How to Make Family Road Trips Fun!

Tips for Family Travel in Costa Rica

Costa Rica offers lots to do for parents and their active offspring to enjoy together for an unforgettable family vacation.  Hiking volcanos, waterfalls, canopy tours, hanging bridges, rafting, snorkeling, surfing or just hanging on majestic beaches shaded by palms and almond trees.  Costa Rica offers the chance to see exotic animals in their natural habitat, or float down rivers taking in the scenery flowing by.  Many locations offer several fun activities in a close proximity, if staying in one place is easier with children, or choose a couple different landscapes to mix it up a bit.
Costa Rica is a top-choice for family travel for many reasons not least because the culture as a whole is family orientated. In general, Costa Ricans socialize with their immediate and extended families as much or more than friends.  Don’t be surprised if a friendly fellow diner offers to hold your baby while you finish a meal, or starts up a conversation at the beach or on the hiking trail. Costa Rica offers lots of choices for both accommodation and activities for all ages and a genuine immersion into a natural world that kids crave and enjoy.  Educationally, important lessons about the conservation of our natural resources will be raised and discussed while enjoying many of these activities with the whole family.
Here are a few tips to make your trip kid-safe and stress-free:
•    Supplies:  If you are traveling with babies.  Diapers, rash creams, wipes, formula etc. are all readily available in grocery stores, pharmacies and local markets, but at a higher price than in the U.S.A., Canada or Europe.  Bring as much as you can with you to save on costs.  The same goes for insect repellents, sunscreens and after sun lotions.
•    Limit the itinerary: Depending on the length of your vacation consider just a couple of destinations, instead of scheduling a change every minute.  You don’t want to spend the majority of your vacation driving with cranky children!
•    Car seats: These are required for children, and your car rental agency will rent them to you upon request.
•    Eat local: Eat in local mom and pop stands called “sodas” for economical and simple meals with something to please even the pickiest of eaters.  These local restaurants serve “casados” a filling plate of chicken/fish/meat with rice, beans and a drink all for about $6-$7.  One plate can usually be split between two little ones.
•    Opt for Green Season: If you can travel from May-September, prices are cheaper for families travelling on a budget.
•    Choose a vacation rental: Try looking for a house in Airbnb or VRBO, rather than a hotel to have more space for little legs to run around without disturbing other guests, and the convenience of cooking at home for picky eaters.
•    Don’t get lost: GPS is a must for navigating in this country where signage can be sparse.  Locals also download Waze, but you will need a constant source of internet to handle any changes in your route.  All car rentals offer GPS rentals.
•    Stay connected: by renting a portable wi-fi unit for internet access from the car rental agency in case those teens get bored on long journeys!
•    Keep chilled: Coolers filled with the kids’ favorite snacks also go a long way to soothing “cabin fever”.
•    Upgrade: Long journeys are much easier when everyone in the back seat of the car had plenty of space to stretch, so why not avoid sibling wars by reserving a full-sized or premium vehicle for peaceful road trips across the country?
Costa Rica is the ideal destination for an unforgettable family vacation!