For many wanderlusters, the passion for travel began at a very young age. Whether the immersion was introduced via family vacations or inherited from globetrotting parents. Either way, not all trips are one-size-fits-all. This fact can come in handy when traveling with kids at different phases in their life. Their needs and interests vary as they grow up into curious travelers of the world. As parents, you want the best for your children and that includes their vacation memories, too. To make sure your kids get the most out of family vacations, it’s useful to know what activities best fit their age. Thankfully, Belize is a versatile destination that caters to your children, whether they are in adorable diapers or donning their university graduation cap.
If you didn’t get a chance to have a babymoon at some far-flung destination, you can still enjoy a proper vacation with your little one in tow. Many would argue this is perhaps the best time to travel when your child is just a baby. Tours are cheaper, your baby isn’t walking (ergo running off) yet, and you appreciate the relaxation time much more. Your best bet when traveling with small children is to stay at an all-inclusive resort. Belize may not be teeming with large, hotel franchises but there are still quality resorts that cater to family’s needs.
For pure fun in the sun, try Sirenian Bay Resort in Placencia. They offer family packages that even include a private chef so you don’t have to worry about feeding your two-feet-tall army. The luxurious bungalows offer ample space for a family of up to six, with stellar views of the Caribbean Sea. The package also includes water toys, games, and other amenities. Staying at an all-inclusive takes away the stress of transportation, tours, and the other hiccups that come along with traveling with young children. Plus, your bundles of joy will have a wonderful time at the beach with all the sun and sand.
For the kiddos that have yet to reach teen angst, getting them to use up all their energy is the way to go. The best way to do this is by having them experience small adventures, or ‘small-ventures,’ like horseback riding and cave tubing. Not only do these activities seem exciting and new for the young ones, but they make great family-friendly experiences. You get to keep a close eye on your kids while they enjoy a small taste of the thrill-seeking adventures Belize offers.
This is also the ideal age to start getting them comfortable with new experiences that may require a bit more courage than your run-of-the-mill low-stakes tours. With your guidance – and encouragement – you will witness your little ones slowly getting more comfortable with stepping outside their comfort zone. Balance out the small-ventures with wildlife encounters, such as a visit to The Belize Zoo. Here, they’ll learn about Belize’s exotic animals while you snap pictures of them posing with a Keel-Billed Toucan for Facebook.
As your kids get older, it’s important to introduce them to lifestyles outside what they’re used to. This is also a crucial time for them as they grow into their own and form their own opinions and ideologies. To help them get there, have your teens experience the traditions and way of life of Belize’s differing cultures. Opt for a Garifuna Drumming Class, or hike to the top of Xunantunich’s El Castillo structure to see Succotz from the ancient Maya’s point of view. Pair the itinerary with a healthy smattering of adventure activities such as ziplining or waterfall rappelling in the Cayo district.
Once your kids are off to college, it’s a bit harder to bring them back to the nest. An off-the-beaten-track destination with myriad activities may entice them just enough for them to RSVP to the family vacation. Belize’s hundreds of protected nature reserves serve as a great kick-off point for some hiking. For the ambitious 20-year-old, accompany them in summiting the massive Victoria Peak, Belize’s second-highest point.
For the one with refined taste, take them to Copal Tree Lodge’s Distillery in Punta Gorda. The resort’s distillery produces Copalli Rum using sustainable agricultural practices to make premium organic spirits. Learn the basics of rum making and finish off the tour with some delicious rum tasting. The location of the distillery is also surrounded by Belize’s jungles, creating easy access to nature tours and forest bathing.
For the recent graduate experiencing their own coming-of-age era, such spiritual immersive experiences open the body and mind to wellness and mindfulness. Traits that are monumental in capping off yet another chapter of their life.