Deciding upon a holiday destination that is of equal appeal to both the adults and the kids in your family can be a tricky balancing act. If it’s too much in the children’s favour, you might find yourself spending your precious vacation days at a theme park, your eyes practically glazing over as yet another costumed character capers in front of your kids (and the actor inside probably once had dreams of being on Broadway). Sure, you will take some pleasure in your children’s joy, but the cynic in you will treat it all as an advertisement for all the merchandise on sale in the countless souvenir stores.
If it’s too much in the adult’s favour, your kids will inevitably become bored and full of annoyance as they’re dragged to yet another site of historical significance (and there’s also the fact that you’ll wish there was someone to look after them in the evening so you can head back to that cool bar you spotted).
This is why visiting Cuba with kids can be an extremely fun (and indeed, sensible) idea. The fusion of cultures and activities on offer means that the island will be a vibrant and memorable vacation for everyone in your family. Boredom is highly unlikely to occur. But what is it about the island that makes it a great choice for a family vacation?
Family Friendly Beaches
Of course when visiting Cuba with kids they will need to be supervised around the water. But we’re not talking the crashing, often violent waves of the Atlantic or the Pacific here. The waters around Cuba are almost offsetting in their beauty and calmness. Gentle, placid waves that wouldn’t disturb anyone lap onto white sands, and it’s not the sort of ocean to make a parent wonder if they should let their kid go swimming. It’s even the type of water where your kid might be able to try snorkelling (perhaps for the first time).
Naturally, it’s the ocean and so appropriate caution must be exercised, but the beach swimming here feels safe and family friendly.
A Screen Vacation
Are you irritated by your children’s dependency on their smartphones and various other devices? If they’re glued to the screen a little too much for their own good, Cuba can offer a welcome respite, a sort of break from technology. The country used to have a reputation as being an internet wasteland, a place where connectivity really didn’t exist. This is rapidly changing, and while there are many internet hotspots throughout the country, it’s not as though you can jump online anywhere.
This means that your family time will not be interrupted by the ping of a message notification or the need to finish one last level on a game. Having said that, you might want to preload your tablet or other mobile device with suitable movies or TV shows in case you want to give your kids something to watch in the evenings or on longer bus rides.
Comfortable Accommodation and Cuban Culture
If you decide against staying in a hotel, chances are that you’ll end up in one of the countless Casa Particulares in the country. These are a type of Cuban homestay, almost like a bed and breakfast. Cuban families rent out a section of their home to guests, and while you can come and go as you please, you are often staying with an actual Cuban family. This is perhaps the best option when visiting Cuba with kids. They get to experience traditional Cuban life in a valuable exposure to another culture.
There is also the possibility that the family running the Casa Particular will have kids of a comparable age, meaning that there can be immediate holiday playmates. Sure, they might not speak the same language, but kids have a weird and admirable way of working around such things. If only adults were the same!
A Different Kind of Happy Meal
It’s not a problem for all families, but consumerism is a fact of life in most countries. You might get a little annoyed with everything aimed at a younger market, advertisements designed to make kids besiege their parents, demanding the latest toy or game or burger meal that they’ve just seen a billboard for. This doesn’t exist in Cuba, and so visiting Cuba with kids can be a rather relaxing experience in this respect. Sure, you can get your kids a burger if you so desire, but it won’t be from a global chain where the kids meal comes with a plastic toy depicting a character from whatever computer-animated nonsense is currently screening in cinemas.
There’s something refreshing about taking a break from all of this. You will also note the lack of billboard-style advertisements anywhere too, regardless of their target audience. It gives the towns and cities an interesting feeling, like you didn’t realise how many of these things you looked at on an average day until they were gone.
Visiting Cuba with Kids Can Be Transformative
Perhaps the most important aspect of visiting Cuba with kids is the fact that it will be something they’ll remember for the rest of their lives (as will you). For some people, a visit to Cuba can be transformative – to see this once somewhat forbidden destination with their own eyes. Children might not necessarily know the political significance of Cuba over the last hundred years, and indeed, why is was once seen as such a mysterious, somewhat forbidden place. They will be more concerned with playing on the beach and watching the vibrantly-clothed locals as they walk around the towns and cities. The rum and cigar side of Cuba can of course be left for a return trip when they’re old enough!
Exposure to a country like Cuba gives a sense of perspective to impressionable young minds, to see how other parts of the world live, and is simply something that they will never forget.
Do you have any questions? Just leave a comment below!