Traveling with young kids aka toddlers and babies can be a lot of fun. But only if you choose the right destination and know what to bring. That’s why we compiled a list of best international places to travel with toddlers to make your next family vacation a fun memory.
Additionally, we asked other travel bloggers to share their best countries to travel with toddlers to make this post a first-hand experience guide only!
(Note: We don’t recommend traveling while it is still not safe due to the current pandemic. But we’d like to inspire you for the time after!)
How to define the best international places to travel with toddlers anyways?
The word “best” is so individually different, that I think I’ll need to explain first what “best” means for us. Then, you’ll be able to check if that resonates with your preferences too. So, for us, the best international places to travel with toddlers have the following on offer:
- Good Company
- Healthy food options
Let me explain further!
Safety first, that is a no-brainer! I think hardly anyone would like to travel to an unsafe country – especially with your children in tow. So, you will only find safe countries or places that are on our list.
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And then, you should choose your next family travel destination in accordance with the amount of fun you can expect there. By fun I mean, is there a lot to do? Will you find lush nature or a wide variety of kid-friendly activities? In general, can you expect to have fun there, whatever fun means for you?
Last but not least, for us, it is crucial to know in advance that we will be in good company. By this, I mean other families. Since Vincent, our oldest, turned 2 years old, we noticed that it became more and more important to him to play with other kids – at some point we were simply too boring for him. So, we make it our priority to check in advance if we will be able to find other travel families before we go.
And then, we always feel best if there are vegan food options available. We have been vegan for three years and focus on healthy, plant-based, and nutritious food. We know a few places that are ideal for vegans but some aren’t. Currently, we enjoy the various options here in Thailand and are grateful for being spoiled on such a high level. In places like Bolivia or Argentina, where we travelled before having kids and before our shift in awareness about food happened, we would have probably not been able to eat as healthy and balanced as we can now.
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Our Top 5 Best International Places To Travel With Toddlers:
1. Koh Phangan, Thailand
Our favourite place is Koh Phangan, Thailand for the above reasons. That’s why I will list it here first as our number one of the best international places to travel with toddlers.
Thai people are so in love with children, they literally freak out when they see a baby or small child. So, everywhere we go, we feel very welcomed and loved – which is wonderful and important when being in a foreign country, I think!
Plus, Thailand and, especially this island, feels very safe. We never have to worry about our stuff when we are on the beach or walking in the streets. Not like in other places where you always keep a hand on your bag afraid of pickpocket tricks or similar things.
This is our fourth time on this island and the second one with children. We love coming here because it is also a winter getaway for families from Europe. As a consequence, we have many German and English speaking families surrounding us, which helps our son with communication and connecting.
Insider Tip: Koh Ma Beach Resort is THE place to stay if you love a right-by-the-beach location and a huge swimming pool!
Reasons why you’ll love Koh Phangan
We’ve made many friends here, and most importantly, our sons have found playmates who they play with on a daily basis. For me, as a mum, this is really important, because if my kids are happy and have social contact, I am happy too.
There are also a lot of activities for young and old. If you are into yoga, dancing, art and all connected with bodywork and spirituality – this is your place to visit. Also for kids, there are playgroups, learning activities and sports that they can try out.
Lastly, Thai food is yummy but not your healthiest choice aka mostly fried. So, if you are, like us, consciously choosing ‘clean’ food, you will find yourself in vegan heaven on Koh Phangan. Especially in Sritanu, one of the popular areas for families and anyone who is on a spiritual journey, there are plenty of restaurants with a focus on healthy eating.
Perhaps you want to read more about this island, you can do this here in our extensive guide on Koh Phangan for digital nomad families.
2. La Palma, Spain
Another island makes it onto our list of best international places to travel with toddlers, yes. This is a very special one for us. Why? Because Niklas, our little one, was born there. We spent six months on La Palma in 2019, from the end of March till the end of August. We rented out a little Finca on the East Coast of the island (bad choice weatherwise as it’s the more humid/rainy side!) and enjoyed some wonderful quiet months there.
