Planning a vacation with your toddler is challenging. It’s even harder if you are going abroad. There are different considerations and special things you need to take care of while traveling with your little one abroad.
One of the most challenging things about traveling with a toddler is trying to make sure she isn’t bored. Kids like to learn and they don’t have the same attention span that we do. This can cause young kids to get restless and crazy during a long trip. We went on a week-long family vacation to Disney World during December and I wanted to share some tips that helped me keep my daughter entertained during our stay there. The first step was making sure we bought plenty of toys and games for her before the trip. The other steps are listed below…
In this article, I share what has worked for us when traveling with our toddler.
The stereotypical idea of a vacation is going away for two weeks, spending a lot of money and doing nothing. That might work for some people, but if you ask me (which you did in the search box up top), then I would say that this isn’t really how it’s meant to be done.
The logistics of taking a vacation with a toddler may not seem appealing, but to be able to see and share the wonders of the country surely does.
Vacation For A Toddler
Packing in diapers and figuring out how to adhere to sleep and meal schedules while still having a blast can all seem a little Herculean, but some destinations make it easier than others.
Here’s my round-up of the best vacations for toddlers.
1. Indianapolis, Indiana
One of the top vacation spots for toddlers is the picturesque city of Indianapolis, with glimmering waterways, green spaces and race cars during the world-famous Indy race.
Stay in one of the best all inclusive resorts for toddlers while visiting the city, then check out the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis, which will hold your tyke’s attention—there’s quite a range of things to play with, build and learn from.
After that consider watching the local races and speeding cars—which are great for holding the attention of teens (and hubby dearest!).
If your tyke is on the adventurous side, give “shark petting” a hand at the Indianapolis Zoo.
17 Best Vacations for Toddlers
After the excitement, kick back and enjoy a family picnic at one of the city’s many downtown gardens.
Recommended Hotel: Conrad Indianapolis
2. San Diego, California
In San Diego, there is seemingly no dearth to the things you can do and see with your little ones; right from the San Diego Zoo to SeaWorld, kids and parents alike love San Diego for being a feast to all the senses!
Enjoy one of the many kid-friendly tours of the city; pitstops include excitement such as boarding an aircraft carrier from World War 2!
For a bit of fun in the water, give kayaking into the La Jolla Sea Caves a shot or just enjoy strolling through the lovely, lush Balboa Park.
Recommended Hotel: The US Grant, a Luxury Collection Hotel, San Diego
Related: Good Restaurants in San Diego
3. Sanibel Island, Florida
For the quintessential family summer getaway to the beach, try Florida’s Sanibel Island with its gorgeous beaches strewn with seashells and calm, azure waters of the Gulf of Mexico.
Less crowded and therefore, more peaceful than the spots on/closer to mainland Florida, the shores of Sanibel Island are a great spot to just relax and soak in the sun.
Build sandcastles with your little one or help him/her start a seashell collection.
End the day on a relaxing note by watching the sun sink into the waters of the Gulf of Mexico.
Recommended Hotel: Sundial Beach Resort & Spa
4. Port Aransas, Texas
At Port Aransas, you’ll find an old-school vacation that teaches you and the tots to get in touch with nature and have fun the traditional way.
Give the kids a lesson on baiting a hook—you have over 18 miles of beautiful sands to conduct your lessons.
Once the lessons are done, reward the tots with playtime and yourself with a sunbathing sesh!
Older kids can try surfing; the relatively calm waters of the Gulf of Mexico make it great for beginners; you’ll find even calmer waters that your toddler can splash around in the area’s many sheltered beaches.
Recommended Hotel: Hampton Inn and Suites Port Aransas
5. Durham, New York
Another toddler-friendly getaway that offers a ton of old-school fun, Durham is among the top family-favorite destinations to visit with toddlers.
Nestled amid the peaks of the breathtaking Catskill Mountains in New York, families vacationing at Durham have a variety of activities on offer—if you’re an “outdoors” family, try one of the many kid-friendly hikes or visit the ultra-cute Hull-O petting farm!
It’s not all old-school at Durham, though; visit the Zoom Flume Water Park for fun and thrilling rides that’ll have the kids screaming their lungs out (in the best way)!
Recommended Hotel: Best Western New Baltimore Inn
6. Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri
If you’re wondering where to go for a fun weekend trip with the whole brood, consider Lake of the Ozarks, a popular spot for families with toddlers.
Lake of the Ozarks boasts 1,150 miles of lakeshore, presenting many opportunities for lovely lakeside walks and picnics.
On a sunny day, go canoeing on the lake or explore the Lake of the Ozarks State Park.
If your little one is in the mood to stay indoors, don’t fear—there’s still plenty of fun to go around, from the games at Miner Mike’s Adventure Town to stalactite-stalagmite exploration at Bridal Cave.
Recommended Hotel: WorldMark Lake of the Ozarks
7. Carlsbad, California
Carlsbad is a veritable wonderland—the city has a plethora of themed fun on offer, making it one of our favorite destinations for families with young kids.
Spend a fun day at Legoland California—though it’s a great option for kids of all ages, the toddlers especially will love the rides and the themed areas, tailored just for the little ones.
From becoming miniature Ross Gellers and digging up “dinosaur bones” to a boat ride on Fairy Tale Brook to a gigantic sandbox, a kids-playground-essential, there are over a dozen such themed areas at Legoland.
Apart from this, the city’s aquarium and miniature park are also great spots to explore.
Recommended Hotel: Cape Rey Carlsbad Beach, A Hilton Resort & Spa
8. Port Angeles, Washington
At Port Angeles, there’s every opportunity to be right at the heart of nature, right from the sky-high trees of Olympic National Park to the lovely tide pools that overlook the Strait of Juan de Fica.
The little tots will enjoy the many kid-friendly hiking routes in the ginormous Olympic National Park, extending right to the edge of the city.
After this, you can head to the tide pools and check out these little bits of the sky on land!
In short, every chance to get up close and personal with nature while enjoying a toddler-friendly vacation!