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The best types of vacations to take with a baby

April 14, 2022
10 min read
Rear View Of Child On Beach
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Bringing a new baby into your home changes life as you know it. Watching them sleep is more exciting than bingeing the latest Netflix show and you take more pictures of them in a day than you did on your last vacation.

Speaking of vacations, it's 100% possible to still enjoy travel with a baby in tow, but you'll need to get the right gear, learn about flying with an infant and determine which destinations specifically cater to tiny travelers.

We've laid out the four best types of vacations to take with a baby, with our favorite locations in each category and what you should pack for your trip. Whether your little one is unfazed by city life or you've got a beach baby on your hands, these are TPG's top picks for where and how to travel with a baby.

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All-inclusive resort

The Wyndham Alltra Cancun all-inclusive resort in Mexico. (Photo courtesy of Wyndham)

When you visit a baby-friendly all-inclusive resort, you don't have to stress over having enough cash, finding fun activities to keep your kid entertained or deciding where to eat every meal because it's all included in the cost of your vacation.

Many resorts even provide cribs, strollers and bottle warmers that you can borrow during your stay, so you can pack light and focus on carrying your baby instead of extra suitcases.

On top of being situated right on the beach (because what baby doesn't love to eat sand?), all-inclusive resorts have kids clubs, splash areas and playgrounds designed to keep your baby contently cooing until it's time to head home.

Where to go

Club Med Sandpiper Bay in Florida. (Photo by Terry Ward/The Points Guy)

Club Med Sandpiper Bay in Port St. Lucie, Florida, is the only stateside location of the popular all-inclusive resort brand. Child care is available for an additional fee for babies between 4 and 23 months in the resort's Baby Club Med day care and you can request a baby welcome kit with a stroller, bathtub, bottle warmer, changing table and Pack 'n Play.

Related: Club Med helped set the course for all-inclusive resorts: Now it’s adding 17 new locations around the world

If you are looking for a luxury resort that's still baby-friendly, Mexico's Finest Playa Mujeres goes above and beyond what you'd expect. In addition to standard baby gear like a baby monitor and high chair, the resort offers a variety of natural homemade purees for babies. You can visit the kids club facilities with babies ages 0 to 2 to play with toys or swim in the kiddie pool, but you are required to stay with them at all times. Child care is only available for kids ages 3 and up.

What to bring

(Photo by Mayte Torres/Getty)

Because the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends keeping babies under 6 months of age out of direct sunlight, you'll want to pack items to protect them from the sun. Though most resorts provide beach chairs and umbrellas, you may also want to bring a few baby-specific beach items like a pop-up shade tent (they are great during nap time), a full-body swimsuit with SPF protection and a hat (that they probably won't keep on).

Baby-friendly hotel

(Photo courtesy of Loews Hotels)

Most hotels don't go out of their way to accommodate families traveling with babies, but a select few have made it a priority to offer child care, welcome kits with baby amenities and spacious rooms that give babies the peace and quiet they need so that parents can have their own peace and quiet.

Where to go

Loews Regency New York. (Photo courtesy of Loews Regency New York)

Loews Regency New York is located in New York City just two blocks from Central Park. The Loews Loves Families program (offered at multiple locations) hooks families up with a guide to area activities and dining options, as well as amenities like baby bathtubs, cribs, baby-proofing gear and even stuffed animals. The hotel has 58 suites, some with kitchenettes, that have the space, convenience and privacy you need when traveling with a baby.

Andaz Mayakoba Resort Riviera Maya in Mexico. (Photo courtesy of Andaz Hotels)

Andaz Mayakoba Resort Riviera Maya, 32 miles south of Cancun, has a top-notch complimentary kids club called Kimbo Kids Club, but until recently it was only available for kids ages 4 and up. With the introduction of Kimbo Baby — for kids ages 3 months to 4 years — even parents can steal a few hours for themselves while their baby is cared for by the resort's trained child care team. Rooms with terrace plunge pools give you and baby a private spot to splash in the shade.

What to bring

City hotels especially can be noisy, which isn't much fun when you have an overtired baby on your hands. Pack a white noise machine to drown out the noise (pro tip: place the sound machine near the noise you are trying to drown out rather than near your baby). If you plan to spend some time at the hotel pool or on the beach, bring along a flotation device designed for babies. Many have detachable canopies for extra shade.

Theme park

Walt Disney World. (Photo by Summer Hull/The Points Guy)

Your baby won't be tall enough for their first roller coaster for years, but there's still plenty of fun to be had at a theme park. And if you decide to take turns riding roller coasters without them, your baby will be none the wiser.

All kidding aside, theme parks have lots of perks for babies. They are noisy and colorful, which can keep babies occupied for a surprisingly long time (but if they don't like loud noises, you might want to pack some noise-canceling headphones).

Plus, everyone expects theme parks to be full of kids. If your baby has a meltdown or throws your popcorn bucket at a passerby, you'll be surrounded by other parents who have likely been in the same position and will probably brush it off.

