Top Ten Getaways for Tiny Travelers
|Sun Rise in Ocho Rios, Jamaica (iStockphoto)|
You've recently become parents, and you're exhausted. You've just had a second, or third, baby and you're overwhelmed. You need a vacation badly, but what do you do with the baby? You could leave her with grandma, but you'd miss her too much. You couldbring a sitter along, if one were available. Because most resort and hotel programs only accept children five years and up, we've surveyed getaways that cater to infants and toddlers under the age of three. What we've found is that, from beach to mountain, from city to country and even at sea, there are places can relax, unwind, and tuck your baby in at night.
Top Beach Resorts
Jamaica, West Indies
(876)975-7330/6 or (800)859-SUPER
This very popular destination is a"let-the-good-times roll" family beach resort to some and an overly rustic and funky place to others. But if surf, sand, watersports, a kid's camp, reggae lessons, and big buffets in a moderately-priced, all-inclusive package sound appealing, Boscobel should be perfect for you.
There are several complimentary childcare programs: At Tiny Town Nursery, open from 9am-10pm daily, nursery attendants (who have received two weeks of training in childcare, feeding, CPR, and first aid) care for infants and toddlers up to three years old. Private nannies ($3/hr. for up to three children) are available for babysitting after 5pm in your room or at the nursery. The Bears Bungalow (4- to 7-year-olds) and the Boscobel Bunch (8- to 12-year-olds) Clubs are also open from 9am-10pm daily and provide a complete program of activities during the daytime and evening hours.
Depending on accommodations and season, rates for 7-night packages range from $2520 for an ocean-view room to $7,380 for a penthouse suite. One child under 14 stays free with each paying adult.
Franklyn D. Resort
Jamaica, West Indies
(876)973-4840/4591 or (888)FDR-KIDS
The "claims to fame" at this upscale, all-inclusive family resort are the personal nannies assigned to each family to cook, clean, and watch the kids from 9am to 4pm daily. All nannies are recommended by the Jamaica Tourist Board, and then trained in the hotel's Vacation Nanny Training Program, which includes CPR and first aid. FDR's Mini-Club is well run by a university-trained teacher and accommodates kids 2-11 years from 7:30am-10pm. (Children under 2 can also play there if they are accompanied by their nanny.) Various activities include arts and crafts, nature walks, snorkeling, donkey rides, beach picnics, preteen parties, and dinners sans parents. After 5pm, nannies are available for $3/hr. to babysit the under-2s and other children who will not be spending their evenings in the Mini-Club. A treat for allthe enclosed property also allows older kids some welcome freedom to roam. The Teen Program offers aerobics, bike tours, beach trips to Ochos Rios, hikes, Reggae dance classes, and lots of parties. Depending on the season, a family of four will payfrom $2,000-$4,000 for a 7-night vacation in one of FDR's suites, including all meals and activities. Children under 16 stay and eat free.
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication