Traveling with a little one is a bit different from your pre-baby days, but that doesn’t mean your wanderlust has to come to a screeching halt. If you’ve been wanting to travel more this year but feel stumped for destination ideas that are easy for a parent with a tiny sidekick, then it’s time to jump-start your inspiration. Get your passports ready and start saving up your vacation time — with a little planning ahead and an enticing locale to explore, you can say bonjour, ciao, or hello to travel near and far.
1. Paris, France: Start the wanderlust early with a family trip to the City of Light! Visit famous landmarks like the Louvre and Eiffel Tower, or enjoy a family picnic along the Seine. To make it easier to navigate the city, pack a baby carrier and a lightweight travel stroller. The Paris metro is not stroller-friendly, and Parisian sidewalks can be a bit tight with a bulky buggy. Another great tip is to rent an apartment with family-friendly amenities. Check the usual suspects for rental options, or try a family-focused site like Kid & Coe to make your stay as cozy as possible.
2. Yosemite National Park, California: With lodging options that range from hike-in campground to luxury resort, Yosemite National Park in northern Cali can be as rustic or glam as you want it to be. There are tons of things to do all year long, but summer may be the best time to arrive with your baby. From gorgeous foot trails to open-air bus tours that show you all the major landmarks (while your baby feeds and naps), there’s no shortage of activities for everyone. You can even rent a bike with a baby trailer and take your tyke for a ride among the giant redwoods.
3. Mackinac Island, Michigan: This car-free island is the perfect place to get away if you’re looking to slow down a little. From baby-and-me bike rides to fudge sampling, the northern getaway provides the perfect mix of baby-friendliness and serious parenting downtime. Stay at the Grand Hotel to enjoy family-friendly rooms, swimming, guided tours, and the chance to rock your baby to sleep on the world’s longest front porch.
4. Portland, Oregon: It turns out this hipster hotspot is also an amazing place to bring your baby. Stroll around the Pearl District and stop by the legendary Powell’s Books for children’s storytime, or catch a long lunch and people-watch from any of the local restaurants you pass along the way. You can also sightsee the city by aerial tram or hike through the largest urban forest in the US (or any of the other dozens of parks you can find in Portland).
5. Oahu, Hawaii: Head on over to the rainbow state with your baby in tow for a nap-lover’s dream vacation. The best part of Oahu is that you can make it as busy or relaxed as you want it to be. Spend your days splashing in the ocean, or go for hikes to see waterfalls and natural arches. You can also visit Pearl Harbor, go whale watching, or catch dinner and a show at a real live luau.
6. Copenhagen, Denmark: In a country with generous parental leave, it’s not surprising that they totally nail baby-friendliness as well. After all, this is where LEGO and some of the best fairy tales come from. When you see the cozy cafes with plenty of room for stroller parking, the walkable (and bike-able!) streets, the beautiful parks, and their fresh take on parenting, you might find yourself wanting to extend your vacay to a more permanent living situation. Check out the Aqua Aquarium & Zoo, Tivoli Gardens, and the ARoS Aarhus Art Museum, and be sure not to miss all of the amazing shops around town. No matter what site you want to visit, there’s a very good chance that children are welcome.
7. Nags Head, North Carolina: Rent yourself a beach house and straight chill with your baby for a week in Nags Head. Play on the beach, sip salty happy-hour drinks, and take in the laid-back lifestyle of the Outer Banks. If you go in the summer, you may be lucky enough to witness sea turtles burying their nests. And if you’re a history buff, plan a day trip to Roanoke Island Festival Park for a taste of what it was like to be in the area around 1585.
8. London, England: Hop over the pond to London-town for an English adventure with your tiny tot. If you want to hit all the iconic sites, it’s a good idea to stay in a central part of the city so you can easily walk or take public transportation for your planned adventure. You can even plan your route around stroller-friendly stops with this guide from Transport for London. While you’re there, check out the London Eye, the Tower of London, and Hyde Park for baby-and-parent-friendly fun.
What family-welcoming destinations have you packing your bags? Tweet us your faves @BritandCo!
(Featured photo via @paris_tourisme)