Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > United States
Reload this Page >

Where have you gone on vacation with your 1, 2, or 3 yr old?

Where have you gone on vacation with your 1, 2, or 3 yr old?

Old Apr 18th, 2003, 09:41 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 327
Where have you gone on vacation with your 1, 2, or 3 yr old?

Just curious, as it seems a bit limited as to where you could go for a nice family vacation with the little ones.

We took our son to San Francisco for a weekend when 18months, it was a pretty good trip, we visited Alcatraz and Pier 39, but would skip the city bus tour, he wouldn't sit still, which in retrospect, seems like a nobrainer

When he was 2 1/2 we went to Daytona Beach for 3 days and WDW for 5 days and had a great time! We enjoyed the ocean and took our time at WDW, we didn't try to do everything, it was very HOT the first week of June. We also went swimming at the hotel every afternoon.

Now, he is 3 and we just returned from Scottsdale/PHX and had another great vacation. Alot more relaxed than WDW was. We visited a zoo and little amusement park and went swimming everyday.

With another baby on the way, I don't really have any ideas for next year, or even the year after, so was curious as to where others have been on vacation with wee little ones. I keep dreaming of returning to Hawaii, but my husband is opposed, maybe for the best
EmilySD is offline  
Old Apr 19th, 2003, 04:31 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 25,178
Sounds like you have done well so far. We didn't travel much until our son was 5 and then it was a beach vacation in the USVI. Many hours on the beach just watching kids play with each other and taking turns snorkeling. We would travel around every couple of days to see the sights or visit a different beach. Anyplace with a nice beach and other families would be good.
dfrostnh is offline  
Old Apr 19th, 2003, 04:35 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 22,402
We have vacationed every year since our kids were born (now 12 and 16). Where is less important than how. Transportation is first concern - it needs to be as uncomplicated as possible (if you fly, don't change planes twice with a layover somewhere), since you will be bringing a lot of stuff.

Second consideration is accomodations - a mini-kitchen at least is a must. Who wants to eat out 3 meals/day with really little kids. We found renting a cottage somewhere the best, but a Residence Inn type place also worked. Anything so we were not all in one room, since different sleeping schedules are more apparent when all must be quiet while others sleep.

Then look at what type of place. For us, some form of water was important, preferably a beach, but a really good pool sometimes was enough. Sightseeing is limited because of kids attention spans and their ability to annoy others - so outside sights are much better than, for example, museums. That is why Alcatraz and Pier 39 worked and the city bus tour did not.

From East Coast we went to WDW (they happily sat in strollers and could have been on a trip to the mall for all they knew), Cape Cod cottage, Florida beaches, New Hampshire lake cottage. All worked, if not as relaxing for parents as we had hoped.

gail is offline  
Old Apr 19th, 2003, 12:29 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,189
By the time my first son was three he had been to Carlsbad Caverns, NM, Yosemite, CA Monument Valley, UT Natural Bridges National Monument, UT, Canyonlands National Park Needles District and Island in the Sky District (and that's before the paved the roads!), UT, Capitol Reef National Park, UT, Cedar Breaks National Monument, UT, Lassen National Park, CA Lava Beds National Monument, CA Mt. Rainer National Park, WA, North Cascades National Park, WA, Manning Provincial Park, British Columbia, Vancover Island, BC, Olympic National Park, WA, Mesa Verde National Park, CO, Black Canyon of the Gunnison (when it was still a National Monument), Colorado National Monument, CO, Dinosuar National Monument, UT.

All but Carlsbad Caverns were on camping trips.

My second son by the time he was three had been to Bryce National Park, UT, Zion National Park, UT, N. Rim of the Grand Canyon, AZ, Lake Powell, AZ, Yellowstone National Park, YW, Grand Tetons, WY, Zion National Park (again), Monument Valley, Canyonlands Needles Section, Capitol Reef National Park, & Yosemite National Park.

Kids go where you go. I found the loved being with their parents.

utahtea is offline  
Old May 2nd, 2003, 08:46 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 327
I'm still interested in some other experiences

Have a great weekend!
EmilySD is offline  
Old May 2nd, 2003, 10:08 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 12,592
We took our daughter to Japan at 4 months, and had a great time. She couldn't crawl yet, but introduced us to many nice people. We took both our girls to Maui, Kauai, or San diego a few times each year. We found these very easy trips...single flight trips, wonderful pool or beach to amuse them,and the use of a car, and no moving around made it easy to keep them (and us!) happy. At age two or three we did Disneyland but took a motel across the street so we could walk home for naps.
We didn't really begin to go interesting places till the youngest was in Kindergarten...we wanted the trips to a least be remembered. Since then we've done many extended trips all over the US and world.
My advice to parents (of any age kids)is to always plan different types of activities..balance a car ride with running in a park, promise a swim or movie after a day of museums, alternate gourmet meals with Burger king, and squeeze some totally kid-centered things (theme park, pony rides)into every trip. Also, train them early to be good travellers and neighbors so that you can take them everywhere without having to worry about disturbing others or spending your whole time on discipline!
lcuy is offline  
Old May 2nd, 2003, 11:46 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,014
You've gotten great advice, so I'll just give you my list! Alaska, Carmel, Chicago, camping many places, to the beach more than once a week, Coronado, Santa Barbara, and Yosemite. Looking forward to a return trip to Alaska next year,along with San Francisco, San Diego, and Chicago. Enjoy... and I would do hawaii in a minute with my little guys!
moneygirl is offline  
Old May 3rd, 2003, 06:40 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 62
Moneygirl's comments on taking young children to Alaska reminds me of the WORST trip we ever had with our children.... We took an 8 month old there who ended up waking up screaming every hour at night. Since the sun never really set, the poor thing was so confused when the bedroom was lit up like noon all night. We decided that next time we go, we'll put a thick blanket over the window while we sleep. As far as other ideas... anyplace with a beach or a warm pool will delight the little ones. My advice is to keep your trip short and sweet. Being away from home and all their things makes it so difficult to care for the kids. We generally limit our trips to 5 days. At the end of that time, we all can't wait to be home. Also, direct, non-stop flights are a must.
TheDish is offline  
Old May 3rd, 2003, 08:18 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,139
With 2 young kids, the logistics get a bit more difficult, as you might guess.

