12.22.2017

How To Travel With Two Little Ones to Mexico (and lots of photos here!)




Can you believe this was our first time ever to Mexico?
It's been on our bucket list the longest time ever and we finally did it! This time, I was so excited to explore with our little family the Riviera Maya,  to expose them to a different culture, food, people, and that also, they could have the opportunity to practice their Spanish with new people, and yes, all the tacos and all the guac, that's absolutely obvious.
Now that Olivia can walk (aka run everywhere) with Nico, I knew these two would be running everywhere together, exposed to a beautiful nature, to eating an unlimited amount of sand, enjoying the sound of the ocean, and the little things life gives you that we take for granted most of the time.

When Air Transat invited us to discover their family collection along with a few blogger friends (Eve, Steph and Roxanne) , I was beyond excited (that I kept jumping in my bed for a while) and honestly, this was THE perfect excuse to say buh-bye to winter and oh hello to a sunny week that we needed it so bad.
I have tons and tons of pictures (way too many) that I wanted to share with you, and all the tips you've been asking on how we travel with a baby and a toddler,  because I know we all have the same mama struggles when it comes to time adjustment, organization, naps, food and a lot more. 


So, let's homies! Scroll all the way down and enjoy the zillion pictures, tips and funny jokes about our trip with Air Transat (:


FIRST THINGS FIRST: WHAT TO PACK, HOW TO FLY AND ALL THAT JAZZ

I know for some people making plans and travelling with kids can be a stressful event and you might be asking (depending on your destination) what to bring, how to do it and how to start with the planning and all that jazz. We are strong believers in packing just the necessary and bring the essential to each trip, so for this 7-day-vacation we packed as light as possible and only brought two medium bags for the 4 of us (thank god for small summer shoes and sandals!).
Things we carried:

Our Luggage:
- 4 bathing suits for each Nico and Oli
- Stroller (our umbrella) which is light, easy to carry and helps a lot for naps and exploring around
- 7 shorts, one pair of jeans and 10 t-shirts for Nico
- Oli's outfits are so tiny I added double the count than Nico, plus, she's a very messy eater so, prepare yourselves mamas, like I did.
- Accessories like hats, sunnies, bandanas, sweater and socks (oh hey chilly nights)
- Nico and Oli also bring their own backpack, and I refill them with new colouring books, crayons, two tiny favourite toys, Nico's tablet fully charged, iPod full with movies, wipes, diapers, water and snacks.
- My outfits and tons of shoes will be a later conversation between us, ok?
- Our gear: one laptop, a go pro, my DSLR camera, three lenses, Pixel, iPhone, endless chargers (cuz I'm a pro at losing all of them) and a mini tripod Manfrotto.
Ps. We never carry on a pack and play or car seats, they are way too big, complicated, and honestly, we want to relax and it's so much easier this way.

At the Airport: 

We try to book direct flights if we are travelling with our kids, it's less stress and less fuss for them, I know airports can be so complicated with a stroller, carry-ons and on top of that, children running around (like mine did). As soon as we did our check-in (and skipped all the lines with Option Plus), both Nico and Oli enjoyed an indoor park (yes, inside the airport). To all my Toronto and Montreal friends, you are in luck because Air Transat flights daily (and direct) to Cancun from December to April, yahoo!

