Yummy Mummy Neha from Brampton, ON asks:
My husband and I have been married for 3.5 years but have not been on a vacation since our honeymoon. We now have a 6 month old and desparately want to get away to somewhere nice (of course with the baby). Research tells me that my best option is the Turks and Caicos Beaches Resort. This option is way too expensive. I am looking to spend max $2500 for all three of us. Any suggestions? Also is it a good idea to go to an all inclusive...my travel agent suggested Grand Bahia Principe in Jamaica or Grand Palladium Montego Bay.
As a new mom you are definitely in need of a vacation, and how better to bond as a new threesome than a tropical getaway?!
Your travel agent is smart to suggest Jamaica. It is a safe and clean, family friendly destination that’s a relatively short direct flight from Toronto. My cousin loves the Grand Bahia Principe in Jamaica, she travels there with her husband and two sons every year. They rave about the service, and my nephews love the mini-club, which is available for children aged 4-12.
All-Inclusive is definitely an easy option when you’re traveling with little ones, and it takes the pressure off you having to source local family-friendly restaurants and grocery stores. At six months, baby is likely only just starting solids, so you’ll be able to get away with packing just a box of cereal and a few packets of baby food.
Beaches Turks & Caicos is, kinda, the crème de la crème of family resorts, but it is expensive. However, the Beaches resorts in Jamaica are less pricey and, while the surroundings may not be as luxurious, I’m sure the service would be on par with what’s available in Turks. Another fantastic resort in Jamaica that is probably within your price point is FDR Resort & Spa in Runaway Bay. At FDR you’re assigned a “vacation nanny” who can assist as an extra set of hands or look after baby all day or anywhere in-between. During our stay, my son (16mos. at the time) adored his nanny, and she was the first person he “went down” for other than me. It’s an incredibly casual resort with service that’s on par with larger, more luxurious hotels.
If your heart’s not set on Jamaica, I also suggest Cuba. Our first family trip when my daughter was a baby was to Varadero, and it was an excellent balance of beach and culture. Cubans adore babies, and thought it was cute instead of annoying when my daughter fussed. We were able to hire a taxi and do a private tour of Havana, so we could go at my daughter’s pace and not stress about a package tour’s timeline. Lastly, we were able to splurge on a number of upgrades to our package, as Cuba is really inexpensive when you compare it with other Caribbean destinations.
Travel with baby allows you to see the world through your child’s eyes, and I’ll never forget my daughter’s delight at the tropical birds or watching my son wave back at the waving palm trees. It sometimes can feel like a lot of work, but for us family travel is not only different, it’s better.