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-   -   Kids & the Caribbean - worth the expense & trouble? (https://www.fodors.com/community/caribbean-islands/kids-and-the-caribbean-worth-the-expense-and-trouble-312940/)

nancyrusinak May 2nd, 2003 08:28 AM

Kids & the Caribbean - worth the expense & trouble?
 
Would you take your kids (ages 10 and 6) with you?

Caribgirl May 2nd, 2003 08:35 AM

Yes.

Having said that, there are different factors to consider. Like, are you in need of a break from the kids, work, etc and just want to collapse on the beach? :) Where are you thinking of visiting? Is it a place that the kids would like? For example I'm thinking of going to Cuba but might not take the kids as it will involve more sightseeing than they like. They would prefer to visit Disney for their next vacation. By leaving them at home this time, we can save for another trip they might get more enjoyment out of (not necessarily Disney either!)

Usually these type of posts get bogged down into arguments about whether you're a good parent or not for even considering not taking the kids. Try to ignore those posts. Each family is different.

nancyrusinak May 2nd, 2003 08:51 AM

We KNOW we are good parents. I can ignore those discussions. I just want to make sure that folks who have taken their kids feel that their kids enjoyed it. It's not worth the extra $2-3K if people say their kids would have had more fun at Disney!

caribtraveler May 2nd, 2003 09:12 AM

Nancy...do your kids love water? if so, then pick an island where being in the water is the main activity and there isn't much sightseeing to do.
We have a 13-month-old and we have our first vacation with him next month and we chose St. John because the waters are calm and it's a quiet island (he loves baths and the swimming pool, so we know he'll have a blast). Once we have to start paying for him, we still plan to continue our yearly vacations.

My sister-in-law and husband who have a 10-year-old and 4-year-old chose not to go through the expense. They stay stateside and go to Florida or the Jersey shore. They're all happy about it.

I'd go through the expense, just make sure you pick somewhere that has kids activities...great pool..swimming with dolphins...kids club?






MuyLinda May 2nd, 2003 09:52 AM

We've taken our daughter everywhere with us and she's never had an "unfun" vacation. We've always found with her that if there's water and something for her to float on in the water, she's happy as a clam. We usually luck out and she finds someone to hang out with, especially now that she's older. If given the choice between returning to the Caribbean or Disney World for a vacation, she would pick the Caribbean every time. I guess she's a beach bum at heart like her Mom and Dad. I say go for it and enjoy!

DAVECAROL May 2nd, 2003 10:20 AM

We can only speak for ourselves, but this will be our 4th trip to the Carib with our daughter (now 5).

St. John, Anguilla, Provo, and now St. Lucia.

She would rather go to the Caribbean than Disney - which we've been to twice so she can actually make a comparison). She's a total beach bum and has learned how to snorkel. She is content following us from beach to beach and building castles. We've never had anything but great experiences.

destefanoj May 2nd, 2003 10:29 AM

When my husband and I vacations, we take our children (6&9) with us. They would rather go to the caribbean then to Disney. Disney is to much work. We go to relax and if we want activites they are there (watersports, etc.) We will be returning to the Atlantis in July for our 5th time with the kids. Its very family orientated. My kids love it there

Lois May 2nd, 2003 10:36 AM

We started traveling when our daughter was 12 and we always took her with us. Our first trip was to the Bahamas, and it was the start of a love affair with the islands for us and her. She's traveled with us throughout the Caribbean and always seemed to enjoy those trips to others we took (and we did Disney as well).

Now we include her daughters who are 10 and 13 and have been traveling to the Caribbean with us from when they were born. It's a wonderful family time and the islands provide a beautiful backdrop for relaxation and fun. Most children love the water.

I hope you feel it will be worth the expense as we always did and still do.

cprivalle May 2nd, 2003 11:17 AM

I can only speak for my family of corse, but we head to Aruba in June for our 5th straight summer Caribbean trip (St Thomas/St John, Caymen Is, Bahamas(Atlantis) and Turks & Caicos. They were 10 and 8 when this tradition began. They love the beaches, snorkeling, the local customs and languages, etc. There is no comparison to Disney for us.

cprivalle May 2nd, 2003 11:19 AM

corse = course

nancyrusinak May 2nd, 2003 01:05 PM

My thanks to everyone! I think I will go ahead, bite the bullet, and shell out the big bucks for them to go with us. Now the only decision is where . . .

Lois May 2nd, 2003 02:01 PM

Barbados is a wonderful island for children of all ages. Their tourism board website is: www.barbados.org
Check it out. I can provide lots of indepth information if you are interested.

Lois

denette May 3rd, 2003 05:43 AM

YES, YES, YES
We travel with and then without our kids periodically, and we truly enjoy our trips away and we have a blast, laugh at our kids having new adventures, absolutely love seeing their faces when they experience something for the first time, and love talking about the really special times months and even years later. We took one of our greatest trips to St. Thomas(we would of preferred St. John- we had vacationed there without the kids, but traveled with another family who were not as comfortable just doing water activities, hiking, etc., they thought they would have a better time on St. Thomas, shopping, etc. - they are not particularly big into physical activities, more the sitting around a pool and reading a book types, that is not us, but you live and learn when you travel with family friends- we will be much more selective next time)

Our kids were 4 and 11 at the time and yes our four year old snorkeled every day, several times a day and we took a trip to Virgin Gorda, Cooper Island and Peter Island, and snorkeled that day and had to make our boys get back in the boat, they snorkeled till it was time to leave and they still talk about that trip.

We took our kids to Disney last fall on fall break and my kids would of much preferred to be someplace tropical doing something new, visiting new places, see different cultures, opposed to long lines, heat for hours without a chance to cool off, hurried, elbow to elbow dining,etc. They had a better time at Universal than Disney, and we paid a fourth to do Universal and lodging that was twice the size as we had at Disney(Animal Kingdom Lodge).

Take your kids, you will treasure those family times making memories that you will absolutely never forget.

We are planning our next trip to Akumal, my older son is now 14 and getting his Jr. Scuba certification and my little one is even now a more avid swimmer and snorkeler and they are so excited about the different cultures they will see, ruins, great food,fishing, we are all avid fishermen/woman and a whole nine days away.
We will rent a villa/house with a private pool and have a blast, going on day trips here and there and watching and listening to our kids experience a new life experience.
Safe Travels wherever you go.

doc_ May 3rd, 2003 06:13 AM

This is a personal preference question. Ages 10 and 6,most likely. Ages 2 and 4,no way,that would be a grandparent bonding time for them and a relaxing vacation for us;)

cartera45 May 3rd, 2003 07:36 AM

My daughter is now 13 and she has travelled with me since she was about 7 but her favorite resort was Club Med Ixtapa Mexico - she will never forget the elaborate show for the kids and the trapeze.

Dreamer2 May 3rd, 2003 01:34 PM

Do it now, while they're still young enough to stay in one room, and you won't be charged additional "adult" fares.

TG May 4th, 2003 05:36 AM

Call us masochists but we have ALWAYS traveled with our kids. Our last 3 trips took us to the Bahamas with our youngest (now 9) and her two older brothers (now 21 and 19). We always selected the vacation sites and they enjoyed the trips.
In a few short weeks we take our first trip to T & C (our two oldest will not be joining us) but our daughter is REALLY looking forward to the beautiful beaches and sparkling water that T & C has to offer.

cmazza May 4th, 2003 12:39 PM

I have traveled on vactions with my 10 yr old daughter several times and also gone on parents only vacations.We went to the caribbean and she loved it and we had a great time . Choose destinations with childrens programs my daughter loves them she's very outgoing and it also gives us some alone time.The only draw back was she didn't want to do the adventure activites swim w/sting rays, dunns river falls etc..

caribdreamn May 4th, 2003 04:03 PM

Hello!!

I would simply like to say that I was raised being taken to the Caribbean every single year of my life from 2 - 14 then off and on for the remainder. It is one of the greatest gifts my parents have ever given me and not only will you have a great vacation - but the Caribbean will add something to the kind of adults your children are going to become!!

I continue to go every year and the only negative is that for several years I nearly gave up my beloved Canada and moved to the Caribbean because it was torture not being there... scared my Mum an awful lot - but I stayed in Canada....humph...sigh....

I hope you and your family have as fantastic a time as we did!!

Caribgirl May 5th, 2003 06:03 AM

PS

Of course the Caribbean is waaay better than Disney - authentic vs plastic - authentic wins every time. I only mentioned Disney as a comparison. Since we live in the Caribbean, my kids are not going to get terribly excited about a beach holiday.


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