Many will confide that a healthy, nursing infant is the best kind of travel companion. No bottles needed, and a cuddly, content newborn will sleep the days away regardless of location.While the image of travelling with you baby may seem dreamy, the reality is that a few details could make or break a comfortable trip with a baby. We've taken into account the factors that should be considered when planning with the newest member of your family in mind.
While nursing and travel are not mutually exclusive for new Moms, cultural variations on breastfeeding are a prominent concern. For formula fed babies, parents should consider the availability of clean drinking water when traveling. As always, check doctors and public offices, for the most current information on required vaccines and areas of restricted travel.
Here is a list of 15 infant friendly destinations....many of which you weren't expecting!
15 Tokyo, Japan
Tokyo is known for it's "Baby Cafes", specifically designed to cater to mothers of babies. These locations are places that one can relax with a snack, meal, or beverage of choice while the baby sleeps or plays happily in nearby, child proofed areas.
While public breastfeeding may still be controversial in Japan, Tokyo is known for it's substantial accommodations to the nursing mother, as well as to the accompanying father. Luxurious family rooms for nursing and changing babies are widely available throughout the city. Places to go with Baby: Tokyo Tower, Sunshine International Aquarium/Planetarium. Don't Miss: Shinjuku Gyoen Park
14 London, England
This stroller-friendly destination offers many stair-free options through public transit, making stroller use incredibly convenient. Plus, the baby and the stroller travel free on all public transport.
You won't have to worry about nursing; breastfeeding is legal and publicly acceptable. Parent rooms and changing facilities are abundant throughout the city's department stores, shopping centers, museums, and galleries. Places to go with Baby: Stonehenge, Warwick Castle. Don't Miss: South Bank.
13 Tuscany, Italy
Tuscany is not necessarily known for it's child friendly activities, but it's a grown up destination that is suitable for a newborn. Italians are known for loving babies and will likely exclaim terms of endearment for your traveling bundle of joy. Tuscany and Italy are family friendly locations, where no place will exclude you for toting your baby around. Babies and children are generally welcomed everywhere. Pushing a stroller may not be recommended, but a baby carrier would suite the area well. No need to feel shy about breastfeeding here, it is highly promoted in Tuscany; the city even hosts a public campaign called, "Breastfeeding - What Could Be Better"? Places to go with Baby: The Boboli Gardens, The Leaning Tower of Pisa. Don't Miss: Capo Sant’Andrea on Elba Island.
12 Chicago, USA
One of the most infant friendly destinations in the world! The Windy City is famously stroller friendly, and with good reason for the plethora of baby activities available. Enjoy free stroller tours to three of the major museums in the area, The Museum of Contemporary Art, The Art Institute of Chicago, and The Field Museum. Attend one of numerous drop-in music classes, designed just for the little ones. Take a lullaby class for babies under five months. Find a variety of fitness classes just for moms, with on site daycare. Or, do it together at crawling classes, infant swimming lessons, or baby yoga. You can even attend a baby matinee at the movies with your baby. The list goes on and on. Chicago has arms wide open for baby and you! Places to go with Baby: Navy Pier, Buckingham Fountain in Grant Park, Shedd Aquarium. Don't Miss: Chicago's Lakefront Trail.
An incredibly affordable, exotic destination full of Latin communities where children are typically cherished and adored. Uncovered, public breastfeeding is the norm in this country. Women openly and unashamedly feed their babies anytime, anywhere without hesitation. Facilities for nursing and changing may not always be available, but this non-judgmental culture is widely accepting of children and their needs. Uneven sidewalks and poorly maintained roads, make stroller use uncommon. Opt for a carrier or a lightweight portable stroller. Don't be fooled by the media about misconceptions over the safety of traveling in Ecuador. This South American country is plenty safe, family friendly, and welcoming, with no greater crime than any American city. Places to go with Baby: Manabi Coast, Parque La Carolina in Quito. Don't Miss: The Otavalo indigenous Market.
This Caribbean country is a winner for baby for many reasons. Not only is it an affordable, English speaking nation, but it is yet another location known for it's love of babies.
Unicef has paired with several other companies in recent years to establish a breastfeeding initiative, that publicly encourages women to exclusively breast feed. Don't be surprised to see the propaganda being vigorously promoted with poster and ad campaigns throughout the country. Baby carriers over strollers are recommended, but not exclusive, for most travel experiences in Belize. Places to go with Baby: the Mayan Ruins at Caracol, Placencia forests & beaches. Don't Miss: Blue Morpho Butterfly Farm.
9 Taipei, Taiwan
This family friendly destination is full of attractions and activities to appeal to kids of all ages. This would be an ideal place to take a newborn, as well their older children. Baby carriers and strollers are equally acceptable in this city. Bring both if possible, or do your research on stroller accessibility before heading out. You might be surprised that breastfeeding is highly encouraged here, but doing so privately is more appropriate than publicly. Luckily, the city has made great efforts to make mother's rooms widely available. They are common commodities even in restaurants and throughout the numerous parks. Places to go with Baby: Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall, Longshan Temple. Don't Miss: Dihua Street.
The Greek culture is family oriented and welcomes babies and children from all walks of life. Children travel for free on buses and boats, and sometimes stay free at hotels and eat free at family friendly restaurants. A stroller and a baby carrier are both essential here, and the need for their use will vary depending on your location and the activities you embark on. Hotels are full of amenities to suite your babies needs. Cots and bassinets are usually available, if you ask. Even diaper service can be found when you are willing to pay the premium price. Public breastfeeding isn't illegal here, but is practiced in discretion. Although it would unlikely unveil any difficulties otherwise, using a blanket or cover up in public is appreciated and respected. Places to go with Baby: the Plaka District of Athens, Ornos Beach on Mykonos (Greek Isle). Don't Miss: The Castles Of Rhodes.
