We’re taking a stand here. So many other blogs about family travel apologize for talking about childcare during family vacations. But we’re here to tell you, there’s no need to feel guilty for needing a break when you’re traveling as the only adult with your kids.
Yes, it’s fun to share activities with your babies and toddlers. There’s nothing sweeter than a baby experiencing the beach for the first time- those wobbly uncertain steps on the sand, the sheer delight as waves lap at their chubby little toes!
But let’s be honest, at its core, travel with kids is sometimes just relocating all the work and childcare you do every day into an unfamiliar environment without the equipment and comforts of home. It’s exhausting, and can make you feel even more drained than before you started if you don’t take time for self-care.
That’s why we advocate seeking out resorts that offer childcare for all ages, so you can truly take a break for a little while each day. Something as simple as sitting poolside sipping a Sprite without worrying if one of your kids is going to fall in can feel like the ultimate nirvana.
And of course you want to make sure your kids are safe and happy while you’re taking a break. Loving, fun, background checked childcare staff can make all the difference in giving you a real vacation. We’ve tried lots of family resorts that offer childcare- here are our top six.
Tyler Place Family Resort
If you’re looking for a place to unplug your family and relax for a week, Tyler Place Family resort in Vermont is it. They’ve been in the business of family vacations since 1933, so they’ve got some experience when it comes to caring for children (as well as adults!). Their Infant and Toddler Childcare program offers your toddler one on one interaction with a warm, experienced and dedicated caregiver throughout the morning, afternoon and evening. With a myriad of planned activities, age-appropriate facilities, and a dedicated caregiver it makes it easy for you to keep feeding and napping schedules on time while you’re off on your own adventure.
For us adults, there are also plenty of activities to enjoy, from an afternoon of boating to an evening of yoga. All with the assurance that the little one is getting all the care and playtime they need.
They also offer family activities that you and your child can participate in together throughout your stay. All together making it the perfect blend of an adult resort, kids camp, and family getaway!
Club Med Sandpiper Bay
Club Med Sandpiper in south Florida is an all-inclusive stay; meaning the food, activities, and childcare are all built into the price! Your toddler will be staying at the Mini Club Med. There they will have your child dancing, singing, playing tennis, splashing in their water playground and much more. Don’t worry about packing a lunchbox for them either, since they get meals and snacks while at the club.
The Mini Club Med also offers shared moments between parents and kids, with planned activities that everyone can partake in, letting parents and children rediscover one another and create memories as a family. They have goodies for Moms and Dads too. If you’re feeling like basketball, football, water polo, golf, or learning how to do pirouettes on a flying trapeze, Club Med has you covered.
Melia Puerto Vallarta
Melia Puerto Vallarta has a wonderful Flintstones themed Mini Kids club for children from 4 months to 4 years old! The club starts at 10 am to 1 pm, then opens again from 3 pm to 6 pm. They will be watched and cared for by certified babysitters with Red Cross First-Aid Training. The Mini Kids Club offers a sleeping area and padded floor, and they will participate in activities that include arts and crafts, fantasy makeup, movies, story time and sensory stimulation. The same sitters can be hired to offer individualized child care that can be arranged 24 hours in advance for a fee.
Right next to the One Ski Hill resort in Breckenridge, you’ll find the Peak 8 daycare. It’s incredibly convenient if you want to enjoy some activities with the older children or take the lift (right outside the resort) up the mountain while still being close to your toddler. During their stay at the daycare, they will be able to enjoy exciting indoor and outdoor activities in the snow. It’s a nice reminder to know that children as young as 3 years old can begin ski and snowboard lessons, so you and your little one can hit up the bunny hill for some good family fun. A good bonus — their classrooms are peanut-free and offer a healthy lunch, snack, and juice or milk for children over 12 months of age! When it’s time to scoop up your toddler you can enjoy some bowling in the resort’s private bowling alley (must book 24 hours in advance in 1-hour increments). They also have a family friendly zero entry pool and a toddler- friendly pool. They will be no shortage of fun during your stay here!
This resort is not on our list because it is all-inclusive, it’s not on our list because it is located in a beautiful Jamaican beachside location — oh no. This Resort is on our list because every family gets their very own complimentary nanny for the length of their stay! The nannies, in addition to being mothers themselves, are CPR certified and will give your toddler the individual love and attention they deserve during your stays. They will accompany you on outings, or simply stay back at the resort and babysit your little one. They are on hand from 9 am to 5 pm, and assist with lunches, diaper changes and anything else a nanny is expected to do. If you end up needing nanny service after hours, they can be hired for a fee to take care of your toddler. This service makes this hotel perfect for single parents, or parents with older children who want do to different not so toddler-friendly activities!
Located in the Bahamas, you can expect a lot of beachside and ocean-centric adventures for your toddler. They have many different activities for toddlers as young as 3. One program is the Atlantis Kids Adventures, where kids from 3 to 12 will be able to play with LEGO, watch movies, have story time with a magical tree, enjoy special age appropriate programming classes and much more. For the more adventurous toddlers, there is the Sea Squirts program, where children between the ages of 3 and 6 will be able to wade into Atlantis’ fish nursery and interact face to face with baby stingrays, sharks, and schools of fish! And if you ever feel a bit overwhelmed or just don’t know what else to do, they offer a Kids Concierge service. It will assist you with creating the perfect itinerary so that you and your toddler can have the best vacation ever.
That’s our top 6 list for now, and the quest continues for great options for single parent family travel. What resorts have you tried with childcare for babies and toddlers? What did you like or dislike about the experience?