Tips for Planning a Trip to Mexico with a 1-year old
In just a few days we will board a plane and travel to one of our favourite destinations in Latin America – Mexico!
We’ll be spending a couple weeks in the Mayan Riviera, a place that is very special to us. It’s the place we married back in 2008, surrounded by 40 close friends and family, and it’s a place we visited again when we were 5 months pregnant with Baby B.
We love Mexico for many reasons – the hot sun, the friendly people, the fantastic food, the cold cervezas, the soft white coral sand and the spectacular Caribbean beaches. It doesn’t hurt that direct flights from Vancouver to Cancun are inexpensive, ideal when traveling with an active one year old that never seems to run out of energy.
We are looking forward to escaping the winter chill that is blanketing Vancouver right now, but this particular trip serves multiple purposes. We will be attending our good friend’s wedding and also celebrating our wedding anniversary – we can’t believe 5 years have already passed by!
The timing and location of our friend’s wedding couldn’t be more perfect – the wedding will be held at a resort that’s located only 20 minutes away from the resort we were married at, almost exactly 5 years to the day!
We’re very familiar with the Mayan Riviera but it’s our first trip with Baby B, so we had to do a little extra planning.
Here are a few things to consider when travelling to Mexico with small children.
1. Get the Hepatitis A vaccination
Baby B is 14 months old so he’s had all of his vaccinations up to one year. But because he still puts EVERYTHING in his mouth, he needs a Hepatitis A shot for visiting Mexico. Baby B just had his one year vaccinations a few weeks ago and the Hep A shot needs 10 days to take effect.
We didn’t even consider that there would be complications in the timing of the shots, but they need to be at least one month apart. This left for a very short window for him to get the vaccination.
Another curve-ball was the fact that the Hep A Vaccine for infants currently has a shortage in Canada (luckily we found the last one at our local drugstore).
Lesson learned: Plan ahead and get your baby’s Hep A shot at least one month before leaving to Mexico. But keep in mind that it should be given at least one month apart from any other vaccinations.
We didn’t book a vacation package (we rarely do) for this trip, so we needed to plan our transportation from the Cancun International Airport to our resort (located just outside of Tulum).
When we travel with Baby B we prefer to organize our transportation ahead of time – this avoids complications. In the past, we’ve found that when transportation is included in group packages there are typically a number of guest stops before finally arriving at our destination. Adding an extra couple hours of land travel is not ideal AFTER a 5 hour flight with a baby!
We found a private transport company to take the three of us directly from the airport to our hotel – with no stops and in a nice comfortable big vehicle.
We always use travel insurance when we are outside of Canada… even when traveling to the United States. This trip to Mexico is no different. We have heard horror stories about needing medical attention while traveling and, if you don’t have travel insurance, the costs can add up fast!
Now that we have Baby B, we can’t imagine taking the risk of not having protection while we’re away from home. A couple of travel insurance sites that let you compare rates are Kanetix and Insurance Hotline. Kanetix also released the first app in Canada that lets you compare and purchase travel insurance right from your smartphone.
4. Bring extra wipes/hand sanitizer
Baby wipes have become our best friend. We take them everywhere and since hygiene requirements can differ from country to county, I prefer to keep his hands as clean as possible when traveling.
5. Plan for the sun
It’s winter here in Vancouver, so we are all pasty white – the perfect recipe for a bad sunburn. The sun is much stronger in Mexico (especially for us Canadians), so we’ve planned accordingly by bringing Baby B’s water and sun suit, extra hats, sunglasses and breathable clothing to keep him comfortable in the heat. We’ve also stocked up on sunscreen that are free of chemicals. You can also see our list of favourite travel items.
It’s not recommended to use sunscreen on babies less than 6 months old. Instead, try using long sleeve clothing and light pants. If this is not possible, avoid getting sunscreen on your baby’s hands, arms, or any part of the body they can reach with their mouth.
Have you been to Mexico? Do you have any baby travel tips to share?
Share your experience in the comments section below!