Best Vacations for Toddlers for Maximum Learning and Fun

by Indiana Lee & Briana Marie
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Some parents believe they can’t go on vacation because their children are too young to enjoy the trip. However, the reality is that bringing toddlers on vacation can benefit their growth and well-being, and they could learn a lot in the process. Plus, many vacation destinations are fun for the whole family.

If you’re planning a family getaway with toddlers, this guide will tell you how to prepare. It’ll also provide some recommendations for fun trips the whole clan will enjoy.

toddler enjoying beach vacation | pixelshot via
Photo credit: pixelshot via

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Start With Proper Planning

When you have children, you’ll find that your vacations require a lot more planning than when you’re planning for yourself. You’ll face different challenges now that you didn’t before, and one of them is an elevated cost. The more people in your family, the more you pay for plane tickets, lodgings, and meals.

With that said, there are many ways that you can save money on your family vacation. Much of the strategy involves researching your destination before you commit. Make a short list of potential destinations you want to visit and then compare the costs. It may be too costly for an amusement park this year, but a camping trip may fit the bill. Another way to save on the destination itself is to go during the offseason, like going to the beach during the fall months.

There are also ways to save money on your lodgings. Research what’s in the area where you’re traveling. Instead of a hotel, a hostel or an Airbnb may be more affordable and still offer what you need. If you’re flying, research multiple airlines to find the best price. If you don’t need to fly, then driving may be a much more affordable option.

Once you know where you’re going, start packing your bags. Plan for the weather so everyone is comfortable and safe. Bring or plan to buy sunscreen and bug spray, especially if you’re going on outdoor excursions. Don’t forget to prepare for the flight or drive by packing a diaper bag or carry-on with all the essentials.

Bring wipes, diapers, and extra clothes. You may also want to bring activities for the kids, from coloring books to small action figures or toy cars, to keep your sanity. Finally, be prepared and have all your documents in place, including your license, hotel reservations, and passports, if necessary.

Head To A Theme Park

There are also many parents who believe that they can’t enjoy an amusement park because there aren’t enough activities for toddlers. The solution is to find a place that everyone can enjoy, and there are many options.

Of course, the quintessential entries on the must-see places to take your kids list are Disney World or Disneyland. There are rides for you and plenty of famed Disney characters and fun shows that toddlers will really love.

Many kids enjoy building and playing with Legos, so consider taking them to one of the Legoland parks. The locations are great for toddlers because there are places to play with Legos, see great block structures, and more. You can also take a trip to some lesser-known toddler-friendly parks, like Dutch Wonderland in Pennsylvania, where the little ones can ride on their first tiny rollercoaster. There’s also the Enchanted Forest in Salem, Oregon, which has five rides for children under 36 inches.

There are also theme parks that offer fun and education for toddlers and parents alike. Plan a trip to Sesame Place so your kids can see their favorite characters. The parks have interactive playgrounds, characters who sing educational songs, and more.

A trip to the zoo can also be very educational and eye-opening for even the youngest children. A fun vacation idea is to visit a zoo in each state.

pin on pinterest_best vacation ideas for toddlers

Camping, The Beach, And Other Fun Outdoor Ideas

A good way to save money on admission fees, breathe in clean air, and help your kids grow and thrive is to take a trip that prioritizes the outdoors. In addition to providing endless opportunities for fun, outdoor adventures can help toddlers and adults appreciate life and learn a few things along the way. Go to a place with limited phone reception, and you’ll be amazed at the quality time you can spend with your kids and the great fun you’ll have.

Spending time outside also allows your family to roam and discover the natural world around you. While you walk, you can point out different trees, animals, and insects. While your young child may not fully comprehend what they’re seeing, it will still help their minds to think differently.

There are so many ways to vacation outdoors:


A camping trip provides a chance for your toddlers to experience nature and see the world like they may not be able to at home. They can see things such as different colored leaves, different types of plants, and the bright starry night.

Proper preparations must be made before a camping trip to ensure safety and comfort. Check the weather, pack the appropriate clothes, bring hats and sunscreen, and research the nearby emergency services.

You’ll also want to prepare by selecting the right tent size to fit your family. You’ll want a tent that’s comfy but also large enough for everyone to fit. Typically, a tent of 20-25 square feet is good for a family of four. The shape of the tent also matters. Square tents look large, but they can be hard to fit everyone properly. A hexagonal tent is typically the easier option.

The Beach

A vacation to a tropical paradise or somewhere with a beach can be ideal for everyone in the family. It gives you a place to relax and the kids a chance to go somewhere completely different.

In addition to fun in the sun, the beach can also be an educational experience. There’s the opportunity to hike down the shoreline while feeling different textures and the temperature of the ground. Even though it may be rudimentary, toddlers can make sand castles and learn some basics of architecture before they even know what the term means. While you’re walking, if you see some trash, pick it up, and you’ll show your kids how to be responsible and about the value of community service.

Visit Grandparents

Okay, this is a toddler “vacation” that you may not have crossed your mind in this context. But for young children, a simple visit to Grandma and Grandpa’s house can be a big deal. This can also be used as an opportunity for you to get a little break or enjoy some adult-only time.

Wrapping Up

As you can see, there are many different vacation options that are fun for parents and toddlers alike. In most cases, you can enrich your child’s life by showing them new things, so go forth and see the world.

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