Where to go

Character breakfast at Topolino's Terrace at Disney's Riviera Resort. (Photo by Dia Adams/The Points Guy)

We'd be remiss to leave Walt Disney World off a list of baby-friendly vacation spots. Even if you've been dozens of times, there's something magical about seeing it through your baby's eyes for the first time (when they are awake, at least). For maximum ease, stay at one of Disney's on-site hotels. They offer complimentary transportation to and from the parks and most have baby pools or splash pads available, as well. To preserve those precious first-visit memories, you can have an artist hand-cut your baby's silhouette portrait at Magic Kingdom or Disney Springs, or visit the Disney PhotoPass Studio at Disney Springs for a family portrait.

The entrance to Legoland California. (Photo courtesy of Legoland California)

Your baby probably still lacks the dexterity to build with Lego bricks, but that doesn't mean they are too young for Legoland California Resort. There are more than a dozen attractions with no height requirement, including sand pits where they can dig for dinosaur bones, a Duplo-themed interactive playground, a Coast Cruise boat ride and a Legoland Express train. There's also a convenient baby care center in the park where you can feed and change your baby in a cool, comfortable environment. An on-site hotel allows you to easily get back to your room for nap time or the inevitable change of clothes.

What to bring

With so many theme parks on either the West Coast or in Central Florida, the temperatures can climb pretty high. Pack a fan designed to clip onto your stroller, sun protective clothing and some stylish baby sunglasses.

Mountain retreat

Jackson Hole Mountain Resort in Wyoming. (Photo courtesy of Four Seasons Jackson Hole)

Where better to test out a baby's developing senses than surrounded by nature? They can smell the fresh mountain air, touch leaves and pinecones (and most likely taste them, as well), listen to birds chirping in the trees and experience nature's majesty.

Related: Best ski resorts for families in North America

While babies are discovering the world around them, parents can escape the daily routine in a peaceful, relaxing setting. Bonus points if you book accommodations large enough to bring the grandparents along for a bit of built-in babysitting.

Where to go

Four Seasons Resort and Residences Jackson Hole in Wyoming. (Photo courtesy of Four Seasons)

Four Seasons Resort and Residences Jackson Hole in Teton Village, Wyoming, is a luxury mountain lodge resort less than 30 minutes from Grand Teton National Park. Rooms are cozy with a fireplace and furnished balcony with mountain views. Residence-style rooms have up to five bedrooms for multigenerational vacations. During your visit, you can swim in the heated outdoor pool, ride an aerial tram to the top of Rendezvous Peak and, in the winter, embark on a horse-drawn sleigh ride through the snow.

Hyatt Place Keystone in Colorado. (Photo courtesy of Booking.com)

Hyatt Place Keystone in Keystone, Colorado, is a great starting point for your mountain adventures, even if your adventures include nothing more than sitting in the hot tub (or near it if you are on baby duty) and taking in the mountain views. Breakfast and coffee — the preferred wake-up call of parents everywhere — are included with your stay. Opt for a suite over a standard room and you'll enjoy a separate bedroom where you can lay the baby down while you gaze into each other's eyes (or, more likely, at the TV).

What to bring

If you are planning a wintertime visit, you'll need to pack certain items to keep your baby bundled safely. Not many things in the world are cuter than a baby in a snowsuit, but most snowsuits aren't safe to use in a car seat. Another option is to use a car seat or stroller cover that keeps your baby warm without the bulk.

Bottom line

Vacationing with a new baby can feel overwhelming, but if you know where to go and what to bring along, you can use it as an opportunity to rest, recharge and bond with your baby — all while creating lifelong memories.

Featured image by Getty Images/EyeEm
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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  • Lacks travel protections that other travel rewards cards come with
  • For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
  • Earn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Annual Hotel Savings Benefit
  • 80,000 Points are redeemable for $800 in gift cards when redeemed at thankyou.com
  • No expiration and no limit to the amount of points you can earn with this card
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Best starter travel card
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
1XEarn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Intro Offer
    For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening

    Earn 80,000 ThankYou® points
    60,000 points
  • Annual Fee

    $95
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    670-850
    Excellent, Good

Why We Chose It

The Citi Premier’s 3 points per dollar spent across a wide range of popular categories is one of the more lucrative offerings in the world of points and miles. The Citi Premier comes with a $95 annual fee and is currently offering a solid sign up bonus of 80,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first three months. It also has some valuable transfer partners to make the most of your rewards. Add in access to Citi Entertainment plus a $100 hotel credit for any single-stay hotel booking that exceeds $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through the Citi travel website, there are few reasons why the Citi Premier should not be in every traveler’s wallet.

Pros

  • Earns 3x points on restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, air travel and hotels.
  • $100 annual hotel savings benefit (on single hotel stay bookings of $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through thankyou.com)
  • Points transfer to 16 airline programs, from JetBlue to Virgin Atlantic.
  • World Elite Mastercard benefits, extended warranty, damage and theft protection.

Cons

  • $95 annual fee
  • Lacks travel protections that other travel rewards cards come with
  • For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
  • Earn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Annual Hotel Savings Benefit
  • 80,000 Points are redeemable for $800 in gift cards when redeemed at thankyou.com
  • No expiration and no limit to the amount of points you can earn with this card
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases