Slowly sitting up, I squint my eyes and adjust my sunglasses, trying to focus on the four figures that move back and forth only steps from where I sit.

My husband and three children are standing at the edge of the water on a white sand beach in Playa del Carmen, Mexico, waiting for the next big wave to approach.

Suddenly, they rush towards the water as it washes up onto the shore, and then turn back towards me, just as a giant wave crashes forcefully at their feet. Giggles fill the air, followed by calls for me to join them.


Enjoy a warm-weather getaway to Mexico with your family.

Hilton Los Cabos

This has become a familiar scene for our family, one that we’ve enjoyed on three very different visits to Mexico: first by multi-city cruise, then at a luxury all-inclusive resort, and finally on a choose-your-own adventure escape where we opted to travel our own way. Equally as enjoyable, each mode of travel offering its own set of perks.

If your family is contemplating a winter getaway to Mexico, but can’t decide which way to go, simplify your search with these family travel tips in mind.

1. Cruise with kids: See more cities by sea

Hit the high seas and see several cities in one stay with a cruise through Mexico. The beauty of a cruise is that you can settle into your room, unpack your bags, and then enjoy an action-packed week of adventure — both on the ship, and ashore  — all while sleeping in one single spot.


The Disney Wonder ship sails from San Diego to several Mexican cities.

Disney Cruise Line

Cruises include a wide variety of on board dining options to satisfy even the pickiest of eaters. From 24-hour snack spots offering all-you-can-eat pizza and ice cream, to lavishly themed dining rooms, serving five-course meals prepared by world-class chefs, guests never go hungry.

Disney Cruise Line offers a range of getaways to Mexico — from a two-night Baja cruise that sails from San Diego to Ensanada, to a weeklong Mexican Riviera cruise that starts in San Diego and stops in three Mexican cities along the way, including Cabo San Lucas, Mazatlán, and Puerto Vallarta.

On a Disney cruise, the magic beings from the moment you board the ship, and doesn’t end until your last wave goodbye. When you first board the ship, your family is greeted by name by the ship’s friendly crew.


Enjoy Disney character meet and greets while at sea.

Matt Stroshane /

Disney Cruise Line

Once you settle into your stateroom, you can spend your days at sea exploring all that the magical ship has to offer.

During the day, splash, slide, and swim in the freshwater pools, themed water play areas, and wildly fun waterslides. In the evenings, enjoy Broadway-caliber musicals, live fireworks, 3D Disney movies in the on board movie theatre, and meet-and-greets with Disney characters. And the fun doesn’t stop once the ship docks at each destination.

Book your excursions on board, and then hop off and see the sights that surround each city. Sunbathe at the hidden, boat-access-only Lover’s Beach in Los Cabos, ogle at the ornate Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Mazatlán, and then swim with Bottlenose dolphins in Puerto Vallarta.  If you’d prefer to play on the playa, the ship stops right in front of some of the best swimming spots in Mexico.


Go for a wild ride down the Twist and Spout water slide.

Matt Stroshan /

Disney Cruise Line

2. Go all in: Stay and play at an all-inclusive resort

Fly in, and then chill out at an all-inclusive resort in one of Mexico’s best beachfront hot spots. This is the perfect mode of travel for families who are looking to splash, swim, and soak up the sun in a warm destination, and enjoy a worry-free getaway that will wow kids of all ages while allowing the parents to sit back and relax.

The Grand Riviera Princess, located in the Riviera Maya region of Mexico, is the ultimate family-friendly luxury resort. Book a swim-out suite in the Princess Family Club, and enjoy the added perks offered by this kid-centric site, including a massive water park, and an ice cream parlour, located just steps from your door.


Splash in one of 12 on-site pools.

Grand Riviera Princess

Play all day at the 12 on-site swimming pools, and then grab freshly-made fish tacos from one of the poolside food stands, and build sandcastles on the beach while you sip on piña coladas and soak up the sun.

Dine at one of the 12 a la carte restaurants and 2 international buffets, featuring international cuisine, From teppanyaki, to perfectly-prepared Italian plates, this property has something to satisfy every palate.


Dine on international cuisine at one of the a la carte restaurants.

Bianca Bujan

In the evenings, enjoy live entertainment, including musicals, concerts, and night markets, and then end your day with a late-night dip in your swim-out pool before settling in for a satisfying sleep in your suite.

Book your all-inclusive vacation through Sunwing Vacations, and get everything you need for a fantastic family getaway all in one easy-to-purchase package. With their own direct flights to your favourite Mexican destinations, and budget-friendly last-minute prices, your trip planning will be quick and easy.


Stay in a family-friendly swim-out suite.

Grand Riviera Princess

3. Choose your own adventure: Eat, stay, and play — your way

Immerse yourself in culture, and enjoy your own choice of cuisine with a choose-your-own-adventure escape that will let you pick where you stay, eat, and play.

Skip the crowds and opt for a lesser-known destination for your visit to Mexico. A stay at Hilton Los Cabos will put you sandwiched between two seas — the Sea of Cortez and the Pacific Ocean, and right in the centre of two beautiful and diverse cities — Cabo San Lucas, and San Jose del Cabo.


Go whale watching during migration season in Cabo San Lucas.

Hilton Los Cabos

Take a farm-to-table cooking class on the property, where you can visit a local farm and pick fresh ingredients, and then return to the hotel and learn how to make authentic Mexican dishes alongside a prominent chef.
Head to Cabo San Lucas — a surprisingly kid-friendly destination, for an up-close encounter with humpback and gray whales that migrate to the region between the months of April and December. Shop, sip, and stroll along the marina, and then watch the sunset with local families at Play Costa Azul.


Dine on freshly-prepared authentic Mexican fare at Hilton Los Cabos.

Bianca Bujan

Neighbouring San Jose del Cabo offers a wide range of family activities to explore as well. Go for a cycle through the Wirukuta Cactus Garden, explore the weekly San Jose del Cabo Art Walk — a celebration held in the centre of the city, or spend the day sampling freshly-baked goods and farm-fresh fruits and veggies, bouncing on bouncy castles, and dancing to live music at the local, year-round Organic Farmers’ Market at Pedregal.

While it may take a little more time plan an adventure through Mexico your way, you can create a truly unique experience that’s perfectly suited to your family’s interests — and budget.


Take a boat ride to El Arco (The Arch) in Los Cabos.

Bianca Bujan


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