Do you know the greatest part of taking a family vacation with your baby? Not only does a new world unfold itself to the munchkin, but you also get to witness a whole new aspect that was hitherto unknown to you. You learn, share the joy, and bond as a family from the very first year of your child. You’ll have the best vacations with infants if you know where to go and what to do.
Yet planning a holiday around an infant is easier said than done. But we have already traveled in those shoes and the same stroller! So let us tell you that with a skillfully designed holiday around your baby’s need and ability, you will be rewarded with some pretty memorable treasured time.
Obviously, the first and foremost is to look for baby-friendly vacation destinations. Starting from transportation to baby essentials, to family-friendly neighborhood and accommodation, healthcare and safety, traveling season, climate, and short traveling time, these are the basics that will dictate your decision of picking a destination.
While we have created this list of best vacations with infants we have carefully looked through all of the above points and zeroed in the below top ten destinations. Have a look!
1. Hawaii, USA
A lot of parents might roll their eyes already given the long haul flight from both the coasts of the US. But when traveling with a baby, flying to Hawaii will be a breeze. You ask how? Well, infants between the ages of 2-12 months are sleeping beauties. The problem arises when the tiny tykes are crawlies or walkies, as in they have invoked their explorer soul and limited flight space becomes frustrating to them.
Newbie parents traveling from the east coast can break their journey on the west coast for a night to bring down the in-flight travel duration. But parents from the west coast should attempt a direct flight to their destination so that only eight-hour flying time is spent one-way in total.
But what makes Hawaii so special for traveling infants?
Traveling time aside, Hawaii is a paradise for traveling babies. You can save some money on the flight tickets as lap babies are fare-free. Car seats are mandatory in Hawaii and most flights from the US allow car seat check-in free of cost. Hawaii adores kids of all ages, so you will not draw any ire if your baby bawls in any restaurant or at a luau. Just skip the super high-end restaurants serving honeymooning guests.
A portable stroller suffices in most resorts as they have paved paths which are stroller friendly. Hopping between various in-resort entertainment zones, restaurants, shopping venues, and the beach becomes easier. But if you are looking to hit the beach round the clock, a baby carrier might prove relatively more effective. Renting baby gears in Hawaii is butter smooth, and they are absolutely safe and reliable.
Apart from branded resorts, Hawaii is dotted with pocket-friendly AirBnbs and vacation rentals. And most of them come equipped with free parking and kitchen spaces with a refrigerator to store baby formula and food. Are you still asking if there is one perfect island in Hawaii that leads the list? No. You can pick any island, and your baby will feel welcomed in each of them.
2. Cancun, Mexico
What can top the list of the best of nature and culture, thrill and hospitality other than our gorgeous next-door neighbor, Mexico? With some aquamarine magic of the Caribbean Sea thrown in the mix and the ultimate travel gift for your tiny traveler is ready to kick-start their earthly adventure!
If you are looking for a baby-friendly Caribbean holiday, don’t look past Cancun, Mexico. The only gripe is that you have to find the right season to travel to Cancun. Skip the crowded winter and spring break time, and you will be sorted. Most of the Hotel Zone and Downtown area is equipped with accommodations of various kinds that accommodate parents with young babies.
Stay away from party zones and you will be sorted. The beaches are just a walk away so wherever you stay sugar-soft sandy beaches and calm gentle Caribbean water is just a walk away! Resorts offer kids clubs where babies can unwind with their parents in tow. They have doctors available along with other family-friendly amenities like babysitting services, cribs, pools, and entertainment shows aimed at families.
If your baby has graduated to eating pureed fruit, you can get juicy tropical fruits this region is famous for and get them pureed and introduce a taste of Mexico to your kid in this unique way!
But what makes Cancun so special for traveling infants?
This Yucatan peninsula gem has been developed keeping families in mind. It is safe and secure and the presence of tourist police is pretty evident at all tourist hubs. Hotel Zone is well-planned with wide roads and stroller-friendly pavements. Public transport is available round the clock, and they ply between all major tourist hotspots!
