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How to Take a Family Vacation in Puerto Rico

ViaHero · February 24, 2019

Puerto Rico’s amazing things to do, friendly locals, and a high level of safety makes it the perfect travel spot for families. Whether you’re going with young children or just adults, you can use these insider tips to create your perfect Puerto Rico family vacation. And if you have any questions after reading, feel free to contact us.

Want to explore Puerto Rico differently? Have a local plan your trip.

Tip #1: Figure out your family’s travel style

Figuring out your family's travel style is important for planning a Puerto Rico family vacation

Get your trip to Puerto Rico off to a good start by figuring out your travel style. If your family is more laid back and chill, hit up a few of Puerto Rico’s gorgeous beaches. If you all love being on-the-go, look into Expedia adventures and TripAdvisor tips to fill up your itinerary. Remember, all families are unique, so set your own pace as you travel—no need to rush. The important thing is that you customize your trip, so you only do what you want to do.

Tip #2: Account for each traveler’s interests

Accounting for each others travel interests is important for planning a Puerto Rico family vacation

Puerto Rico is full of amazing things to do, so finding a highlight for each person in your family won’t be a challenge. Even if you only have a few days to fill in your Puerto Rico itinerary, try choosing one activity per person that you know they’ll love. For the child who adores animals, it’s easy to catch a ferry to eastern Vieques to see the wild beach ponies. If your spouse loves off-the-beaten-path attractions, take an easy hike in northern Arecibo through the Rio Camuy Cave Park.

Tip #3: Travel during Puerto Rico’s off-peak tourist season

June to November is Puerto Rico’s off-peak tourist season—which means fewer crowds and lower travel prices. So if you don’t mind a few rain showers, the off-peak season could very well be the best time to go to Puerto Rico.  Not only will your family have more space to roam the island’s best places to visit, but they’ll also get cheaper trips to Puerto Rico as well; off-peak vacation prices average $500 less than those in peak season (December–April).

Tip #4: Find lodgings with plenty of close by activities

Finding lodging with activities is important for planning a Puerto Rico family vacation

One of the best parts of traveling Puerto Rico: the island’s highlights tend to be within driving distance (1–2 hours) or walking distance (10–30 minutes) of some of the island’s best places to stay. For example, many families choose to stay in San Juan, then walk or drive to the numerous nearby barrios (neighborhoods), beaches, and tourist attractions. Even if you travel a bit more off-the-beaten-path, many of Puerto Rico’s best places to go are within a 2-hour radius of cities like San Juan, Ponce, and Rincon.

Pro tip: Save on lodging and travel options by getting the most up-to-date advice from Puerto Rican locals who know the ins and outs of Puerto Rico’s tourist industry.

Tip #5: Satisfy even the pickiest eaters with street food

Eating street food is important for planning a Puerto Rico family vacation

It can be tricky to find restaurants that make every traveler happy. This is where street food comes in clutch—you’ll find delicious, cheap food at basically all of Puerto Rico’s best vacation spots. Street food is also surprisingly diet-friendly since the island’s fresh fruit and veggies are second to none. And as always, our locals can recommend family-owned stands that have the best prices and most kid-friendly eats.

Pro tip: If a family member has dietary restrictions or allergies, print small, pocket-sized cards with the Spanish-to-English translations—it makes ordering at restaurants a breeze.

Tip #6: Limit each traveler to a backpack or small suitcase

Limiting luggage is important for planning a Puerto Rico family vacation

Juggling your own suitcases is challenging—now try keeping track of multiple travelers and their bags. Instead, make planning your trip to Puerto Rico even easier on yourself by packing light. Since Puerto Rico’s weather remains in the mid-60s to high 80s all year, bring shorts, tank tops, and dresses that can be worn in different combinations. Anything you forget can be easily purchased at local convenience stores.

Pro tip: For more info on Puerto Rico’s weather, climate, and hurricane season, check out this Puerto Rico FAQ.  

Tip #7: Know the free things to do

Knowing free things to do is important for planning a Puerto Rico family vacation

Puerto Rico vacations don’t need to break the bank, especially when so many highlights are totally free. Cut back on family expenses by checking out all the free things to do in San Juan, like concerts, movie nights, and historical reenactments. You can also ask a Puerto Rican local about free things to do that match your family’s interests and travel schedule.

Tip #8: Bring snorkeling, diving, and hiking gear from the mainland

Bringing snorkeling gear from the mainland is important for planning a Puerto Rico family vacation

The coolest Puerto Rican adventure tours often require gear—snorkeling masks, flippers, swim shoes, floaties etc. And while many tours offer rental gear for $15–$30 per person, you’ll save lots of money by bringing your gear in from the mainland.

Tip #9: Learn a few Spanish phrases as a family

Although many Puerto Ricans speak English, knowing some basic Spanish travel phrases shows respect for Puerto Rican culture and gives you the chance to bond over a new shared experience (laughing at each other’s language mistakes is always fun too). Plus, if this is your family’s first time traveling to Puerto Rico, familiarizing yourselves with Spanish makes for less culture/language shock.

Tip #10: Set ground rules for travel safety beforehand

Puerto Rico is very safe for travel, but it never hurts to spell out your safety expectations beforehand. Especially if you’re traveling with young children or a large group, it helps to create your own buddy system, and consistently reiterate that no one should wander off alone. Check up on Puerto Rico’s 2019 travel advisory for more travel safety info before you go.

With high safety levels, great discounts, and plenty of travel options, family vacations to Puerto Rico have never been more doable than right now. Tap into our network of local trip planners (AKA Heroes) to customize your family’s ultimate Puerto Rico experience. Message us and check out these links for more local travel advice: