Sorry for the silence from my end this past week. I just got back from a last minute trip to Sayulita, Mexico with my kids [8 & 10] to visit a friend and her kids. My friend and I were solo for the week with both husbands traveling, so why not go? The friend I was visiting lives life fully! She is always packing in more in a morning than I get done many days. We have traveled with the kids lots, but this trip was incredibly humbling as a parent. Since many of you will be traveling this summer I want to pass along my lessons learned. Here is what I [re]learned:
1. Make sure your kids wear a rash guard/swim top if they are going to be spending the first few days submerged in the ocean and out in the sun. My 10 year old go so burnt [even though I applied sun screen–Badger–multiple, multiple times!] that he blistered, was so uncomfortable, and I believe got sunstroke and landed us in the hospital for fluids. I felt SO bad. Actually I still do. So maybe the waterproof sunscreens do have a place in our family or maybe we will just stick to the rash guard.
2. Hydrate! Ensure your kids are drinking LOTS! Honestly this is so important when you are outside all day in the sun. Somehow you have to double your water intake on a vacation! So buy the kids the cold water. Let them drink the icy limonadas.
3. Make sure you have sufficient entertainment for the kids in case of travel delays! We were delayed over 12 hours and finally ended up spending the night in Houston where I didn’t get my kids to sleep until 12:45am. Our family loves mazes, books, crossword puzzles, art supplies, and the good old iPad. Make sure they are with you, not under the plane!
4. Bring snacks–even if it’s a short flight. Our scheduled 2+ hour flight to Houston where we caught a flight to Denver turned into an over 6 hour flight as we had to circle forever, then were diverted to San Antonio where they had us on the ground for hours without food. United Airlines did not have food on the plane.
5. Throw caution to the wind and just go! We made this trip happen really last minute. It was great to just get up and go. You can do it! It makes for such great memories for the whole family. You don’t have to go to Mexico. Check out the National Parks right here in Colorado, spend the night at a cabin in the mountains, go camping, etc.
6. Get the kids involved and into the culture. I made sure the kids learned a little bit of Spanish before we left. I would practice phrases and words. They had to order their own food and ask in Spanish. They loved it! It made them feel so proud!
So along with sun burnt skin, dehydration, being stuck on a plane all day and having to spend the night in Houston, Mexico was just as I remembered. The people are so warm and friendly. They love it when you speak Spanish. The ocean is magnificent and so welcomed from a Boulder, Colorado family. The kids felt heart broken by the street dogs and wanted to take every dog without a collar home. They tried new things–and loved them [food, jumping from 30 ft. cliffs, surfing, etc.]. We felt really safe. We walked the streets at night. We met all sorts of people. We would do it again in a heart beat! I hope we make it happen sooner than last time [It’s been 10 years since I have been to Sayulita].