🇧🇧Barbados

#InstaCaribbean: Family Travel, The Week That Was On Instagram

Kids’ menus, on property movie theaters, daycare services, child-size bathrobes, milk and cookies upon arrival, and on, and on—resorts across the Caribbean do a lot to try and secure the family travel dollar. Still, for me traveling to the West Indies with my kids is as much about immersing them in the culture and everyday life of the region as much as it is about having fun.

This past week on Instagram the focus was on exactly this style of Uncommon Caribbean family travel with my wife and two sons (3 years old and 8 months) at my perfect fantasy beach house, Cotton House 2, on Barbados.

One of our first stops, as usual, was to the Oistins Fish Market. Here, we inspected the flying fish catch of the day, studied how to clean certain types of sea creatures, and learned a new word “mahi-mahi” (aka dolphin fish) before watching one get masterfully turned into steaks we’d be eating for the rest of the week.

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Inspecting the flying fish catch of the day at Oistin's Fish Market! #Barbados

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The whole ride home, my big son kept repeating “mahi-mahi”, “mahi-mahi.” I guess he just liked the way it rolled off his tongue.

We also took in a submarine ride to give my eldest a view of the undersea world that would normally require tackling SCUBA diving lessons; something he’ll have to wait another five years to try at the earliest. He came up close to turtles, barracuda, trumpet fish, tuna, stingrays, corals, sponges, and more—all in their natural habitat, not confined in a tank at an aquarium. (I’ll have more details on this experience another time.)

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A bit tame for adults, but a ride 145 ft down on the Atlantis Submarine is awesome for a 3year old.

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We watched (well, sprayed water at) sunsets from the veranda…

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Looking forward to a week of shooting water at sunsets. #Barbados

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Swam the depths of saltwater pools in the naturally awe-inspiring Animal Flower Cave

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Caves are better when they come with pools installed. #Barbados

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Practiced patience catching our own fish…

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What's your definition of family travel? Popping your kid in day care and boozing by the pool or moments like this? #barbados

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Explored secluded Archer Bay with its towering cliff walls…

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From Animal Flower Cave to Archer Bay, #Barbados' north coast leaves an impression!

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Had fun getting fit while exercising with locals at Miami Beach…

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Sunset at Enterprise/Miami Beach is time for exercise—circuit training, weights, running, you name it. #Barbados

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Snacked on freshly fried fish balls…

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#Barbados freshly fried fish balls make a great snack for all ages! #instacaribbean

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And even just let time pass to the sound of the surf while swaying in a hammock.

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"I urge you to please notice when you are happy, and exclaim or murmur or think at some point, ‘if this isn’t nice, I don’t know what is.'" — Kurt Vonnegut

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All without a “pirate-themed Sesame Street Treasure Caravan” or “Crayola Art Day Camp.”

Did we grill our own fish, do our own dishes, and clean up after our own messy little baby? Yes, yes, and yes. Did I drive all over the island in Barbados’ legendary traffic, buy my own gas, and hit the grocery store on more occasions than I would have liked? Again: yes, yes, and yes.

Was my only payment a quiet glass (or two, or three) of rum after my totally wiped out and sun-kissed kids went quickly to sleep every night?

The immediate payment, yes.

However, I’m playing the long game on these guys.

I’m banking on my real payment down the road being two men with a passion for travel, a respect for nature, compassion for how real people live their lives around the world, and (perhaps a little selfishly) a deep-rooted love of their Caribbean heritage.

For more of our favorite #instaCaribbean photos, follow @UncommonCarib on Instagram.

Last updated by Patrick Bennett on .