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Baby-Friendly Travel Destinations

Baby-Friendly Travel Destinations

So many say "once you have kids, say goodbye to your freedom." But it's simply not true! Traveling with littles might take a little extra planning, but it's far from impossible - and it's so special to travel with your babies and make memories as a family.

We're here to guide you through the process - it's not as daunting as you'd think! Here's how to pick the perfect baby friendly travel destination:

What Makes a Destination "Baby-Safe"?

Before we dive into our favorite baby friendly destinations, we need to define what makes a destination "baby-safe." What are we measuring here?

Here are a few questions to ask before you take the leap and book your next flight:

Mom Holding Swaddled Baby

1. Is the Climate & Weather Baby Friendly?

You might be able to handle the frigid temps in Alaska, but your baby might not have a great time (which means you might not either). Play it on the safe side when your baby is young and try sticking to moderate climates, so you don't have to worry about packing intense snow gear for them.

You might also consider if a destination is too hot - heat rash can be really uncomfortable for babies. Just remember to bring baby sunscreen and bug repellant!

2. Is Transportation Safe?

Another important element is to weigh whether the transportation is safe, and this includes more than plane travel! Planning on using a taxi when you get there? Make sure they provide infant car seats for travel - and if they don't, it might be easier taking the rental car approach.

Also keep in mind, car seat regulations differ from country to country. If you're in a new country, make sure your baby's car seat is safely installed.

3. How Far Away is the Destination?

The longer the flight, the harder on baby. Not to discourage you from trips to Europe and beyond, but you'll want to make sure you are prepared for that long haul.

If you have severe jet lag at your destination, that can also mess with baby. Baby's won't be as quick to adapt to the time change as you, so that can add an element of stress to your trip.

4. Are the "Things to Do" Baby Friendly?

Ask yourself if the things you plan on doing are for adults only or the whole family. Sure, you might want to go bike riding, surfing, rock climbing, and scuba diving on a trip - but you might want to save those activities for when you can find a babysitter.

Aim for destinations with activities your baby can safely and easily come along to.

Baby Sitting on Slide Wearing Bandana Bib

5. Is the Country Sable & Safe?

An important element in choosing your next destination is whether the country is safe. You might be willing to dare more when you're solo traveling, but with precious cargo on board, it's important to be wary.

Consider the political climate and culture of the country you want to visit. You might also consider which vaccines your baby will need to travel, and if it's even safe for them to get them at their current age. And don't forget to consider the wildlife native to the destination, and whether it would pose a risk to your baby.

6. Can You Babyproof Your Hotel / Airbnb?

Before you book a hotel or airbnb, consider how difficult it would be to baby-proof. Avoid places with lots of stairs, and bring outlet covers with you if you'd like to baby proof when you get there.

Pick a place you'd feel comfortable hanging out in with your baby. You won't always be out adventuring - so down time should be comfortable for the whole fam.

7. Is Health Care Accessible?

Nobody plans on having a health issue on vacation, but it's important to be prepared if it does happen, especially for baby.

Make sure you are close to a hospital. Will the local health care be able to properly take care of your baby, and can they take your insurance? Do they speak your language - and will they be able to understand you in a crisis?

8. Will You Have Access to Baby Gear?

If you're not planning on bringing your own baby gear, it's important to see if a destination has baby gear accessible. Some destinations have baby gear to rent, while other times airbnb's provide some equipment.

Create a game plan beforehand so you know what to pack, rent, or borrow.

Babies Sitting on Bed with Dune Quilt

Best Baby Friendly Travel Destinations:

Now for the destinations - these places are ideal for vacation with your baby!

1. Walkable Cities

Walkable cities are a great option with baby. Strap on a baby carrier and start exploring! You'll have food, bathrooms, indoor and outdoor spaces, and grocery store items close at hand should you need to grab anything on the go. It's fun and exciting for the entire fam!

Our Top Picks:

  • Tuscany, Italy: stroller friendly, locals adore kids and will go out of their way to accommodate parents, and strollers are available to rent. Just make sure to bring a changing pad - changing tables are rare.
  • San Antonio, TX - they have endless activities to do with baby, the city is full of baby friendly restaurants, and it's within the U.S.
  • Japan: with baby cafes sprinkled throughout the city (cafes with childproof areas) and nursing rooms available, Japan is a great place if you want to travel far but stay safe with baby.

