It’s not every day that you get to take a vacation with a toddler for a few months. Well, we just spent 6 weeks in North Carolina. So what is it like taking an east coast vacation with an infant? I will let YOU be the judge.The East coast vacation was the perfect opportunity for the whole family to relax and bond. The exciting part about this trip is that it was all on my budget: no extravagant spending, no big travel expenses and nothing more than a tiny baby to take care of, since my wife couldn’t come with us due to her busy schedule.
When planning any vacation, there are some major things you need to consider; What’s the best time to go? Where should we stay? Do we fly or drive? What kind of itinerary do we want to follow? One of the most important aspects that should not be overlooked is making preparations for your infant. It’s easy to get caught in the excitement surrounding a new adventure, but it’s also important to have a clear idea of what the trip will involve. It is truly amazing how much an infant can digest in terms of seeing anything new (except maybe their mother breast feeding), interacting with other people, tasting different cuisines, noise, and so on. My husband and I used our experience traveling with our daughter (then about six months old) over our honeymoon as inspiration for this piece.On our recent trip the very thought of trying to travel with an infant was daunting enough. Add in three kids and a husband who had never been on a plane, and I felt like I’d be going through labor during the flight Also, we were traveling during the summer vacation season, so it seemed impossible to reserve decent hotel rates or flights. But somehow everything worked out great, and we had a wonderful time despite the tremendous challenges of traveling with an infant.
East Coast Vacation With Infant
Mom Knows Best: 15 Best Family Vacations with Newborn Babies
Looking for a baby-friendly getaway? We put together a list of the top family vacations with newborn babies with the help of moms who know where to go.
There’s little in life more glorious than bringing a newborn child into the world, but sometimes those little ones make traveling more difficult than its worth. The good news?
It doesn’t have to be that way.
To make sure that all of you new parents can still get your family getaway on without a hitch, we put together a list of the best vacations for new parents with the help of moms who know where to go from experience. So without further adieu, here’s our mom-approved list of the best hotels for traveling with newborn and young children.
Orange Beach, Alabama
Having a baby doesn’t mean the beach vacations aren’t still an easy possibility, although choosing the right hotel does become more important. My son’s first beach vacation at six months old was made easier by choosing a place with a crib, beach umbrellas, and an indoor pool for more time in the shade: The Hilton Garden Inn. There are microwave and refrigerator in the rooms, which is perfect for bottles, baby food, and toddler snacks. An on-site restaurant offering room service is also available when you’re just too tired to head downstairs. Not to mention, Orange Beach, Alabama is a great place for families to enjoy some fun in the sun. — Pamela, Pam Gann
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for a fun and relaxing trip with a new baby. Four Seasons Scottsdale provided so many amenities for babies: comfortable baby crib and bedding, baby bib, diapers, baby wash, baby shampoo, baby powder, and even a cute baby bath toy. The resort also brought in an extra mini fridge just for us to have for milk and formula.
The restaurants at the resort are very family friendly. There were high chairs and food that was served in little kid plates with little silverware. Our baby had started to eat yogurt and fruit and the resort was incredibly accommodating, making a cute little breakfast with a baby spoon and all. The resort also had nice paved paths to walk on with a stroller. We took many long walks all around to see the cacti and mountain scenery. But the pools at Four Seasons Scottsdale are what made the trip! There’s a family pool at the resort with cabanas and umbrellas to keep baby out of the sun. There’s also a kids pool area that is so shallow that our baby and toddler could sit in it and splash and stand at the edge to play.
The icing on the cake? The concierge can help you schedule a babysitter so you can go on a date night. — Courtney Byrne, The Chirping Moms
Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale at Troon North
Rated 5 stars out of 5
9.2 Excellent (1006 reviews)
Our favorite week away from home with a new baby is at the Carlsbad Inn Beach Resort in Carlsbad, California. We’ve been visiting the Southern California beach resort for many years and it holds our favorite family vacation memories. Our oldest daughter has grown up spending every summer on the beach playing with boogie boards and sand toys provided by the resort. From the complimentary swim diapers at the pool to the easy walk to the beach, the Carlsbad Inn features everything you’ll need and want while traveling with a new baby.
