Family Vacation Tips

Baby Friendly Vacations

[fa icon="calendar"] Aug 20, 2012 11:30:00 AM / by Sally Black

Sally Black

baby friendly vacationSeptember and October are the months for baby friendly vacations. If you are a young family that doesn't have to worry yet about school calendars then this is the time when you can score some really great deals. When everyone else's kids are heading back to school, all of the family friendly resorts and cruise lines find themselves empty. This is the time to find great deals in addition to extra perks like room upgrades and resort spending credits. Parents can save up to 65% off regular prices on hotels and cruise lines. Do give yourself a little time grabbing one of these last minute deals. Airfare prices take a big jump two weeks prior to departure so if you can schedule something about one month out in early fall chances are you'll be doing the happy dance.

First things first, have a conversation with your pediatrician and let them know about your travel plans. Babies do not yet have all their immunizations and their immune systems may not be fully mature enough to handle some exotic destinations. Discuss this with your doctor to ensure your baby stays happy and healthy. 

Many cruise lines do have age restrictions as to when they allow infants on board. Most prefer children to at least be one year of age.  It's not that they have anything against babies, this is a topic of health and safety. Compared to adults, young infants can get very sick, very quickly and need immediate, specialized attention. Obviously this becomes a huge and very serious problem if you're out in the middle of the ocean. Also, infant products like diapers and formula aren't readily handy. For a fee, the cruise lines will order and stock baby necessities in your cabin so they will be ready and waiting for you when you arrive on board.

There are a  limited handful of resorts that do offer specialized infant care and baby programs.  Resorts that do offer infant programs tend to be the full service, more upscale all inclusive resorts. That said, if you can catch a great deal they can be affordable. Each has different age requirements but the youngest starts at 4 months. Most all resorts will offer babysitting services, say if you would like to enjoy a romantic dinner at the resort. As a general rule of thumb, private babysitting needs to be scheduled with the concierge at least 24 hours in advance and on average costs $15- $20 per hour. Cribs can be requested but bear in mind they may not be the same as U.S. saftey standards.  There are resorts that do offer full baby gear like changing tables and strollers too.

Airfare is usually the first step in vacation planning and their are decisions that parents with small children need to consider. Most airlines will allow children UNDER the age of 2 to fly for a small fee or a cost of 10% of their parent's ticket if they are seated in their parent's lap. With domestic flights, lapchildren are either free or pay a small service fee. With international flights, the cost is generally 10 percent of their parent's ticket and they must pay international air taxes. This rule can save your family several hundred dollars in airfares. Here at Vacationkids we understand budget is a primary concern but we suggest all children, regardless of age have their own airline seat because safety should be your number one priority. We recommend babies and small children fly belted into airline approved car seats secured into their own airline seat. This scenario is the safest and most comfortable for babies, parents and surrounding passengers.

If you are a new parent then chances are you REALLY DO need a vacation. Going on your very first vacation as a new family with a baby for the very first time may sound overwhelming. At Vacationkids, this is what we do every day for our parents. We can guide you through then entire process and make it easy. No worries, we can help make it fun and not scary.


Topics: Baby 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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