Suggestions for a vacation with a baby
December 6, 2022 8:13 AM   Subscribe

I would like to take a vacation with my partner and our baby, who will be about 6 months at the time. The adults are both a little burnt out and we would like to do something that was relaxing and de-stressing, but the idea of a beach vacation with a small person who would just eat sand and get sunburned does not appeal.

I have no idea what we would like to do, other than it be relaxing, not involve a lot of planning, and let us spend some time just hanging out with the baby without worrying about stuff. If it were in Canada that would be convenient, since we wouldn't need to get a passport for the baby.

Our usual vacation mode has been either wilderness camping or museum hopping - the first is not going to happen (not with a baby and definitely not in Canada in January), but the second is a possibility. but I don't know that I'm up to much planning or how relaxing that would be. We had been wondering about all-inclusive resorts, but I have no experience with them as an adult, let alone with a baby - and the activities that would most appeal (snorkeling or kayaking) are also not baby-friendly.

I wanted to ask ideas from other people who have vacationed with babies under one and what worked for them.
posted by jb to Travel & Transportation (10 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Under 1- just rent a house 2-3 hours a way in a place you haven't been in a different environment. You'll hang out with baby in new place. You live in a city, rent a place in the sticks? You live in the sticks, rent a place in a nicer residential area in the city. Or even a hotel.
posted by sandmanwv at 8:16 AM on December 6, 2022 [4 favorites]

I feel you. When my son was 9 months, we vacationed in Bermuda which is a two hour flight from NYC and it was perfect. The island is safe, small and has a nice downtown. The weather is not super hot in December/January, in the 70s F, so there are not a ton of tourists in the winter season. We stayed at the Fairmont Hotel. They have a kids room and places for lounging in the sun. There are not a ton of activities in the island as it is more of a financial center and tourism comes second. Everyone was lovely and there is a baby shop in town to pick up any last minute baby needs.
posted by ichimunki at 8:22 AM on December 6, 2022 [3 favorites]

Maybe find out about a place with a really good baby club? We went to port blu pollenca in Majorca in Majorca and their baby club supervisor girl was GREAT… and the food was wonderful and it was very relaxing. I don’t think it fits your bill because the weather isn’t good in your timeframe and it’s far away but a place with a baby club would be good if you would like a chance to chill and get a break. Otherwise, I found, vacations aren’t really vacations.
posted by pairofshades at 8:39 AM on December 6, 2022

If it's spring/summer/fall renting a cottage with lake access (may I suggest Prince Edward County if you're in Ontario) worked really well for us at that age.

We had a room that was separate for the baby, we had country/cottage air and view, and we had a nice area to poke around in shops and farm stands and all that. And a couch. And a BBQ. One parent could kayak and the other could do the nap, both could sit out and enjoy the breeze and so on.
posted by warriorqueen at 8:45 AM on December 6, 2022 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: We're not too worried about having baby sitting; part of what I'd like to do is chill with the baby. But it would be nice to be elsewhere and not worrying about cooking, cleaning, our drier being broken, etc.
posted by jb at 8:45 AM on December 6, 2022

We went to three different continents with our first kid before he turned 1. Few things I will say:

1. Travelling gets exponentially harder and more difficult with more kids and older ages, as they have their own ideas about what to do, and you can only travel when they are not in school. So make the most of your time now! I know it seems fairly daunting to travel with a young baby, but it’s far easier now than it will ever be in the next few years.

2. We chose city breaks where we spent our time eating and wandering museums, which are usually baby friendly. The hotel was right in the middle of the city so we could pop back when necessary

3. Kid friendly activity holidays are pointless with a baby — they are not going to enjoy it. Same with beach holidays. Your baby now is currently an extension of you, so choose somewhere you want to go.

4. I found long haul flights to be easy with a baby, providing you choose the night flight where they are sleeping most of the time.

5. Honestly if I were in your situation again, I would go to one of the big Japanese cities. Clean, baby friendly, lots to do.
posted by moiraine at 8:46 AM on December 6, 2022 [3 favorites]

A city vacation with a baby can work. Choose an appealing AirBnB or hotel suite that doesn't have a lot of obvious baby hazards. Make sure it's in a spot near parks with a lot of nice walking and maybe an easy walking distance from a museum you are interested in. You can wear the baby or use a stroller and easily be in and out for naps (and can switch off spending time with the baby in the Airbnb and going for walks/sitting at cafes reading or whatever). You can get nice take out in the evenings or try to venture out for a meal. If you want to stay in Canada in January, it's probably going to have to be Vancouver or something? (Montreal would be great for this but not in January.)

But you could try, say, certain areas of Southern California, like Los Angeles or San Diego or Palm Springs. Or you could try San Juan or Mexico City or smaller cities in Mexico.
posted by vunder at 8:50 AM on December 6, 2022 [1 favorite]

The only time in my life that I’ve done an all inclusive was when we had two kids under two years old. I had no energy or brain power to plan anything. It was perfect. We did go to the beach (Cuba) and tacked in a couple of day trips. Airport pick up, easy buffet eating, shade on the beach or at the pool, picking up French fries and juice at the beach/pool, sleeping and reading when we wanted to.

I’m a holiday snob and usually plan everything myself but that time it was 100% right to plan nothing.

If you want to stay in Canada I can recommend Jouvence for another everything taken care of holiday. It won’t be warm though. I don’t have fond memories of stuffing my infants and toddlers into snowsuits.

(If you need a passport make an appointment now. I just had them done for my kids and times are still slow. You’ll likely need a date of travel to get it done more quickly.)
posted by Cuke at 9:16 AM on December 6, 2022 [3 favorites]

We traveled for a wedding when baby was exactly 6 months old. My advice for true chill is to consider time zones. Our 6am riser in NYC woke up at 3am in California and it was not relaxing in the least.

What I would want in such a vacation would be a hotel with room service as well as an all day cafe where you can get fruit, cookies, milk, etc. I would want it walkable to a stroller friendly promenade, a museum and a playground with baby swings. A heated pool would be nice.
posted by xo at 9:51 AM on December 6, 2022 [2 favorites]

Don't rent an Airbnb. This happens, but more so with a baby (and probably to both parents)

If the goal is just a change of scenery and relaxation, I would recommend a fully inclusive resort hotel.
posted by caek at 11:43 AM on December 6, 2022 [2 favorites]

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