May was a busy month. I did a lot of traveling and out of all my trips, I think this as the best one. Why? It was filled with time with my family. I spent 4 days with my maternal family. After celebrating the graduation of my cousin Kezia in Tampa, we all headed to Isla Mujeres, Mexico with 15 of my family members.
Isla Mujeres, Mexico is an island off of Cancun. From Cancun you have to take a 30 minutes Ferry ride to the small island. When I say small, I mean small. There are no traffic lights on the island and the main mode of transportation is golf cart. Ha! It felt super cozy in Isla Mujeres. Everything was quaint, colorful and fun. I have been to Mexico a few times but this was probably my fav part of Mexico. Would I go back here, yes! I definitely would go back and I would live there. Yes, LIVE!
This trip was different. I usually travel solo dolo or with my husband but it was great going solo dolo with my family. I was concerned to be traveling with a large group. My biggest fear is that we would not be organized and possibly get into disagreements but guess what? This trip is drama free! Glory!
No drama, lots of fun and I had a blast.
Honestly, I used some strategies to get through this large trip. I mean transitioning from a solo traveller to a group traveller is difficult. Travelling with a group requires more patience and planning.
Here are my 5 tips for a successful family trip:
Plan All the Details
Imagine planning a trip for 15 people coming from 5 different countries? It can get crazy but planning will make it easier. We planned everything, excursions, schedules, ferry rides, arrivals and departures.
Once we got there, we re-planned because things changed, weather changed and vibes changed. When things change go with the flow and be ready for anything because it is the group vote. It is not about you.
Connect With Each Person There
Remember that each person there is your family member you may or may not have seen them in a long time. Take the time to catch up with each family member be it privately or in groups of twos. Create a moment with them that you won’t forget. This is the whole point of a family vacation.
I won’t forget chatting with my younger cousin Jordan about school and his future. It was a memorable moment where we both shared our opinions and literally our hopes and dreams. He is grade 10 but the convo was at a university grade level. I won’t ever forget that moment. My mom was also my roomie on this trip and we had a great time chatting, enjoying the excursions and taking pictures.
Cook as Much as You Can
Cooking is a way of socializing and saving money. We stayed in a beautiful Airbnb and we cooked everynight, together as a family. That was enough to create lifelong memories and connections. If you don’t want to cook, have dinner together. Some nights we ate tradition Trini food with macaroni pie and red beans and some nights we ordered pizza some night. The point is to get the family connecting and eating! Yum!
Take Some Me Time
Take a day off ( or a few hours) and vege. Everyday will be busy with excursions, dinners and and pooltime. But you need one day to relax and reflect. Look at the week’s schedule and find a day or a few hours to do your own thing. Hey, you don’ t have to complete vege, but feel free to take a walk or head to the beach on your own. Let the fam know that you are taking the time away so they don’t feel bad.
Schedule Group Meetings
With so many people on the trip you should try to keep everyone in the loop. Group meetings are key. We met almost every day with updates about the schedule, meal schedules and just to share jokes.
Group meetings kept us organized, together and informed. If your crew doesn’t want to get together start a text thread or Whattsapp group that keeps everyone in line.
If you can get to Isla Mujeres, Go! I loved it. I loved the 6 room AirBnb and would be happy to share all the details about my trip via the Twiirly App. More details on that to come.