Our son was born at home without the help of anyone. This wasn’t exactly our plan but this is a whole different story. 🙂 What we really enjoyed was to be able to stay on a very secluded and private property to prepare for birth and enjoy our time as a new family.
As soon as we were ready to socialise again, we loved the fact that there is a big community of alternatively living families, expats and travel families there. So, Wednesdays and Sundays, we went to the gatherings on the West Coast of La Palma, at Tazacorte Beach, to mingle with other families and let Vincent play with the kids.
Best beach on La Palma
If you love scenic routes, rough cliffs and steep mountains, you will love the nature on La Palma. It is also great for hiking. One of our favorite beaches you can only reach by foot after a 20 minute hike, it’s called Playa de Nogales. So worth the steep steps you’ll take!
Foodwise, we found some healthy options to eat outside, but honestly, we preferred cooking. Eating out with kids, especially with a newborn, wasn’t on top of our priority list.
3. Lago di Garda, Italy
Before we turned into digital nomad parents, we were quite nervous if our previous lifestyle was going to be feasible with kids or not. So, anxiously waiting for the day to come, we took our eldest son on a road trip from Germany to Italy when he was just about six weeks old. He passed the test and we decided that our newborn was absolutely travel-proof.
In Italy, we stayed at Lake Garda, which is a very touristy location but at the same time, it is so beautiful and full of other families on vacation that it’s a very safe and ‘easy’ destination to travel with a baby.
Mainly, we lived by the principle of the Italians: ‘Dolce far niente’. This means that we did not do much more than eat pizza, pasta and ice cream. I guess, for this reason alone you could already agree that Italy is one of the best international places to travel with toddlers.
Additionally, Italians are known for their big heart and love for children. Even the policemen on the street wanted to be in our pictures. So, that too made it a unique and memorable trip.
4. Fuerteventura, Spain
This is another Canary Island that made it onto our Top-5 list of best international places to travel with toddlers. We took Vincent there when he was 9 months and he started walking in the sand at the beach.
The island is windy – as the name already implies – and not as green as La Palma, for example. But it has its charm and we loved the beaches there, especially those that we could have all to ourselves in the early morning hours.
You’ll find many families and European pensioners on this island (which is true for the Canary Islands in general) as it has a constantly pleasant climate and basically everything you need.
Fuerteventura: Best time to go
If you prefer warmer water temperatures like us, then make sure to visit during the summer months June, July and August. We spent the month of February there and therefore hardly swam in the ocean for its cold water temperatures! Of course, if you travel off-season you are most likely to make a good deal for your accommodation! I’d say, it’s the months of May through to September are great to pay this little island a visit!
Where to stay on Fuerteventura:
The North Coast was our favorite area. That’s where we stayed in a small village called “El Cotillo“. We rented out a little condo right at the beach in a nice calm bay. It is perfect for kids as the water is very shallow there.
For the last 10 ten days of our stay, we moved to the more crowded area in the South, Morro Jable. The huge beach is stunning and good for running and walks at the beach. It depends on what you prefer, Fuerteventura has a lot on offer and is definitely worth a visit.
5. Freiburg, Germany
It would be cruel not to list my home country as one of the best international places to travel with toddlers, wouldn’t it!? 🙂
And, to be honest, there are many great places in Germany where you can find the above three criteria: safety, fun and good company (and also healthy food!).
Especially if you look at rural places outside big cities, you’ll find scenic routes for hiking, biking, camping or swimming at one of the many lakes the country has on offer…
Cool places to visit in Germany:
This being said, we also love and have friends in family-friendly cities like Freiburg, Munich, Hamburg and Berlin too. So, it depends on what you are after, there is plenty to do and see in Germany. If I had to choose one favorite place though to travel with kids, it would be Freiburg. It’s a family-friendly city, loads of activities and has a good vibe. And straight after it comes Munich and its scenic surrounding area where you can visit castles that inspired Disney!
