Vacationing with Kids When Things Go Awry
During a family trip to Cancun, a health problem landed me in the hospital, forcing us to readjust our plans and expectations for our time there.
Get can’t-miss family activities sent to you!
Get the Best Kid-Friendly Activities
Sent to You Weekly!
When booking the Grand Club, guests have unlimited complimentary access to the KidZ Club, and if you book a regular suite you get four complimentary passes (morning pass, afternoon pass , all day, and night camp).. Brooklyn is still talking about KidZ Club--it really is remarkable.
That evening I was moved out of the ICU and into a regular hospital room, and I was finally able to have a visit with Monte and Brooklyn.
When In Doubt, Head to the Beach
Sailing, snorkeling, jets skiing, parasailing, and cruises to other islands were available from our beach. The following morning Brooklyn blew us away with her bravery and she and her dad snorkeled out to sea to the floating dock. They had just practiced snorkeling in the pool, but she was confident enough in her skills to do the swim with her dad. That afternoon while I was getting discharged from the hospital she told me all about the school of yellow fish with black stripes she saw and related her first ‘big fish’ story: She says a giant white fish about two feet long swam into her arms and let her hold it. As she’s told and retold the story, the colors of the fish have changed, as has the size, so don’t swim out to this dock hoping for this magical experience--it may be extraordinarily rare!
That afternoon I had enough energy to jet ski with my family for a few minutes then rested and watched them from the beautiful white beach. Later that afternoon we took a ferry, again from the property, to Isla Mujeres, which is a must see. This tiny island captured my heart and I can’t wait to go back. Monte and Brooklyn snorkeled through sunset in calm warm waters. We heard a dozen languages being spoken and splashed around with families from all over the world discovering this wonderful little paradise in Mexico along with us. Brooklyn’s favorite part of Isla Mujeres was the rental golf cart we used for a couple of hours to tour around the charming island. I still savor the ferry ride at sunset when I was well into feeling better and able to enjoy the time with my loved ones sharing a very special moment.
Just in Case: Tips for Smart Vacation Planning
No one wants to think something terrible will happen when you’re on a vacation, but it’s obviously possible. Here are some tips from my experience on ensuring you can respond effectively if something goes wrong:
- Stay at a reputable hotel, especially when traveling overseas.
- Make note of local hospitals when traveling to foreign countries, especially if you don’t speak the language.
- Check with your health insurance company about international coverage.
- Consider looking into travelers insurance for pre-existing conditions.
Tips for a Family Trip to Cancun
- Grand Fiesta Americana Coral Beach Cancun has many options ranging from all-inclusive to partial-inclusive packages.
- There are many local restaurants and shops walkable from this hotel.
- Bring a drivers license to Isla Mujeres if you want to rent a golf cart.
- Bring all your typical sunscreens, hats, etc.
- Most places accept U.S. dollars but not all places take credit cards, particularly American Express.
- There is a lot of history in this area of Mexico and you can choose from many day trips to explore ruins, underground rivers, and cenotes, natural sinkholes you can swim in.
- You can get around OK without speaking Spanish but it is definitely helpful to know at least a little for when you leave the resort for off-premises activities.
We’ll definitely be back to Grand Fiesta Americana Coral Beach Cancun, and I would also love to further explore Isla Mujeres. Reflecting back, this trip wasn’t a total disaster--but it could have been. I feel fortunate we asked for help from the right people at the right time.
Find out about the best kids' activities activities in your area.
Read about Estee's trip to Punta Cana.