Our Flight:
During our almost 4-hour flight to Mexico, Oli napped half of the trip (prayers heard), and Nico watched a movie while we wait for our food and drinks. I tend to apologize for a lot (maybe it is a Canadian thing, lol) and I'm always a bit stressed to flight with them, so I said hello and apologized in advance to all my lovely plane-neighbours as soon as we got in. 
Also, travelling with Air Transat this year was such a bliss and incredible experience with kids and we were lucky Nico is part of their Kids Club that comes with tons of surprises making their experience 10 times special and fun! We upgraded our economy flight to Option Plus, and guys, it's SO worth it (in my humble opinion).
You can enjoy as we did all these extras:
- Priority boarding with Option Plus
- Complimentary seat selection (say bye to those extra fees)
- Supplementary bag is included (hello extra shoes)
- Priority baggage handling, no more lineups!
- A welcome kit with the softest blanket you'll have in a flight, a menu selection of snacks, drinks and even some cute kids for your little ones.
Ps. Air Transat Kids Club is entirely free, and kids from 2 to 11 can enjoy all their fun advantages.
HOLA MEXICO! HERE WE ARE! SO, WHERE TO STAY WITH KIDS
Planning a trip with your family can be so much fun when you plan it right, and Air Transat's Family Collection is so perfectly curated. Waterpark? Check! A full plan with kids activities your entire week? Check! Kid-friendly facilities? Check! I swear your mini-globetrotters will want to stay (as Nico did ask) and they'll have endless fun and wanderlust. Our hotel, the new Dreams Playa Mujeres Golf & Spa Resort, was all about style, luxury and lots and lots of entertaining. Your first welcome to the hotel? Champagne, fresh cucumber water and some warm hand towels were part of this kit, and I knew this week was going to be simply, amazing.  This hotel was totally my style, tiles everywhere with a minimal meets colourful heaven and located in Playa Mujeres, the most stunning beach we've seen so far.

(from $1,979 per person) you'll enjoy 7 days of:
- Rooms for family of 5 and even more
- 3 gigantic pools with live music
- Fully restocked daily mini bar (with cold Coronas included) and Nespresso coffee for your mornings
- Wifi everywhere, your room, pools, and even on the beach
- Playground and Splash Park (where Nico mostly and almost camped)
- 11 bars (oh hey, micheladas!)
- 10 restaurants, 24h snacks and room service
- Spa, fitness centre, golf course and car rental services
- Doctor on site (so thankful for this, because we actually had to use it and they were beyond helpful)
- Private beach (hello heaven!)

Are you booking your next trip yet? 
HOW WE ADJUSTED NAPS, BEDTIME AND OUR ROOM WITH A BABY AND A TODDLER

Right now that Olivia is a bit bigger, her naps are quite around the same time so it's a bit easier for both of us to arrange them. This time, I unplugged a bit from our routine and let them have all the fun for an entire week. No schedules and no sweat about being late for breakfast, just us and a relaxed time together. Usually, Nico skipped all his naps (due to over-excitement these vacations) so I had my afternoon girly dates with Oli while she napped. Trust me, I caught up on emails, cellphone and ordered room service, like a boss.
Bedtime was super easy for us, don't judge but we decided to sleep in a King bed together, just because, we don't have one. Sometimes it was a bit uncomfortable for sure, but nothing like a sweet hug in the middle of the night or a "mama I love this", right before going to bed. 
LET'S TALK ABOUT ALL THE FOOD. ALL THE MEXICAN FOOD.
I believe it's pretty clear all we do is eat while we travel,  right? My love for Mexican food and drinks is just beyond, so I was counting the seconds until the first "real" michelada, the first guacamole and the first taco night at our hotel. Honestly, the food and service were impeccable and unreal. From 10 restaurants to pick, we had a huge variety each day, and here are our fav picks from each one:

- World Cafe: an international buffet that changed it's menu daily; we loved having breakfast here, and wait for a fresh Omelette and their delish green juice.
- Tides: Cheeseburgers, hot dogs and lots of guac available near the pool, so WIN WIN.
- Fusion: Teppan heaven and one of our favourite of the trip! I still can't get over their pad thai, guys, SO good.
- Tres Colores: Want to do a fancy Mexican menu one night? This place was THE one.
- Mezes: I still remember the risotto with lamb I tried here and I want to come back asap. Mezes offer a Mediterranean a la carte menu.
- Gaucho Grill: Brazilian - all - you - can - eat *cough picanha* Do I need to say more?

Nota bene: None of the restaurants in our hotel needed a reservation, making our experience with kids so much easier each night. They all have high chairs, kids menu and even colouring books for your little ones. We felt absolutely blessed they asked every single time about food allergies, and they gave an extra care to Nico accommodating him each time with a special menu (he's severely allergic to peanuts and almonds). There's also a salad/snack bar and a coffee shop with ice creams and desserts open until late, wiiiii!

