We get tons of questions from New Orleans moms about the best places to travel with kids. Over the years our team of writers has done everything from road trip to Arkansas, to renting a cabin in Tishomingo state park to living at the beaches in Pensacola for weeks on end. We are all about sharing family traveling tips whether your next adventure from New Orleans is to the coast, Disney or the mountains! There is a list of drivable destinations from New Orleans for every budget here. And if you end up staying right here in New Orleans, we have dozens of ideas for kid-friendly outings in New Orleans, too!
A Belizean Point of View from an Almost Local
Most people travel to see new places, to experience new cultures, and to see new people. My family traveled every other year, if not every year, to visit a familiar place, a loved culture and a loved people. This place is Belize and if you know me personally, you know the special place it holds in my heart.
When I was a child and we traveled to visit my grandparents, the country was a young country. As our plane landed on an extremely rocky runway, where it felt as though the plane was breaking through the trees, I would excitedly look out of the window to see my grandparents, in their Sunday best, a pretty dress for my Mamita and a guayabera for my Papito, standing on the roof of the airport welcoming us “home.” This was a time of expensive long distance calls, traveling was a privilege, you received a meal on your flight, and my mom bought us new outfits every time we traveled. Also, you soaked up EVERY.LITTLE.BIT.OF.AIR.CONDITIONING. before you took the steps off of the plane (in the front or in the back) because we did not know anyone in Belize that had central air conditioning (still do not to this day).
Married in Belize
Sixteen years ago, Mike and I decided to marry on the island of Ambergris Caye or San Pedro in a small un-air conditioned church. Can you imagine the red tape that we had to go through to get the Archdiocese of New Orleans to speak to the powers that be in another country? It was not an easy task, but I am so thankful for all of the family that helped make it possible. Mike and I easily brought 75 people from the United States to witness our marriage and to dance the night away at an eight hour reception. Yes, an eight hour reception complete with my favorite Belizean Band. You may ask many of my friends that attended the wedding and to this day they will say, “That was the best wedding I have ever attended.” I can not help but think that they enjoyed our wedding reception, but most of all, they enjoyed the country and its people.
The freedom on the island is unsurpassed, shoes or no shoes, beach or paved roads, sea or land, walk or take a taxi. Golf carts are our preferred mode of travel providing fun for all ages. It was really strange to see my friends passing us on the streets in their golf carts. I am so happy that they were able to experience Belize the way that we experienced Belize.
A Beautiful Destination for All Ages
Another family event occurred this summer. My dad turned eighty, and he took his children to San Pedro, many of whom have never been. Mike and I took it easy at the resort while some of the family enjoyed the beautiful country visiting a Mayan ruin and swimming with the sharks in the second largest barrier reef in the world.
You see this country is my second home, a place that I actually know like the “back of my hand” and love like my first home here in America. I can assure you that Belize provides the perfect balance of adventure and relaxation. An affordable vacation for your family and the best part is that summer time is not peak season, so it’s a perfect time to bring the family.
My hope is that you visit the small cities along the way as you journey to Altun Ha, Caracol, Xunantanich, Lamanai, the Blue Hole, Cave tubing, Zip lining, the majestic 1000ft waterfall in Mountain Pine Ridge or the Rio Frio pools and buy out the local vendors of their food and crafts (not hard to do.) I know that you will love Belize as much as I love it. Not only for the sightseeing, swimming with the sharks, fishing, and relaxation, but also for the people, a genuine people.