Vacation…..Best Places to Travel with your Toddler
These are things that we hope and long for. They are times that we plan for each year or every few years. Sometimes we have the resources to make travel or vacation time an annual event and sometimes we have to plan for these events over wider intervals of time. Occasionally our family dynamics leave us obstacles to work around to get to those best places to travel that we long for. Whatever our circumstances it is always important to have some time away from our daily routine to give us a better perspective and rejuvenate our spirit.
Traveling with our families at any age has many benefits. Time together, shared adventures, shared discoveries, relaxing times, memories made, closeness shared. With a little planning and preparation, it can a truly enjoyable and growing experience. I have compiled a list of possible destinations for your family. These best places to travel are good for any person at any age but are especially appealing to children that are toddler age.
The beach is such an inviting place for children. Toddlers love to play in the water and the sand. The sound of waves along the ocean or shore of a river or lake are very comforting and soothing to them. They enjoy the search along the beach. It could be for shells, rocks, creatures, plants, or even garbage. It is all a discovery and adventure for them every time they go.
You do not need many toys for the beach. A pail and shovel will go a long way. You must come prepared with sun protection for their skin and a shaded spot on the beach for some rest breaks for your toddler. Water is really important for the beach and some snacks as well. Toddlers use a lot of energy and it is important to be prepared for their energy needs.
You can be as extravagant or as simple as you want on a beach vacation. The beach can be a day trip, a long weekend trip or a full weeks vacation. You can stay at a simple hotel, camp, or more luxurious accommodations. Pick what suits your family best. the great think about beaches they are fun even if it is not the hottest season of the year at your beach destination.
There are many options for theme park or water park destinations that are close to home or a destination location. Theme parks and water parks have options for various age groups. Some are included in the entrance cost and some of them are a separate park entirely. Walt Disney World, for example, has 5 different themed parks and water parks. With each of those theme and water parks are areas that cater just to toddler age children. There are so many eye-catching things to entertain your toddler for hours. Theme parks provide for rider swap options to avoid waiting in lines twice for parents so they can enjoy the rides that are not safe for toddlers to ride. International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions will help you find a theme park near you.
Many of the theme parks and water parks are connected with hotels so accommodations are readily available. Others have hotel accommodations located nearby for your convenience. Theme parks can be found that closely match your child’s interests at any age like Legoland, Walt Disney World or Sesame Place to name a few. The IAAPA will also help you find matches to your child’s interest as well. Theme parks and water parks also are large and small so you can choose one based on your child’s or families needs.
On the 100th anniversary of the national parks in the US what a great choice for a vacation. Toddlers love to explore and discover. A national park provides the perfect opportunity for this. At first thought, a national park may not seem like a good fit for a toddler. There are so many opportunities within a national park for any age child. For your toddler, you will scale the activities that are age appropriate. Room to move is a big reason for a national park. Hiking, touching, swimming are all possibilities within a national park. There is wildlife, plants, trees, rocks, dirt, all ready to be discovered and explored with in a national park.
There are very few supplies needed for a national park. Good walking shoes, plenty of water, snacks,sun and bug protection and comfortable clothes is the extent of the list. It is important to stay on trails within national parks. These are patrolled and are very safe zones for toddlers to be in. Be very realistic about the scope of your activities each day and what your child is ready and capable of. Some type of backpack carrier might be a great idea for when those toddlers legs get tired.
There are accommodations readily available around any national park. The choice is yours for how simple or luxurious you want to be.
Pony rides, feeding farm animals, playing outside will be heaven for your toddler when they are at the ranch. There are many different types of farms that you can visit. Some are working farms and others have more of a resort feel. Most of the vacation destination ranches also have kids programs with arts and crafts, babysitting and a pool or small water park outside. These options offer some downtime or time away for parents. Sometimes a welcome chance to spend quality adult time as a couple.
There are several of the ranch destinations that offer all-inclusive packages for food and lodging as well as the variety of activities that are offered at the location. You know your toddler best. Be sure that the activities that are offered will provide the variety that you child might need,
A lake is a very relaxing, slower pace than a beach vacation generally. You can find a more private location with a cabin and more of an isolated feel for times when you just need a quiet family get away. The lure of water play and discovery will draw your toddler’s attention and occupy them for hours at a time. Picnics, collecting shells, playing on the beach, learning how to fish, and wading in the shallow waters are some of the activities that will keep your toddler interested. There will also be the creatures of nature that will fascinate your toddler as they discover the world around them.
These areas can have a small town feel with local ice cream shops and candy stores or you can also find much larger populated resort accommodations on a much large lake. There are camping, cabins, home rentals and hotel accommodations available around a lake. There are also resort options around some larger lakes as well.
All-inclusive resorts are a fast growing segment of the vacation industry and are becoming popular with families. Knowing exactly how much your vacation is going to cost before you purchase it is a great bonus. Some of the all-inclusive resorts offer extensive amenities for families with toddlers. These may include services like Vacation Nannies, water parks with special features for little ones, free children’s programs, family suites with separate bedrooms, meal programs and more. For some parents, this provides a more hassle free, work free vacation for them and increases the relaxation and enjoyment.
One of the biggest advantages of the all-inclusive resort is a shared vacation for adults and toddlers that allow for time apart from children for an evening or a few hours a day. The other advantage for parents that aren’t as comfortable being far away from their child. Most of the resorts would have a variety of adult activities they could do and still be close to where their children are. Many of these all-inclusive resorts are in more tropical climates.
Many of these vacation spots offer four seasons of family fun. In cold areas you can enjoy the mountains in the winter time with sledding, hiking or snow fun outside but also in the summertime there are also hiking and exploration to be done at these destinations. There are always opportunities to enjoy the beauty of being outside in the midst of nature. There are opportunities for fun for bike riders. Bike and tot trailers are readily available from many bike rental shops or you can opt to bring your own along with you.
Mountain places may be more of a destination place for many, but nature places are an easy drive from almost any location nationwide and make them a great long weekend family get away. The fall is a great time for this type of destination with more moderate temperatures that make outside activities more enjoyable. the beautiful fall colors in many of these locations are a real bonus and one that will fascinate your toddler!
Cities are loaded with attractions for families with toddlers, such as zoos, aquariums, children’s museums and more. Children’s museums are very popular and are a favorite destination for children. They cater to hands-on activities that all children enjoy. The beauty of a city vacation is that there are options available regardless of the weather. If it is bright and sunny there are botanical gardens, river walks, parks and other outside possibilities. If the weather turns rainy for a few hours or a day then the indoor museums, aquariums and indoor water park or pools at the hotel are a perfect alternative.
There are so many tot-friendly hotels and restaurants from which to choose in a city. You can choose the one that suits your family and situation the best. Even some hotels have kid programs or babysitting options as well. There may be a city near by that you could drive to for a long weekend or maybe you would prefer a city further away with a very different climate.
A zoo is always a great destination for toddlers. There are many different types of zoos around the world that a toddler would enjoy visiting. All of them offer some type of educational activities and programs for all ages of children. Animal shows and singalongs, a playground for blowing off steam a few more opportunities for you toddler at the zoo. There are different types of programs offered that vary based on the time of year that you are attending. Zoos are in many cities so it is a great vacation idea to include in a city destination vacation as well.
If you visit a city destination, attending a zoo for one day or half a day is an easy way to brighten your toddlers day. having a picnic while traveling is also easy to facilitate by stopping at a deli or grocery store and purchasing some ready made sandwiches and some prepackaged fruit and chips along with free beverages for the perfect picnic on-the-go.