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First Vacation with Baby - Six Seaside Escapes for New Parents. Your first family vacation needs to be special and memorable. The best new baby vacations have two things in common – quality baby time and quality time for each other combined with an easy pace
First Vacation with BabyHere’s the scoop. Family bonding begins at birth and includes a lifetime of shared experiences including a string of great family vacations. Your new baby does not need a vacation he or she only needs love, food and sleep to be happy. Not a surprise, new parents also need love, food and sleep so there is common ground and the potential for success on your first try. 

The best new family vacations include great naps and long walks, sunrise memories and dining in. The important thing to remember is that the first family vacation is for parents who need a break and time to bond with the newest family member - the baby.
Naturally the best time to vacation with baby is when school is in session – the off season for family travel. There will be less crowds and often savings on rooms and dining.  I am recommending six delightful new parent family vacation ideas for inspiration. My suggestions zero in on places and ideas for time away with a baby. I am defining baby as a small person who is less than two years of age. I have a separate list of ideas for those parents vacationing with a child or children ages two to five. 

Cape Cod, Massachusetts. The Cape offers sea breezes and tree-shaded country roads, quaint settlements and comfy inns. You will find working windmills, historic village greens, and cafes serving hand-churned ice cream. Cape Cod National Sea Shore – one of America’s natural treasures - spans almost 30 miles, includes miles of dedicated trails, and presents the opportunity to enjoy the beauty of the Atlantic Ocean without crowds. Stroll along Bass Hole Boardwalk in Yarmouth Port and stop in at Parnassus Bookshop – a must for book lovers. Baby Time: Paved trails weave throughout most of the natural areas on the Cape protecting the pine forests, marshes and cranberry bogs and making it easy to enjoy stroller walks. Sleeping Spot: Consider Old Sea Pines Inn in Brewster. The former girl’s boarding school has a long front porch with rocking chairs just inviting you to chill. On the practical side, the inn has four family suites and an inventory of Pack N Play accessories.

Brunswick Golden Isles, Georgia.
Live oaks draped with Spanish moss, low-lying marshes, miles of uncrowded beaches, and an easy pace, it’s a comfy place for exhausted parents. The Isles offer a laid back, friendly atmosphere meaning babies are welcome and highchairs are available. For fresh air you will find miles of bike paths making it easy and safe to go about without a car. No vacation would be complete without scrumptious ice cream from Sweet Mama's on St. Simons Island.   Baby Time: It’s possible to walk with a stroller on the hard-packed sandy beaches. Sleeping Spot: Jekyll Island Club Hotel has a family friendly reputation and it begins with Pack ‘N Play units available on request. You are on your own to make the space safe but the resort does offer complimentary transportation anywhere on the Island, babysitting service, easy access to more than 20 miles of  Jekyll's bicycle (stroller) paths, and a private beach. I almost forgot to mention in-room massages.
Galveston, Texas. The Gulf Coast of Texas offers an island-time pace with a southwestern flare. Galveston melds city chic with sea breezes and a dab of history. Trolleys connect points of interest and the Bay Front is made for walking so a stroller will present no problem or rent bikes and peddle away. For a memorable experience, the tall ship Elissa cruises the Bay. And not to be missed, stop at La Kings Confectionery on the Strand for ice cream, candy and saltwater taffy made on the spot. Baby Time: Moody Gardens has Rainforest Pyramid and an exotic animal petting zoo for great photos. Sleeping spot: Book a stay at the historic Hotel Galvez located on the seawall. It exudes elegance has a spa onsite, and baby cribs are available on request. It is also possible to secure connecting rooms ideal if grandpa & grandma are joining the getaway (free babysitting perhaps). Prior to your stay, download their courtesy audio tours for smartphones. 

San Diego, California. Sunny, dry, and cosmopolitan with a fresh sea breeze is always a nice combination for a pair of exhausted parents and a happy baby. San Diego offers an interesting menu of options for vacationing with a baby starting with an abundance of parks and pathways that are both stroller-friendly and bicycle-friendly including the Embarcadero and the boardwalk at Mission Beach. Checkout Mission Bay, a 4,600 acre aquatic park, where very often colorful kites dance over families enjoying picnics or wander Balboa Park to enjoy an assortment of mimes, jugglers, and musicians plus free concerts throughout the summer. Baby Time: San Diego Zoo is always a rewarding place for making memories and offers terrific photo ops. Rent a stroller, visit one of the themed playgrounds or treat your family to a Skyfari. Sleeping Spot: Loews Coronado Bay Resort & Spa is a nice option for new parents. It’s a great location with an easy paced Southern California atmosphere and a very attentive staff. Ask ahead and your room will be baby-proofed, outfitted with crib or Pack N Play (your choice), potty chair and your fridge will be stocked for your baby’s needs.First Cruise with Baby Royal Caribbean Allure of the Seas

Royal Caribbean Cruises. Departing from various port locations, this idea is perhaps the most effortless, just book your cruise, find your cabin and the crew will take care of everything else. Walk to restaurants or just dine in. Arrange for a babysitter and enjoy Broadway-caliber entertainment or romantic stroll under the moonlight. Take advantage of the ports or stay onboard and relax. Baby Time: If the idea of a cruise sounds like it has merit then the Royal Babies and Tots program for ages six months to three years of age may seal the deal. The creative program includes colorful play areas stocked with Fisher-Price toys as well as certified caregivers to manage the fun. Sleeping Spot: The six most promising ships for your first family cruise with a baby include Allure of the Seas, Freedom of the Seas, Liberty of the Seas, Oasis of the Seas, Radiance of the Seas, and Splendour of the Seas.

Escape to a cozy vacation rental. While it is true the vacation rental industry has not stepped up to meet the needs of parents vacationing with babies or toddlers, there are some that get it. Those locations offer baby-proofed spaces, cribs and toy boxes for guests. Some even have a few baby books to make creating story time easy.  Baby Time: If you have found the perfect vacation rental but they do not seem to get what it means to baby-proof a space then travel with your own kit and I suggest the Travel Childproofing Safety Kit from Travel-Tot. It will make any trip with your baby safer. Sleeping Spot: Locations vary so the best idea is to decide on a location or locations then use a keyword search. For example: has an awesome baby-proofed cottage on Aruba and has a baby-proofed, luxury condo at Splash in Panama City Beach.
For more baby-friendly vacation destinations, practical travel advice and a selection of baby-friendly resorts browse our New Beginnings folder. 

Content researched and posted by Nancy Nelson-Duac, Curator of the Good Stuff for the Family Travel Files. Images from Family Travel Files, and Royal Caribbean, and Brunswick Golden Isles. Copyright updated 2017. 

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