This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.
Traveling with kids can be fun, crazy and sometimes a little loud and chaotic. Even the most devoted parents occasionally want a few minutes… or hours… or perhaps even days of a peaceful child-free experience. Adults-only destinations and resorts are hardly a new concept, but over the last few years, a “no kids allowed” policy has been spreading beyond resorts to airplanes and, most recently, Viking Cruises.
To get a feel for the current state of “no kids allowed,” here’s a list of major airlines, cruise lines and resorts that children aren’t allowed to travel. If you usually travel with kids, consider these spots to avoid — conversely, if you’re looking to have a kid-free experience, these are places and carriers you may want to consider.
No kids allowed on Viking Cruises
Viking Cruises already had restrictions in place regarding children on its various cruises, but according to their terms, the cruise line recently took things a step further. For all cruises booked after August 1, 2018, passengers must be 18 years old on or before the day they embark. However, cruises through 2019 that were booked before Aug. 1 may still have passengers under 18 as long as they were booked before the child ban went into place — just don’t expect kid-focused amenities.
Airlines with child-free zones
How many times have you heard an adult passenger complain about crying babies or energetic toddlers seated near them on an airplane? Probably more than once. A quick search on social media brings up plenty of pleas for child-free zones on airplanes, even if it costs extra.
There aren’t any US airlines with child-free — or child-friendly — seating areas, but there are a few out there if you take a global view.
AirAsia X has a “Quiet Zone” located between rows 7-14 that’s only available to passengers who are at least 10 years old. The airline’s website states that this area has “gentle ambient lighting,” early meal service and “minimal noise with no disturbances.” Some test searches show these seats are available for an additional $25-$55 per person.
Scoot Airlines, a low-cost airline based in Singapore, also has a quiet zone at the front of its 787 Dreamliners. In this area, no kids under 12 years of age are allowed. In addition to the child-free atmosphere, seats in this section come with an adjustable headrest and your choice of Super or Stretch seats.
Indian budget carrier IndiGo also offers “Quiet Zones” where children under the age of 12 aren’t permitted. These child-free rows are 1-4 and 11-14 — the rows were reportedly designated with business travelers in mind. Beyond those restrictions, children aren’t allowed to sit in seats with additional legroom.
No babies in first class on Malaysia
Back in 2011, Malaysia Airlines banned babies from first class on its 747 and A380 aircraft and didn’t install bassinets in its first class cabin. I cannot find anything on Malaysia’s website that indicates babies are officially banned from the first class cabin, but when I do test bookings with an infant, there’s a pop-up warning stating that there are no bassinets available in the first class cabin. We’ve reached out to Malaysia for clarification on their infant policy.
Use points to stay at adults-only resorts
Even within the award travel space, there are places you can use your hotel points to enjoy child-free days and nights.
Miraval is an all-inclusive wellness retreat that we recently enjoyed for an early 10th anniversary celebration. Paid rates can soar to over $1,000 per night and include yoga, classes and meals, but you can also put your World of Hyatt points to use to relax and recenter.
Standard rooms are available at Miraval for 45,000 World of Hyatt points for single occupancy, or 65,000 points for double occupancy. However, the resort occasionally runs specials that can save you 50% on the award rates.
Hyatt Zilara all-inclusive resorts
Hyatt has a network of very nice all-inclusive resorts under the Ziva and Zilara brands. The Ziva brand is family-friendly, but the Zilara brand is just for adults, so get the points on your World of Hyatt Credit Card ready for all-inclusive and kid-free relaxation.
You can redeem your World of Hyatt points to visit either the Hyatt Zilara Rose Hall in Jamaica or the Hyatt Zilara Cancun. The family-friendly Hyatt Ziva Cancun also has an adults-only tower, Turquoize, and a lovely adults-only rooftop pool. Both the Hyatt Zilara Rose Hall and Cancun properties cost 25,000 World of Hyatt points per night for double occupancy. Remember, you can also instantly transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points to Hyatt at a 1:1 ratio from your Chase Sapphire Reserve or Chase Sapphire Preferred Card.
But Hyatt isn’t stopping there in the kid-free department, as the Hyatt Zilara Cap Cana, another adults-only destination, is under construction in the Dominican Republic with a projected 2019 opening.
Wyndham Rewards uses a flat award chart where all properties are 15,000 points per night. So for 15,000 Wyndham Rewards points per night, you can leave the kids with the grandparents and book an all-inclusive adults-only stay in the Dominican Republic at the Viva Wyndham V Samana and Viva Wyndham V Heavens.
Hilton Jewel Dunn’s River Resort & Spa in Ocho Rios is an all-inclusive resort for those 18 years and up. You can book this property for 44,000-70,000 Hilton Honors points per night.
The all-inclusive Hilton Puerto Vallarta has recently opened a new Hacienda section comprised of 192 junior suites that are only available to those 18 and over. Award rates to stay at this all-inclusive resort normally range from 44,000-70,000 Hilton Honors points for double occupancy. However, the rooms within the Hacienda priced for me as premium rooms at higher award rates, so you may do better off earning up to 54 Hilton points per dollar spent on those rooms than using points.
Beyond these examples, many overwater resorts, resorts with private pools for each villa, safaris, retreats and more either don’t permit children or have age limits of at least 10 to 12 years old.
More child-free travel options to come
In the past, Richard Branson suggested that he “would love to introduce kids’ class” in the sky. The hold up, it seems, is at least partly tied to the Civil Aviation Authority, which is reportedly worried about what would happen in case of emergency if children were alone in one cabin and their parents in another. Branson hasn’t gotten those logistics ironed out yet for a kid-free inflight zone, but he does plan to introduce a new cruise line in 2020, Virgin Voyages, that won’t allow kids on the high seas.
I can’t imagine a world in which Carnival Cruises ever goes kid-free, but even Carnival offers a Serenity Adult Only Retreat on many of its ships with amenities like hammocks and a bar. So even if where and how you like to travel isn’t adults-only, you can still find some adult-only spaces such as the Serenity Retreat at Carnival. Heck, even at family-friendly Disney World, you can escape the kiddos by heading to Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto at the Polynesian Village Resort, as children are not allowed in after 8pm.
As a parent who sometimes travels without kids but often travels as a whole crew, I have no issues with kid-free spaces, even on airplanes. However, it would be great if a family-friendly zone was also created. This video from Virgin Australia is (sadly) an April Fool’s joke, but wouldn’t it be cool if it was actually real?!
Featured image of the adults-only Hacienda at Hilton Puerto Vallarta courtesy of the hotel. All photos by the author unless otherwise noted.
Know before you go.
News and deals straight to your inbox every day.
- Earn up to 50,000 Bonus Points - 25,000 Bonus Points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening
- Earn an additional 25,000 Bonus Points after you spend a total of $6,000 on purchases within the first 6 months of account opening - free nights start at 5,000 points
- Receive 1 free night every year after your cardmember anniversary at any Category 1-4 Hyatt hotel or resort
- Earn an extra free night at any Category 1-4 Hyatt hotel or resort if you spend $15,000 during your cardmember anniversary year
- Get automatic World of Hyatt Elite status for as long as your account is open and 5 qualifying night credits toward your next tier status every year
- Earn 2 qualifying night credits towards your next tier status every time you spend $5,000 on your card
- Earn 9 points total per $1 spent at Hyatt - 4 Bonus Points per $1 when you use your card at Hyatt hotels & 5 Base Points per $1 you can earn as a World of Hyatt member
- Plus, earn 2 Bonus Points per $1 spent at restaurants, on airlines tickets purchased directly from the airlines, on local transit and commuting and on fitness club and gym memberships