Hit me up if you are around! Most likely, I won’t be there as we travel and live most of the year outside of Germany, but I am happy to give you personally tailored travel tips for your next visit to Germany! And make sure to put this destination on your list of best international places to travel with toddlers!
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Best Countries to Travel With Toddlers According To Other Travel Bloggers
And then, we asked other travel families and travel bloggers what they consider to be the best international places to travel with toddlers. We curated a list with their answers in alphabetic order.
Note: This list is not meant to be a complete list. There are certainly many more great travel destinations you can visit with kids. But we hope you enjoy the selection below and get inspired for your next big family adventure!
Tasmania has been one of our favourite places to visit with our children. Our first visit was a few years ago before our youngest daughter’s second birthday. As children under the age of two can fly for free, it is the best time to take advantage of traveling to an interstate destination. Tasmania’s compact size, family-friendly attractions and beautiful scenery make it a perfect location for family travel.
The best way to explore Tasmania is on a driving holiday, and the east coast is one of Australia’s greatest road trips.
Our journey started in the capital city of Hobart. From there, we traveled through farmlands, until the road hugs the coastline, passing secluded beaches and charming towns. Over nine nights, we indulged in delicious fresh produce, admired stunning views from many lookout points, learnt about Tasmania’s history and saw incredible native wildlife.
Tasmania’s popularity has increased over the past few years, particularly with families who are exploring Australia by caravan. We received a friendly welcome in each town and being a safe place to travel; it is a top-rated destination for visitors. Traveling during summer allowed us to experience the warmest months, with the least amount of rainfall. Summer also has the longest daylight hours, allowing visitors to explore for longer.
What we loved about visiting Tasmania with a toddler was the abundance of attractions that are suitable for children of a young age, many of these being free. Lighthouse walks, swimming in crystal turquoise waters, seeing native wildlife, visiting historical sights and appreciating culture in a fun interactive way are some of the highlights you can expect to encounter on a trip to Tasmania.
Sharee Middleton runs the blog Inspire Family Travel and can also be found on Facebook.
Victor Harbor, South Australia
Victor Harbor is around 90 minutes from Adelaide in South Australia. It is a popular seaside destination for family summer holidays. The beaches within the bay are protected. This makes the water very calm and easy for toddlers to explore the sand and gentle waves.
Granite Island is set in the middle of the bay, joined to the mainland by a causeway. Children of all ages will delight with a ride on the Horse Drawn tram across the causeway to Granite Island.
The foreshore is lined with grassed reserves that are perfect to relax and spread out for a picnic or BBQ. If the weather is not ideal for swimming you can take a pony ride. Or, for the older children, let it be a camel ride along the beach.
The Victor Harbor foreshore has plenty to keep the active toddler busy. There is a large nature-play playground with an old steam train engine to climb on. There is a small amusement park with bouncy castles, rides, fairy floss and ice cream that is always popular.
Perhaps one of the favourite activities in Victor Harbor is a visit to Urimbirra Wildlife Park. Just a few minutes out of town you can pat a Koala or even hand feed a Kangaroo. There are many other animals and birds to visit, it’s family-friendly and easy to take the pram.
Australia is a very safe destination and Victor Harbor has a range of accommodation. You can select from Caravan Parks, Cabins, Apartments, Hotels and B&Bs. It is easy to spend a week or two exploring and relaxing in this seaside town.
Brussels is known for its beer and waffles. One of the lesser-known but a very deep-rooted, cultural aspect of Brussels is its love for comics. In fact, there is a dedicated Comic Strip Route in Brussels, that passes through various street-art & museums dedicated to comics. The route is so extensive. It spreads all over Brussels, so it would be impossible to see all the murals even in an entire day! However, it’s a good idea to cover at least a portion of the route, and not miss it.
Belgium is the birthplace of Tintin and Smurfs. There are 3 museums dedicated to them in Belgium and 2 of those are in Brussels – MoOF and Comic Strip Museum. Comic Strip Museum has humongous prints of some comic strips, many figurines (esp., an entire floor dedicated to Smurfs). There are also indoor games for the kids on the top floor. MoOF museum, on the other hand, is super cool with very many old to new figurines as well as a mini-movie theatre.
