Jamaica, Jamaica …. JA MAI CA! It is one of my favorite countries to visit!
We just got back from our family vacation from the beautiful Montego Bay in Jamaica.
We stayed for 7 days and 6 nights at the Iberostar Rose Hall Beach resort. The food was excellent, the grounds were spic and span clean, the staff was great, they even had a great kids club for the girls and most importantly, the drinks kept on coming😉
The purpose of our trip to Jamaica was to renew our vows to each other for our 10 Year wedding anniversary or what my husband would say the renewal of the “Contract” lol.
At the same time, we were attending a Davis Family Reunion of about 60 people, who we were meeting for the very first time. It was nerve racking to say the least…but we were so excited and happy to meet them all. They were all so loving and welcomed my family with open arms. My heart is still so full of love from this reunion.
If the idea of traveling with the whole fam seems daunting or undoable, look no further than Jamaica for a fantastic family escape everyone will love.
The Island’s good vibes, delicious foods, beautiful beaches and dreamy sunsets are just a few things to look forward to. There is so much to do and something for every kind of traveler here.
Let me share some travel tips with you to help you plan out a fun filled, smooth and adventurous trip to Jamaica with young ones.
Tip #1: Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate
And I don’t mean booze 😉…I know its pretty obvious …but trust me, its easy to forget to drink WATA, on a side note- I love the way they say Water down there…WATA.
Make sure you and your family get plenty of water, don’t drink the tap water but make sure to stock up on bottled water.
Your fridge is usually stocked with a couple of bottles, but you can always call down to reception to get more for free.
Tip #2: Stay Sun Safe
We all know sun safety is important, so coat your kids in factor 50 or higher and try to find a hat they will be excited to wear. Wearing a T-shirt or UV resistant top when in the water is a really good idea – especially in the first few days of your vacation.
Heat stroke and sunburn are well-known risks, which can be very serious, kids are especially vulnerable while running around beach, swimming, and having a good time.
To avoid heat stroke, give them a break from the hot sun, make sure they are drinking water regularly and keep them cool with dips in the pool or ocean.
Tip #3: Explore, Explore, Explore
I must admit, travelling all-inclusive with children is hands down the best way to travel because you don’t have to worry about meals, but it doesn’t mean you have to stay on the resort…you can definitely set aside a day or two to explore the local attractions and engage your adventurous side with tours or excursions that the kids will love. They can be pricey, but well worth it to explore all the beauty Jamaica has to offer. If you are going to Jamaica or any all-inclusive for the first time, be sure to attend your vacation suppliers meeting, usually the next morning after you arrive. They can provide you with a list of excursions and prices and they can arrange all the booking. Is also good to know where their office is located on the resort because they will have all your departure and transport information from the resort to the airport.
We knew that we wanted to climb the Dunn’s River Falls with our little munchkins-this was on my bucket list to do with the girls. So, we booked our adventure to climb up the 55 m Dunn’s River Falls in Ocho Rios-which took about 45 minutes to climb.
My girls were so brave and only complained once when they climbed through giant cob webs and saw a giant spider.
We took mini breaks and relaxed under the beautiful waterfalls.
Reaching the top of the falls, hand in hand with my family was exhilarating. If you are planning on doing this adventure, make sure you pack water shoes, have a water proof camera or waterproof cell phone carrier, and a back pack to carry some refreshments during the climb. Using one of the guides to take you up the falls is optionally, as they will expect some money. We opted out of the guide and we were just fine.
Tip #4: There is nothing “Free” in Jamaica
If you are a bargain shopper, don’t buy from the first booth you encounter. They all basically have the same items with all ranges of prices, don’t pay the first price you are told but also try to be fair. This is how vendors make there living, the average vendor makes a few sales per day. This is the prime reason why some vendors can be pushy.If you are visiting the local shops and markets, make sure you know how to haggle.
Do not accept any “free” gifts, some will approach you or your children wanting to give you or them a free gift, asking for your name so they can personalize that “free” gift, now that you see your name or better yet your kids names carved on the wooden items, you may feel obligated to purchase it. Remember NOTHING IS FREE IN JAMAICA, and YES, my husband fell for this.
Tip #5: Kids Club
Do it and don’t feel guilty about doing it!
Our resort provided a kid’s club filled with access to a lazy river, a full park, a kid’s pool with a giant pirate ship splash pad and water slides galore and also plenty of games and activities to do in a indoor shaded area, which is great to get them out of the hot sun for a little while. My husband and I decided to give it a try, our kids club was open from 10 am to 5 pm. We would drop the girls off after breakfast and pick them up after lunch. It gave us a few hours alone together to reconnect and have a mini break from the kiddos.
Its important to have a few hours to yourselves, after all you are on vacation.
The kids had lots of fun, they even made new friends and kept asking to stay longer with each day that passed.
Tip #6: Wedding / Vow Renewal
If you are planning a destination wedding at Iberostar Rose Hall Beach Jamaica, make sure you ask for Vanessa, she was amazing and very accommodating to our needs, she made sure that our day was extra special.
Our Vow Renewal went off without a hitch and I will cherish those memories forever.
Well there it is folks, 6 tips to help you plan your family vacation.
I hope that you find these tips helpful and hopefully you can use a few if not all of them to help you plan your next adventure.
We had an amazing experience -that’s one for the books and created so many memories.
We can’t wait to plan our next family vacation.
Where should we go next?!?!?!