Between diaper bags, tantrums and sleep schedules, sometimes just getting out the door in the morning with very young children is enough to tempt parents never to leave home again. The idea of bringing babies and toddlers on vacation can be overwhelming, but there’s magic to be found at this age. If you don’t want to give up on your travel dreams just because you’re juggling pacifiers and naps, you’ve come to the right place.
The old “devil is in the details” cliché is perhaps truest when you’re traveling with kids this young. It starts with choosing the right destination. While you can arguably vacation anywhere with babies and toddlers since they don’t yet have an opinion on the matter, the truth is that some locations are more practical than others. We suggest our favorite destinations for vacations with babies and toddlers below.
To start with, finding the right lodging is key. The main differentiator between a dream vacation with babies and toddlers and an absolute nightmare is keeping everyone comfortable and rested. We love spacious accommodations that offer families true separation between sleeping and living areas. This allows parents to spend time together while little ones nap or to sip a glass of wine after the kids are down for the night. Suites, apartment-style hotels, condos, villas and apartment rentals all work well, and we know the best 4- and 5 star properties around the world that offer this convenience.
Families also need seamless transportation that takes them from point A to point B without any hassle, and with car seat safety a top priority. We can arrange driving services that make this a breeze. Dining venues that are flexible, casual and welcoming are a must. We can even suggest babysitting services for special dinners or parents-only days out.
Finally, add in activities and perks that are tailored for younger kids, like skip-the-line access to attractions and dedicated play areas. But be sure to maintain free time each day to allow them the flexibility and exploration they require. It’s exactly why off-the-rack travel itineraries rarely work for families with young children. Let us create a bespoke vacation that meets the unique needs of babies and toddlers.
Our favorite destinations for a vacation with babies and toddlers include:
The incredibly vibrant turquoise water and gentle waves make the beaches are perfect for young ones. Plus, several major resorts have developed luxurious, family-oriented properties where kids of any age can have a blast and parents can relax.
Given that the culture doesn’t just tolerate kids, it celebrates them, families feel ultra-comfortable exploring Italy with their bambinos. While Italy’s great cities beckon, be sure to carve out room in the itinerary for leisurely days at agriturismos in the countryside so that babies and toddlers can enjoy needed downtime.
Parents who just want to dip a toe in the waters of family travel might consider Florida for an easy first getaway. You can find direct flights into any number of airports throughout the Sunshine State, and Florida also offers sprawling beaches, family-friendly resorts and even amusement parks built around the interests of the tiniest guests.
As one of Europe’s warmer countries, Portugal works well for families even in the shoulder seasons. Numerous Portuguese properties were developed with families in mind, from seaside condos in the Algarve to urban apartments with kids’ clubs in Lisbon.
Say aloha to paradise when you touch down in Hawaii with babies and toddlers. Choose a resort situated near beaches with gentle waves and dedicated children’s pools for stress-free leisure time. And consider booking condo-style accommodations within a resort to take advantage of both extra space and onsite amenities.
London’s many parks and kid-friendly museums attract families, but the convenience of English-speaking locals also makes it far less intimidating when planning a vacation with babies and toddlers. Be sure to pack for the inevitable rainy day … toddlers and rain boots are an adorable combo!
Parents seeking sun and sand are thrilled to learn that highly trained and qualified nannies are a staple of Jamaican resort culture, both for prearranged private babysitting services and phenomenal kids’ club experiences.
If Paris feels a bit too stuffy and formal for little tykes, southern France will charm the whole family with its kid-friendly resorts that cater to very young guests. We love the Languedoc-Roussillon, Aquitaine and Cote d’Azur regions for vacations with babies and toddlers.
Long-haul flights with babies and toddlers aren’t particularly appealing, so something truly special must await you at the destination for the journey to be worthwhile. Fiji’s Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort is just that type of place. Book a thatch-roofed hut, then lie back and enjoy the personal attention of your child’s dedicated nanny.
Families are often surprised to discover just how kid-friendly Germany is, even for young children. Most hotels offer kids’ clubs or, at the very least, little playrooms or gardens to get the wiggles out. Castles, hands-on museums, stroller-friendly sidewalks and efficient public transportation are additional perks. And most beer gardens even have playgrounds. Prost!
Don’t forget to consider your child’s temperament when planning a vacation. Does she hate being strapped in her car seat? Perhaps a large resort where there’s lots to do onsite, so you never have to leave until it is time to head home, makes the most sense. Are there food allergies or fussy eaters to consider? Access to a kitchen for simple meal preparation can be extremely convenient. We’ve even arranged laundry service at each stop of a road trip for clients with a baby who frequently spit up. One of our favorite pro tips is to ship any bulky equipment your family might require (a favorite portable crib, for example) to your destination in advance.
The bottom line? Come to us with whatever concerns make you hesitant to plan a vacation with babies and toddlers, and let us put together a trip that addresses all your needs. Helping you plan phenomenal travel experiences with your children from infancy to the teenage years is our business … and it starts with those first few successful family vacations, babies and toddlers in tow.
Our expert Family Travel Advisors are passionate about exploring the world with children — and empowering you to do the same. From handpicked accommodations to insider experiences, we can craft a custom vacation that’s uniquely suited to your family’s needs. Click to get started!Get Started
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This is a challenging time for our clients given the uncertainty around the spread of coronavirus, particularly for those with near-term travel plans in impacted areas. We’re working with our suppliers on being flexible with their booking conditions, and enabling families to postpone travel to a later date without a penalty, when possible. Likewise, given the unpredictability around destinations that may be impacted in the future, we’re helping clients planning new trips and understand ways that they can protect themselves until the situation improves. We are ready to help our clients work through questions and concerns.