Activity-wise, we always feel Cancun is pretty blessed. It has a tonne of offering that will please a multi-generational travel gang. For babies, there are safe public beaches like Playa Marlyn with amenities like lifeguards, toilets, and changing rooms. An animal meet and greet will excite any baby and as parents, we love to see their reactions as they caress a baby turtle or watch a dolphin show.
For activities like that head out to The Aquarium in the vicinity of the Hotel Zone or drive a little to the CrocoCun Zoo. Don’t drop out of the ruin visits because that will be blasphemous. The Mayan wonder of Chichen Itza is completely doable with a combo of a stroller and a baby carrier. Only be wary of the Mexican sun as it can get a little harsh on your baby. But with sunscreen and enough means of hydration, your baby won’t complain.
3. Chicago, Illinois
Not every vacation is created equal! Sometimes we look for a good spot closer to home for a quick getaway. And cities make for such an exciting travel capsule, especially with infants. If that is the case, then ‘The Windy City’ will definitely give wings to your travel dream of unleashing your urban-ranger alter ego.
Make your newborn taste its first sip of city travel! Chicago is packed with architectural marvels with its ever-changing skyscraper-laden skyline. Explore the city by road as you go for a hop-on-hop-off ride, aboard a boat on the Chicago River, or its ‘L’ train system. Pick up affordable city passes that will not only save money but also time by skipping lines and giving you an express entry at popular attractions.
The public commute is easy-peasy, and the city is stroller-friendly. You will get oodles of open public spaces with greenery where babies can unwind from the constant confinement of a stroller ride.
But what makes Chicago so special for traveling infants?
When it comes to the Second City’s sights and sounds, the Navy Pier and Millennium Park both have our heart. We love to take ‘gram-worthy holiday pictures with the babies in front of The Bean. If you are an art-nut, both Museum of Contemporary Art and the Art Institute of Chicago offer experiences that you can enjoy as a family.
MCA has stroller tours on the first Wednesdays of every month, and ARTIC has a great Family Room where even the tiniest of tots can learn from blocks and color books. Plan a pretty picnic in the bosom of nature as you head out to Heller Nature Center with a stroller-accessible pond and a dedicated area to pop open a picnic basket.
Other must-visit places are Maggie Daley Park, Lincoln Park Zoo, Garfield Park Conservatory, and Brookfield Zoo, or just hit the beach along the shores of Lake Michigan. To stay close to all attractions, we advise you to pick properties in the Downtown area or along The Magnificent Mile.
4. Toronto, Canada
When first-time parents are painfully worried about traveling to another country and unsure about their baby’s first foreign trip, a country that is popular for its friendly locals can really ease and assure them to no end. That’s why we recommend Toronto in Canada as one such city where you will not feel exactly out of the water and yet get to experience a new country with all its individuality.
Toronto offers family-friendly accommodations ranging from high-end hotels to hearty home exchanges. Most streets in the Downtown area are stroller-friendly and your baby will hardly feel any bumpy ride. Public transport is crazy good and it is super easy to navigate the city. Tap water is absolutely safe to drink and green spaces are aplenty.
But what makes Toronto so special for traveling infants?
Toronto is a city that is geared towards babies as if they don’t want to keep the tiny ones from having their own kind of fun. The new mums can always go for something unique like Movies for Mommies to enjoy a film with their babies. Yeah, we all know taking your newborn to theatres is a nightmare. But change that thought here!
This comes especially handy when dads need some downtime for doing dad stuff or maybe take the older kid to some other fun joint. Begin your morning with a stroll around the High Park or Toronto Botanical Garden. Both have free admission and paved paths for strollers.
If you are in the city for a week, you can pop into their pottery space called the Clay Room to paint your baby’s footprint on a ceramic piece. They can clear glaze and kiln-fire that for you, and you can pick it up in a week. Such a cute and memorable exercise to share with your baby!
Make the afternoon fun by visiting a farmer’s market to admire the lush local produce. The East Lynn Park one has an adorable Kid’s Corner with sing-a-longs and crafts. For water babies, try out the city’s many splash pads that will keep them entertained and occupied for hours on end.
5. Tokyo, Japan
If you want a perfect cocktail of culture and comfort, tradition and modernity, Japan is a country that delivers! Of course, we don’t suggest that you travel all the way to Tokyo and ignore the rest of the country. But Tokyo is an incredible city to begin your Japan exploration from.
Japan with a baby is totally a slow-travel saga. At least devote a total period of three weeks to only do a handful of prominent Japanese cities, else you will tire the baby out. That said, Japan leads the world in terms of cleanliness and safety. You will, of course, need the baby’s passport to travel to Japan.
The public transport here is conducive for kids of all ages. Kids under the age of six don’t require any expenditure on travel tickets, and they commute free of cost. Avoid travel during rush hour to escape overcrowded public transport. Attempting to wear your babies as you go up and down the train stations with a stroller can get heavy and clumsy.
Baby feeding stations and changing rooms are available everywhere, from museums to supermarkets. Some places even offer microwaves and diapers, a dream come true for every new parent on the block. Tokyo has baby and breastfeeding cafes that offer comfortable options to replenish and relax for both babies and adults in the middle of a hectic day of travel.
Most Japanese restaurants will have a kids’ menu and drinks for children of 3 years and below. Space comes at a premium in any of the sprawling Japanese cities, especially Tokyo! Pick hotels closest to train stations that offer decent-sized rooms.
But what makes Tokyo so special for traveling infants?
Tokyo is a sensorial treat to a baby. Divide your days into two parts to capture the contrasting soul of Tokyo. Spend evenings to witness the city in a flurry of activities, from shining billboards to blinding neon-lit signage.
Watch with awe the sea of bobbing human heads crossing the famed Shibuya crossing. Show your baby the statue of Hachiko just outside the Shibuya station, one of the world’s famous ‘good boi’ we all love for his loyalty and dedication. Stop by any of the themed restaurants Tokyo is packed with, like Monster café. Any kid will be zapped by its bright décor and whimsical and colorful costumes.
For those insane Instagram shots, drop by at the hotbed of pop culture and everything quirky – Harajuku or take cute and memorable pictures at any of the many purikura stores of Tokyo. For mornings keep it cool with a meditative visit to the Sensoji Temple. Plop at any of the many parks of Tokyo city with ample green and serenity that will recharge the whole family.
6. Walt Disney World, Florida
Which parents can refrain from jump-starting their kids’ travel tale with a heavy sprinkling of their favorite fairy tales coming alive? Walt Disney world is the Mecca of all kids. And when they look back at their baby pictures in the arms of their beloved cartoon characters, they will be ever grateful.
Some adults might shrug off the thought of Disney world because they consider it all rides and adventure and what can babies and infants benefit from that? But that’s because maybe they are not aware of the fact that your baby can accompany you for any ride which doesn’t have a height or age requirement. Just be mindful of the ride’s intensity according to what your baby can take because that definitely varies from infant to infant.
For attractions where the above doesn’t apply, parents can apply for Rider Switch, where one adult can wait with the baby while the other goes for the ride. And they can switch after the ride is done and the second adult can get an express entry and skip the line. New parents can have it all, after all!
But what makes Walt Disney World so special for traveling infants?
Apart from the adventurous rides, Walt Disney World has several rides that are aimed at babies. At the Magic Kingdom, there are baby-friendly attractions like Enchanted Tales with Belle and Prince Charming Regal Carrousel. And all Walt Disney World theme parks are equipped with Baby Care Centers where you can nurse, change, or shop for baby essentials.
Children under the age of three are not required to purchase any park tickets, so it’s free for them! The park is stroller-friendly, though a lot of reviewers advise you to bring your own stroller rather than renting one at Disney World as they are hard and plasticky. Strollers though are not allowed while waiting in the line for the rides, so carry an optional baby carrier for those moments.
