Tropics with Toddlers: Optimal Relaxation and Family Fun!

Today, we’re back with the latest addition to our Tropics with Toddlers series!

In this installment, our guest blogger Jess will tackle the ins and outs of optimal relaxation and family fun while on vacation with your little ones in tow.

Keep reading to check out her top tips!


My husband and I have been on many tropical vacations before kids… V.B.K. if you will. And on these fantastic V.B.K. trips, we spent our pool and beach time lounging, floating on rafts, sipping cocktails and reading books. For this trip, our first tropical V.W.K. (vacation with kids), we had a lot of worry that the pool/beach time wouldn’t be spent with margarita in hand, and would instead be spent saving our three-year old’s life time and again as he insists that he knows how to swim (spoiler alert: he doesn’t), or shouting “stop splashing” to our six-year old as he jumps into the pool (over and over again).
It would be far from the truth to say that our V.W.K. was exactly the same and just as relaxing as our V.B.K., but I’m pleased to report that the pool and beach experience at Dreams Playa Mujeres with the toddler crowd in tow was absolutely just as fun and memorable. As always with kiddos, an ounce of preparation and planning goes a long way to ensuring meltdown-free time.
Here are some of our tips for optimal relaxation and family fun:
  • Plan your day strategically, and around your children’s schedule. It was nice when we used to come first, but most parents now prioritize their child’s happiness, and at least for my kids, that’s directly impacted by their sleep and hunger levels. We started each day at the beach — which was furthest away from our room in the amazing preferred club villas — and gradually worked our way back to the room, ending each day with a few laps around the lazy river and a plunge in our private, outdoor hot tub. This schedule put is closest to the restaurants right around lunchtime, and allowed the kids to experience all the gorgeous pools throughout the day. The constant changing of scenery kept things interesting, and gave us a good variety of activities, both on our own and fueled by the entertainment team.
  • Pack wisely and make room for beach/pool toys. We brought our youngest son’s puddle jumper (life vest) from home, and hands down, it was my favorite item we packed. He wore it all the time, and it took away 95% of my worry about him falling in, or going under when I wasn’t looking. We also brought a few new, small water/sand toys that we dolled out throughout the trip. New toys, no matter how inexpensive, were great at capturing the boys’ attention, and helped them connect with other kids playing in the same area.
  • Make friends. Encouraging the kids to introduce themselves to other kids playing around them opened up so many doors for fun — and also more opportunity for us to relax poolside without having to be parent entertainers. We didn’t bump into a single person – guest or employee – that wasn’t willing to chat!
  • Sunscreen. Sunscreen. Sunscreen. Our family rivals Casper the Friendly Ghost when it comes to pale skin, and nothing ruins the trip faster than a sunburn. We brought more than enough, and applied it constantly. Even with the strict, regular applications of SPF 30, we came home with bronze skin so don’t prioritize your tan over your health!
  • Check out the Explorer’s Club. I think we were I think we were the impediment to our kids’ fun during vacation instead of the other way around. The boys would have gladly spent every day at the Explorer’s Club, and we were the lame parents insisting they spent at least half their day with us! From water park hours to crafting, video games and bungee trampoline, the Explorer’s Club had a busy schedule of fun perfect for kiddos age 3-12. The sign in process was simple, and parents are given a smaller pager that would buzz in case of any problems or if your child was interested in leaving (ours never buzzed!).

Keep checking back for more thoughts and tips on tropical travel with the teeny ones.  Drop comments or questions below and I’m happy to give thoughts or tricks that might make your travel and vacation a bit easier!

Dreams Resorts & Spas is raising the bar on the all inclusive and offers a high level of luxury for couples and couples with children, in ideal beachfront settings. Spacious rooms and suites, graciously appointed and luxuriously equipped provide a picture-perfect vacation experience with welcoming service and romantic inclusions. Beautiful and exciting destinations provide a lovely setting for a wedding, honeymoon, romantic getaway or family vacation. Best of all, most every amenity is included as part of Unlimited-Luxury®.

Book your next trip with us using our Wanderlust promotion going on now. Also, check out our special offers page for other exciting deals!

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