2 week trip to Mexico 1 year old
Replies: 20 - Last Post: Aug 9, 2012 11:12 AM Last Post By: bowneline
Jul 16, 2012 6:11 PM
2 week trip to Mexico 1 year oldHi
I've just booked a 2.5 week holiday to Mexico from the end of August and my husband and I will be taking our 1 year old baby with us. We're very experienced travellers but this will be our first trip with a baby. I want to see the highlights of Mexico and spend some time enjoying the beaches of Mexico but after doing some research, there's a lot to see and I don't know where to start. The places which interest me are:
My main concerns are what's the best way of travelling around Mexico with a young child because some of these places are very far apart and it would be impossible to travel by bus for 12 hours with a young child.
Am I trying to do too much? If so, which are the places on my list which I should concentrate on and do properly and ignore the rest? Or have I left out somewhere which would be amazing? When we travel, my husband and I like to eat great local food and enjoy being amongst the culture of the country we're in. Visiting museums and temples aren't high on our agenda when we travel.
Jul 16, 2012 6:35 PM
Jul 16, 2012 6:41 PM
2With destinations all over the country, you have a real helter-skelter list. It would be impossible to complete this in two and a half weeks. It's best with the time you have to chose a major destination and then develop a logical route to take in other interesting places in a sector around. For example you could go to Mexico City then down to Oaxaca city and then maybe the beaches on the Oaxaca coast and then back to Mexico City. There are many other alternatives.
I think you should do more reading.
Has your child travelled well before? Young children are like anyone else. They vary in their ability to stand the stress of travel.
Jul 16, 2012 7:18 PM
Jul 16, 2012 11:38 PM
41. We traveled Mexico with our daughter when she was 6 months old, 15 months old and 2.5 years. We loved it. The one trip when she was 15 months old was a first truly bonding experience for me, a new dad - it was totally awesome to spend all that free/vacation time with her.
2. We have also traveled with other new parents w. kids. The overwhelming experience is very positive. As #2 wrote, it does not mean your experience will be the same -- to perhaps make it easier, I will try to locate and PM you my notes re travelling Mexico with kids I wrote for someone last year based on our travels.
3. As per #2, your list does not make much sense :))) You need to make more reading - guides or/and here - pick the area or two you like and go there. Everything takes at least twice as long traveling with a kid - and right now your destinations are all over the place. It's impossible to tell which area you should concentrate - you did not provide enough info for what you like most for us to make proper suggestions.
4. The best way to travel with a baby is by car. For long distance travel there are budget airlines (see facts at the top of the forum) that are almost as cheap as buses. Busing with all the luggage you'd need traveling with a baby makes little sense.
Edited by: alterigor
Jul 17, 2012 2:34 AM
5Alterigor, I'd be really interested in seeing your notes on travelling to Mexio with a child. I'm a very confident traveller but I must admit that I'm very daunted by this trip. Kahua I'm currently struggling with the emotional side of taking my baby with me or leaving him at home - because I agree with you, he won't remember any of it! I can leave him at home with my parents but as my husband works full time he is really looking forward to spending time with our son and so isn't in favour of leaving him behind.
I do have a lot of questions about what I need to take with me v's what I can get while I'm in Mexico Alterigor, when your child was 15 months old, where in Mexico did you go? Can you recommend a good itinerary of places to visit in Mexico if you are constrained by a child?
All your comments make a lot of sense, and the list I provided was really a list of all the places I was interested in seeing after reading the guide book, but I agree that it would be impossible to visit all these places in 2 weeks with a child!
Thanks for your feedback though, I really appreciate all the comments so far.
Jul 17, 2012 12:14 PM
Jul 18, 2012 5:25 AM
7Be aware that any of the coastal areas on your list will be hot and humid, with daily high temperatures in the 90 F. / 32 C. range. Add the effect of humidity and you will experience a heat index (feels-like-temperature) of at least 110 F. / 43 C. during the heat of the day when away from A/C, fans or an ocean breeze.
Infants are especially prone to heat related health issues like heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Here is a link for more information. Do some Googling and/or talk with your pediatrician.
Jul 18, 2012 3:00 PM
Jul 18, 2012 4:29 PM
9My wife and I have done several major roadtrips around Mexico (when childless) and just finished up a 3 week road trip around the Southwest U.S., with our 6 month old.
Combining my knowledge from those trips, I have the following advice:
1. Taking a trip with a baby is hardwork, but amazing. I'm a working Dad, and releshed spending all the time with my baby, and experiencing new places with her. Obviously, she will never remember it. But, for example, taking a solo hike with her strapped on my chest in Bryce Canyon during sundown was a lifetime experience. Even though she wasn't sharing the moment with me, I was sharing it with her (if that makes sense) and it made my experience of the moment so much better.
2. Traveling with a baby in the heat can be tough, but very doable We braved 90+ degree weather during our Southwest Trip. Also, we drove the Pacific Coast of Mexico during August-October (year ago), and I can clearly remember the punishing heat and humidity at that time of year. During our Southwest trip, we limited daytime activity, and focused much of the trip on higher elevation spots. We were always worried about her getting too hot. But, then again, there are infants being born and raised as we speak along the Mexican coastline, in that heat, and so it's not like a child will drop dead on those conditions.
3. The Carribean beaches are a long ways away from the rest of the Country. You can count on about 2 full days of driving to get from Playa Del Carmon to Mexico City, Oaxaca or the Pacific Coast. I would not suggest adding it to road trip unless you have lots of extra time.
