Our family just returned from falling in love with the Viva Wyndham Azteca through Sunwing Vacations. While our getaways are usually complicated, this time we went to one place for the entire thing – sunwing.ca. Not only is Sunwing a full-service airline, but they provide transfers, evaluate hotels, ensure value in their excursions, and allow you to book everything in one place. Typically, it can take a few days to get acclimatized and relaxed as your vacation begins. We don’t want you to miss an ounce of pleasure or relaxation, so the kids and I put together a few tips and tricks that could help you milk every second of your getaway.
- Pack a few sealable plastic bags so you can enjoy your last day in the pool and then easily stash wet clothes into your suitcase before you catch your ride to the airport.
- Ask for a bunch of small US dollar bills at the bank for tipping the amazing shuttle drivers and staff at the resort. Establish relationships with bartenders, cleaning and waitstaff throughout the week and make sure to tip them before you leave. You will also get to know the activity crew and they certainly deserve some love as well – especially if your kids are in the club.
- Sunwing’s Elite Plus Service is worth every penny! You get extra baggage allowance, a special line at the airport, more legroom, advance seat selection, complimentary earbuds and your bags come off the carousel first.
- Make sure your kids don’t forget the orange Sunwing Kidcations Activity Backpack the flight attendants hand out on the plane. There is a beach ball inside that provides hours of pool fun. If they particularly love football or soccer, stash an extra ball in your luggage so you have one available right away when you arrive. You won’t want to waste time or money finding one at a store.
- Viva Resorts offer extensive beverage options that can be overwhelming. It was a few days before my boys discovered chocolate milkshakes and virgin pina coladas. Before you leave, play bartended with your kids so they get a few ideas about what they can order. For the older set, one trick is to get freshly squeezed orange juice at the buffet for your mimosa in the morning instead of the concentrated juice behind the bar. What a life!
- Bring any special outfits you might want to be photographed in and take advantage of the photo staff on site. There is no charge to get photos taken. Ask the pros to take a few snapshots you may want, and don’t be afraid to ask for certain poses! (They are good at directing the action if you prefer). There is only a US$15 (or less) charge for digital images that will last a lifetime. You can also book a photo shoot in order to get a larger package of shots.
- You’ll want to book some seamless Sunwing excursions, and the plane is the perfect time. Each excursion is listed in the Sunwing magazine, and you can book it while you fly!
- Even if your kids are shy or think they are too old, don’t be afraid of the kids’ club. It can help get your kids participate in activities away from the hot sun and also facilitate expanding their horizons – like learning proper billiard rules. They also learn skills like how to shoot a bow and arrow, win at ping pong or keep score in a game of beach volleyball.
- Each a la carte restaurant has a great wine list and the staff may not mention it unless you know beforehand. The premium wines are not included in the all-inclusive fee but the food is so exceptional it can make your special meal even nicer. You may also want to take the beautiful wine glass to your room for later use.
- Headed to do some circus work? Don’t apply sunscreen before you do the trapeze, as it has to be washed off prior to the activity. You never want to waste sunscreen.
- Bring a reusable straw if you really need one and are environmentally savvy. There are disposable straws available, but in order to help save the planet, Viva Resorts doesn’t automatically plop one into your drink. The turtles are very thankful.
- The doctor fish at the Renova Spa give you great pedicures and tons of tickles. At US$10 for 15 minutes, the treatment is very inexpensive compared to Europe or Asia, and the UV light in the tanks ensures sanitary conditions.
- The wifi in public areas is very good, and it keeps people social and in common areas so there is always a vibe. If you need even better wifi you can purchase a code for a different network.
- Even though you’re shy, you can safely push boundaries and meet others. The activity crew goes out of its way to make sure you feel welcome and included. Already two teams of six people for volleyball? No problem! They will form a third team – even if it’s five resort staff plus you. You’re always encouraged and never left out.
- There’s a section of the buffet that includes lighter fare with fewer calories. If you fill up your plate on the first helping with these items, you may choose less of the heavier items later.
- The Water Sports Centre on the beach allows you to book watersports in advance and also hands out the beach tennis gear. The afternoons are an ideal time for sailing once the wind becomes stronger.
- The complimentary bikes at each resort are adjusted to properly fit each person, and for those who don’t want to walk from one resort to the other, you can take these back and forth instead!
Disclosure: This trip was sponsored by Sunwing Vacations. All opinions, giggles and phenomenal experiences were our own.