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The 8 Best Family-Friendly Vacations for Toddlers and Infants

Check out our picks for the best family-friendly destinations, plus a few spots you may want to avoid until baby’s older.
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By Emma O'Regan-Reidy, E-Commerce Editor
Updated August 10, 2023
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Ready for a vacation? We feel you. Luckily, planning a getaway doesn’t mean you have to leave your infant or tot behind—there are plenty of great places that offer fun for the whole family. We’ve rounded up a few of the best vacation spots for toddlers and babies out there (so you don’t have to rack your brain trying to think of one). Below, check out our favorite trip ideas—plus, a list of some less baby-friendly destinations you may want to avoid until your little one gets a bit older.

Best Family-Friendly Vacation Ideas

Let’s face it: Traveling with a little one can be a challenge. With all of the gear to carry and a child to keep safe, soothed and entertained, vacations can end up being stressful for parents. That said, the right destination can make all the difference. Below, check out a few family-friendly vacations that are ideal for some relaxing fun.

Best cruise vacations for toddlers and infants

We know what you’re thinking: Sailing the open seas with baby? Well, hear us out. If you choose the right cruise, you won’t have to schlep around a stroller all day long, and it’s pretty easy to return back to your stateroom every few hours for a little break. Plus, most cruises are equipped to cater to families, even those with small babies. On some, you can even order diapers, wipes and other necessities ahead of time (so you don’t have to pack them).

Better yet, on most cruise lines, there are deck parties and games, live shows, babysitting services and, a variety of restaurants to choose from. You can even personalize your excursions to something easy and fun for you and baby, like a dip in the pool. In terms of family-friendly vacations, this ranks pretty high up there. Below, discover our favorite cruise options for toddlers and infants.

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Best Caribbean cruise vacation for families

The Bahamas
Image: JetBlue Vacations

Dreaming of turquoise waters for your next trip? Then this family-friendly vacation is sure to check all of the boxes on your list. The cruise will take you and your loved ones around the Bahamas so you can discover all the islands have to offer. A few highlights include a trip to Nassau (the country’s capital), Grand Bahama Island and the charming town of Bimini. With each stop, you’ll have the chance to swim, walk through nature trails and try local cuisine. On board, take advantage of Royal Carribbean’s ample amenities. Most of their cruise ships have daycare options (and other amenities) for infants and toddlers, as well as complimentary, kid-friendly activities. Better yet, as a family you can create long-lasting memories at mini golf, in the pools or watching Broadway-style entertainment.

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Best tropical cruise vacation for families

Bermuda
Image: Expedia

Bermuda is another dreamy destination that’s ideal for families. The tropical vacation spot is visited by many of the top cruise lines around, including Norwegian Cruise Lines, Royal Caribbean and MSC Cruises, each of which offers a variety of baby- and toddler-friendly services. If you live on the East Coast, you can easily travel to Bermuda by setting sail from a number of ports, such as Boston, New York and Baltimore. Choose from several cozy bedrooms, and take advantage of the many amenities on board—like the youth programs for the kiddos and spa treatments for the parents. On your trip, you’ll also be able to enjoy the soft sands and crystal-clear waters of Bermuda—what’s not to love?

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Best beach vacations for toddlers and infants

Beaches that are within driving distance or a short flight away offer another standout family-friendly vacation idea. You could stay at an inclusive, oceanfront hotel, or go the route of renting a private property. While the former may be more convenient, the latter option has a couple of other great benefits too: You’ll save money by buying your own groceries (not to mention you won’t have to bring baby to a million different restaurants). Plus, renting a beach house is a great way to get other family members, like your parents or in-laws, together for a few days. Here, browse the best beach destinations for those with little ones.

Best laid back beach vacation for families

Clearwater Beach, Florida
Image: JetBlue Vacations

This destination is perfect for families searching for laid back beach vacation ideas. Situated on Florida’s West Coast, Clearwater Beach is known for its relaxed, sun-soaked environment. Here, you and your family can enjoy warm ocean breezes, step in soft sands and take in the eclectic local feel of the downtown area. The city’s 35-mile strip of coastline is home to some of the country’s top-rated beaches, so you can count on a fun, memorable experience when you visit. What’s more, hotels aren’t the only option for accommodation here. With VRBO.com, you can find an array of apartments, cottages and other unique spots where you and your loved ones can call home throughout your stay.

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Best East Coast beach vacation for families

If you and your family call the East Coast home, Myrtle Beach is a top-notch vacation spot that won’t be too far away. Here, you can choose from a variety of oceanfront hotels along the Atlantic, so you can wake up to shimmering water views and make a beeline to the beach with your kiddos in the morning. The coastal city has 60 miles of beaches to explore, as well as a vibrant boardwalk, a mesmerizing aquarium and a family-favorite amusement park. Plus, if you can’t seem to find a hotel that fits your needs, you can also opt for a vacation rental that better suits your style.