What to Bring:

  • A baby wrap/carrier! You'll want one that's easy to use and comfortable for both you and your baby.
  • Multi-Use Cover: perfect for on-the-go nursing, covering up your car seat on stroller rides, or keeping your baby protected from germs in an uber.

2. Beach Vacation

Beach vacation is an easy YES when it comes to traveling with baby. You can usually find a hotel or airbnb to fit your needs, and beach time with baby is fun for everyone. Take turns surfing, play in the shallows with baby, and explore in the sand. Baby's happy, you're catching that tan, and dad is enjoying the ocean - triple win!

Our Top Picks:

  • Bali: beautiful beaches, super cheap baby gear rentals, affordable childcare, and a big adventure for the entire family!
  • Charleston, SC: think Florida-esque white sand beaches but with fewer crowds and a chiller vibe; great restaurants and family-friendly activities.
  • Tulum, Mexico: safe to visit, stunning beaches, and a relaxing atmosphere through the city. Just make sure to bring your own formula & use bottled water to make it!

What to Bring:

  • Wet Dry Bag: perfect for tossing wet swimsuits and swim diapers in to keep them separate from your other diaper bag supplies
  • Quality sunscreen: you'll need a lot of it!

Baby Playing in Water with Wet Dry Bag

3. Family Cruise

A family cruise is an awesome stress-free option for baby friendly travel. With everything you need for your trip at your fingertips, it's easy to explore and retreat back to your cabin for nap time or feeding in just a few minutes.

Our Top Picks:

  • Carnival Cruise Line: with childcare available (even at night from 10pm-1am!), baby friendly activities, and medical staff on call, it's an obvious good choice.
  • Disney Cruise Line: take all the perks of a cruise line and make it Disney! Magical, provided childcare, and plenty of things to fill your time (with and without baby).
  • MSC Cruise Line: they are one of the only lines to provide free excursions for babies and childcare for children 2 and under, plus roomy family suites.

What to Bring:

  • Drool Bandana Bibs! You'll want to protect your baby's cute vacation outfits while you're wining and dining
  • Swimsuits! Did I hear an excuse to buy matching mommy + me swimwear? Sign me up.

4. Hike a National Park

If you're a hiking fam, don't be intimidated to take baby! Bring a baby carrier, lots of snacks, sunscreen, and water, and hit the trail. Trips like these are great teaching opportunities for toddlers, and it's healthy for everyone to get outdoors and experience nature. Plus, you can tailor your hike to be long or short, depending on your baby's needs!

Our Top Picks:

  • Rocky Mountain National Park, CO: With countless baby-friendly hikes featuring bathrooms at the start and stunning views, this is obviously #1 on our list.
  • Acacia National Parker, Maine: This landscape has so much variation, so you can drive up to stunning views, splash in the water, or hike through the forest depending on what your family loves most.
  • Grand Canyon National Park, AZ: This trip is mind boggling for anyone who visits, so you and baby will have so much fun hiking around the edge of the canyon.

What to Bring:

  • Sun hat for baby (higher elevation hikes mean the sun is the much more intense!)
  • Changing Pad: when you're out in the middle of nowhere, it's important to put a comfortable cushion between the ground and your baby's head during changes.

Dad Pushing Stroller with Car Seat Cover

5. Road Trip!

Okay, hear me out - road trips might sound intimidating, especially if your baby isn't a fan of car rides. But if your baby does okay in the car, a road trip is a great way to customize your trip to exactly what's best for your family. You can stop for hikes, city strolls, amusement parks, or visiting family along the way, making it a hodge-podge of all your favorite vacation elements.

Our Top Picks:

  • Beachy: a southern/east coast road trip offers so many landmarks and destinations to visit, plus plenty of beaches along the way;)
  • Mountains: road trip along the Rocky Mountains through Colorado, Wyoming, dip into Utah, and even go up into the Dakotas and Montana for stunning forested views and cool places to hike along the way.
  • Visit Family! Have family out of town? Arrange a visit for quality family time (and some free babysitting;)

What to Bring:

  • Car Caddy: store and organize everything you need on the road from books, toys, an iPad, snacks, diaper changing supplies, an extra set of clothes, and more.
  • A good camera: your baby (and you!) might experience a lot of firsts on a road trip. Don't forget to document!

