- Make sure breakfast is included. If it's not, you'll spend $40 on it anyway, and most likely the kids won't eat much because they'll be excited to get where they are going. Plus, a buffet-style breakfast speeds up the meal and gets you on with your day without being a hassle.
- If breakfast is not included (which it wasn't for us this time), make sure your room has a kitchenette. This saved us, so many times in just a few days. A dozen eggs, a loaf of bread, some tuna and breakfast sausages from Publix and I was armed with breakfasts and lunches for days. No cleaning everyone up only to hustle them into the car, drag them to a restaurant, wait forever, pay a lot of tourist prices, race back home, get back in the suits and go back to the beach. Nope. Scrambled eggs and toast for breakfast, tuna sandwiches for lunch, and it still felt luxurious.
- Bring some toys with you. I brought along their loveys and sand toys and a few books. It was not enough. One of our daughters kept talking about how she wanted to go home. The best reason she could give us was that she missed her toys. Maybe one or two small toys would have helped her with homesickness.
- Use nap time wisely. Take turns when the toddlers are conked out in the afternoon. One of you stay with them, the other can go off and do something close by. We walked on the beach, perused the town, had a drink downstairs at the pool. The two hours of nap time should not be squandered.
- Keep a routine, even on vacation. The girls soon got used to our vacation routine which was breakfast, beach in the morning, shower, lunch at around 2p.m., nap, pool in the afternoon / evening, shower, dinner, bed. Every day. Would we have done things differently without them? Absolutely. Am I happy we did it this way with them? Yes, yes, yes. It's worth it to let them know what they can expect. Trust me.
- Understand that the first night is going to be a trainwreck. The kids aren't used to the room, the bed, staying with you in close quarters (in our case. At home they sleep in their own room.) They'll be hot, cold, someone will have more covers than the other, someone will want a bigger side, someone will be touching someone else, someone will roll out of bed, someone will have a coughing fit...and that's all before 2 a.m. Don't give up. The next night will be better. The first night is always the worst.
- Take pictures. This way, when you look back, you won't remember the whinefests, the embarrassments, the tantrums, and the obstinacy that is a three year old. You'll remember this:
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