That thrill of escape; the excitement of packing knowing that tomorrow starts the first day of your vacation! As a new parent, you may be viewing vacation with more apprehension than anticipation as you envision a fussy baby, complicated travel logistics, bottles, and more diapers than can possibly fit in a suitcase. However, before you throw in the towel and shelve your passport for the next few years, we have some great suggestions on where to travel with a baby. From family-friendly destinations to ideal vacation locations with little ones, here’s a travel list for baby – and you!
- Go All-Inclusive: The point of vacation is to relax and what better way to do this than through an all-inclusive resort. As a mom, you’re always in control, handling meals, getting children dressed and out the door, managing schedules and bedtimes. So, why not loosen the reigns and let someone else make the decisions? Try a Club Med vacation where your baby can participate in Baby Club Med and enjoy age appropriate games and activities. In the evenings, many Club Med resorts offer their Pajamas Club (aka, babysitting service) so that you and your spouse can enjoy some “you time.” These resorts are known for their array of activities, for both kids of all ages and adults, so you’ll never be bored – unless you want to be! Try Club Med Cancun Yucatán or Punta Cana for a fun-filled week your whole family will enjoy. Beaches Resorts, specifically the Turks and Caicos location, are also an excellent, all-inclusive family option, and offer infant programs that your little one can enjoy. From restaurants to activities, room accommodations and more, these all-inclusive resorts specialize in anticipating the needs of families so that you can relax and enjoy. For a perfect mix of quality family time, blended with some adult-only fun, these choices can’t be beat!
- Cruising in Style: At first thought, going out on the ocean with your little one may not seem like the best choice, but many cruise lines are experts in creating a great family experience. Of course, no one does fun like Disney, and their cruise options do not disappoint. From Kids Clubs to babysitting services, live characters, kids’ movies, family-friendly dining times and a plethora of excursions, Disney is here to make all your vacation dreams come true! Royal Caribbean (with their Royal Babies program) and Carnival boast kid-friendly programs and options while sailing the seven seas, so you have several options from which to research and choose.
- Beach, baby: Year after year, summer after summer, families head for the surf and the sand. Why? Because it’s something you can enjoy at any age! A beach vacation gives you the perfect mix of fun in the sun and relaxation time. Introduce your little one to the waves and the sand and do it on your own schedule. Go to the beach early in the morning and then retire for lunch and naps in the afternoon. Beach towns are known for catering to families so choose a location with child-friendly restaurants, boardwalks, aquariums, family attractions and more. If Florida’s your destination preference, popular spots include Clearwater, Naples, Sanibel or Delray. You can also head up the Atlantic seaboard and explore South Carolina’s family-friendly Hilton Head Island. If New England is more your style, Ogunquit Beach, Maine or Block Island, Rhode Island boast experiences you won’t forget. And remember, the key to a good beach vacation is having the right gear, so plan ahead with an umbrella or baby cabana, beach toys as well as snacks and a blanket.
- International Baby: As crazy as it may seem, traveling internationally with a baby can be a fairly easy experience, which is why many parents take advantage of this age and stage. Babies can naturally sleep almost anywhere, anytime, so the jet lag that plagues adults is not as troublesome for little ones. Additionally, as you go abroad, you will find most tourist locations are very family friendly, so you will not be the only one with a Baby Bjorn in the Sistine Chapel, strolling down the Champs-Elysees in Paris or sitting in a café in Tokyo. Restaurants and hotels tend to be very family friendly in popular tourist cities so whether you’re in Florence, London or Madrid, you’ll feel welcome.
Luxurious resorts, fun-filled cruises, relaxing beaches, foreign countries — and this is just the tip of the proverbial iceberg. If you do your research, you can find ideal lakeside destinations, ranches, farms, and a plethora of family-friendly locations for the perfect vacation – regardless of how young your family is.
The late comedian, David Brenner, once said, “It isn’t how much time you spend somewhere that makes it memorable; it’s how you spend the time.” So, don’t wait until everyone is “older.” Rather, get out there, experience, explore and make the memories now! And regardless of where you and your family vacation this year, make it count.
- Shaw, Jessica Marmor. “The most baby-friendly travel destinations.” Marketwatch.com. 07/24/2015. http://www.marketwatch.com/story/the-best-baby-friendly-travel-destinations-2015-07-15
- “Traveling with Infants: Baby Friendly Vacations.” Family Vacation Critic.com. http://www.familyvacationcritic.com/traveling-with-infants-baby-friendly-vacations/art/
- Wiedemann, Lia. “The 16 best places to go on vacation with a baby or toddler.” com. 12/22/2016. http://www.today.com/parents/16-best-places-go-vacation-baby-or-toddler-t73466