Monday, July 13, 2009

Trip Essentials

What items do you *really* need to bring from home for your child? This is the quick list - I've also uploaded a complete packing list.

For All Kids:
__Bug spray/wipes (for evening use - see earlier post on this topic)
__Bathing suit

__Hat (bring two)
__Sandals kids can run safely in
__Shower shoes (shower tile floor is **very** slippery)
__Sunscreen (leave one at Petit/Mini Club with child's affairs)

__OTC meds (Motrin, Tylenol, Benadryl), any RX meds

For Very Little Kids:
__Regular Diapers - bring more than you think you'll need
__Swim diapers - 2 per day

__Diaper disposal bags for room (no contained diaper trash can)
__Wipes (some for your room, separate container for Petit Club)
__Fold-up potty seat for use on plane, in room
__Formula, bottles, preferred feeding utensils, etc.

Optional But Good to Have:
__Bucket & shovel, water gun, etc.
__Extra bathing suit

__Hand sanitizer or wipes (for parent bag)
__Inflatable water toys (don't take much room, pump on site)
__Kid sunglasses
__Outfits change into for dinner (post play, beach, bath, etc.)

__White t-shirt for end-of-week Mini Club party, where kids can tie-dye a shirt

In theory, many of these items can be purchased at the resort. However, the resort store is really a boutique/gift shop, and these items are all sold at a premium, brands and sizes limited, and items can sell out.

Planning your family's stay at Club Med Punta Cana? More info here:

What did you *absolutely* need and would bring next time?


  1. Hi there,
    I'm so glad to have found your site. We are in the process of deciding whether to book a family trip to CMPC. We've been to Club Meds before as singles/couples, but this is the first time we are considering going with a young child. Our dear son will be 13 months old when we travel.

    We've heard mixed reviews of the Baby Club Med. Has anyone been there lately? We would ideally like to sign up so that we can have a bit of a vacation ourselves, but obviously want to ensure that our son will be well taken care of and most importantly does not get sick.

    Let us know what you think and thanks. By the way, I love this blog! So glad I found it and it's been most helpful as I've been researching this trip.

  2. I hope others will post their thoughts, but I would also consult this Jan '10 post from a ClubMedPlanet GM who spent 2 weeks there w/child of similar age to yours:

    I would personally choose a babysitter for a smaller child; we had the same afternoon babysitter every day on our first visit, which worked very well. If you are really worried about the BabyClub and germs, instruct your babysitter (directly in Spanish, or indirectly via translation) **not** to go to the BabyClub to play - there are lots of toys in that area, and it would be the natural thing to do. Some people book babysitters for the whole stay, all day - we just weren't sure how the whole thing would work out so only did it for post-lunch nap up through dinner. Also, the BabyClub has limited # of spaces, so depending on far ahead you are planning your trip, you might not even get a BabyClub slot (which is what happened to us on trip #1).

    In terms of overall care, I think the BabyClub staff were very attentive and caring individuals, but of course they have many waves of infants who come and go quickly, and whose parents may knowingly or unknowingly deposit children who are sick or coming down with something - think daycare at home. Also, consider if your son is "easy" and will do well with new caregivers all week. Unlike daycare at home, I don't think they have a "sickness report" bulletin board, and frankly, I doubt parents who have visited the resort doctor report back to the BabyClub to say their child is ill. I did note gloves in the baby changing areas (which is good), but things like hand-foot-mouth can also be spread via toys, immediate contact with other kids such as drool, etc.

    This year since I was especially nervous after reading so many bad TripAdvisor reviews (on the health front) I did bring disinfectant wipes to wipe down our room surfaces (door knobs, faucets, toilet, remotes, phones, etc.) regularly as you can't know if previous occupants were ill or if your neighbors are either. Not sure if it helped but made me feel better.

    In the past three trips ('08, '09, '10), we've really enjoyed ourselves, and our child LOVES it there. The PetitClub GOs were *awesome* in both '09 and this year. I never thought I'd want to vacation at the same place (like how boring, hello) but just love it there. We will definitely return in '11 if things work out.

    Hope you enjoy your trip, wherever you go!!

  3. This is a great site. It was helpful to add your packing list to my own. We usually only bring carry-on items on our vacations. The only thing that always puts my in a quandary these "no-liquids" days are the sunscreen and bug spray. They are the only reason I even considered one checked bag. However, USAir charges $25 for one checked bag (must pay each way). Knowing that the boutique is expensive, I assume it would still be less than $50 for a bottle of sunscreen and bug spray? Alternatively, since we are having a private pickup as Trident/Tiara guests, do you think we could have our driver simply stop by a convenience store? Thanks!

  4. You could bring bug spray wipes instead of spray, so that would solve one issue (these are individual wipes but you can share b/w 2 people - they sell these even now in winter at Walgreens/drugstore, I found). I think consider if you prefer particular sunscreen and bug spray (for you, for kids, more DEET, less DEET, etc.) or if any kind is ok. Everything in the boutique is imported, so there is a big mark-up; honestly don't recall prices although I will look when we go this month. Probably <$50 according to your logic, but no guarantees after you buy several. (Note that if you have kid in MiniClub/PetitClub, you have to leave sunscreen there with them, so you'll need to purchase several, probably - one for kids' club use, and then some more for you to use).

    With regard to stopping en route to the village- honestly not sure, I would ask CM if there is anything nearby outside and if you can make a stop. En route from airport to village (have taken same route 3 times now), I have not seen anything commercial at *all* along the roadside. (This does not mean there is nothing there, just not sure.) The surrounding area appears to be a specific resort area, partially newly developed, not a typical residential/locals area.

    You might try reposting your sunscreen cost and stop-en-route question to clubmedplanet forum - someone there might know specifics on prices. Alternatively, check one bag and bring extra liquids/clothes/stuff you might not normally have.... These fees really bite.

  5. Here's a recent thread where someone mentions that sunscreen was $30 (!). That luggage fee is starting to look more reasonable...