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22 Amazing Places in the World to Travel with Toddlers in 2019

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To help you you plan your 2019 family trip, we decided to reach out to other family travel experts for their suggestions of the best vacation destinations with toddlers. Toddlers are fun to travel with because you get to experience the excitement and wonder of discovering the world through the eyes of your children (or grandchildren).  

These kid-friendly spots are recommended based on personal experience by families that have actually visited with their own toddlers.  Many even have in depth travel guides and reviews on three own blogs.  So don’t forget to check out some of the links for each location.  

I know you will find something to add to your bucket list.  Let us help you, whether its saving enough money or packing for your vacation!

 

Valais region, Switzerland

The first recommendation for a toddler-friendly destination is from Corina, founder and writer at Packed Again. She wrote “Having twin toddlers, I feel it is a must to choose your destination where the kids can be outside in nature, and there’s no better place than Switzerland to find this.

The Valais region is in the heart of the Swiss Alps and there is no shortage of picnic places near a stream, playgrounds or even a great lake. Just perfect for our toddlers to get dirty, throw as many stones in the water as they can and build bridges with branches. On top of all, we might be able to spot one or two mountain animals in a magnificent and safe surrounding. For me, it is the perfect toddler destination.

Twin toddlers in Valais region Switzerland.

Photo Credit: Packed Again

Etosha National Park, Namibia

Jenny from Travelynn Family has experience traveling in Africa with kids.  She tells us “Yes, you can take toddlers on safari!”

Earlier this year we traversed Africa in a Land Rover with our boys (our youngest was 2) for almost 4 months. We took them on a lot of safaris, but Etosha National Park, Namibia, was definitely the best one for his age group. Firstly it’s very affordable (kids are free!), and wildlife spotting is easy due to the vast open plains, lack of vegetation, and an abundance of wildlife. In fact, the entire country is a fantastic family destination and you may like to read our 10 reasons to visit Namibia with kids.”

Toddlers and family in Etosha National Park, Namibia

Photo Credit: Travelynn Family

Nice, France

Shanna from There and Back Again Family Travel Blog suggests families with toddlers should visit Nice, France.  “Nice is a cute as a button town in the south of France on the Mediterranean Sea.  It is a perfect escape for a family with toddlers because of its manageable size, easy public transport options and abundance of easy, kid friendly day trips.  We loved shopping at the Cours Saleya market in Nice for goodies, having picnics and playing at the Promenade du Paillon (a huge park, playground and green space at the heart of the city) and exploring Nice’s narrow, cobbled streets and alleyways.”

A toddler enjoying Nice, France from the stroller

Photo Credit: There and Back Again Family Travel Blog

Barcelona, Spain

Traveling with a baby and toddler,  Diana from The Elusive Family, was able to recommend Barcelona, Spain based on personal experience. 

“Sitting on the coast of the Mediterranean, Barcelona offers toddlers the opportunity to run amuck on La Rambla or explore the majestic L’Aquarium Barcelona, our top pick for toddlers. Boasting the largest sea tunnel in Europe, L’Aquarium is a perfect place to spend the afternoon watching sharks, sea turtles and hundreds of species swim in a vast Oceanarium.” 

 

 

Chicago, Illinois

Catherine from Traveling with the Littles suggests that  “If the weather is agreeable the best places to take toddlers are Millennium Park and Maggie Daley Park.  Located in the heart of downtown Chicago, both places are great for small children to stretch their legs!  Millennium Park boasts the ‘Bean’ which is an enormous reflective metal ‘bean’ in which toddlers can admire their reflections and scamper about. Also found in Millennium Park is Crown Fountain, an interactive five-story fountain which periodically shoots water out onto waiting children.  Maggie Daley Park’s Play Garden is replete with a colossal playground, a ‘Watering Hole,’ a boardwalk, and an ‘Enchanted Forest.”         

Shedd Aquarium and city skyline along Lake Michigan in Chicago, Illinois

Photo Credit: Traveling with the Littles

Sanur, Bali, Indonesia

Kate Comer from Rolling Along With Kids explains that “Exploring South East Asia with toddlers can be tricky. Sanur, located on the island of Bali in Indonesia, is easy to navigate with toddlers and you can also enjoy the beautiful culture that Bali has to offer. The flat, paved beach path is easy to walk along with young kids. Our favourite way to spend time in Sanur is to visit one of the many beach clubs with pools and playgrounds located along the beach path.”

Sanur, Bali, Indonesia is an ideal destination for toddlers

Photo Credit: Rolling Along With Kids

Seattle, Washington, USA

I have to agree with Astrid from The Wandering Daughter when she recommends Seattle, Washington for toddlers.  She wrote a guide on her blog and summarized the city for us.