For the staying option near the park (as it is advised to spend at least a total of three days to fully enjoy the park), Disney’s Contemporary Resort is the best bet. It is just one monorail stop away from Magic Kingdom, so your baby naps can be planned without worry.
Also, it has spacious family rooms with baby-friendly furniture with round edges. If you are planning to use Disney Transport all throughout, bear in mind that they don’t allow car seats and will definitely not offer you one.
There is something so irresistible about a European beach holiday, especially one bordering the Mediterranean. With a whiff of history, astounding natural scenery, the yellow sun illuminating the azure water, fascinating beaches, and culture galore, Malta is a hidden gem when it comes to popular beach destinations in Europe.
The archipelago of Malta is compact and its giant punch in petite size is what helped it to make it to our list of vacation destinations with infants. Sporting a history dating back to 5900 BCE, Malta is an island whose wide range of architectural styles has made it a favorite for many films and TV shows like Gladiator and Game of Thrones.
Malta comprises three islands: Malta, Gozo, and Comino. Comino is where travelers make a beeline to swim in the Blue Lagoon. It is ideal for a day trip and we suggest that you do it on a weekday for a relaxing experience.
But what makes Malta so special for traveling infants?
Check out the stunning public beaches like Mellieha Bay, Paradise Bay, and Golden Bay. Maltese beaches are considered the cleanest in the EU and the beaches we mentioned are the most suitable for babies and toddlers. The water is calm, shallow, sandy, and crystal clear, and Mellieha Bay has even a lifeguard.
Malta harbors a family-centric culture, and babies are allowed everywhere. You will find restaurants with a kid’s menu and high chairs. Traveling within the island is pretty smooth. You can rely on public transport like buses to take you everywhere. Avoid rush hour to escape crowds or traffic snarls.
Taxis are available but car seat culture here is a bit wonky. They might insist it’s not required but use your discretion. For a quintessential city life with a vintage European vibe, staying in Malta is best. But if you want to wind down a little more and take it really slow, Gozo is where you should go.
The pace here is slow, exactly what is prescribed to every new parent. The atmosphere is that of a sleepy fishing village, so wholesome for a kiddie who finds itself suddenly in a new place.
8. Costa Rica
Thinking of an adventure holiday with a baby in a stroller might be, well, adventurous! But it is completely doable, especially if you go to a place like Costa Rica. Costa Rica is a repository of stunning national parks and hosts the best rainforest amongst its other Caribbean comrades. It has offerings to entice any holidaymaker hailing from any travel style.
Thrill-seekers can enjoy canoeing, cave tubing, hiking, or ziplining. To chill, Costa Rica has stunning beaches where the tan is just a few hours in the tropical sun away. The capital San Jose offers some mouthwatering Costa Rican traditional cuisine as well as international gourmet fares.
So if you are a foodie, you are in good hands and a great land. Being a US territory, you don’t need a passport to visit it. You will get plenty of English speaking population in key cities at least so communication will be least of your concern. It is safe and hygienic and clean food and drinking water are available everywhere.
The country is family-oriented which makes it ideal for best family vacations with infants. It will provide a perfect sanctuary to get your baby introduced to a new place with minimum to no hassle.
But what makes Costa Rica so special for traveling infants?
Once you land at the airport, you will feel the baby-loving culture of Costa Rica kicking in. You can easily skip the long customs and immigration line at the airport and slide into the priority family line. Isn’t that sweet? The country is peppered with family-friendly resorts and family-run medium-sized hotels.
Cribs and other infant amenities are mostly available but check beforehand with the property over a call as not all of their updated info is available online. A little double-check will definitely save a lot of misery later. You can train your baby to adapt to portable Pack ‘n Play and plastic tubs to ease their sleep time and bath time in Costa Rica.
The restaurants here are very amicable to a baby’s presence, and you will get high-chairs in all of them. Car seats are mandatory. If you are not comfortable not knowing which car seat model is available with the car rental, get your own. Check with the airlines if they charge for checking in car seats as luggage or not.