6. All-Inclusive Resort

If you're okay splurging a bit, an all inclusive resort is a blast with a baby. Everything you need is close at hand, and you won't have to go far to experience your ideal relaxing vacation. Some resorts even provide childcare and babysitting, which is perfect if you're hoping to for a date night on vacation.

Our Top Picks:

  • Franklin D. Resort & Spa, Jamaica: this resort provides complimentary nanny services and child supervision at the pool, so you can easily take a date night. Plus, white sand beaches.
  • Finest Playa Mujeres, Cancun: This resort is luxurious and classy for mom and dad, with plenty of activities, childcare, nanny services, and a crib and baby monitor provided for your baby. Ideal for relaxation!

What to Bring:

  • Belt Bag: you might have everything at your fingertips at a resort, but you'll still need a diaper, wipes, and a few other necessities on the go. Wearing a Belt Bag is the perfect compact way to carry what you need.
  • Formula! It's always smart to bring your own no matter where you go, but obviously you won't be able to restock on a cruise.

Mom Holding Toddler with Dune Quilt

7. Mountain Town Airbnb

Mountain towns are stress-free, beautiful, and fun, making them an awesome option for traveling with baby. In the summer, the weather is mild and the hikes are bursting with wildflowers. In the winter, there's skiing, snowboarding, sledding, and cozying up next to the fire! Enjoy good food and a non-judgemental atmosphere as you tour downtown areas or hike through the mountains. The airbnbs are so cozy!

Our Top Picks:

  • Keystone, Colorado: this mountain town is in the heart of the Rocky Mountains and within 15 minutes of Lake Dillon, Breckenridge, Silverthorne, and Frisco (plus it's cheaper than those more popular towns). Expect hikes, hot tubbing, boating, and nature-spotting!
  • Jackon, Wyoming: close to the Grand Tetons and Yellowstone National Park, this mountain town getaway is cozy and fun for you and baby.
  • Estes Park, Colorado: you really can't go wrong with any Colorado mountain town - but Estes Park is so fun with babies and toddlers! Kid-friendly skiing and fun parks in the summer are a few kid-friendly options.

What to Bring:

  • Birch Bag Diaper Backpack: mountains towns have so many things to do, from hiking and lake dipping to wine-tasting and park playing. Bring everything you need without breaking your shoulder and carry a diaper backpack with you.
  • A cozy jacket: weather in the mountains shifts dramatically, even in summer. Come prepared with warm clothes, a blanket or two for baby, and cozy jackets!

8. Lake Trip

If you can't afford a true beach trip, a lake trip might be your ideal option. It feels just like the beach, and you might even get some awesome hikes or camp grounds with it. There is so much nature for you and baby to explore, and the beaches won't be as crowded.

Our Top Picks:

  • Lake Tahoe, CA: this lake has crystal clear water, so many places to explore, and privacy depending on where you hike. So special if you want a secluded family getaway.
  • Lake Powell, AZ: for families who love the water, this lake has so much to offer - boating, swimming, and fishing to name a few. Plus, those views!
  • Lake Erie, PA: this lake is famous for a reason! You'll be able to have a beach experience without visiting the ocean, which is relaxing and stress free with a baby in tow.

What to Bring:

  • Hooded Bath Towels: sure, they may be bath towels, but they are just as luxurious on the shore. Especially after dipping in that cold lake water, these towels keep baby warm!
  • Baby Crocs: the shore on lake beaches can get a little rough for baby feet. Make sure you bring some comfortable water shoes or Crocs for your babe!

Hopefully our travel guide helped prepare you for your best family vacation yet! Wishing you a wonderful vacay 🫶 Good luck!

Before you go, check out our top selling Parker Baby favorites below!

Diaper Backpack for Traveling with Babies

^^ Ready to carry everything you need at arm's reach while you travel, our Birch Bag Diaper Backpacks will be your best friend on your next trip. Order here!

Baby Sitting in High Chair with High Chair Cover

^^ Our high chair covers also double as car seat covers and nursing covers - so it's basically the most versatile product for all your travels with baby. MUST have! Order from our colors here.

Burp Cloths in Diaper Caddy for Traveling Moms

^^ You might be on vacation, but they baby messes go with you. Stay prepared for any disaster with our Burp Cloths, thick and absorbent to soak it all up! Order here!

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