For someone living in Brussels, I took three days to explore all the street-art murals and the two museums. In one day, it would be possible to complete two museums and a small portion of street-art. Or you could do one museum and a larger portion of street-art.
Bhushavali runs the blog My Travelogue by Bhushavali – social media handle: @MyTraveloguebyBhushavali
Bali is an awesome place to travel with a baby or toddler. Firstly, it has a well-established tourist infrastructure so it is easy to find Western-style conveniences at every turn. Secondly, the Balinese love kids, an interesting fact about Bali is that they consider the babies angels.
We spent about 3 weeks in Bali all up with our children, staying at a range of different places. We started out at a 5-star resort in the gated Nusa Dua area and ended up travelling up towards the north and staying in much more typical type hotels.
If this is your first international trip with a toddler then Bali is perfect – the 4 and 5-star resorts all have kids clubs, and in many cases themed kids rooms. Alternatively, if you are not comfortable leaving your little ones at a kids club, you can also hire professional nannies to give yourself a break. There are many other families around at every turn.
It is easy to get Western-style food if your toddler is fussy, and also to buy good quality nappies and other toddler requirements. Alternatively, if you don’t want to carry baby /toddler paraphernalia there are a number of hire companies in Bali that can supply toddler car seats, right through to safety gates and pool fencing if you are staying at an Airbnb without a pool fence!
Ariana from World of Travels with Kids – find her also on Instagram @worldoftravelswithkids
We absolutely love Italy and have spent several weeks exploring different areas including Rome, Tuscany, the Amalfi Coast, Puglia and Sicily. Our most favourite place, however, was Lake Como.
Lake Como, near Milan in the North of Italy, is one of the most beautiful places we have visited with our kids. Lake Como with kids is something I would highly recommend doing. It has picture-postcard villages with cobbled streets and historical buildings all set against the backdrop of a glittering lake and towering mountains.
We stayed in the little village of Argegno in the summer of 2017 with a 5-year-old and a 3-year-old and it was completely perfect for us. Summer in northern Italy is considerably cooler and more comfortable than elsewhere in the country.
The kids loved running around Argegno and other little villages like Belaggio. Many of them have pedestrianised areas which was very nice for my stress levels as we could let the kids run around a bit. There was also an incredible mini-golf course to play in Menaggio.
Various ferries can take you to destinations across the lake (a huge hit) and we also hired a little speedboat for an afternoon one day. The bigger towns all had these little trains to take you on a tour as well. We also enjoyed going up the little funicular railway with an easy hike at the top and visiting as many Italian lidos as we could!
The food was hugely successful – most kids will be delighted with pizza and pasta while the grown-ups made the most delicious fresh dishes and local wine. Everyone was happy!
Emma Morrell runs the family travel blog Wanderlust and Wet Wipes – social media handle @wanderlustandwetwipes
We loved our trip to Japan with our 15-month-old son. A couple of years before we spent a month exploring Japan as a couple. Back then, we were backpacking with a tent and hiking as much as we could. While our Japan family trip was very different from our previous Japan experience, it was no less fun!
Japan is a very safe country. Due to its amazing public transport system, traveling (long distances) is easy and comfortable. For example, the Shinkansen bullet train can take you from Hiroshima to Tokyo in just four hours (that’s 900 kilometers!). This makes it possible for families to discover very different parts of Japan, without feeling rushed.
Something else parents will love, Japan has Takkyubin, aka door-to-door delivery of your luggage. That means, that instead of lugging around your family’s heavy suitcases, you can just send them to your next hotel. This way you can travel around with just a day pack and a stroller.
You’ll find so many things to do with kids in Tokyo, so we recommend starting your Japan trip there. Tokyo has many public playgrounds that always come with spotlessly clean family restrooms and often even nursing facilities. Many Tokyo restaurants have highchairs and special kids’ menus. It’s perfect when your little one doesn’t love the taste of sushi as much as mom and dad.
