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Family travel can create lasting shared memories and provide the platform not only for fun, but for bonds to grow even stronger, but I warn against confusing the term ‘family trip’ with ‘vacation’. Very often after a family trip you may feel like you actually really need a vacation as sleeping in and sitting back by the pool with a mai tai in hand may not happen when you are traveling with little kids.

No chilling on the flight with little kids!
No chilling on the flight with little kids!

With two young girls along for the ride, I am usually bone tired at the end of my family trips, but if I am an expert at anything, it has to be at finding a way to get a few minutes of vacation while on a family trip.

 

We are often able to manage a mix of family play time on the beach with kid-free time at the adults pool on the same trip, or even in the same day, by utilizing a mix of kid’s clubs and hired local nannies (or bringing a grandma). I’ll admit to being pretty reluctant to leave my first daughter with with babysitters when she was young, but as the years have gone on, and a second little one has joined our crew, I have loosened up on this policy a bit. That said, I totally understand those who aren’t comfortable with it, and I do check in on them very frequently. As always, never leave your child in a situation that you aren’t 100% comfortable with.

Throwing
Throwing kids is lots of hard work!

With that being said, hiring nannies, bringing a family member, and even utilizing resort kid’s clubs can add up quickly since good help often doesn’t come cheap. Thankfully, there are exceptions to that rule, and believe it or not some points friendly hotels have really nice free kid’s clubs! If you use points to stay at a property like one of these on points you not only save on your hotel stay, but you have free access to a kid’s club for your little ones!

Free Kids Club at Hub 808 Andaz Maui

When I visited the Andaz Maui a few years ago, I wrote about a “secret kid’s amenity” that is their free kid’s club called Hub 808.

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The Andaz Maui kid’s club is available as part of the daily resort fee’s benefits and is open for kids ages 5 to 12 years old from 9AM – 3PM for no charge. Since we just toured the club on a trip we took to Maui a few years ago without our little ones, my kids have not visited this kid’s club personally. However, you can get more information about it here and I’ll share more first-hand details when my oldest daughter hopefully plays in the club this spring!

The Free Hyatt Ziva Cancun Kidz Club

The Hyatt Ziva chain of all-inclusive resorts is, well, all-inclusive. This means that the kid’s club is also included for guests and their children regardless of whether you are staying on dollars or points. At the Hyatt Ziva Cancun, the Kidz Club is free to children ages 4-12, and their facility is actually pretty amazing.

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As you can see they not only have a pretty solid indoor play area with video games, toys, and more, but also an outdoor water play area with slides and a wading pool. On our visit in 2016 we were also able to hire an off-duty Kidz Club worker to watch our then 9 month old daughter in the club on a 1:1 basis for a fee which made it possible for us to visit the adults only pool and relax for a few hours! 

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The Free St. Regis Punta Mita Kid’s Club

I loved everything about our stay in 2015 at the St. Regis Punta Mita, and that included their complimentary kid’s club. It is open to children ages 5-12 each day for no additional charge beyond your stay and resort fee. On our visit the kids usually spent the morning doing activities outside such as shell necklace making and drawing and then they spent the afternoon playing inside the kid’s club room.

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We had no intention of having our then five year old visit the kid’s club pretty much every day on our trip, but she loved it so much that it was easy to say yes to her daily requests to visit since there was no charge! For what it’s worth, we were also able to hire a nanny through the hotel’s recommendation for our then very young second daughter who wasn’t old enough for the kid’s club. We loved her so much I would seriously consider going again to this resort in part because of the high quality kids activities and caregivers.

Our daughter loved making necklaces at the free St. Regis Punta Mita Kid
Our daughter loved making necklaces at the free St. Regis Punta Mita Kid’s Club

Free Kids Club for Three Year Olds at Hyatt Ziva Rose Hall

I already mentioned that the Ziva brand of Hyatt all-inclusive properties has complimentary kid’s clubs, but I wanted to point out specifically that the Hyatt Ziva Rose Hall in Jamaica even opens up their kid’s club to three year olds!

Hyatt Ziva Rose Hall Kid
Hyatt Ziva Rose Hall Kid’s Club

In my travels, it is pretty rare that the complimentary kid’s clubs welcome children as young as three, so I thought that was worth highlighting that fact in case you have a kiddo in that age range…as we will again in 18 months! This particular kid’s club is open in the morning and the afternoon/evening.

Free Cambi Kid’s Club at the Andaz Peninsula Papagayo

We haven’t visited this kid’s club at the Andaz in Costa Rica quite yet, but it is worth highlighting in part simply because the hotel itself is such a good point’s redemption value as a Category 4 property at just 15,000 Hyatt Gold Passport points per night.

The Cambi Kid’s Club at the Andaz Papagayo is open for children ages 4 to 12 years old.  You can find out a little bit more about this kid’s club from Angelina at Angelina Travels from when she checked it out with her little one.

A family trip with little kids will never be the same sort of journey as an adults-only vacation, but if you are able to utilize a kid’s club for your kiddos for a few hours here and there, you can at least get a taste of relaxation before you dive head-first back into full-on family fun mode!

Have you encountered any free kid’s clubs you really liked at points friendly hotels?

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