10 Fun Vacation Ideas For Families With Toddlers

You waited for it, and now it’s time – your little angel is finally old enough to go on that toddler-friendly vacation you’ve always envisioned, where they’re able to enjoy a getaway with the family perhaps a little more than they did as a baby.

Picture: Everything you can possibly imagine is beachside at Beaches Negril — from lively pools to restaurants and bars.

This is indeed an exciting time!

You may have already come up with a host of vacation ideas for toddlers which might be leaning toward classic vacation destinations, but if you want to go beyond the conventional you can look into things like wildlife adventures, international adventures or theme park experiences.

There are lots of options, but you can be certain that whichever you choose will be an experience neither you nor your toddler will soon forget!

Here’s what you need to know if you plan on taking your toddler on a vacation of a lifetime…

Picture: Dive into a one-of-a-kind, unbelievably exciting Beaches all-inclusive Turks & Caicos vacation for the whole family.

They key thing when selecting one of many vacation ideas with toddlers, is factoring in who else will be traveling – this will help ensure that whatever you choose to do will be fun for everyone. How many kids will be coming along? What are their ages? What do they like to do? What sort of experiences do you think will be fun for them? Where are you interested in going?

Answering these questions will help you decide the kind of trip that’s right for your family, and guess what? The sooner you get past the planning, the faster you, your toddler, and the rest of your family will get to enjoy that getaway you’ve always dreamed about!

Here’s some of the top picks for vacation ideas with a toddler::

Vacation idea for toddlers #1: All-inclusive resorts specially designed for families

Picture: Whatever your vacation mood is, Beaches Turks & Caicos all-inclusive resort has a place to match it.

The best thing about all-inclusive vacations is that you know how much your vacation will cost ahead of time. This for sure beats going on vacation and having your expenses spiral out of control. All-inclusive vacations are an especially beneficial idea for families travelling with toddlers, especially in the area of food and entertainment. So why are all inclusives the best resorts for toddlers Families with toddlers can let their picky eater try everything under the sun, until they find something they like, without having to think about the cost. Larger families will be the most appreciative of this benefit.

In addition, all-inclusive resorts are by design sectioned off from public access and often have 24-hour private security. Therefore, it’s one of the safest places to take a family vacation with your toddler!

The best all-inclusive resorts for toddlers will offer nanny services, special meal programs for babies, and family suites that include separate rooms for bigger children. Beaches Resorts offer these and more inclusions at their locations in Jamaica (Beaches Negril and Beaches Ocho Rios) and Turks & Caicos (Beaches Turks & Caicos).

Picture: Our exclusive partnership with Sesame Street® makes Beaches the only Caribbean resort where kids can play every day with the lovable, colorful, and friendly cast of characters.

You can choose from a selection of luxury rooms and suites and have unlimited access to the waterpark which has toddler friendly sections, as well as the Sesame street® characters that bring a thrill to all. The Kids Camp is another alternative for families who want their toddlers to have a more interactive experience. Kids Camp activities at Beaches Resorts are available for all age groups, but for toddlers these include shell collecting, face painting, treasure hunts, puppets, costume time, magic shows, sand castle building just to name a few.

Vacation idea for toddlers #2: Waterpark vacations

The Caribbean has some of the best waterparks in the world, and for some families this is a large part of the lure when deciding to vacation in the Caribbean. The fact that you can combine adventurous vacations with more indulgent accommodation in the islands makes it a win-win idea for both parents and kids, who’ll find both fun and relaxation in one place.

Picture:Beaches Negril’s Pirates Island, an 18,000 square foot waterpark along the ocean’s edge.

Toddlers especially will love a waterpark vacation as they’ll get to spend a ton of time in the water, and a chance to have a blast with their family. Pirate Island Waterpark in the Caribbean boasts some of the most fun waterpark experiences in the Caribbean, which are loved by kids of all ages. Within the Pirate Island Waterpark, you’ll find kid-friendly pools, a splash deck, fun waterslides, water cannons, whirlpools, and the lazy river, which is popular with both parents and kids. Older kids can even enjoy the Caribbean’s original surf simulator in Turks & Caicos. As waterparks are self-contained, they’re totally safe for toddlers and kids of all ages. Guests of any of the Beaches Resorts in Jamaica or Turks & Caicos get unlimited access to these waterparks!

Vacation idea for toddlers #3: Beach getaways

Picture: Beaches Negril's Seven-Mile Beach has been voted many times over as one of the best in the world.

Who can say no to a beach vacation? Surely not your toddler! Whether it’ll be their first time at the beach, or their first time going on an official family beach vacation, your toddler will enjoy their time in the sun, building sand castles, splashing around on the shore, and making the most of their vacation in the sun with their favorite people in the world. The Caribbean is the ideal destination for a beach vacation as you’re almost always guaranteed to find great weather and a warm and calm ocean.

Pro tip: Make sure to bring loads of sunscreen, so you don’t have to worry about your toddler playing around in the sun. For other things to pack, check out ‘The Ultimate Family Beach Vacation Packing List’.

Vacation idea for toddlers #5: Visit a farm

Toddlers Feeding Chicken Ranch Farm

Photo credit: Goran Bogicevic/Shutterstock.com

Old Mac Donald had a farm. We’re pretty sure your toddler is acutely aware of that fact, which means they’re more than likely to be thrilled at an opportunity to visit a place where they can get to see a farm firsthand. Some toddlers may even be able to point out certain animals they may have seen in books or elsewhere, and the farm visit will give them a chance to learn more about these animals and their way of life. During some farm visits which are toddler and kid friendly, baking homemade cookies and feeding baby animals are activities often included; both activities will take the fun to new levels for your toddler.

Vacation idea for toddlers #6: Marvel at an aquarium

Toddler Manta Ray Aquarium

Photo credit: Viacheslav Lopatin/Shutterstock.com

A visit to the aquarium can be both educational and fun. If you choose to include this experience in your vacation, your toddler will be completely fascinated, and you probably will be as well. An aquarium visit can be part of a vacation that includes other cool things like visits to theme parks and other kid-friendly spaces.

At the aquarium your toddler will get a chance to be immersed in the ‘ocean’ life, encountering some of the most spectacular creatures of the sea. The windows at aquariums are usually low to the ground, so they get a chance to really get into the experience, and probably won’t stop talking about it for weeks to come!

Vacation idea for toddlers #7: Wildlife adventures

Toddlers Tortoise Wildlife Adventure

Photo credit: Tomsickova Tatyana/Shutterstock.com

Your toddler likely won’t be able to wipe the smile off their face, when given a chance to experience all the different wildlife you’re sure to encounter during your wildlife adventure vacation. You likely will end up learning right along with them as the entire family gets up close to exotic wildlife in their natural habitat, perhaps even for the first time. During a wildlife adventure, you and your family will be able to visit nature reserves, go on safari expeditions, and see all sorts of animals in their most natural setting.

Vacation idea for toddlers #8: Amusement parks

Toddler Amusement Park

Photo credit: Muskoka Stock Photos/Shutterstock.com

Children of all ages love theme parks, and who can blame them? Theme parks are completely kid-friendly zones, where everything is centered around their enjoyment. It's a great idea for toddlers, who can certainly find a lot to do at theme parks, as they’re no longer babies, and can appreciate the experience a bit more.

You don’t even need to go to a mega theme park with toddlers to get them immersed in the experience, any theme park you visit will likely do wonders for your little one. Theme parks can be costly, so it’s a good idea to look around to find the one that best suits your family, with toddler-friendly attractions.

Vacation idea for toddlers #9: Visit a ranch

Toddler Goats Ranch Farm

Photo credit: Romrodphoto/Shutterstock.com

Your toddler is bound to be fascinated by the horses they’ll see out on the ranch, the cowboys, and even sing-alongs. Whether they go on a hayride, feed the animals on the range, or they’re more interested in learning about how the animals are raised, toddlers will certainly be kept well occupied during this experience. Go to a ranch nearby or take a road trip with the entire family to a ranch/farm experience that will be enjoyed by all.

Vacation idea for toddlers #10: Visit the zoo

Toddler Family Zoo Petting Giraffe

Photo credit: ohrim/Shutterstock.com

When it comes to activities toddlers will enjoy, you can’t go wrong with a zoo. Toddlers will enjoy seeing the animals up close, and even mimicking the sounds and movements of the animals they encounter. Some zoos have special sections for children, where your toddler might even get an opportunity to pet or feed some of the animals. Some of the best zoos can be found in cities where there are lots of other options of family friendly activities. This means that you can plan your own themed vacation which for the sake of your toddler, hopefully includes lots of interactions with friendly animals.

Frequently asked questions about family vacations with toddlers...

What is the best time to fly with a toddler?

Try to fly with your toddler during nap time - around the middle of the day - if possible so they can get some much needed rest in between the inevitable transfers from car to airport to taxi or shuttle bus the other side. This also gives your tot a chance to acclimatise to any time difference when you land.

Is it better to fly at night or day with a toddler?

You may be tempted to book a night flight with a toddler in the hopes that the natural white noise from the airplane engine will help your little one to nod off… However, all that stimulation from the airport and the excitement of being in a plane may just do the opposite, leading to an overtired cranky tot and exhausted parents the next day. A day flight is considered much better for flying with toddlers - you won’t be expected to be quiet or even stay in your seat as much, so your little explorer can wander the galleys, make airplane noises and snack to their heart’s content!

What should I bring to an all inclusive with a toddler?

Anything you consider a daily essential back home for sleep, play and comfort is worth packing. If your toddler needs white noise and/or a comforter to sleep, for example, then make sure you’ve got them in your luggage - and potentially a couple spares as back up, just in case. Bring a few board books and toys, but only enough to keep them occupied during the flight - there’s so much to see and do at the resort, we doubt they’ll need much more!

Picture: Our Sesame Street® VIP Packages will make your kids' day extra special.

Whether you go for an all-inclusive beach resort getaway, a waterpark vacation, or to that aquarium you’re sure your toddlers will love, the best part of a family vacation is that you’ll be doing it together. The best family vacation option after all, is the one that lets you sink into a world of relaxation and fun, with the ones you love most!

Kylie Morrow

About Kylie Morrow

Writing for 13 years, Kylie discovered that experiences tell the best stories. As a Caribbean mother who wrote for newspapers, magazines, and blogs, she believes inspiration is even found in our kids!