Sanrio Puroland is a wonderful indoor playground where even the youngest can safely play. Toddlers will love the TeamLab Borderless Digital Art Museum with its fascinating lights and sensory tricks. Note that strollers are not allowed into the museum so bring a baby carrier. And let’s not forget the amazing Duplo Village where adults aren’t allowed unless accompanied by their kids!
I could go on but it’s safe to say that Japan is a wonderful destination for a family trip!
Lotte Eschbach runs the blog Phenomenal Globe Travel Blog – find her also on social media @phenomenalglobe.
Aruba, The Netherlands
There’s no denying that a visit to this Caribbean island is almost guaranteed to include good experiences, fine food, friendly locals, beautiful landscapes, and a good mix of cultures and languages. Aruba is a year round destination and throughout the year, the tropical climate and summer breeze guarantee great weather and sunshine.
Fortunately, it is a destination that is well suited for families and there is a whole lot of things to do here with kids. The time leading up to the New Year is our favourite time to visit this island, usually spending a week. As one of the safest countries in the world, it made exploring the country as a family a welcome experience.
Adventurous families will enjoy exploring the coastal areas, swimming in the cool waters, or partaking in the numerous activities on offer at any time of the year. Other highlights include snorkelling at Baby Beach, a visit to De Palm Island, the Butterfly Farm, and Flamingo Beach.
Public transportation is cheap and well suited to get around to most parts on the island. Expect to find a wide variety of accommodation options, including a sufficient amount of family-focused places. Famed for its tropical setting and points of interest, the island comprises interesting places and is well worth taking the time to get to.
Rai Haan runs the blog A Rai Of Light – find him also on social media @araioflight.
If you’re looking for somewhere to travel to with a baby or toddler, look no further than Norway. This breathtaking country has plenty for you and the little ones to do- and they LOVE children. Also, everyone speaks impeccable English. And people are so helpful – you don’t need to worry about not knowing the language or getting into difficulties.
We visited for a couple of weeks with our daughter when she was young. Strangely, she was less than impressed by the magnificent fjords and historical sites- but she LOVED Sverd i Fjell.
Sverd i Fjell are 3 HUGE bronze swords- put into a rocky outcrop with breathtaking views over a fjord. The swords are over 10m high (imagine what that looks like to a toddler) and commemorate a battle fought there in 872AD. The swords are a symbol of peace. All this was lost on our daughter, but she enjoyed running around the park and field nearby after we’d looked at the swords. It’s definitely one of the best places to see in Southern Norway.
The entire country is incredibly safe- it’s one of the safest countries in Europe. We felt much more relaxed here than we did in many other countries, especially when our daughter was playing with other children.
Overall, it doesn’t really matter where you visit in Norway. There will be something for your toddler to do- or just throw stones into the many, many bodies of water you’ll find. Everywhere you visit, you’ll find children’s clubs, playgrounds and other families- and Norwegian parents are VERY enthusiastic about engaging their children with English speakers- you’ll have playdates lined up for weeks if you want them.
Kathryn Bird is the founder of the motorhome travel and road trip blog Wandering Bird – find her also on social media @wanderingbird.adventures
Singapore is an epitome of how well a city’s civilization can function. The security, network of public transport and amenities available in this island city make Singapore a perfect travel destination with toddlers. It not only gives you mind’s peace but also offers many attractions that the entire family can enjoy.
I visited Singapore a year ago and had a great time there! We stayed at Hotel Marina Bay Sands and had a lovely view from the room. Along with that, we also enjoyed the infinity pool a lot. Sipping coffee after taking a dip in the pool is a great memory of mine! There were many families with kids around and the pool itself was a picnic destination for all.
In addition to enjoying the hotel, we also visited the attractions in Singapore. One of the best attractions that we saw was Universal Studios in Sentosa Islands. The kids love this place due to the fancy set up and animated characters around. This place is the most favorite destination for families visiting Singapore.
Singapore is one of the best destinations to travel with toddlers. There are many cool and unique attractions in Singapore and they are so awesome the kids may remember them for the rest of their lives!
Stockholm is one of the best international places to travel with toddlers as it’s safe, clean and family-friendly. It’s very easy to get around by public transport and practically everyone speaks English well. You’ll find lots to see and do whether you spend a week or just a weekend.
We spent 2 days in Stockholm with kids by Helsinki to Stockholm ferry. In May the weather was ideal for walking and outdoor play. There were quite a few other families around too but we didn’t find any of the places we visited at all crowded.
Junibacken theme park was our absolute favorite spot in Stockholm. A small ride through scenes from Astrid Lindgren’s books is very pleasant opportunity for both kids and parents. Pippi Långstocking’s house and wooden horse allow children to experience first-hand the story and they had so much fun playing there! The outdoor play area is wonderful for the little ones if weather allows and there’s nice sea views towards Stockolm city center too.
Just around the corner from Junibacken is Skansen, the largest open-air museum in the world with old buildings and a lovely atmosphere. There’s lots of space to run around and enjoy the fresh air and green surroundings.
Gamla Stan old town is a great place to go for a stroll and visit the cafes and restaurants. There are plenty of great playgrounds in Stockholm that toddlers will love. Additionally, Gröna Lund amusement park has fun rides for all ages.
Pia Oravainen runs the blog Next Stop TBC – check her also out on social media: @nextstoptbc
My son and daughter were born and raised in Taipei. I had found Taipei to be a comfortable place to live for years, but it wasn’t until my wife and I had kids that I realized it’s also an incredibly suitable place to raise children and probably one of the best international places to travel with toddlers.
To begin, Taiwanese are known for being hospitable, and this is especially true for visitors with babies or toddlers. They are fascinated by foreign (or in our case ‘mixed’) children, always going out of their way to be nice to us.
Another positive aspect of visiting Taipei with young kids is that the city has one of the world’s best public transportation systems. The Taipei MRT is super safe, clean, and easy to navigate with kids, with elevators in every station, breastfeeding rooms, and designated seats for parents. The MRT goes almost everywhere you’d want to go, but taxis are also plentiful and cheap.
Taipei also offers loads of kid-friendly activities. The city abounds in excellent parks and playgrounds, not to mention dozens of indoor play centers. The Taipei Children’s Amusement Park is great fun and extremely reasonably priced, while museums like the Science Education Center, Astronomical Museum, and Land Bank Museum (featuring dinosaurs) are always fun.
Even the typical tourist sights in Taipei are suitable for young children. My kids loved going up to 89th-floor observation deck at Taipei 101. They also got a thrill out of riding the glass-bottomed Maokong Gondola over tea farms, and the excellent Taipei Zoo right next door.
Last but not least, our favorite winter activity in Taipei is getting a private room at Beitou Hot Spring, where our whole family can relax together and enjoy the hot springs without worrying about bothering other people. See here for even more things to do in Taipei with kids
Thailand has to be one of the best international places to travel with toddlers. With a wonderful tropical climate, amazing beaches, great food, fascinating culture, friendly locals and stunning scenery, Thailand has it all.
When we travelled in Thailand with a baby and toddler it was the beaches and islands that we loved the best as we spent a couple of months island-hopping around the Andaman Sea. We spent a lot of time in Krabi Province and found some places that were perfectly suited to travelling with young children.
Of all the Thai Islands, Koh Lanta must be one of the best to visit with kids. It has all the amenities that you need but it has retained that laid back charm we all want from a paradise island.
The beaches are the main draw but inland you will find mountains shrouded in jungle, a protected mangrove forest and a pristine national park.
One of the great things about Koh Lanta and Thailand, in general, is that you can find some really good accommodation for reasonable prices right on the beach. This makes it so much easier to manage with a toddler than other countries where the hotels are further from the beach.
If your little one likes to socialize you will be pleased to hear that Koh Lanta is very popular with families, especially those with young children and babies.
