Our days of cross-country road trips on a chicken bus a behind us. Not because we don’t think our girls could handle it, I’m sure they would love some of it, but more so because we are wanting to keep travelling FUN, for the entire family.
When we landed in Cancun we found ourselves in a bit of a predicament. All four of us were tired, emotionally drained from leaving our island friends in St Thomas, and tired from having packed up our entire lives on a sailboat into 4 bins, 2 duffle bags, 4 carry-ons, and 1 large kiteboarding bag.
We were in Cancun but our trip wasn’t over, we still had 2 hours of commuting to do to get to our destination of El Cuyo.
Before the trip started we figured we would take the bus, or a private taxi van to get there. But once we had landed and collected all of our luggage, we realized that maybe the monetary savings of taking public transportation were not worth the headaches of cramming all of our luggage on to a bus, having multiple transfers to make, and two kids that just wanted to BE THERE already.
It Was Time To Switch Mentalities
For the happiness of the group we decided that a car rental would be a much better choice. We are no longer backpackers, carrying the bare minimum on our backs.
We are now a family of four, traveling to foreign places, wanting our two little humans to enjoy the experience as much as us.
A car would make getting from one place to the next much easier, it would give us the freedom to explore further out than we would’ve had we had to pay for taxis every time, and best of all, it allowed for road-trip naps!!!
We had to evaluate the monetary factor vs the happiness factor, and in this case, happiness won!
The Whole Family Needs To Be Involved
Our travel schedule right now is super charged. Our purpose in Mexico is to check out property (two different locations, El Cuyo Yucatan and Todos Santos Baja Sur), then there’s a quick stop-over in Canada to change out our luggage and clothing, and then we’re off to Europe for a family trip.
With a schedule that is so GO-GO-GO and not wanting to get travel-burnout, we need to make sure that our whole family is involved and happy.
This means giving the girls (7 and 5) a voice, an opinion, and actually listening to WHAT THEY WANT TO DO. No we are not going to stop at every roadside attraction we drive by, but we can treat them every now and again.
After a long day of walking through town, churros are a nice payoff. Or after a day on the beach watching Eben kite, maybe some rides at the local carnival.
The trip isn’t just about us and our desire to find property. It is also about these two little ladies, who tire faster than us, who have different interests than us, and who need to feel like it is their trip too.
Little People Have Big Emotions
One thing we have to keep reminding ourselves of is that it is much easier for the girls to get tired and burnt out. When they do, emotions flare and the travel fun quickly ceases.
In wanting to avoid this we try and make sure to stay on top of things to keep our family travels stress-free, such as carrying plenty of water and snacks when we go out, keeping our regular naptime/bedtime schedule, taking “chill” days, and avoiding walking during the peak “hot hours” of the day.
I check in on the girls almost daily, asking them their thoughts on the things we have done, if there is anything they would like to do, and what their favourite parts of certain legs of the trip have been.
So far I think we have been doing pretty good at keeping everyone happy.
Between El Cuyo and Todos Santos, I think we have made the trip enjoyable for every member of the family, making sure everyone gets a little bit of what they need.