Cancún (México) is a destination that has absolutely everything to enjoy the perfect family vacations. Its biggest sales pitch are those white sand beaches bathed by startling blue waters revealing beautiful colour-fish under it… but Cancun has a lot more to offer, actually. Just in case you are thinking about visiting this amazing destination, let’s have a look at the 10 things you should know if you are travelling to Cancun with kids.
1. Be patient during the flight, the reward is worth it
Maybe you get cold feet when you find out that Cancun is at least a 10-hour flight from Spain (if you don’t have to stop over before getting there). Long flights are tedious for an adult, so you can only imagine what that must be for a child. Aside from arming yourself with patience, try to travel by night so that the little ones can rest for the longest time possible, and take toys or gadgets with you to make their trip a bit more bearable. And don’t worry about jetlag, they’ll probably handle it better than you.
2. Accommodation for families
Cancun has an impressive accommodation portfolio. When making a decision about accommodation, think about the purpose of the trip first. The best option for you is to have a beach close-by and a good program of activities for the kids. I don’t personally like all-inclusive resorts for the kind of tourism they promote, but there are great hotels that think about the little ones too and that are not packed with people, such as the InterContinental Presidente Cancun Resort, the one we stayed at, which has direct access to one of the best beaches in Cancun.
3. Crazy traffic
Traffic is probably the biggest downside of Cancun, there are cars and traffic jams all at times. If moving around by cars is in your plans, avoid the rush hour so that you don’t have to spend hours sitting in your car and your kids go nuts. Be extremely careful when crossing avenues, take all possible precautions.
4. Let’s spend some Pesos
One of the pastimes preferred by tourists and Cancun locals is going shopping. The city is filled with shopping malls, some of which are gigantic like La Isla, but there are also very interesting flea markets such as Mercado de Coral Negro, where you will probably find a funny t-shirt or some figurines that the kids will love. We are very fond of some wooden puzzles you can build funny Mexican figures with. This is money well spent.
5. Beware of the mosquitoes
If you stay close to Nichupté lagoon, there will surely be mosquitoes. There no risk of malaria or tropical diseases, but it can be annoying for the little ones if they get bitten. Make them wear a mosquito-repellent wristband and forget all about it. Try to give them small doses of tonic water before travelling as well.
6. Sunbathe with moderation
Once in Cancun, your kids will not want to get out of the water, whether you are at the beach or the hotel pool. The sun heat in Mexico is so excruciating that, besides wearing a hat, you’ll have to wear sunscreen and drink plenty of water to keep hydrated, as well as avoid going out during the hottest hours. It is worth waking up a bit earlier to go to the beach or have a swim when the sun is setting. Sunrises and sunsets are magical.
7. Heavenly beaches
When they see those pristine beaches and crystalline waters, your kids will go insanely happy. You won’t regret taking some diving (or even snorkelling) goggles for the children to see the little colour-fish swimming beneath their legs. Needless to say, children near the water must always be supervised by an adult. Vacations are to be enjoyed.
8. Delicious Mexican food
There are kids who are a bit fussy when it comes to food, but mine happen to enjoy this earthly pleasure. In Cancun there is a wide variety of restaurants, so don’t worry about what you will give your kids to eat. Regardless of what they are into, you’ll find it. Still, it is very fun getting them to try some Mexican specialties in a local restaurant… and a great way for them to discover another culture. For some breath-taking views and delicious seafood you can try “El Mocambo”, although if you can’t be bothered to much about it, you’ll find anything in La Isla.
9. Fun activities
In Cancun, the kids won’t have time to be bored. Besides beach and water-related sports, there is an endless list of family leisure activities. Aquariums, such as the Interactive Aquarium Cancún, amusement parks, arcades… not to mention that a few kilometres away you have some of the most staggering Maya ruins in the world.
10. A safe destination
Cancun is a safe destination if we apply the common sense. Don’t worry about hygiene issues or potential hazards, especially within the resort area or if you move around with a schedule suitable for children.
Don’t forget that the legal tender in Cancun is the Mexican Peso and that you can change your currency with Global Exchange.
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