Chris Bienemann runs the blog MORE LIFE IN YOUR DAYS
United Arab Emirates
Dubai may come across as a big glitzy city in the desert, but it is a surprisingly ideal place to travel to with toddlers in tow as so much is built with families front of mind. You could simply enjoy a relaxing week by the pool at one of the city’s family-friendly beach resorts draping the Arabian Gulf coast or get out there and explore!
During the cooler winter months (November through to April), enjoy the city’s many water parks and outdoor theme parks, including Legoland Dubai and Legoland Water Park especially for the little ones – although all the big water parks have special zones especially for smaller children. Dubai Garden Glow & Dinosaur Park and Dubai Miracle Garden – the largest flower garden in the world – are both magical favourites with our kids.
The winter months are also ideal for strolling many of the city’s popular neighborhoods including The Walk and The Beach in JBR, the Palm Jumeirah Boardwalk and quite recent additions including the fun and funky La Mer Beachfront and Al Seef, a modern addition to the city’s Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood for a taste of traditional Dubai living by the creek.
There’s still plenty to explore during the hotter summer months too. Toddlers visiting Dubai will love the Green Planet tropical rainforest biodome and the Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo, housed inside the world’s largest mall with countless toy stores and kiddy place centres to explore! Enjoy the free nightly fountain displays underneath the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa, or the incredible Imagine light, fire & water show at Dubai Festival City.
So, Dubai deserves to be on the list of best international places to travel with toddlers, we think!
Keri Hedrick is the founder & editor of the blog Family Travel in the Middle East
After traveling all over the United States with a toddler, we found Northern Ireland to be one of the best international places to travel with toddlers. People often travel throughout Ireland with kids, but there are some lesser-known destinations up north that make it very appealing with small children.
The best way to experience the country is with at least a one week Northern Ireland road trip. The Causeway Coast is beautiful and relaxing for a drive, and there are several great stops and towns along the way.
Belfast is a great start to your tour of Northern Ireland, with a stay in the family-friendly neighborhood of Ormeau Park. From Belfast, the seaside town of Carrickfergus is the perfect stop for toddlers. Enjoy hands-on activities at Carrickfergus Castle or the amazing Marine Play Park, it’s a highlight of any trip to Northern Ireland with kids.
After that, you can visit several toddler-friendly attractions outdoors including Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge, Giant’s Causeway and seaside towns including Portrush and Portstewart. Along the Causeway Coastal Route, there are several family-friendly towns with a playground at each one, which makes for an easy break with toddlers.
Aside from the beautiful views and attractions, one of the highlights for our toddler was the friendly people we met along the way. Our toddler loved chatting with the locals, and we felt very safe the entire time. Northern Ireland is definitely an amazing experience for an international trip with a toddler.
Amanda Emmerling is the creator and content writer of the family travel blog Toddling Traveler. Find her on social media as @toddling_traveler
My favourite place to travel with a baby so far has been Edinburgh, Scotland. We visited the city very successfully for 2 nights when she was just 5 months old.
There are so many essential sights to see in Edinburgh, I found the best way to see everything in a short amount of time with a baby is the hop-on-hop-off bus. The tour is run by Edinburgh bus tours and includes 3 routes in and around the city, some with commentary to enable you to explore areas you might not have got to on foot.
Although the baby slept most of the way, it was nice to know that we could get on and off at any time should we need to. The bus also stops at several top attractions such as the children museum, Edinburgh parliament and Edinburgh castle.
The city is stroller friendly and well connected by a newly built tram system. As well as the major sights, there are plenty of attractions that kids will love too. Edinburgh Zoo is home to over 1000 species from all over the world, including the UK’s only giant pandas and Koalas. The Royal Yacht Britannia is also well worth a visit – the ship was the queen’s former floating palace for over 40 years. Edinburgh also has a fabulous beach. Portobello beach is only a few miles from the city centre.
If you fancy something to eat, Toots play café, aimed at under 5’s, the café is filled with traditional toys and aims to make adults feel comfortable when the kids play. Alternatively, the Scottish Parliament café caters well for babies and toddlers, it also has a free creche on-site providing free childcare for up to four hours while you tour the parliament and enjoy the café.
