As soon as we arrived at our resort in Punta Cana, I wished Jamie could be with us and wondered when we would go back! It’s been six years since our trip but I keep dreaming about the white sand beaches, crystal clear water and heartfelt people in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic.
This was a trip that was filled with many firsts for us; it was the first trip for Luca, first flight for Luca, first trip travelling as a parent and first trip travelling as a solo parent! I learned so much from this trip and although some thought I was crazy… I didn’t care and I took Luca and we went.
It was unfortunate that Jamie couldn’t come with us, but he was just starting up his business and the timing was just not right. I on the other hand was in the midst of a full year of maternity leave and was going stir crazy with the four walls of our house in the middle of winter in Canada! It was best for me, Luca and Jamie for us to go on a little tropical adventure. I figured there is no difference on whether I took care of Luca at home or in the Dominican Republic – all the same for me :)
I also had a lot of help from Jamie’s family who came on the trip; my mother-in-law, sister-in-law and brother-in-law were all travelling with me. So even though I was a solo parent I was definitely not alone. By having their extra hands and help it made things so much easier and gave me a bit of confidence that I can do this. I am forever grateful for their help but also the wonderful life-long memories we have from the trip.
Why did we choose Punta Cana?
Looking back there were a few key reasons.
- Direct flight and the timing of the flights were fairly good. Although, I wasn’t sure how the flight home being a red-eye was going to go… But it was awesome! I am a big fan of them now, especially on the way home.
- Cost was reasonable. My sister-in-law (who was also on maternity leave) is in the school system so very rarely does she and her family get to take advantage of flight deals during less busy times. So based on being able to go anytime we could get a good deal at a more expensive destination.
- Crystal clear blue water and white sand beaches…. Need I say more?
Where did we stay?
We opted to stay at an all-inclusive resort due to the cost saving and just looking for a relaxing beach vacation to get away with. The resort we choose was The Grand Palladium in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. Jamie and I were actually married at The Grand Palladium in Mayan Riveria, Mexico so we were familiar with the resort chain (another story coming soon for that)!
- Five different pools that had different water levels and different vibes and scenery at each one.
- Great atmosphere is the lobby area for having casual drinks and listening to music after supper. Luca loved watching the fish in the front lobby, which was a great distraction for me relax.
- Good variation of restaurant selections.
- By far, I was most impressed with how helpful and thoughtful the people were! The staff was SO helpful with getting me hot water, making sure there was nothing we needed. So helpful and understanding with little ones.
- I was able to request a crib so I didn’t have to bring a portable playpen. The quality seemed safe for my standards especially since Luca wasn’t moving around too much.
- Although the resort was easily accessible with the stroller, our room was on the second floor so I had to ask for help to get the stroller up to our room at the end of the night.
- It was a larger resort so if we ended up going to a pool that was far away from our room and I forgot something, it was a long walk back.
The Grand Palladium Resort Facts
- Along the shore of Bavaro Beach
- 8 A la Carts restaurants with different styles of food
- 5 Buffet style restaurant and 14 bars
- 5 pools
- Over 400 rooms
- Small supermarket and a few stores on the grounds
- Kids club – I did not use the services, so I can’t comment on the facility but they do offer the service for children.
Quick Tips for Solo Parent Travel:
- Have a letter written from the other parent that provides authorization and awareness that you are taking your child out of country with the dates, location, etc. I know divorced/separated parents probably get this… but a lawyer friend told me it was best to have this on me just in case I was asked. Sure enough I was when I came back to Canada!
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help! Trust me people want to help you if you are willing to take it. Please and thank-you go a very long way.
If you are thinking about taking a solo trip with your kids, just go! Take the plunge and explore without regrets! If you have the opportunity to take your kids someplace and it just doesn’t work for your spouse give your kids and yourself the chance to travel. This trip will be a bond that I will have with Luca for the rest of my life!
Half our family has been to the white sand beaches of Dominican Republic and hoping soon we can all go together! Plus, I’m sure Luca needs a little reminder too!
Have you taking a solo trip with your kid(s)? If so, where and how old were you kid(s)?