property, I was intrigued to see paddle boards, kiddie pools, arts and crafts rooms, teen activities, trapeze, a golf course and much to my personal glee, tennis courts everywhere. Kids laughter rang throughout the property and there was a sense of being young again. An adorable four year old ran by me saying, “Excuse me I am a torpedo and I need through!”
I noticed that the majority of the staff was in their 20’s which surprised me, but as I saw the kids having the time of their lives learning to sail , trying trapeze or playing basketball I realized why…fuddy duddy adults would take all of the youthful joy out of this oasis of fun!
Were the rooms at Club Med Sandpiper Bay the nicest rooms I have ever stayed in? No. BUT and this is a BIG BUT. So read this closely. I had registered online to let them know we had an infant, so they had a clean pack n play, a beautiful stroller, a baby bath and a changing station all set up in the room when we arrived! I could hear families hustling all around us, so I felt at ease when Anjali fussed going down for a nap. I felt free to just enjoy myself instead of feeling mounting pressure to make sure Anjali didn’t mess anything up or make too much noise like when we stayed at beautiful, top notch hotels.
My enjoyment and relief continued to mount when we had dinner. It was a tremendous buffet and they even had home made baby food such as pureed zucchini, steamed butternut squash and beautiful chicken. And best of all they had 50 high chairs available for all of the families to use. Before coming, I expected a dirty, kid zone buffet like at many family focused resorts, but to my great joy, the food was spectacular with a chef at each station preparing food fresh as needed. Whatever you do eat the white chocolate bread!
My husband plays golf regularly and I always get ‘stuck’ watching Anjali for 5 hours so he can get some man time. Truth be told, this trip I did not want to be on mom duty, I wanted to play tennis. So luck came my way and we started chatting with one of the Club Med team members that worked in the baby sitting room. She was so passionate about kids and explained the check in process and how everything worked, that I felt comfortable putting Anjali into Baby Club Med. She had a blast playing with other kids and I got to play tennis all morning. I have never felt better about myself physically since having a baby and when I picked her up I knew innately it was vital for her to play with other kids and connect with other adults.
Is it Disney World or Atlantis? No. If that is what you are looking for, Club Med Sandpiper Bay would not be for you. But if you like fitness, if you have kids, babies or teens that like being active, it is a great way to shut off the electronics, get outside and meet people from all over the world. It is all inclusive and it is a great value featuring a huge selection of activities for all ages.
As I sit here in my workout pants, my hair in a bun, sipping my decaf latte, I am reveling in the opportunity to not have to dress to impress like at most resorts. This is the most relaxed and happy I have been in a really, really long time!
We travel monthly for work and to see family back and forth across the United States so I feel like I am fairly versed in efficient travel with babes. I wanted to share my experience at Club Med (no I am not getting paid to endorse them). Thank you Club Med for creating a positive place for families where moms can kick up their heels too! (Now please just create a dedicated coffee lounge or Starbucks where those of us who nurse all night and need a cup of joe can go!!! And please explain where to get food for your kids between 10 pm and noon!
It was my personal paradise to hear the staff telling me over and over that as a hard working mom I deserved a break and that they would take care of me and my baby. It’s safe, food is prepared and my entire family is happy. If you are a nice, easy going person who has an active family, check out Club Med!
Ready? Set? Go!
What is your favorite family vacation spot?