Overall, I found Edinburgh a very safe city to explore and therefore one of the best international places to travel with toddlers. There’s a friendly atmosphere in Edinburgh with lots of other families, both local and tourists.
Turks & Caicos Islands
One of my favorite places to travel with a baby or toddler would be Providenciales, Turks & Caicos. My 2-year-old and I traveled here and loved it! At first, I wasn’t sure what to expect since it was just her and I but the island turned out to be very safe and the natives are super friendly!
Since we rented an Airbnb unit renting a car was the best transportation option for us. Let me tell you . . . I rent cars while traveling a lot but renting a car there was an experience in itself. 🤣
There’s so much to do while in Providenciales, Turks & Caicos but it really depends on what you’re looking to do while you’re there. As you may or may not know, you have to be open when it comes to traveling with small kids. . .
You’ll find yourself planning most of the trip around them. I personally went to unwind and chill out by the pool and beach. Our Airbnb unit was so cool. . . It was in a very secluded area of the island called Chalk Sound. We had our own infinity pool which was a few steps from our front door. I loved staying there since there were fewer tourists on that side of the island.
There are plenty of things to do for the entire family but most of the activities are on the main side of the island which is Grace Bay. That’s where the resorts and villas are located. But it just really depends on you and the family.
Shalona London runs the blog Moms Need a Break Too – find her also on Instagram: @momsneedabreaktoo
A California road trip is one of the best bucket list trips and one that can easily be done with a baby or toddler. We went with our son when he was nine months old, spending one month exploring the coast from San Francisco down to San Diego. We took it slowly, but you could do a shorter itinerary in as little as a week. The benefit of taking it slowly with a baby/toddler is that you can keep the drive times short.
For our trip, we stopped at Sonoma; San Francisco; Santa Cruz; Monterey; Big Sur; Paso Robles; Santa Barbara; LA; Laguna Beach; San Diego and Joshua Tree. Depending on the amount of time you have, you can pick and choose your favourites, and perhaps add a trip to Yosemite. However, I’d say driving the Pacific Coast Highway, especially the stretch along Big Sur, is an absolute must, and one of the things that make this trip so iconic.
It’s an ideal trip to do with a toddler as there’s so much to see and do that will keep both the little one and the adults entertained. From the museums and galleries of the cities to the splendid nature of the redwoods, vineyards and coast. One highlight is the Monterey Bay Aquarium, and there’s no end of beaches to explore. You’ll find that nearly all restaurants are willing to cater to children. It’s a very family-friendly destination, and a trip you’ll never forget.
Victoria Watts Kennedy runs the family blog Bridges and Balloons
St. Thomas Island
St. Thomas in the US Virgin Islands is the perfect beach vacation spot with little ones. When traveling with small children, renting a house or condo is often preferable to a hotel, and the beachfront condos at Sapphire Bay in St. Thomas are the perfect spot for the whole family. Our family has been multiple times, but most recently spent the week of New Year’s soaking up the sun, and the kids can’t wait to go back.
With the calm blue bay and white sand beach at your doorstep, there’s no need to lug all of that beach gear anywhere. Plus, most of the best snorkeling and beaches are just a few minutes from each other making it easy to break the day up into shorter outings- something we’ve learned makes for much happier little travelers.
Although petty crime is somewhat common, especially at night in Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas is overall quite safe as long as you stay aware of your surroundings and remain in the tourist areas.
St. Thomas is also home to Coral World Ocean Park offering touch pools, sea life encounters, and an underwater observatory tower. Or, take a ride through the sky on the tram to Paradise Point with gorgeous views of the harbor and Charlotte Amalie.
Brewer’s Bay Beach is a great spot to spend a few hours as it’s located just next to the airport. The kids will love to watch the planes come in for a landing on the airstrip that extends out into the ocean, and parents, be sure to bring your snorkel gear as Brewer’s Bay is a common place to swim with sea turtles.
By Kristin Young at Snorkel and Hike
Did we miss something? Where is your favorite place to travel with your small children? Comment below, we’d love to know!
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