7 Hawaii, USA
The islands are full of family friendly hotels, activities, and destinations.
Necessities like baby food, clothing and diapers are available but expensive on the islands, so packing ample amounts of what you'll need would be ideal. There are plenty of sightseeing opportunities that will leave you needing either a stroller or a baby carrier. Both would be beneficial, but if forced to choose one, go with the carrier. You might be surprised to learn that public breastfeeding in Hawaii can be quite controversial. While there are laws in place that protect a mother's right to nurse openly, the public may be quick to disagree. To avoid a conflict, it is best to ask for permission or to excuse yourself to a more private location. Places to go with Baby: Po'ipu Beach Park, Valley of the Temples. Don't Miss: Makapu’u Point Lighthouse Trail.
6 San Diego, USA
Full of family friendly destinations and baby happy beaches, this is a great choice for baby's first trip to the beach. Well stocked bathrooms with full amenities for families are common, and so are outdoor public showers for rinsing any sand off of Baby. The city offers a variety of outdoor activities like hiking & walking trails, as well as beachfront boardwalks. These types of venues are ideal for strollers. But watch out for compact indoor spaces like museums and galleries that will not accommodate large strollers. There are laws in this state that protect a mother and her right to breastfeed in any public location. However, there have been highly scrutinized cases of shaming while breastfeeding in public offices and schools. It not common to see uncovered breastfeeding here, but it is certainly allowed. Places to go with Baby: Birch Aquarium, San Diego Botanic Garden. Don't Miss: Mission Beach & Boardwalk.
5 Montreal, Canada
Regardless of whether baby is two days or two years old, this city has plenty to offer for infants and young families alike. This stroller friendly community has numerous parks and "stroller strolls" to engage in. The city has many kid friendly festivals that offer free activities geared towards children that include live music, circus acts, and workshops. It will be easy to find a plethora of cafés, restaurants and play places to please both mommy and baby. Need a place to breastfeed? No problem, look for stickers in business windows that indicate participation in the Route de Lait. This program promotes nursing by inviting mothers and their babies to come inside for a place to nurse, with no obligation to buy. Places to go with Baby: The Botanical Gardens, St.Joseph's Oratory at Mount Royal, Clock Tower Beach. Don't Miss: Jean-Talon Farmer's Market.
4 Wales, United Kingdom
When you visit Wales, expect to be spoiled, especially if you bring the baby. This child loving culture embraces parents to the fullest extent. It is easy to find hotels that will accommodate you with everything from cribs and high chairs, to baby gates and laundry service. This community will not only be happy to kiss your baby, but also to provide you with a little alone time. Nanny and babysitting services catered to travellers are not only common, but good quality and widely available.
Walking trails are a big deal here, with plenty of options that are appropriate for young families. Do your own research before deciding which are best for strollers and which are best for carriers.
Public breastfeeding is supported by law, and there are many programs in place to promote awareness and acceptance. Look for signs and posters for businesses and locations that support nursing mothers and babies. Places to go with Baby: Bodnant Garden, Cardiff Castle. Don't Miss: Pwll y Wrach Nature Reserve.
3 Mumbai, India
You might be surprised to find this massive city on the list, but Indians are known for their hospitality and attention to detail. 4+ star hotels are not disappointing with their full arrange of every modern convenience imaginable, often including children's pools and indoor water parks. There is plenty to do in this city, but it definitely won't be with a stroller...unless you stuff one in the trunk and use it once you've reached your destination. A baby carrier would likely be the better choice here.
Infants and tourists alike are well loved in this land and you can count on a friendly, immersive experience if you're willing to let it happen. While India is making big strides in promoting breastfeeding awareness, it is still not commonly practiced outside of the working class. It is unlikely that you will find any type of designated nursing areas. Discretion is appreciated, and it is recommended (but not required) to use a cover when nursing in public. Places to go with Baby: Kamala Nehru Park, Marine Drive at Nariman Point. Don't Miss: Babulnath Jain Temple.
2 Tasmania, Australia
This unexpected Australian destination is an ideal choice for those traveling with baby plus older kids. Tasmania is chock full of kid friendly experiences to please the whole family. Less hot than other Australia locations, we found Tasmania to be ideal for the wee ones. Take note that Australia has very strict food quarantine regulations. Don't plan on carrying extra breast milk, as it will likely be confiscated. With that being said, public breastfeeding is definitely legal in Australia. But despite legalities, is it culturally controversial and experiences vary widely. It is best to be prepared here and to ask for an appropriate place to feed your baby, prior to engaging, if possible.
With plenty of parks and nature based activities, a stroller is ideal for both you and baby. However, save yourself the hassle of hauling one along, as stroller rentals are commonly available in this region. Places to go with Baby: Port Arthur Historic Sites, Russell Falls. Don't Miss: Bay of Fires.
1 Tulum, Mexico
This quiet and quaint seaside escape is arguably the safest tourist destination in Mexico. The area offers plenty of relaxed family oriented activities and respite from other typically touristy locales. Depending on where you stay, family friendly hotels offer many necessities for baby: like cribs, car seats and strollers. Be sure to ask before unnecessarily lugging your own throughout the journey.
Unlike other Latin American countries, Mexico ranks low on breastfeeding awareness. Although it is legal to do so, only 1 in 7 Mexicans practice breastfeeding, and even fewer do so publicly. While you won't be fined for it, prepare to be noticed if you choose to nurse openly here. Places to go with Baby: Playa Paraiso, Tulum Ruins. Don't Miss: Sian Ka'an Biosphere Preserve.