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11 Best Places to Travel With a Toddler

11 Best Places to Travel With a Toddler

As parents, we all know that traveling with young kids can be both an exhilarating and a daunting adventure. In this post, we will explore the best places to travel with a toddler, combining fun, comfort, and convenience for the entire family.

Why Choosing the Right Destination Matters

Selecting the right destination is key to a memorable family vacation. It goes beyond just beautiful beaches or luxurious resorts. You’re looking for those family-friendly spots where your toddler can play, explore, and rest comfortably. We’re talking about places with easy access to amenities like high chairs, play areas, and kids’ clubs – all essential for a stress-free trip.

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choosing the best places to travel with a toddler matters

Our Approach to Finding Toddler-Friendly Locations

Our family took it’s first international vacation when our kids were two and four. But, we know that not every family is ready to hop on a plane across an ocean for their first vacation with a toddler. This list of best places to travel with a toddler is based on taking a road trip, short flight, and a few long haul aspirational destinations.

If you’re into exploring national parks, lounging at beach resorts, or immersing in cultural experiences in vibrant cities, we’ve got you covered. All of these travel destinations have great food, various activities, and can be reached with a direct flight from the United States.

Join us as we explore amazing destinations right there in the United States and give you some ideas about how you can have a great experience in some of the best countries on Earth. Let’s pick your next toddler-friendly vacation spot that all your family members will enjoy.

1. San Diego, USA

Discovering San Diego’s Family-Friendly Beaches

Welcome to San Diego, a coastal city in California that stands out as one of the best places to travel with a toddler. With its sunny climate, sandy beaches, and plethora of family-oriented activities, it’s a paradise for families seeking both relaxation and adventure. The city’s gentle waves and shallow waters make it perfect for your little ones to splash around safely.

Exploring the Wonders of San Diego Zoo

No visit to San Diego is complete without a trip to the world-famous San Diego Zoo. Nestled in Balboa Park, this zoo is a haven for younger children and a great way to introduce them to the wonders of wildlife. With its interactive exhibits and family-friendly layout, it’s an ideal spot for a day trip filled with learning and fun. Plus, the zoo offers stroller rentals, making it easier for you to navigate through the lush landscapes.

Activities in Balboa Park

Balboa Park is not only home to the San Diego Zoo. It’s a cultural hub with museums, gardens, and play areas perfect for families. Spend a day exploring the park’s botanical gardens or engaging your toddlers in the hands-on activities at the children’s museums. The park’s wide, stroller-friendly paths make it easy for the whole family to explore comfortably.

Practical Tips for a Hassle-Free Visit

To make the most of your San Diego trip with a toddler:

  • Plan your visit during the summer months to enjoy the best weather.
  • Look for family vacation rentals or hotels with toddler-friendly amenities.
  • Don’t miss the tide pools along the coast – they’re a perfect place for curious toddlers to explore marine life in a safe, natural setting.

San Diego offers a blend of sun, sand, and educational experiences, making it an ideal place for a family holiday with young ones. Its combination of beach resort fun and cultural richness ensures that both you and your little ones have a great time. 

San Diego is one of the best places to travel with a toddler

2. Tuscany, Italy

Embracing the Rustic Charm of Tuscany

Tuscany, with its rolling hills, vineyards, and timeless art cities, emerges as one of the best international places to travel with a toddler. This Italian region offers an enchanting mix of cultural richness and natural beauty, perfect for families seeking a serene yet stimulating vacation.

Family-Friendly Farm Stays

A key highlight of Tuscany is its agriturismos (farm stays), where families can immerse themselves in the rural Italian way of life. These stays are not just a place to sleep, they’re an opportunity for your toddlers to interact with farm animals, play in open spaces, and taste fresh, wholesome food. Many of these farms are equipped with family necessities, ensuring a comfortable and authentic experience.

Exploring Tuscan Towns and Countryside

Take short drives through the Tuscan countryside to explore medieval towns like Siena and Pisa. These towns are not only a feast for the eyes but also great for little explorers with their pedestrian-friendly streets and engaging local markets. A visit to the Leaning Tower of Pisa can be a fun and educational experience for toddlers, sparking their curiosity.

Tips for a Toddler-Friendly Tuscan Adventure

To make your Tuscan trip memorable:

  • Opt for a rental car for easy access to various attractions.
  • Look for accommodations with family-friendly amenities like play areas and high chairs.
  • Plan visits to local vineyards that offer activities for children, ensuring a good time for the entire family.