The Inn has one and two bedroom condos, so baby can sleep soundly while your family is in another room enjoying a game night or movie. Complimentary pack and plays are available so you don’t need to pack your own. The spacious rooms are very accommodating if you end up bringing your entire playroom along as we did in our early days traveling with children. Family activities happen often in the courtyard and it’s a great place to meet other families traveling with children. Fire pits with a gorgeous view of the beach make it a nice place to wind down just before bedtime. — Heather Riccobono, Brie Brie Blooms
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Carlsbad Inn Beach Resort
Rated 3 stars out of 5
8.6 Excellent (2411 reviews)
Palm Desert, California
There are plenty of trips you can take with your significant other, but what about when traveling with a new baby? Or multiple children? Palm Desert, California is a perfect getaway to take your new family addition, a place that I took each of my children on their first vacation. With something for everyone, Palm Desert is the ideal place in California’s desert area to visit, especially during the Spring when temperatures typically remain lower than the summer months.
Book your stay at the Marriott Desert Springs hotel, in the heart of beautiful Palm Desert. This Marriott boasts a kid-friendly pool, cafes, restaurants, and large suites ideal for families traveling with small children that may need a separate sleeping area. If you decide to explore outside of the hotel, visit the Living Desert, which includes a zoo, and botanical gardens. For indoor activities in the warmer months, Marriott has a variety of fun classes for adults and tots in the recreation center on site, or try the Children’s Discovery Museum, with a large selection of hands-on activities for little tots. — Lauren Olson, Sleep and the City
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JW Marriott Desert Springs Resort & Spa
Rated 4 stars out of 5
8.3 Very good (4311 reviews)
Clearwater Beach, Florida
My husband and I have always been avid travelers and didn’t slow down for a minute when our son was born. Before moving permanently to Florida, our favorite place for a quick beach getaway was always the incredibly family-friendly Sheraton Sand Key Resort in Florida. The Sheraton is close to all the action in Clearwater Beach, but just far enough away to avoid the tourist crowds.
The huge private beach, right next to Sand Key Park, is the main attraction. It’s one of the widest and most beautiful beaches in the area. The hotel is packed with amenities that make life easy for families. Plenty of chairs at the pool, beach toys that the kids can borrow, a small playground, and a snack stand that dishes out kid-friendly food. The pool bar mixes up great drinks for Mom and Dad, too!
I love the little convenience store inside, where you can pick up snacks, diapers, milk, sunscreen, or anything else your little one needs. Plus, several fantastic restaurants are just a quick, stroller-friendly walk down the street. It’s the best place I know for a stress-free vacation with a new baby in tow. — Nicole Malik, Delicious Everyday
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Sheraton Sand Key Resort
Rated 3 stars out of 5
8.3 Very good (1608 reviews)
Finding a resort that could accommodate our growing family has been so important to us throughout the last few years. Nestled right along the emerald coast of Destin, Florida, Hilton Sandestin has been our go-to family destination for the past three years. We first visited when my daughter was five months old, and it was such a breeze!
Hilton Sandestin offers kids programs during the day and night, childcare services, and plenty of kid-friendly restaurants. (They even have suites with bunk beds.) There’s everything from cribs to pack and plays, so you can always request one of those if you aren’t wanting to lug around all of the gear. It’s truly a lifesaver. Plus, Hilton Sandestin is located right on the water so you have access to white sandy beaches, umbrellas, towels, and even their different indoor and outdoor swimming pools. — Jessica Conner, Grace and Ford
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Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort
Rated 4 stars out of 5
7.7 Good (4986 reviews)
Lake Buena Vista, Florida
During my daughter’s first year, we visited six states and two countries. But our most baby-friendly trip was to Walt Disney World and Disney’s Contemporary Resort. We didn’t even bring her car seat. They’re unnecessary (and often not allowed) on Walt Disney World transportation, including Disney’s Magical Express free airport shuttle for hotel guests.
At Disney’s Contemporary Resort, rooms are large and baby-friendly. Furniture and ledges have rounded corners, most electrical outlets are out of reach, loose items are minimal, and bathrooms are big enough to fit the hotel Pack ’n Play. My daughter loved crawling around the pool’s splash zone, and the hotel is just one monorail stop from the Magic Kingdom. It was easy to pop in and out of our room for naptime. At the Magic Kingdom, baby-friendly attractions like It’s A Small World, Enchanted Tales With Belle, Prince Charming Regal Carousel, and The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh mesmerized my daughter. She giggled meeting Disney Princesses like Cinderella and Ariel and danced during street parties and parades.