“The city of Seattle, WA offers families with toddlers plenty of options to explore and play. With over 400 outdoor parks and play areas, as well as family-friendly museums, there is no shortage of things to do for families in Seattle. By far the best spot for families to visit in the city is the Seattle Center, with its giant fountain for water play, art and music inspired playground, and the iconic Space Needle offering panoramic views of the city. Also not to be missed is the Children’s Museum, where toddlers can engage with hands-on educational exhibits.”

Chihuly Garden and Glass in Seattle, Washington

Photo Credit: The Wandering Daughter

La Paz, Bolivia

After 4 months of traveling around South America,  Amanda at Great Big Family Adventure recommends La Paz, Bolivia as a perfect destination for toddlers. 

“For a 1-3-year-old, La Paz, Bolivia would be cool. It is a large city but connected by cable cars which are fun and cheap. There is a large Central Park with amusement rides and a large boardwalk over the city to Pipiripi, the local Children’s museum with lots of exciting hands-on activities for children of all ages and parents too!”

Playing in a jungle made solely of old newspaper, glue and paint in La Paz Pipiripi childrens museum

Photo Credit: Great Big Family Adventure

Reykjavik, Iceland

With a roundup of their own, the Wandermust Family wrote that  “Iceland is a really hot (well not literally) family travel destination right now!  I was worried when we went that it wouldn’t live up to the hype but I can happily report that it did not disappoint!  Whether you are traveling in Winter or summer, staying in Reykjavik or going beyond the Golden Circle there is just so much to do with kids!  Our favorite thing was exploring all of the outdoor activities like chasing waterfalls, discovering black sand beaches and meeting Icelandic horses!  It is a great outdoor adventure holiday for all the family”

 

Tokyo, Japan

When asked for a recommendation for Asia, Wisterian Watertree wrote “The biggest city in the world is also one of the toddler-friendliest. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of sights accessible with a stroller. Everything from thousand-year-old temples to high-tech marvels like the tallest TV tower in the world all sits along trains and subway lines, which makes getting around an easy project, even on rainy days. And there are public parks and playgrounds dotting the cityscape everywhere. On top of that, this is the city in the world which has the most Michelin stars – but any everyday meal will be as tasty as a feast in a far more expensive Japanese restaurant in your home country. 

 
One of our favorite things is going to see the different shrines of Tokyo, especially during a festival. Your kids can participate and there are typically lots of interesting foods and activities to try – from shooting ranges with actual cork guns to enormous griddles full of okonomiyaki in the making.”

Yasukuni Jinja Tokyo with Toddlers

Photo Credit: Wisterian Watertree

New York, New York USA

Based on their own time in the big city, Cath at Passports and Adventures recommends New York City.

“New York is a great city to visit with toddlers. We visited with our two-year-old son and found plenty of toddler-friendly activities to do. Such as a water ferry ride around the tip of Manhattan, a trip to the 86th floor of the Empire State Building and even a trip around Central Park. The bright lights of Times Square will fascinate them, just be aware of the noise level for them. With museums, plenty of hotels, and restaurants and diners galore, New York is definitely a city that can be visited with toddlers.”

Manhattan skyline in New York city

Photo Credit: Passports and Adventures

Tuscany, Italy

When asked, Marta from Learning Escapes, replied you should pick Tuscany for a family vacation!

A destination I loved when our kids were toddlers and that I recommend to all young families is the gorgeous Italian region of Tuscany. International visitors tend to know Tuscany for its cultural attractions and wineries but it is an incredibly family friendly area and many Italian families vacation here, giving it a wonderful local feel. 

The biggest attractions for families with toddlers here is the coast: it is beautiful, safe and well served, with a vast choice of hotels, campsites and resorts to suit all budgets. In terms of entertainment, the choice is endless too: you can relax making sand castles, go visit local farms for cute animal encounters, let the kids wander in car-free hilltop villages and even go to theme parks! 

 

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Phuket, Thailand

After spending 10 days in Phuket with toddlers, Brandi from Toddler Abroad has a trustworthy resource for Thailand.  Plus, I’ve been dreaming of taking my own kids there. 

“Phuket has a number of excellent beaches and other toddler-friendly things to do. It’s incredibly cheap and Thai people love children. Our toddler’s favorite thing to do was ride tuk-tuks around the island.”

Toddlers enjoying the beach in Phuket, Thailand

Photo Credit: Toddler Abroad

La Fortuna, Costa Rica

We loved northern Costa Rica so I just had to add it to this list.  The La Fortuna/Arenal Volcano area is exciting for families.  We hiked the Arenal Volcano and spent lunch watching the clouds and smoke dance along the top of the volcano.  In the evening we soaked in the hot springs with the locals.  The following days were spent enjoying the sloths, monkeys, toucans, iguanas, and Cayman at the Proyecto Asis animal rescue and Caño Negro Wildlife Reserve. 

Arenal Volcano hike

Photo Credit: Family Travel Fever

Moab, Utah USA

After visiting the area ourselves with 4 kids, we agree with Kristie from World is Wide, with her recommendation of Moab. 