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Best all-inclusive resort vacations for toddlers and infants

Treat yourself by booking a stay at an all-inclusive, ultra-luxe resort. With meals and some activities included, you’ll have all the luxuries already provided so you have more time to relax, without the added stress of planning. Plus, most will cater to infants, making them some of the best places to vacation with a baby. Some resorts provide babyproofing services for your room, in-suite nannies you can hire when you want some alone time with your partner and day care to keep your kiddo entertained while you enjoy the golf course, spa or pool. To help find the best resort for your needs, scroll our top picks below.

Best family-friendly, all-inclusive resort in the US

Timbers Kauai Ocean Club & Residences in Lihue, Hawaii
Image: Expedia

Searching for an all-inclusive, family-friendly resort within the US? Look no further than this five-star, full-service hotel. Located on the Hawaiian island of Kauaʻi, the dreamy destination offers 47 air-conditioned accommodations of various sizes to fit your family’s needs. Each apartment-style room is complete with a kitchen, a dining area, a washer/dryer unit and other home-like details, making it a convenient choice for those with kiddos. Other family-friendly amenities you can avail of include babysitting services, a kids’ pool, complimentary cribs and a playground. Plus, there are beach cabanas, loungers, umbrellas and towels available to make your time by the ocean even more relaxing.

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Best family-friendly all-inclusive resort abroad

Esperanza, Auberge Resorts Collection in Los Cabos, Mexico
Image: Expedia

Next up is a baby- and toddler-friendly vacation spot that the whole family is sure to love. This all-inclusive resort is located in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico meaning it’s a great destination for those who call the West Coast home. At this stunning, five-star hotel, you and your kiddos can take advantage of the private beach, five outdoor pools (including a kids’ pool) and six onsite restaurants—not to mention the beautiful, tropical surroundings. If you and your partner want to enjoy a spa or a dinner date, the hotel also offers babysitting services and supervised children’s activities. During your stay, a comfortable room—complete with thoughtful touches like high-quality bedding, a deep soaking tub and 24-hour room service—will be your home base.

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Best mountain vacations for toddlers and infants

On the hunt for a nature-filled family-friendly vacation? Then you can’t go wrong with a trip to the mountains. With many ski resorts, you can avail of all the benefits of an all-inclusive hotel, with the addition of snow sports and other activities. Another highlight: These vacations for families are often surrounded by beautiful vistas, which means you can enjoy scenic drives with your littles and maybe even some sightseeing along the way. Here, find our favorite family-friendly vacations set in idyllic landscapes.

Best mountain family-friendly vacation for skiing

Calling all ski-loving families: This baby and toddler vacation spot will be a surefire winner in your books. Beaver Creek, Colorado is home to an array of family-friendly hotels and cozy rental properties complete with stunning views of mountain vistas. Better yet, there are also plenty of ski slopes. Whether you’re teaching the older siblings the ins and outs of winter sports or simply want to take in the scenery, there’s something for everyone in this idyllic mountain town. Plus, you can even visit during the summer to take advantage of memorable hiking trails and scenic nature walks.

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Best mountain family-friendly vacation for sightseeing

Last but not least on our list is the best family-friendly vacation for sightseeing. In Buffalo, New York, you and your family can have the best of both worlds. Here, you can enjoy activities in the city, like the zoo and the aquarium, that the kids are sure to enjoy. On the other hand, you can also take in stunning nature-filled scenery just a short drive away, including the iconic Niagara Falls. During your stay, you can call a well-appointed hotel or a relaxing vacation rental your home base.

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Not-So-Baby- and Toddler-Friendly Vacations To Avoid (for Now)

These vacation options might sound fun at first, but trust us, these spots don’t make the list of best places to vacation with a baby. Consider waiting to head to these destinations until your infant or tot is older.

Somewhere more than six hours away

A quick plane ride will likely be okay—baby should be good for a short time, but if not, you’ll be off the plane in just a couple of hours. Extend the plane ride over the span of several meals or nap times, though, and you could be asking for trouble.

Camping

Bugs, bears and the whims of Mother Nature? That doesn’t exactly sound like the best baby-friendly vacation destination. In fact, a camping trip will probably just mean a ton of work and creativity on your part. Think about the logistics of kid-friendly activities, where to put stinky diapers and how in the world you’re going to fit a portable crib in your tent. Unless you’re super-outdoorsy, when you go on vacation with baby, you want amenities and something a bit more relaxing.

Bed-and-breakfasts

Sure, B&Bs were a perfect getaway when it was just you and your partner, but now that you’re planning a vacation with your little one in tow, it probably won’t work. You’ll constantly worry that baby’s cries are waking (or annoying) everyone in the house. And you might not be able to borrow baby gear like a crib or high chair or have access to other baby-friendly amenities a larger hotel might offer.

How We Chose the Best Family-Friendly Vacations

We get it—planning a family-friendly vacation isn’t always a breeze. To streamline your experience, we browsed dozens of vacation types and destinations, so you don’t have to spend hours scrolling online. We did this by considering a list of criteria when choosing which trips to feature in our article, including value, accessibility and baby- and toddler-friendly amenities.

Interested in learning more about our editorial process? Read about how our team develops and reviews all articles here.

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