Adults can take turns riding attractions and watching the baby without having to wait in line twice. My family took turns riding Avatar Flight of Passage and Expedition Everest while my daughter napped in her stroller. Plus, all Walt Disney World theme parks have a Baby Care Center equipped with a private nursing room with rocking chairs; feeding area with high chairs; kitchen with microwave, oven, and sink; changing room; and shop offering all the baby essentials. Best of all, children under three don’t need park tickets. — Karla Bruning, Run Karla Run
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Disney’s Contemporary Resort
Rated 4 stars out of 5
Lake Buena Vista
8.3 Very good (5591 reviews)
Known as the first lady of Waikiki, the Moana Surfrider was built in 1901 and was the very first hotel built on the beautiful shores of what is possibly the most iconic beach in the United States — Waikiki Beach. This historic, luxury hotel is the perfect getaway for new parents bringing a baby on vacation. The Moana Surfrider’s relaxed vintage vibe and historic charm are enough to satisfy any guest, but the atmosphere is perfect for a post-baby-moon, with rocking chairs lining the porch overlooking the ocean, an oceanside world-class spa, and fine dining.
Though you may not want to leave once you arrive, the location of the Moana Surfrider is perfect for getting around Waikiki, located within walking distance from shops and parks, and just steps from the beautiful turquoise waters of Waikiki. Long walks on the beach with a baby who doesn’t understand time zones is a great way to spend an early morning or a late night. We loved staying here and enjoyed the calming atmosphere without feeling pressure to see all the sites. — Vanessa Hunt, Meraki Mother
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Moana Surfrider, A Westin Resort & Spa, Waikiki Beach
Rated 4 stars out of 5
8.2 Very good (7972 reviews)
We took trips with both our sons when they were under two months old, and it’s totally doable. I recommend choosing a destination where most of the activities you’re interested in are baby-friendly. No roller coasters or scuba diving (sorry!), but you can still go for a hike with a baby carrier, or explore a new city. We took our son to Boise when he was a newborn and had a blast staying at the Boise Guest House.
Our suite had a private entrance and full kitchen, which made us feel really comfortable on our first trip as new parents. We weren’t worried about every little cry annoying the room next door, and we had a kitchen for washing bottles. We could also walk right out our door and be in historic downtown Boise, instead of wrangling a stroller into an elevator with other guests. — Aileen Allen, At Home In Love
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Boise Guest House
Rated 2 stars out of 5
9.4 Excellent (94 reviews)
Many people may tell you that once you have a child, life as you know it is over. Say goodbye to nights out with your friends, treating yourself or traveling. As someone who has just come back from Cancun with all my children, including a three-month-old, I disagree with that sentiment.
GR Caribe by Solaris was the perfect place to take kids, especially a new baby. Once you walk through those all-inclusive resort doors, all worrying, planning and obligations fly away. We stayed at the resort for eight days, and between their multiple daily activities for adults and kids and numerous restaurants, we never got bored or felt the need to leave the resort.
The GR Caribe is ideal for new parents because they offer top-notch accommodations, even providing emergency diapers when needed. I was able to lay poolside for hours with my little one, nursing, napping, even while I watched my other kids play away in the pool or run to the outdoor food hut for a fresh slice of pizza. I couldn’t have asked for a more relaxing postpartum adventure with my new little guy. We got to bond on a level I don’t think I could have experienced at home. — Amber Brault, Dazzling Daily Deals
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Hotel GR Caribe by Solaris
Rated 5 stars out of 5
8.1 Very good (5399 reviews)
Portsmouth, New Hampshire
We have been traveling with our daughter since she turned two months old, starting with a destination close to home just in case we needed to get back. Portsmouth, New Hampshire is a baby-friendly city, and Wentworth by the Sea was extremely accommodating. They gave us a room set slightly apart, which made us more comfortable in knowing that we wouldn’t be disturbing anyone’s sleep if our little one was up all night. None of the restaurants we walked into batted an eye at seeing a tiny baby in a car seat — they mostly just gave us a larger booth so we could set her next to us! — Alyssa Loring, Feathers and Stripes
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Wentworth by the Sea, A Marriott Hotel & Spa
Rated 4 stars out of 5
8.9 Excellent (1054 reviews)
Inn at Cannon Beach was the ideal spot for our first summer getaway with a newborn and toddler in town. This little haven, just steps from the beach, embraces the comfortable beach vibe with a wood exterior and family-friendly amenities that make traveling with a newborn easy to do. During our stay, the kitchenette made late-night feedings a breeze, and early morning breakfasts for our older son a snap, especially when mom and dad were still fumbling around to find the coffee maker in a sleep-deprived state.