There are several reasons why Costa Rica is a great choice for family friendly vacations.
The Costa Ricans love children. The family unit is very important and the extended family all help each other. We felt this as soon as we landed. It was late, we had been traveling for nearly 20 hours, the kids were exhausted and I was nearly on my knees when we saw the enormous queue in front of us at immigration. If we had been back home in London, we would have had to stay in that long line but one of the guards immediately took us to the front because we were with the children. Another example is when you go to the bank. You can never exactly know who is next in line but there are lots of people standing around. When language is a barrier, this problem is exacerbated but if are carrying a small child, you will get taken straight to the front. Maybe this is normal custom where you are from, but not the UK.
The second reason that we chose Costa Rica was because of its incredible health care system and very reasonably priced private hospitals. They have some of the best doctors here, and absolutely world class hospitals. This was an essential part of our decision process to being comfortable to travel with our two children. There are certain risks we were happy to take with traveling with a 4yr and a 1yr old but not when it came to their health.
If you can manage to start a conversation in Spanish, albeit a bad one, all of the Costa Ricans we met on our journey were extremely helpful. And traveling with the children made it even easier to start chatting. It amazed me how easily my son, who was four when we first came away, could talk in the international sign language that kids do to each other. Happily playing with complete strangers.
This article was written for Childmode.com, click here to read it in full.