4. It seems you would need a car to haul all of the baby stuff (and baby!). Personally, I can't imagine getting on a long bus ride with a young child, and I can see how it might be difficult to get all of the baby stuff into backpacks that can be easily taken with you. Obviously, our baby was younger than yours, so things would be different, but we had everything from burp clothes, to bottle warmers, to a white noise sound machine, to toys and books etc... Her bag was much bigger than ours. Hard to imagine hauling that, and a child, onto a long bus journey.
5. This is my suggestion:
Mexico City (rent car) -> Oaxaca -> Puerto Escondito -> Puerto Angel -> Oaxaca -> Mexico City.
Jul 19, 2012 6:57 AM
10OP, only you know how well your baby can handle the stress of travel, and how well he/she adapts to new surroundings.
I agree with previous commentary that your itinerary doesn't make a lot of sense. I can also confirm that the coastal areas of Mexico will be oppressively hot and humid in August (I was in Puerto Vallarta last August with my then-11-year old, and while we had fun, the heat/humidity were definitely draining- we would go out early but usually had to lock ourselves in our air-conditioned hotel room with a book/board game by mid-afternoon).
I love the Yucatan peninsula (and I would recommend a rental car, as it's flat and very easy to drive), but for the above reason it would not be a good choice for August.
I agree with previous suggestions about doing a Mexico City/Oaxaca loop. Mountainous regions of Mexico will be much more comfortable in August. And I totally agree with the suggestion about picking one place (say, Oaxaca- you could rent an apartment for a few weeks) and basing yourself there, and doing day trips. I did that with my son when he was younger and it worked out wonderfully.
You could also fly into Tuxtla Gutierrez, Chiapas and easily spend 2.5 weeks in San Cristobal and the outlying areas (I spent 2 weeks in that area in August .with my son 2 years ago and had a great time). I have never been to Guanajuato so I can't comment on that.
If you want to experience culture and great food, Oaxaca and Chiapas (particularly Oaxaca when it comes to food) would be some of the first places on my list for Mexico.
Jul 19, 2012 9:28 AM
11I will add to my previous post the following tidbit:
The hardest part of our 3 week roadtrip around the Southwest was the driving. Obviously every child is different, and a one year old might handle it differently than a 6 month old.
Our little one would nap for part of the trip, typically, but then would enevitably wake up and get extremely antsy. We would have to stop often and let you "stretch her legs." There were many other times where he just had to grit our teeth and take some crying simply because we had to finish out the last of the drive. 4 hour drives would turn into 7 hour drives.
Near the end of the trip, any driving day that exceeded 150 miles seemed like Mt. Everest to climb.
This was our first major roadtrip with the little one. Maybe further experience will give teach us better stratagies for making it work.
It's hard to fathom attempting to drive the massive distances it would take to make it spread out places such as Playa Del Carmon, PV, Guanajato and DF during the same trip.
Jul 20, 2012 10:20 AM
12You've got far too much on your plate for a 1-2 week trip. Others have commented on the DF-Oaxaca trip, so let me offer an alternative: the Puerto Vallarta and Guanajuato route. That's easily doable in two weeks, either by bus (intercity buses in Mexico are some of the most comfortable in the world) or by renting a car.
You could spend 4-5 days in PV, soaking up the sun and eating the great seafood (don't forget to go to Tacon de Marlín, under the bridge directly outside the PV airport, which is technically in Nuevo Vallarta, Nayarit). Then head east and spend a day in Tepic, a day in Tequila (switch off who's got the baby, though), a few days in Guadalajara including Tlaquepaque and Tonalá, then head east with a day in the beautiful town of Atotonilco El Alto, then head through Arandas to Irapuato and then on to S. Miguel de Allende, then fly back from León.
Also, as a general tip, remember that if you're flying into a place and you're going to end up in the Mexico City at any point, you have to tell your rental car company in advance so they can arrange a car with DF or Estado de México plates for you—otherwise, you'll get a ticket under the Hoy No Circula (One Day Without a Car) program.
Mexicans are much more understanding of babies' needs than estadounidenses, I've found, and there's really no such thing as places where babies are banned (other than obviously age-restricted places such as cantinas, bars without restaurants, and suchlike).
Jul 20, 2012 8:42 PM
13My wife and I traveled with our daughter to Mexico when she was 18 mos old, and every couple of years thereafter into her teens.
We visited most of the places you mentioned (except Puerto Vallarta).
Oaxaca was the first trip we took. It was a great city to let her "toddle" around (she was a bit older than your little one) the zocalo. Babies get lots of friendly attention - we met lots of people, which enhanced our trip. On that trip we combined Oaxaca with Zihuatanejo (we flew)- Puerto Escondido, which we visited on other trips, would also have been fine for the beach.
On other trips we combined Guanajuato (I think our daughter was five for that trip), with beach time, and on still other occasions have gone to Merida and Akumal. On this latter trip in the Yucatan, we drove.
For driving, everything depends on how your baby likes long periods in a car (we brought a baby/child seat with us on the plane). For flying, as long as you remember to focus on making your infant comfortable with cabin pressure (sucking on a bottle, or at older ages, a juice-box helps a lot with this) all should be fine.
Jul 21, 2012 9:02 AM
I've been to Mexico several times, before and after our child was born. The first time we went we was 18 months old. We had a month and visited Mexico City, Oaxaca and Puerto Escondido. You've received a lot of good advice here. I have two additional suggestions regarding lodging: 1) try to find a hotel that has a nice common space for you to relax in for some mid afternoon downtime. 2) also try to get lodging that has a kitchenette or communal kitchen. That way you can keep milk, fruit, etc in the fridge and you can cook meals for your child there, particularly you have a fussy eater.
I'd agree Oaxaca is a great place for a toddler. The Zocalo and the car-free andador along Macedonia Alcala are filled with lots of families and vendors selling toys, balloons and other knick knacks for kids.
Have a great trip!
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