When we had kids 5 and 1 1/2, we drove to Grand Teton & Yellowstone National Parks. We stayed in cabin-type places with kitchens. The little one was transported by backpack (esp. while hiking) or stroller, and the older one still remembers the trip and loved it (as did we).

When they were 2 1/2 and 6, we spent a week in Boston and Maine - rented a cottage in Maine. We took boat rides, hiked and ate lots of lobster.

Big-city trips can be easier because you can return to your hotel room when needed, there's a variety of dining options, and little kids always love public transportation. We took our kids when little for long weekends to Chicago, New Orleans & San Francisco (plus Boston).

We also spent a long weekend in San Diego when our youngest was 3 1/2; we wanted her to be old enough to enjoy Legoland. We visited the Zoo, Legoland and Seaworld, and spent time at the beach. This trip, more than the others, was more focused on kids' activities.
Lexma90 is online now  
Old May 3rd, 2003, 09:00 PM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 735
When my kids were those ages, we pretty much stuck to relatives and various beaches for vacation. We tried to bring a babysitter/mother's helper with us so the adults could have occasional time off at the beach. Don't worry we were very nice to our babysitter giving her plenty of time to enjoy the clubs for young people, etc. (We had a WONDERFUL babysitter who I still keep in touch with after all these years.) Since we drove to the beach vacations, we did not have to pay airfare for the babysitter.

Just remember that when you vacation with babies and toddlers packing the car is more akin to an expedition to climb Mount Everest than a vacation and your activities do have to be scaled down to consider the needs for snacks and naps. In an art gallery with a baby, you are usually OK if the baby is asleep or if you CONSTANTLY push the stroller.

Once the kids were ages 6 & 4 we started taking them on more ambitious trips.

The family trips continued until about age 14 when each of them preferred to go on teen trips or to sleep away camp. The adults would then vacation while the kids were away on their kid vacations. The whole family vacation business tends to get more difficult from age 13 or 14 on up because they prefer to hang with their contemporaries rather than their parents. Remembering back to the Middle Ages when I was that age, I do remember a certain resistance to doing anything with parents.

We did take the kids all over the US, to Nova Scotia and to Europe but not when they were babies or toddlers. My kids are now 23 & 21, and, no, they do not travel with parents anymore.
LaurenSKahn is offline  
Old May 5th, 2003, 08:49 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 327
Thank you for so many wonderful ideas.
Have a great week!
EmilySD is offline  
Old May 5th, 2003, 10:51 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 849
A couple of years ago, I realized that I had taken my daughter to Death Valley when she was 3 months old, and my son to Donner Pass when he was 6 months old.

Between my 2 kids, they went to Las Vegas, Death Valley, Reno, San Antonio, WDW, Kennedy Space Center, the California Coast (including a winery), New Orleans, Ruidoso (NM), Brownsville and MoRanch (both in TX) and lots of relative's houses at the ages you mention.

I can't say I ever had a relaxing vacation with both kids until the youngest was 4. When they were young, it was nice to splurge on a good hotel room, because we spent more time inside than on non-kid trips. A good pool that allows babies and toddlers is a must; a nearby breakfast-type restaurant, preferably open by 5 am may be helpful if you don't have a kitchenette. Grassy parks with playground equipment are really nice.
travellyn is offline  
Old May 5th, 2003, 11:14 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 473
we've taken our 3 yo every year to delray beach, florida - at first because of relatives, but later because he had such a damn fine time. and we did, too. there is a beautiful mariott right across the street from the beach, which is a great beach with cabanas you can rent.
flopmeister is offline  
Old May 5th, 2003, 12:01 PM
Posts: n/a
She will be 11 months old this week & has been to Paris as well as the beach & mountains numerous times. Flown 4 times so far. She is quite a good conversation starter, especially in Paris..
Old May 12th, 2003, 08:28 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 327
Thanks again for so many more ideas!
EmilySD is offline  
Old May 12th, 2003, 10:03 PM
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 1
A Maui condo was perfect for a week long trip with our two year old. We stayed in Napili, near the Ritz Carlton. The beach in Napili was calm and not as windy as Wailea. The beach actually had some large trees for shade and was just steps from our condo.We will go back soon!
bambola is offline  
Related Topics
Original Poster
Last Post
United States
Aug 23rd, 2008 05:01 AM
United States
May 2nd, 2007 12:25 PM
United States
Feb 3rd, 2006 07:18 PM
United States
Aug 27th, 2005 01:09 PM
United States
Aug 28th, 2002 05:30 AM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Do Not Sell My Personal Information