Expand Your Range
If you've already conquered an overnight close to home, consider a slightly longer adventure — say a three-day weekend at a destination a few hours away. Here's why:
Uncharted Territory: You're bound to find some fascinating place you've never visited. Whether it's a state park, historical site or even an outlet mall, a long weekend with baby is a great stop-and-smell-the-roses opportunity.
Loads of Extras: No need to bypass grown-up sites just because you have your baby along. Strolling through gardens, art galleries or even attending an outdoor jazz concert is easy with baby in a sling, carrier or stroller, says Lesley Carlin, a family travel expert at tripadvisor.com. “Don't be afraid of museums!” she adds. “They're actually very baby-friendly in terms of changing table access and places to nurse.” Also, museums have a soothing, low-key atmosphere with lots of bright colors and interesting shapes for baby to observe.
Keep in Mind:
- You'll need to plan your overnight accommodations carefully. If your destination is an out-of-the-way spot, don't expect to find a large hotel chain. Look for vacation rentals, cabins, cottages or simple motels. For now, skip the charming bed-and-breakfasts; do you really want to soothe your crying baby at 2 a.m. behind paper-thin walls?
- During the summer and fall, many ski resorts offer hiking, swimming and other free or low-cost family activities. You can stay on-site and enjoy laid-back outdoor time with your baby.
- With a weekend destination reached by car, you still have the flexibility to get home quickly should your baby come down with a sudden ear infection or bout of colic — no airline tickets to change or complicated events to reschedule.