With three kids in school full-time I’m chained to that radiator known as the school vacation schedule. And even if you don’t yet have a school-age child you no doubt know what that means in terms of family vacationing – you’re permitted to travel only during designated breaks when rates and occupancy in many popular destinations are at their peak.
It’s not the jacked-up rates or crowds I mind as much as the lack of freedom, and if your child is not yet in school and, even better, is still an infant, do what I failed to do: Fly away with that baby of yours as often as you can. There’s no shame in having your first family vacations focus almost entirely on you and your partner. With that in mind, if you enjoy the confluence of bargains, romance, and convenience, set your sights this fall on Mexico.
Sure, it’ll be hurricane season through November and yes, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention perennially lists Mexico as a high risk destination for traveler’s diarrhea but at the risk of seeming insufferably glib, get over it. The deals are too good and if you abide by the CDC’s advice that “travelers should use only purified water for drinking, preparing ice cubes, brushing teeth, and mixing infant formula and foods,” you’ll reduce your risk, particularly if you pick the right resort or hotel.
With that in mind, Club Med gets an honorable mention for its Baby Club Med program that at selected resorts – including their very good Ixtapa Pacific property – provides on-site child care and zesty, engaging programming for kids four months to two years old. On top of the resort’s all-inclusive rate, this program will set you back an extra $510 for seven days, which at $73 per day is a relative bargain in the realm of childcare.
A recent ShermansTravel.com Daily Deal highlighted an excellent deal from the two all-inclusive Now Resorts & Spa properties in Riviera Maya, running rates at half off and permitting two kids under 12 to eat free as well as stay free in their parents’ room. Seen through the lens of parents with a baby, the deal gets even sweeter when you consider that the property provides babysitting. And if you focus that lens even more on pampering – not of your baby per se, but of you and your traveling companion – you'll want to check out the St. Regis Mexico City, with rates starting at $180 per night. Babysitting is available, as is a free butler who will bring coffee and cookies to your room 24/7. If the thought of that doesn’t provoke tears of joy, well, you may not be sleep-deprived enough just yet. Give it time. And please, go away.