THE BEST PLACES TO TRAVEL WITH A BABY IN THE US
Most people who have children assume that their lives are pretty much over.
Yes, that sounds dramatic, but in a lot of ways, newborn babies keep you mainly housebound.
Even as your child grows, you worry about what you’ll need to bring and whether restaurants and hotels will be accommodating.
After all, you can baby proof your house, but you can’t exactly wrap your child in duct tape when you go out.
So, what are you to do?
How do you start traveling with your baby?
You can’t always make the world more “baby-friendly,” so how do you make your baby more “travel-friendly”?
How do you mix your desire to travel and be a parent?
Where can you dip your toes into the world of traveling and know that it won’t be an utterly stressful experience?
You’re in luck!
We have a curated list of the best places to travel with a baby in the US.
While every child is different, you can read through the following list and pick out what’s best for your family.
Best Places to Take Baby on Vacation in the United States
Grand Canyon, Arizona
The Grand Canyon is a must-see spot for everyone (although, be warned that you may end up taking your baby back someday when they can remember).
Grand Canyon National Park is located in Northern Arizona and has generally nice weather and stunning views year-round.
The park itself has a great (free) shuttle service that makes getting from point A to point B quick and easy.
You can even bring your collapsible stroller along if need be.
If you’re not looking to do a major hike but want to see more than what the viewpoints offer, investigate the Rim Trail.
This is often the perfect option for families with a baby.
You can even bring your stroller if you don’t want to wear a baby carrier.
Yellowstone National Park, USA
A national park may not strike you as one of the best places to travel with a baby in the US, but you’d be surprised.
Yellowstone has stroller-friendly boardwalks and easy-access swimming areas.
You’ll also find many short trails that are perfect for young families.
The lodging is also family-friendly; although, it can be difficult to get reservations because of its popularity.
Be sure to make your reservations early whenever you decide to go up to Yellowstone.
You’ll also find an abundance of markets and general stores for anything you may have forgotten at home.
If you’re traveling with multiple children, Yellowstone also offers ranger programs and campfires, so you’ll have the whole crew occupied.
Southern California is a beautiful place to visit at virtually any time of the year.
Hotels like the Carlsbad Inn Beach Resort make it easy to bring your baby along and enjoy your beach vacation.
They provide everything from complimentary swim diapers to an easy walk to the beach.
You can book a one or two bedroom condo depending on how much space you may need.
There are also complimentary Pack ‘N Plays available, so you don’t have to pack your own.
Your trip to Carlsbad will be nothing short of a relaxing stay.
If you have older children, this spot is ideal for them as well because of the family activities that often take place in the courtyard.
They’re likely to meet other children to play with as well.
A nice vacation for everyone is waiting for you!
Here’s the thing about traveling with a baby.
Your definition of adventurous will change.
You won’t be going on roller coasters or going scuba diving anymore (unless you’re bringing a great sitter along!).
If you’re looking at the best place to travel with a baby in the US, chances are you’re going to have your baby with you a lot of the time.
Thus, you should look for a place where you can do most of the activities with a baby.
Boise is one of those places.
While you won’t be going to bars, going scuba diving, or going to a theme park, you can absolutely go for a hike with a baby carrier or explore the city.
Boise is somewhat low-key and laid back enough to feel like you’ve seen something different even if you have a tiny human in tow.
Arcadia National Park, Maine
Arcadia National Park is an ideal 4 to 5-day destination for a family.
If you’re looking to escape to a wonderful place in the northeast, add this to your list of best places to travel with a baby in the US.
It’s close in proximity to a beautiful coastal town called Bar Harbor.
It’s easily walkable with cafes, ice cream shops, restaurants, and walkways along the waterfront.
Bring a stroller and walk along this area in the gorgeous weather.
If you’re feeling more adventurous, you can also do some shorter hikes.
The best part?
There are parking lots with easy to find bathrooms and lots of views.
More Top Picks for Baby-Friendly Destinations
Outer Banks, North Carolina
The Outer Banks beaches are a family-friendly and comfortable beach spot.
It’s perfect for a week or two getaway if you’re just dying to get out of the house.
You can either rent your own beach house or you can stay at a resort like The Sanderling, which has a zero-entry family pool and fun waterspouts.
It also hosts fun activities like s’mores at its fire pits.
If you’re looking for a night out, the concierge can arrange sitter services.
You can relax at your accommodation or you can head out to see the sights if you’re a more active family on vacation.
Visit the North Carolina Aquarium, the famous Kitty Hawk Kites, and the shopping villages for a nice stroll.
Palm Beach, Florida
There has to be a Florida vacation somewhere on this list.
If you’ve longed to put your feet in the sand since you’ve had your little bundle of joy, then this could be exactly where you want to go.
Palm Beach is home to the famous Breakers Hotel.
It has a family entertainment center entirely dedicated to kids’ activities.
This is ideal if you’re traveling with a tiny baby and older siblings.
Here are just some of the amenities you have in store for you…
- Playground featuring slides, tunnels, bridges, puzzles, interactive games
- Toddler and children’s playroom
- Extensive activities for older children (science labs, snorkeling lessons, nature walks)
- Babysitting services
The wide variety of family services that The Breakers Hotel offers makes it one of the best places to travel with a baby in the US.
Portsmouth, New Hampshire
Never been to New Hampshire?
Why not go now?
It’s one of the best places to travel with a baby in the US.
It has a historic downtown area full of shops, restaurants, bars, and more.
It has a charming atmosphere with both new and historic buildings.
It’s also a baby-friendly city where you don’t have to get side-eye when you walk into a restaurant with a baby.
The Wentworth by the Sea is also known for being an accommodating hotel for families.
We know the long flight can be difficult for anyone with a baby, but if your child is young enough that they just *might* sleep for a good portion of the flight, it could be worth making a break for Hawaii.
Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa is a top family-friendly Disney resort that has hotel rooms and villas with beautiful views and kid-friendly perks.
This is the perfect card to pull for an anniversary or family vacation.
And how is it good for your baby?
Well, the spa offers infant massages and will show you just how it can improve your baby’s health.
The hotel is also equipped to meet your needs since you won’t be able to bring your own baby gear.
They have strollers, swings, diapers, and other baby supplies to use.
If you have older children, there are Disney characters onsite to meet and perform shows.
When you need a night without kids, you can book a babysitter and relax!
Yosemite National Park, USA
We’re adding another national park to the list!
They just make the best places to travel with a baby in the US.
You can drive where you need to go, you can do baby-friendly hikes, and you can snap selfies of your little family having fun.
Just be sure to pack the right gear – it can truly make all the difference.
You’ll either want a good off-road stroller or a baby carrier to hike with your baby.
Here are a few suggestions on hikes you can do with your baby in Yosemite:
- Stroller: Bridalveil Falls and Lower Yosemite Falls
- Baby carrier: Vernal Falls
How Should I Choose a Hotel When Traveling with a Baby?
Sleeping during this trip may be what you’re most concerned about.
Will the baby sleep?
Will I sleep?
Will anyone else in the hotel sleep if my baby cries all night?
You go on vacation to relax and these thoughts are some of the least relaxing out there.
When traveling, there’s often a lot of emphasis on getting to the location with the right stuff.
Yet, what happens when you get there?
You want to make sure that you’re in the right accommodation to ensure that everyone gets rest.
That’s one factor that will ensure the trip goes smoothly.
We’ve got all the tips on baby-friendly hotels and how to keep you and your little one sane.
Picking the Right Hotel
- Location: Consider how your baby functions. Do you need a hotel close to where you’ll be at all times, or will your baby nap in a stroller or car when you’re on the move? If you’re scheduling around your baby, then you don’t want to have a hotel that’s out of the way.
- Amenities: In the past, you may have spent most of your time out of the hotel. It didn’t matter if it was close to a grocery store or had a pool. Yet, now that you’re a parent, it’s nice to enjoy these perks if you’re stuck at the hotel during naptime or if your little one just isn’t up for having a busy day of touring.
- Space: Small hotel rooms can be fine for two people. Once you add a baby into the mix, you often have a lot more stuff. Having some extra space or seating may be something to look for in the hotel you book.
- Bathroom: Depending on how big your baby is, it may not be convenient to bathe them in the sink, and you probably don’t want to travel with an inflatable bath. Look for a hotel room that has a bathtub to make your life easier!
- Noise: Look for a hotel that isn’t in a busy part of town or may not have a busy bar. If it’s a hotel that is known for being near nightlife or having a party atmosphere, then it may not be ideal to stay there when you have your baby with you.
- Sleeping arrangements: Will you bring a Pack ‘N Play for your baby to sleep in? Will you book a portable crib? Think ahead and see what the hotel offers (and be sure to book in advance if you want it!). You definitely don’t want to wait on a crib if you have a tired or sleeping baby.
- Consider putting your baby to sleep in the bathroom. Say what?! Yes, we know this sounds odd. However, practiced travel parents swear by this tip. Babies love their routine, and they know that when they lay down in their crib separate from Mom and Dad, that means it’s time to go to bed. However, this routine is often altered when you’re in a hotel because everyone shares a room. Being in the presence of Mom or Dad makes it difficult for baby to settle. If the bathroom is large enough, put their Pack ‘N Play or crib in the bathroom when it’s time for them to go to sleep. If it’s not, put it somewhere out of sight so they can settle down and go to sleep. Just be careful not to flush the toilet or do anything too noisy once they’re snoozing.
- Stick to their routine. Make sure you pack all of your baby’s favorite items from home. They should have their blankets, stuffed animals, pacifiers, pajamas, sleep sacks, etc. If you can stick to their bedtime routine as much as possible, the whole experience will be much smoother.
- Take the time zone into account. You may be dying to put your baby to bed at 7 PM local time. However, if that’s 4 PM “home” time, then there’s no way your baby won’t put up a fight. Consider shifting it to 10 PM (we know that sounds miserable), so that they’ll sleep through the night and not wake up at an ungodly hour. Now, it doesn’t work perfectly for every time zone, so you’ll have to readjust as it makes sense. It also doesn’t always make sense for super short trips. Do what makes sense for your baby!
- Create a plan for food. Depending on how old your baby is, this may not be an issue. You may be breastfeeding exclusively, or formula may be the only type of “food” you’re packing. However, if your baby is eating solids, then you’ll want to make sure you either bring as much familiar food as possible (if you’re driving), or you have a grocery store nearby. Remember, food is a comfort item. If you change your baby’s environment and food all at once, then you’re likely to see more problems than you’d like to.
- Quickly baby-proof. You’re probably not going to truly baby-proof your accommodation. Yet, you can do a quick sweep just to make sure your baby isn’t going to get into any real trouble if you need to hop in the shower. Remove things that will get broken, zip tie the cabinets, pick up small items from the floor. Simple things like that.
Traveling with your baby has the potential to create some of your best memories as a family.
While there will be challenges along the way, picking one of the best places to travel with a baby in the US can help alleviate some of those obstacles.
If you’re looking to do a fantastic family road trip, check out our Road Trip Gadgets That Help You Survive Family Vacation.
What are your tips for the best places to travel with a baby in the US? If you have any, comment below!
If you are looking for a step-by-step guide to help you plan your next trip, check out The Ultimate Guide to Trip Planning.
If you simply do not have the time to plan your next trip or you just don’t want to do it, why not let us help you? We will create the perfect bespoke itinerary just for you!