Places closer to home like California and Florida always offer beautiful sandy beaches and wonderful days spent splashing in waves and soaking up the sun. In fact, there are beaches all over America that would make the perfect destination for a family trip; however, a vacation in the Caribbean offers some unique experiences that will thrill children of all ages.
During the month of January, the state of Florida is comfy in the 70’s, but for a day at the beach, you might prefer even warmer temperatures. During our winter months, tropical islands are as hot and lush as ever—making them the perfect place to go to get away from snow, ice, sleet and the sub-zero temperatures that we sometimes have to battle December through March.
The ocean is the ocean is the ocean, right? Not really. Older kids will be able to appreciate the difference in the sea surrounding the Caribbean islands. Want to swim alongside big, graceful sea turtles? Head to Vieques Island, Puerto Rico. Do you enjoy the vibrant colors of lots of schools of fish darting about? Try the Cayman Islands. Are you and your family members more adventurous? Try swimming in Shark and Ray Alley off the coast of Belize.
One of the biggest thrills of traveling somewhere that is completely alien to you is having the opportunity to try new foods. The countries in and around the Caribbean are no exception. Take this chance to entice your little ones to try seafood and indulge in the fresh and unique fruits that grow in these warmer, wetter locales—things that you simply can’t get at your local grocery store like plantains and guava.
Lush rainforests, brooding volcanoes and charming old-world streets with local artisans are only a few of the reasons to visit the tropics. Bring a camera along to capture these stunning scenes so you can remember their beauty long after your vacation ends.
Most families are budget conscious, and for those families, the Caribbean offers all-inclusive resorts. Why not pay ahead of time and have all of the brood’s meals and drinks included in the cost of your stay? Typically, these resorts are beachfront with great pools—kid-friendly and otherwise—as well as kid’s clubs and activities that will make your family’s trip extra special.
Shauna Armitage is a parenting blogger, a freelance travel writer and the co-founder of Pure Wander Magazine. Follow her on Twitter @CarpeCalamus