Family Vacation Tips

Toddler Friendly Vacations

[fa icon="calendar"] Aug 16, 2012 8:33:00 AM / by Sally Black

Sally Black

toddler friendly vacations Toddler friendly vacations have lots of moving parts, just like toddlers themselves.  These kids are always on the move. We define "toddlers" here as children to be between the ages of 2 and 4 years of age.  By travel industry definition, they are old enough to require the purchase of their own airline seat but too young for most kids clubs that start at age 4. Parents taking their toddlers on vacation are generally looking for....

  • Safe and comfortable surroundings


  • Toddler friendly programs -fun and engaging activities geared to this particular age group


  • Convenience - short flight times, easy access accommodations, separate sleep areas, stroller friendly resorts

Finding the right family vacation becomes even more of a challenge when your toddler isn't an only child.  The style of vacation that best suits a toddler usually will usually make a teenager roll their eyes. The best family vacations are the ones that make all family members happy.

Some great choices for a toddler friendly vacation....

All Inclusive Family Resorts- These are located generally in the Caribbean and Mexico. The price that you pay for your hotel room includes all your meals, drinks, hotel activities, tips, taxes and a kids club that will allow toddlers. Some resorts will allow parents to sign their toddlers into the kids club while they enjoy the beach, spa or restaurants. Many toddler clubs offer cell phones or pages so parents can be easily contacted if they needed.  Other properties just offer a play area with toddler friendly toys and activities. Toddlers are welcomed to come play and join in any activities but their parents must stay with them.  Just about every hotel and resort does offer private babysitting services. These need to be arranged in advance. Although prices vary widely, the average price is about $15 per hour USD.

Family Cruises - Family friendly cruises are an excellent choice for toddler families. In addition a family cruise offers fun activities for every age group to ensure that the whole family stays happy.  Each cruise line has different rules specific to their toddler care and age requirements. Some cruise lines offer free toddler clubs, while others do charge for kids under the age of four. Family cruises do offer private baby sitting services as well.

Theme Park Vacations - Most major theme parks are extremely family friendly and offer a variety of activities and ammenities geared towards toddlers. As exciting as these kind of vacations are for the entire family it's important to everyone's sanity that your accommodations are located very close or within the park allowing your family easy access to quick costume changes and naps.

If there is one "road block" to a toddler friendly vacation, it's potty training. Many resort kids clubs will not change diapers so even if your child is old enough to attend, they MUST be potty trained. There are resorts that will allow us to request potty chairs and seats for guest rooms. If you're traveling outside of the U.S. you may find different safety standard for child equipment and may want to consider bringing any gear you need from home. Some cruise lines have similar diaper rules and often will not allow swim diapers in they pools. So bear these points in mind when planning your vacation and potty training.

Speaking of timing...Parent often ask use when they can find the very best deals when it comes to toddler friendly vacations?

If you're a young family and do not yet have to worry about a school calendar the answer is SEPTEMBER!  Family friendly resorts and cruise lines are generally empty when all the kids head back to school. This is when you can score some great deals, up to 65% off. Another good time to find a deal is early December. After Thanksgiving travelers have returned home and usually prior to December 15 you'll also find some great deals.

We know you'll have plenty of questions if you're trying to plan a toddler friendly vacation, don't stress out about it, just ask our travel agents.

Topics: Toddler Vacations

Sally Black

Written by Sally Black

Sally is the Founder of Travel Agency and author of the book "Fearless Family Vacations". She is also the Director of Travel Agent Initiatives and Training at The Family Travel Association.

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