Tuscany’s blend of culture and countryside makes it an ideal family holiday destination. Its scenic beauty, combined with a relaxed pace of life, offers the perfect backdrop for quality time with your young kids.

Tuscany in Italy is one of the best places to travel with a toddler

3. Orlando, Florida, USA

The Magic of Orlando’s Theme Parks

Orlando is a dream destination for families, especially for those with toddlers, making it one of the best places to travel with a toddler. Known as the theme park capital of the world, this city in Florida is home to iconic parks like Disney World and Universal Studios, offering a plethora of activities that enchant both young ones and adults alike.

Disney World’s a Toddler’s Paradise

Disney World, with its magical kingdoms and beloved characters, is a must-visit. This wonderland is particularly delightful for toddlers, with attractions like the “It’s a Small World” ride and the enchanting Cinderella Castle. The park’s toddler-friendly design, complete with play areas and shorter wait times for small children, makes it a stress-free experience for parents.

Thrills for the Whole Family by Universal Studios

Universal Studios offers a different kind of thrill. While it’s known for its exhilarating rides, it also has gentler options suitable for young ones. Explore the whimsical world of Dr. Seuss or take a leisurely stroll through the kid-friendly sections of the park. The park’s interactive exhibits are sure to keep your little ones engaged and entertained.

Tips for an Enjoyable Theme Park Experience

Here are some tips to enhance your Orlando theme park visit:

  • Use fast pass options to skip long lines and make the most of your visit.
  • Plan your visit during off-peak seasons to avoid large crowds.
  • Take advantage of the early hours and nap times to explore popular attractions with fewer people.

Orlando’s theme parks are a great place for a family getaway, offering endless entertainment and magical experiences for toddlers. The city’s focus on family-friendly fun, combined with convenient amenities for young ones, ensures that your family trip will be a memorable one.

orlando is one of the best places to travel with a toddler

4. Maui, Hawaii, USA

Discovering the Enchanting Island of Maui

Maui, a jewel in the Hawaiian archipelago, is renowned as one of the best places to travel with a toddler. This island paradise offers an exceptional blend of natural beauty and family-friendly activities, making it an ideal destination for a memorable family getaway.

Beaches Perfect for Toddlers and Families

The beaches of Maui are a highlight, with their soft sand and calm waters creating a safe environment for toddlers to play and paddle. Wailea Beach, with its gentle waves, white sand, and clear shallow waters, is perfect for young ones. These beaches aren’t just for swimming but are great for building sandcastles, exploring tide pools, and enjoying Hawaii’s beautiful sunsets.

Engaging Activities for Young Adventurers

Apart from the beach, Maui offers a range of activities for families. Take a whale-watching tour to see majestic humpback whales, or explore the lush Iao Valley for a nature walk suitable for little legs. The Maui Ocean Center is another great idea, with its interactive exhibits about marine life that are both educational and fun for toddlers.

Tips for a Family-Friendly Stay in Maui

To make your Maui trip enjoyable:

  • Choose a beach resort with kids’ clubs and family amenities for a comfortable stay.
  • Plan your activities around your toddler’s schedule, allowing for nap time and rest.
  • Rent a car for convenient travel around the island to various family attractions.

Maui is a great place and a perfect getaway for families seeking a blend of relaxation and adventure. With its stunning beaches, child-friendly activities, and beautiful natural scenery, Maui ensures a great experience for your entire family, especially the little ones.

beautiful beaches in Maui Hawaii

5. Kyoto, Japan

Experiencing the Timeless Charm of Kyoto

Kyoto, a city that beautifully embodies the heart of Japanese culture, is among the best places to travel with a toddler. Its blend of ancient traditions, serene landscapes, and child-friendly attractions make it an ideal destination for families looking to immerse themselves in a unique cultural experience.

Engaging with History and Nature

Stroll through the tranquil streets of Kyoto with your toddler. Visit the famous bamboo groves of Arashiyama, a surreal natural wonder that’s both calming and captivating for young ones. The historical temples and shrines, like Fushimi Inari Shrine with its iconic torii gates, provide a colorful backdrop for family photos and gentle exploration.

Family Fun in Kyoto’s Interactive Museums

A short walk up on the hillside will bring you to a monkey sanctuary where little kids can feed friendly primates. The Kyoto Railway Museum is a great place for little train enthusiasts, featuring hands-on exhibits and real trains. The city’s kid-friendly museums are designed to entertain while educating, ensuring a good time for the whole family.

Tips for a Smooth Family Trip to Kyoto

Here are some useful tips for your visit:

  • Opt for accommodations in central Kyoto for easy access to major attractions.
  • Utilize Kyoto’s efficient public transportation system, which is stroller-friendly and convenient.
  • Plan your itinerary around your toddler’s routine, including time for rest and leisurely exploration.

Kyoto’s cultural richness, combined with its family-friendly amenities, makes it a perfect place for a family holiday. Its mix of historical charm and modern conveniences ensures that your vacation with young ones will be both enjoyable and unforgettable.

explore kyoto Japan as one of the best places to travel with a toddler

6. Playa del Carmen, Mexico

Embracing the Tropical Paradise of Playa del Carmen

Nestled on the Yucatan Peninsula, Playa del Carmen stands out as one of the best places to travel with a toddler. This Mexican coastal town is renowned for its picturesque beaches, vibrant culture, and family-friendly atmosphere, making it a perfect getaway for families seeking both relaxation and cultural enrichment.

Perfect Beaches for Toddlers and Parents Alike

Playa del Carmen’s beaches are a paradise for families. The white sandy shores and calm, turquoise waters create a safe and serene environment for toddlers to play. Mamitas Beach, with its shallow waters and soft sand, is ideal for young ones to paddle and play while parents relax under the sun.

Cultural Exploration and Family Fun

Beyond the beach, Playa del Carmen offers a wealth of activities for families. Take a day trip to the ancient Mayan ruins of Tulum for an educational and awe-inspiring experience. For a fun-filled day, visit the eco-parks nearby, offering snorkeling in natural cenotes, wildlife encounters, and cultural performances.

Tips for a Memorable Stay in Playa del Carmen

To enhance your family getaway:

  • Choose from family-friendly resorts and maybe even opt for an all inclusive resort close to the main attractions.
  • Plan your visit during the shoulder seasons for fewer crowds and pleasant weather.
  • Take advantage of the numerous kid-friendly dining options, offering delicious Mexican and international cuisine.

Playa del Carmen’s combination of stunning beaches, rich cultural heritage, and child-friendly activities makes it an ideal family destination. Its relaxed atmosphere, combined with a variety of experiences for young ones, ensures a great vacation for the entire family.

beaches are best places to travel with a toddler

7. Gold Coast, Australia

Discovering the Vibrant Gold Coast

The Gold Coast in Australia is more than just a surfer’s haven. it’s a treasure trove of family fun, making it one of the best places to travel with a toddler. Renowned for its stunning beaches, exciting theme parks, and friendly locals, it offers a perfect mix of relaxation and adventure for families.

Family-Friendly Beaches and Water Activities

The Gold Coast’s beaches are iconic, with their golden sands and gentle waves creating a safe playground for toddlers. Broadbeach and Coolangatta are great options, offering calm waters for little swimmers and plenty of space for sandcastle building. Beachside parks with play areas add to the fun, ensuring the whole family has a great time.

Thrills and Spills at Theme Parks

For families seeking more excitement, the Gold Coast’s theme parks are a must-visit. Dreamworld and Sea World offer a range of toddler-friendly rides and attractions, alongside exciting shows and interactive exhibits. These theme parks cater to young ones, making them ideal for a family day out.

Tips for a Fantastic Gold Coast Holiday

To get the most out of your visit:

  • Stay in family-friendly accommodations with easy beach access and kid-friendly amenities.
  • Plan your water park visits on weekdays to avoid large crowds.
  • Explore the Gold Coast’s hinterland for a change of scenery, with easy nature walks suitable for toddlers.

The Gold Coast’s blend of sunny beaches, exciting theme parks, and family-oriented atmosphere makes it a great destination for a family holiday. Its variety of attractions for young ones, coupled with excellent facilities, ensures a memorable and enjoyable vacation for the entire family.

sunny beaches

8. Alberta, Canada

Embracing the Natural Wonders of Alberta

Alberta, a province in Canada known for its majestic mountains and sprawling natural landscapes, is one of the best places to travel with a toddler. This destination is ideal for families who love the outdoors and wish to introduce their young children to the wonders of nature.

Family-Friendly Exploration in the Canadian Rockies

The Canadian Rockies in Alberta are not just a playground for adventurers but also a welcoming space for families with toddlers. Jasper and Banff National Parks offer breathtaking scenery with easy, stroller-friendly trails perfect for little explorers. Within a short drive you’ll find serene lakes, such as Lake Louise, provide a picture-perfect backdrop for family picnics and gentle walks.

Interactive Nature Experiences for Toddlers

Beyond the scenic hikes, Alberta offers interactive nature experiences. Visit the wildlife parks where toddlers can see local fauna in natural habitats. The province’s numerous hot springs are great for a relaxing family soak, offering a unique experience amidst the natural beauty.

Tips for a Comfortable and Safe Alberta Adventure

To ensure a great family trip:

  • Dress in layers, as the mountain weather can be unpredictable.
  • Choose family-friendly accommodations in the national parks, offering easy access to nature trails and outdoor activities.
  • Plan your visit in the summer months for the most toddler-friendly weather and activities.

Alberta’s combination of majestic mountains, serene lakes, and family-oriented outdoor activities makes it a perfect getaway for families seeking an adventure with young ones. Its natural beauty and child-friendly attractions ensure a great experience for your entire family. So pack your hiking boots and get ready for an unforgettable journey into the heart of Canada’s great outdoors!

one of the best places to travel with a toddler is Alberta Canada

9. Barcelona, Spain

Exploring the Vibrant Streets of Barcelona

Barcelona, a city bursting with art, culture, and playful spirit, stands as one of the best places to travel with a toddler. Known for its colorful architecture and friendly atmosphere, this Spanish city offers a unique urban experience that is both engaging for adults and delightful for young ones.

A Paradise of Playgrounds and Family Attractions

Barcelona is a safe and fun environment for toddlers and the best part is their numerous playgrounds have some of the best views in the world. The city’s parks, like Parc de la Ciutadella, are not just green spaces but hubs of family activity, featuring play areas, row boat rides, and wide open spaces for kids to run and play.

Cultural Wonders Tailored for Young Families

Beyond the playgrounds, Barcelona’s famous landmarks like Gaudi’s Park Guell provide a whimsical exploration for families. The park’s colorful mosaics and fairytale-like structures captivate the imagination of toddlers. The city’s beaches, such as Barceloneta, are great for a day of relaxation and play by the Mediterranean Sea.

Practical Tips for Navigating Barcelona with Toddlers

Here are some tips for your family trip:

  • Stay in central Barcelona for easy access to major attractions and family-friendly dining.
  • Use the city’s efficient public transport, which is convenient for families with strollers.
  • Plan your itinerary with a balance of sightseeing and downtime to accommodate your toddler’s needs.

Barcelona’s mix of artistic charm and child-friendly amenities makes it a perfect place for a family vacation. Its vibrant street life, coupled with numerous activities for young kids, ensures a great experience for the entire family.

vibrant streets of Barcelona

10. Cape Town, South Africa

Discovering the Majestic Beauty of Cape Town

Cape Town, a city known for its stunning landscapes and rich cultural tapestry, is undeniably one of the best places to travel with a toddler. This South African gem offers a diverse range of experiences that cater to both the adventurous spirit and the need for family-friendly activities.

Beaches and Natural Wonders for the Whole Family

The beaches in Cape Town, with their breathtaking views and gentle waves, are perfect for families. Clifton and Boulders Beach, famous for its penguin colony, provide safe and exciting environments for toddlers to play and explore. The Table Mountain Aerial Cableway is another must-visit, offering panoramic views that fascinate visitors of all ages.

Engaging Cultural and Wildlife Experiences

Cape Town is a natural beauty and a place where families can engage in enriching cultural and wildlife experiences. Visit the Two Oceans Aquarium for an interactive look at marine life, or explore the Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens with its wide open spaces and child-friendly trails.

Tips for an Enjoyable Cape Town Journey

To maximize your family trip:

  • Choose accommodations in areas with easy access to family attractions, like the V&A Waterfront.
  • Visit during the milder weather of spring or autumn for the most comfortable outdoor experiences.
  • Consider renting a car with a car seat for convenient travel to various attractions around the city.

Cape Town’s combination of stunning natural scenery, engaging wildlife encounters, and family-friendly cultural attractions makes it an ideal destination for a family vacation. Its array of activities suited for young kids ensures a memorable and enjoyable visit for the entire family.

Beauty of Cape Town

11. Queenstown, New Zealand

Embracing the Thrills of Queenstown

Queenstown, nestled amidst the stunning landscapes of New Zealand, shines as one of the best places to travel with a toddler. Known for its adventurous spirit and breathtaking natural beauty, it’s a destination that offers an array of activities for families seeking both excitement and relaxation.

Family-Friendly Adventures in the Great Outdoors

Queenstown is a playground for nature lovers. Families can enjoy scenic gondola rides that offer spectacular views of the surrounding mountains and Lake Wakatipu. The town’s lakeside parks provide perfect settings for picnics and leisurely strolls, ideal for little explorers to run around and play.

