If you’ve decided to take your baby for their first vacation, the chances are you’re now experiencing mixed emotions; no doubt excited at the thought of taking your precious little person away from home for the first time, you’re also likely to be feeling something that you can only describe as mild panic. What, exactly, have you let yourself in for? The good news is that traveling with a baby needn’t be stressful or difficult, as long as you’re prepared to plan for every eventuality. Rather than embracing spontaneity, your vacations from now on are likely to be planned to the letter – and that’s absolutely fine.
Choosing the right destination
You’d like to take your baby on vacation, but have decided that your usual favorite resorts are probably out; so how do you choose your destination? The good news is that the world has got a whole lot more baby friendly in recent years, so you’re not likely to find yourself restricted to a handful of mom-and-tot resorts. It’s essential to consider your baby’s needs in this decision, though. Try to minimize traveling time as much as you can, and choose destinations that are family friendly, secure, and safe for those taking their first steps away from home. What amenities does each location have? What are you likely to get up to while you’re away? At this age, your baby is unlikely to take part in much, so vacations with plenty of sightseeing and outdoors exploration are usually perfect.
Five ideal destinations you won’t want to miss out on
There are some truly fantastic destinations to be explored all around the world, but don’t run before you can walk – especially since this is your first trip away with baby. Considering your budget, the length of the journey you’d need to make, and the types of activity that are available once you get there, do any of these five top destinations float your boat?
Hit the beach… If you were concerned about giving up your beach vacation now that there’s a baby in tow, think again; a sandy summer holiday can be great fun for families, particularly if your little one is likely to be enjoying the feeling of sand between their toes for the first time. Choose a beach that’s not too far from the madding crowd, so there will always be something to keep you entertained when your tot tires of the ocean view.
An all-inclusive resort… If you have the budget for something a little more exotic, choose an all-inclusive resort, paying special attention to the hotel’s facilities, activities for children, and any crèche or babysitting services that might catch your attention. Most resorts will have a varied program of activities for families with children, as well as splash pools that will introduce your baby to the water in a safe, fun way.
Explore the great outdoors… While it’s not always recommended to take your baby camping for their very first vacation, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t head out into the wilderness and enjoy the home comforts of a lodge, lakeside hotel, or luxury caravan. A vacation to any of the country’s national parks is likely to be an unforgettable one. Your tot won’t be able to tear their eyes away from the trees and abundant wildlife, while you’ll no doubt also enjoy the views.
Take to the seas… If the idea of spending your vacation trapped at sea with a baby is enough to send you running for the hills, then hear me out; there are numerous cruises designed for families with babies, each offering something that’s bound to change your mind. Take the Disney cruises, for example, which are specifically designed for families with young children. You’re unlikely to ever get bored when you’re cruising along with Mickey, and you’ll always have a cabin to return to when it’s naptime.
Enjoy a city break… It’s unlikely that you’ll have to travel very far at all before you’re at an exciting city, so why no choose to spend your vacation exploring the sights, sounds, and family fun of any of this country’s amazing state capitals? City breaks are ideal for shorter vacations, and you’re always likely to find some form of family fun while you’re treading the streets with your stroller – you’ll have plenty of photographic opportunities, that’s for sure.
Packing for your baby’s first break
You’ve researched your destination, booked your tickets, and put a giant red circle around your departure date, so now there’s only one thing for it: you’re going to need to pack. While there are numerous hints and tips regarding packing that I could share, and plenty of websites that will write that checklist for you, sometimes it pays to think a little outside of the box when it comes to filling your suitcase. Sure, you’re going to need diapers, wipes, your car seat and stroller, plenty of clothes for everybody, a camera, a first aid kit, snacks and sippy cups, pacifiers, and teethers, but how are you going to make your accommodation more baby friendly once you get there? For a vacation that’s fun for all concerned, consider packing some Playspot interlocking foam floor tiles, which turn any hotel room, lodge, or beach hut into a veritable playground for someone who’s just finding their feet – or every inch of the furniture. Well, baby’s got to be safe, after all.
There you have it. Suddenly traveling with a baby doesn’t seem so difficult, or daunting at all, does it? I’ll leave you with the unenviable task of choosing just one vacation destination. Remember to think of me when you and your little one are enjoying a much-needed break together.