Many of the things you need to consider when traveling with babies also applies to those traveling with toddlers.
Read More: Best Places to Travel With A Baby
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Best Places To Travel With A Toddler: Factors To Consider
Will you be able to get a pack and play in your room? While this should not be a problem, it can be. For example, in Japan, they only provide baby cribs and not pack n plays that Americans tend to travel with for our toddlers.
Will the restaurants have high chairs? Third world countries are less likely to have these available, so you may need to travel with a booster for mealtimes.
Will you be able to buy diapers? Most likely yes, but if your child is picky about the type they wear, just pack plenty and use that extra room on the way back for souvenirs.
Will there be changing tables readily available? We are spoiled in the United States when it comes to changing tables, so be prepared to be versatile and use your own mat on the grass or a bench.
Will you be able to use a stroller? Are their proper roads and sidewalks to pushing a stroller?
Should you bring your child’s car seat? The airlines will allow you to bring your own car seats so do it! Who knows what the car seat from the rental car company has been through. If using private transfers, be sure to request car seats ahead of time.
As your baby transitions into toddlerhood, the type of travel you take will change. Toddlers have personalities that make it very obvious when they are unhappy. You need to ensure that their needs are met on vacation which means where you go is entertaining for kids. For many toddlers, spending time swimming or playing on playgrounds does wonders for their moods so make sure you are planning vacations that incorporate activities for them.
Best Places To Travel With A Toddler: Destinations
Try not to get into the trap of only visiting Disney because there is a big, beautiful world out there to see. That being said, the toddler years are the perfect time to take your children to Disney World. The service at Disney World is first class. Disney employees anticipate your needs before you even realize you need something which makes your experience magical – even when your toddler is not acting magically! Disney also makes everything so easy, especially if you are staying at a Disney resort. You literally can park your car and never worry about it again until you leave. You could honestly never visit the theme parks during your visit, and your children would still be entertained by the character dining experiences, pools, splash pads, movie nights under the storms, electrical boat parade, and riding the monorail. No place is easier for families with toddlers than Disney.
Puglia – Italy
Italy is so kid-friendly that when you land in Rome, there is a playground in the baggage claim. The people are so warm and loving towards children, but be aware that they will often touch your child on the head as a sign of affection. The region of Puglia Italy is especially well suited for toddlers. The area is flatter than much of the rest of Italy. This means you can more easily push your toddlers in their strollers and can also allow them to walk more when they want out of their stroller. Puglia is much less crowded than the rest of Italy which means it has a more relaxed vibe, perfect for families traveling with toddlers. Like the rest of Italy, there are playgrounds for little ones everywhere you go, sometimes in the parking lot of a restaurant. Most toddlers are fans of Italian foods such as pizza and pasta. Grilled meats and veggies are also widely available in this region.
While visiting Puglia, try to stay in one of the many trulli dotting the countryside, many of which are comprised of more than one room which gives families with toddlers more room to spread out. The gem of this region is Alberobello which can be visited with a stroller. All of the towns in Puglia are walkable, so families with toddlers can make one town their base while they explore the rest of the region on their own schedule.
Naxos – Greece
Like Italians, the Greeks love children. They will smile at your children, even when they are fussy. Some of the Greek islands are quite hilly which can be difficult with toddlers. However, the beaches of Naxos are flat with very calm water which is very shallow and perfect for young children. The most popular beach is Agios Georgios. It is connected to Naxos Town which is your quintessential Greek town with white buildings and bright blue doors. While Naxos Town is somewhat hilly, it is very small and manageable. You do not even need a car here. You can stay at Agios Georgios and walk to the center of Naxos Town in ten minutes. Nowhere in Greece allows you to experience authentic Greece and the beach so easily, which is why Naxos is the perfect choice for families with toddlers.
Maui – Hawaii
If your toddlers love pools and playing in the sand and you love experiencing culture and nature, Hawaii is an easy choice. Even though you are still in the United States, you feel like you are a world away while having the convenience of the products your kids are accustomed to at home. The menu is also easy to navigate with kids menus at every restaurant. Ka’anapalli Beach makes the need for transportation obsolete as Whalers Village is directly between all of the resorts and has every type of shop and restaurant needed to make your stay a success. The local bus leaves from Whalers Village and takes you to Lahaina where you can see the banyan tree and tour the area, although the bus ride itself may be enough to entertain your toddler. Near Lahaina is Baby Beach a very shallow beach where your toddlers can frolic and play all afternoon. Pack a lunch and enjoy the shade to make the most of your time at Baby Beach.
If your toddler is over 3 and potty trained, an all-inclusive resort may be in order. You can have someone else entertain your toddler for portions of your stay and give yourself a little break on vacation. The easiest destination for all-inclusive resorts is the Dominican Republic. It is a short flight from much of the United States, and once you are there, it is very affordable. Many of the resorts cater to children, so make sure you are choosing the best option for your family. All-inclusive resorts make traveling with young children very easy. Not only are there activities to keep them entertained, but there are also often pools and splash pads dedicated to toddlers, as well as special kid menus. All-inclusive equates to easy, so if it is your first time traveling internationally with toddlers, Dominican Republic is a good place to start.
Yes, it is easier to travel close to home with toddlers, but it is not as rewarding. If you want your child to become a global citizen, it is important that they adapt to travel earlier in life so go ahead and start when they are toddlers. You will appreciate getting away from the daily grind which will allow you to connect with your toddler in a new way.
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