RELAXING TIME AT THE POOLS, WITH SOME PINAS COLADAS

Having so many pools for a week was a good problem to have, so we tried each of them and did a little fun game with Nico, naming them differently so he could pick his favourite each day. He is such a pool boy that every morning as soon as he was up, he screamed first: MAMA! POOL, SI? So we did it, let the kids run free to pick our daily pool itinerary (while we had some pinas coladas and beers, of course!) wot wot!

LAZY MORNINGS: IT'S PAST 9AM SO, LET'S DO ROOM SERVICE

We also tried some lazy mornings ordering in our breakfast, and let's be honest, nothing better than eating in your bed and sipping that hot coffee as soon as you're up. We didn't even have to call them because our hotel room was equipped with an iPad where you could order food, book appointments, get instant notifications about activities in the resort and lots more.
... and of course, I ordered guacamole and chips endless times.




EXPLORING THE AMENITIES OF OUR HOTEL WITH MY BOY

There's nothing cuter than having a super curious boy that wants to explore the world, loves animals and insects and gets ultra excited about new places like his mama. Some afternoons, it was just the two of us, walking around our magnificent hotel enjoying the Christmas decor in the lobby, the breathtaking beach view from any corner and I laughed out loud several times seeing this dude posing for me, with absolutely no shame.

KIDS WILL HAVE FUN, TRUST ME!

The Dreams hotel was simply dreamy with kids. All their staff was extra sweet and they were sure everything we needed during this week was at our fingertips with zero stress. I loved our hotel wasn't gigantic and everything was walking distance from our room (in case of diaper situations, or naps), and their Splash/Water Park was a dream for both Nico and Oli. They spend hours and hours playing together and even skipping meals if possible just to stay in the water a bit more. We also discovered their Explorer Kids club, available for 3 and up, created with daily activities just for the little ones (no adults allowed), giving dad and mom time on their own if they want to. Nico tried their camping adventure on the beach seeking hidden treasures and met other kids one night, that he absolutely loved!

Mexico, we truly love you!
These seven magic days were done in collaboration with Air Transat. Be sure all the unforgettable memories, opinions and overload of tacos are entirely mine.

Want to learn more about Air Transat's Family Collection?
Run here






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8 comments

  1. O M G I’m ready for some fun in the sun!! This resort is absolutely stunning and all those benefits from flying with Air Transat Option Plus. This is an absolute must have! Okay, I’m going to plan a trip now, bye!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I LOVE Mexico! We've cruised through many times, but never actually stayed there. We want to change that soon. This looks like a great trip and a lot of fun for your kiddos :) I bet it was a wonderful family time!!

    I currently have a travel link up going on and this post would be a great addition! There's one day left to enter for this month and you can add any travel related post to the blue "add your link" button at the bottom of this post (http://www.lifessweetwords.com/2017/12/traveltuesday-23-our-makers-mark.html), just above the comments.

    Happiest of Tuesdays!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I am sitting here writing this comment and the windchill outside my home is -20. To say that I enjoyed your pictures is an understatement. I WANT TO GO. While I don't have kids, so some of this wasn't as applicable it was a great, well-written article and I feel prepared for traveling as a mommy someday (ok, not really, but fingers crossed)! Thanks!

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  4. We don't have any little ones to travel with anymore. I always enjoy watch families who travel with little ones and how well a job they do traveling with them. Enjoyed looking at all your photos.

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  5. Beautiful pictures. Looks like a great trip!

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  6. I absolutely LOVED scrolling through your photos of Mexico. You've got a serious talent! Thank you for the photo inspiration!

    Also, since I don't have kids, I can't use these tips quite yet! But when I have kids, I'll keep these pointers in mind! :)

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  7. MACA,

    This looks, sounds and feels like the most wonderful trip! I love reading all of your pointer. I wasn't the least surprised that our two families travel so similar! We need a Mexico trip desperately and I am absolutely checking this one out!

    xo

    danielle

    momwifefoodie.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We totally need one together my boo! we do!

      love you,
      Mac

      Delete

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