First off, before you leave home, ask your doctors what pediatric medicines you might want to include in a First Aid type kit – baby aspirin, cold meds, diarrhea meds, thermometer, etc. Don’t forget to bring sunblock and insect repellant. And when you are packing, think cotton clothing that breathes for the entire family, plus have each member of the family pack a hat.
When traveling with kids, we suggest you don’t try to cram too many activities into your vacation. Balance your downtime with activities so that exhaustion, and bad cranky moods, don’t set in. Everyone will be happier!
In Mérida, Progreso, larger towns, and all along the coast you will find disposable diapers, baby food, formulas, and purified water readily available. Getting a crib might be a little harder unless you stay in a larger hotel. However, cots are rather common so you might be able to wedge the cot against the wall and put chairs on the other side. If you are doing a vacation home rental, it is possible to arrange with the owners to get a crib. While you will find high chairs in most restaurants, consider bringing your car seat; they are not readily available for rent in Mexico.
Remember, you are in the tropics so it is very important to keep properly hydrated. Drink lots of liquids. It is very common to find Pedialyte in pharmacies (“Farmacias”) and grocery stores. Flavors to choose from including regular, cherry, coconut, and orange.
As for accommodations, there are various options as to where it is comfortable to stay with children. You can opt for a hotel, maybe an all-inclusive, apartment suites, or a vacation home rental where you will have your own kitchen.
Some things to do with the kids:
In Mérida, it is always fun to visit the Centenario Zoo on Avenida Itzaes and Calle 59. Very children-oriented, you are assured a good time here with the animals, train, lake, vendors, and rides. Take a horse and buggy ride (called “Calesas”).
Also, check out the Olimpo Cultural Center (Calle 62 and 61 right on the Main Plaza) and find out what’s happening for kids. Programs are always changing and there is usually something going on for children. And don’t forget to ask about the Planetarium.
The Teatro Mérida (Calle 62 between 59 and 61) also has theater and movies for kids. Corazón de Mérida on Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights are also fun for the whole family with stiltwalkers, live bands, and the streets closed off. Sunday’s Mérida en Domingo is also a great family time with the streets closed off, tricycles for rent, activities for kids, etc.
And if your kids are of bike-riding age, Sunday’s Bici Ruta from 8 am to 12:30 pm might be a good option for you. Bikes can be rented for $10 pesos per hour.
At the beach: Here you will get some great news. The Gulf waters in this area are very safe in that there are no currents, tides, drop-offs, large waves (unless we are having a cold front that lasts about a day or two), reefs or rocks.
If you go to the pyramids, we suggest you get there early before the heat of the day and crowds from Cancún arrive.
You will also find the local people to be quite intrigued with your kids… they will want to talk to them, play with them, and possibly carry and hold them. Allow what you feel comfortable with.
And remember, Mexico, and especially the State of Yucatán, is a great place to introduce your children to foreign travel in that it is tropical, lush, colorful, safe, friendly, and different enough to be noticeable.
If you stay for a while it is quite possible that your kids of all ages will get involved with the neighborhood kids. Take note of how fast they pick up Spanish! It is amazing!
Click here to read a blog written by a Canadian woman traveling through Yucatán with her kids aged 7 and 9.
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