“Moab, Utah is a fantastic family destination for all ages. It’s our family’s favorite place on the planet, and it has been since our kids were toddlers. It’s got all the ingredients for an ideal toddler destination: two amazing national parks (Arches and Canyonlands), hiking trails galore, dinosaur tracks and remains, and lots and lots of sand. “

Moab, Utah is a top pick for the best vacation destination with toddlers

Photo Credit: World is Wide

Lake Bled, Slovenia

My Dad’s heritage is from Slovenia and I visited with my grandmother when I was younger, so I was excited to hear Chelsea from Pack More Into Life choose the beautiful Lake Bled. 

“If you are looking for a great vacation spot to bring your toddler? Look no further than Lake Bled, Slovenia. With its beautiful lake, castle crested cliff, cute playgrounds, and easy sidewalks to make pushing a stroller a breeze, it’s certainly got something for everyone!

Want to read all about the week-long trip with our 2-year-old son? Head over to our family-friendly blog: Pack More Into Life

Toddler and his family enjoying at Lake Bled, Slovenia

Photo Credit: Pack More into Life

Gold Coast, Australia

Holly from Four Around the World responded that  “The Gold Coast, Australia is a perfect family-friendly destination to visit with toddlers! They have some of the most beautiful beaches for a family day out, as well as being the home to all of Australia’s best theme parks, all of which have areas dedicated to younger children. There are also some fantastic playgrounds and parklands, and several places to visit for native animal encounters, such as Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary or Fleay’s Fauna Park.”

The beaches of Gold Coast, Australia are a perfect for toddlers

Photo Credit: Four Around the World

London, England

Cath of Passports and Adventures has written specifically on their blog about things to do in London with a toddler.

“London might not seem like the sort of place to vacation with a toddler, but it has so much to offer. From visiting SeaLife and taking a ride on the London Eye, to exploring the Tower of London and more, it is a city that has it all for toddlers. Getting around London is easy with the Tube your best option, there are lots of family-friendly places to stay and the choice of cafes and restaurants on offer will please even the fussiest of eaters.”

The London Eye in Southbank

Photo Credit: Passports and Adventures

Buena Vista, Colorado USA

After a fun summer gathering with 6 kids, including 4 toddlers, our extended family recommends Buena Vista, Colorado.  This small mountain town is situated at the base of the Rocky Mountains, on the Arkansas River and easy access from Denver.  We found plenty of short (and long) hikes, little creeks to splash in, fishing in the river and wildlife to watch.  You can stay in the town, rent a mountain cabin, camp in the forest, or take a short backpacking trip. While you are enjoying your time there you can ponder the pronunciation of Buena Vista.

Toddlers playing in a. creek in Buena Vista, Colorado

Photo Credit:  Daniel Kocman

Dubai, UAE

Keri Hendrick from Family Travel in the Middle East responded: “Dubai is a city crying out to be explored by families. Toddlers will love the huge variety of waterparks and splash parks available across the city from Duplo Splash Safari at Legoland Waterpark to the Splashers area of Atlantis, designed specifically for smaller kids. 

The beach and resort weather is great almost year around, however, in the absolute hottest summer months there are still plenty of indoor activities too.  The huge Kidzania and Dubai Aquarium at Dubai Mall are always a hit, as is Mattel Playtown at City Walk ideal for youngsters. 

Don’t forget to check out a desert safari during your stay which will include an opportunity to ride a camel – and top your visit off with the spectacular light and sound fountain show outside Burj Khalifa every night.”

Toddlers will love Legoland in Dubai, UAE

Photo Credit: Family Travel in the Middle East

Tel Aviv, Israel

The last and another unique pick comes from Melissa at The Family Voyage.  “We’ve taken toddlers to Tel Aviv twice and it’s become a family favorite! There’s never a shortage of activities, whether you like relaxing at the beach, sampling food at the open-air markets, strolling along the boardwalk and the leafy boulevards or even visiting the weekly craft fair in the middle of the city. Kids are welcome everywhere and it’s easy to find common Western ‘kids menu’ food at restaurants. There are playgrounds throughout the city and even on many beaches, so fun is always just around the corner! Get the inside scoop on visiting Tel Aviv with kids right here. “

Tel Aviv, Israel with toddlers

Photo Credit: The Family Voyage

Just compiling this list, I added a bunch of destinations to our bucket list.  Your turn – Did we miss any of the best vacation destinations for toddlers?  What would you add to the list?

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2 Comments

  1. Sandra Riguzzi

    Great idea for a post! Although I do not have a toddler, I do have a teenager with needs and we are going to Italy this spring. I will be sure to look into Tuscany!

    Reply
    • Shauna Kocman

      Thank you! Tuscany for kids had not occurred to me! I had so much fun working with these wonderful travel experts and I loved watching the responses roll in. I was surprised by the locations they chose.

      Reply

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