9. Vail, Colorado
Are you raring to go back to skiing after giving birth? Or maybe want to accompany your ski-fanatic partner to the slope? If your body has recovered and your doctor has given you the green signal, let us tell you about this absolutely gorgeous place where you can take your first winter sports break with your new travel buddy. Vail, Colorado offers an ideal setting for best winter vacations with infants.
Here days are composed of fresh mountain air, crisp and cold and evenings are spent snuggled up in the warmth by a roaring fireplace. A white winter vacation is a straight leap into the fuzzy bosom of a fairytale! Zeroing on a skiing destination needs to tick off the most critical point: a family-friendly resort that is equipped to address all needs of an infant.
And Vail will please you with its offerings. Here a typical family-friendly resort offers childcare support for babies as young as two months old. If you inform them in advance, they can arrange for even baby monitors or car seats for your baby.
But it’s better to remind you that before planning a high-altitude holiday, consult with your pediatrician as they are well suited to advise you about whether your young one is ready for it or not. Also, take a break in Denver to acclimatize if you don’t come from a similar kind of altitude as Vail.
But what makes Vail so special for traveling infants?
As we said earlier, family-friendly accommodations are the least of all your concerns. If resorts are not your style, you will get large condos in residential neighborhoods with ample space where you can spread out as a family. Kitchens are available for you to prepare food for your baby.
Renting baby gears is super easy with timely drop and pickup. Public transport is pretty uncomplicated throughout the town. Vail village is done up so prettily. You can plonk down by the side of the ice-skating rink and do some people-watching with your baby.
Admire the Vail Valley as you take a gondola ride up the mountains. For a unique icy backdrop to your winter family fun pictures, visit the Ice castle of Colorado. It is a visual treat but of course, extremely cold. So wrap up your baby carefully. So what are you waiting for? Pile up on sunscreen, hat, water, and snacks and you are good to go!
10. Tuscany, Italy
If you are heading to Italy for your first family vacay with your newborn and are not sure of handling crowds and chaos, pick Tuscany. Dotted with small and obscure villages, Tuscany is quite off-the-beaten-path for best vacations with infants. Besides being home to some of the greatest Renaissance art and gourmet wine, Tuscany is blessed with a dreamy landscape of sun-kissed vineyards and the iconic rolling hills.
With a slew of castles, gardens, and activity parks, the little one will never fall short of entertainment. Florence is a great city with a healthy mix of activity and also peace pockets for some downtime for new parents. Baby essentials can be found in supermarkets.
If you move away from Florence city center, you will not only escape the crowd but also find green spaces with stroller-friendly paths for a soulful stroll. Florence itself is not stroller-friendly with a less than smooth street surface.
But what makes Tuscany so special for traveling infants?
Florence summers are outrageously hot. But you can always spend them relaxing in the pool with a chilled glass of vino and your baby for company. Family-friendly villas are on offer with shared or private pools.
Take guided tours of the caves and grottos of Tuscany and discover a mysterious underbelly adorned with not only stalactites and stalagmites but also hidden waterfalls. Ride the antique carousel with your baby at the Children’s Museum at the Palazzo Vecchio in Florence.
Don’t shirk away from winery hopping thinking it to be an adults-only activity. Italians fawn over kids like crazy and no one will object if you walk in with one to tour the vineyards and do some wine tasting. For some kid-centric fun, a visit to a zoo is a must. Reserve a day to explore the Zoological Garden of Pistoia which has 400 animals on display.
The goal of our article on best vacations with infants is to dispel fear and discomfort while encouraging you to travel as a family with your cutesy new addition. Babies are an extension of you, just that they are now outside your womb and a lot more fun with their adorable antics.
Relax! Just enjoy being the new mom and dad that you rightfully are and fuel your travel dreams alongside. Don’t wait for the future to make new travel memories. Plan smart and get ready to take off!