Exciting Activities for All Ages

For families looking for a bit more adventure, Queenstown has plenty to offer. Take a relaxing boat trip on the lake, or for those with older kids, try a mild river rafting experience. The Kiwi Birdlife Park is another must-visit, offering a chance to see New Zealand’s iconic kiwi birds and other native wildlife, which is both educational and fun for toddlers.

Tips for a Memorable Family Trip in Queenstown

Here are some tips to make your Queenstown visit unforgettable:

  • Stay in family-friendly accommodations with easy access to the town’s attractions.
  • Visit during the milder seasons (spring or autumn) for comfortable outdoor activities.
  • Plan your activities to include plenty of downtime, ensuring a relaxing experience for your toddler.

Queenstown’s blend of natural beauty, outdoor adventures, and family-oriented activities makes it a perfect destination for a family holiday. Its array of attractions for young kids, combined with the town’s welcoming atmosphere, ensures a fantastic experience for your entire family.

Beautiful Queenstown in New Zealand

Traveling Tips with Toddlers

Making Family Travel Smooth and Enjoyable

Traveling with toddlers can be a delightful experience, but it requires a bit of planning and flexibility. To ensure your family vacation is as smooth and enjoyable as possible, here are some essential tips for traveling with young kids.

Packing Smart for Your Little Ones

When it comes to packing for toddlers, less is often more. Focus on essentials like diapers, wipes, a first-aid kit, and comfortable clothing. Don’t forget to pack a favorite toy or blanket to give your toddler a sense of familiarity. For destinations with varying weather, layering is key. Always include a light jacket, sun hat, and sunscreen, no matter the destination.

Navigating Airports and Flights with Ease

Air travel with toddlers can be challenging, but a little preparation goes a long way. Ensure you have enough snacks, activities, and a tablet with downloaded travel games to keep your little one entertained. Consider booking flights around your toddler’s nap schedule to increase the chances of them sleeping during the flight. Don’t forget to pack a collapsible travel stroller for easy navigation through airports.

Keeping Routines Flexible but Familiar

While maintaining a routine is important for toddlers, flexibility is key when traveling. Try to stick to regular meal and nap times, but be prepared to adjust as needed. Finding family-friendly restaurants and accommodations with amenities like high chairs and a hot tub can make mealtimes and chill time easier.

Choosing the Right Accommodations

Selecting the right place to stay is crucial. Look for family-friendly hotels or vacation rentals with amenities like kitchenettes, laundry facilities, and separate sleeping areas for your toddler bed. Proximity to major attractions can save time and reduce the hassle of long commutes. Some of our best vacations have been because we chose to stay walking distance to the most iconic landmark in the city.

travelling with a toddler

Exploring with Safety and Comfort in Mind

Safety is paramount when traveling with toddlers. Always have a child identification tag or bracelet with your contact information. When exploring new places, a lightweight, comfortable backpack or harness can keep your toddler secure in crowded areas.

Enjoying the Journey Together

Remember, the journey is as important as the destination. Be present, take lots of pictures, and enjoy these precious moments with your family. Traveling with toddlers can be unpredictable, but it’s also filled with joy and wonder seen through their eyes.

The best time to start traveling with your kids is as early as possible. One of the best ways to teach flexibility and adaptability is by taking a trip. So, embrace the journey and look forward to the exciting experiences that await you and your little one on your next family vacation!

Cherishing Family Moments on Your Travels

As we come to the end of our exploration of the 11 best places to travel with a toddler, it’s clear that the world is filled with incredible destinations that are not only beautiful and enriching but also wonderfully accommodating for the youngest explorers in our families.

Traveling with toddlers offers a unique opportunity to see the world through their eyes. A world full of wonder, curiosity, and unbridled joy. You get to build sandcastles on sun-kissed beaches, watching their awe at the sight of a new animal, and hear their laughter as they splash in a pool. These are the moments that turn into cherished memories for the entire family.

But more than that, traveling with young children is about teaching them the invaluable lessons of going with the flow, curiosity, and the joy of discovering new things. You get to instill a love for adventure and a respect for different cultures from a young age. These experiences shape them in subtle but profound ways.

As parents, it’s our privilege to guide and accompany our little ones on these adventures. The challenges of traveling with toddlers are real, but the rewards are immeasurable. We learn patience, the art of preparation, and the ability to find joy in the simplest of moments.

FAQ: Best Places to Travel With a Toddler

Author

  • Veronica Hanson

    Veronica Hanson blogs from whatever country she happens to be in at the time, currently she's hanging out in Japan. She's been living as a nomad remote entrepreneur with her family since 2020.

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