SummerVac1Parents of toddlers – stop limiting your vacations to staycations. This is coming from a mom who has raised a toddler into a traveler once, and is doing it all over again. If you have a toddler, you have anarchy on your hands … trust me, I know! But you don’t have to stick close to home if you don’t want to. Sure you might have to throw out the word “relaxation” from your vacation plans and switch into “survival” mode, but that’s just part of being a parent.

There is no sense in going on a vacation that is going to leave you more exhausted than before you departed for that trip. So I’ve come up with a list of three places you can survive while vacationing with your toddler this summer.

Beaches
According to a recent study, beaches are the most popular destination for family vacations. If there are two things that toddlers love most, it’s water and sand. Pick a beach that’s toddler friendly meaning it has calm waters, clean sand, and amenities and attractions that the entire family will enjoy. Going to the beach is very excited – especially if you’re like my family and live nowhere near a beach! Going to the beach with a toddler in tow goes hand-in-hand with the realization that there’s much more to do there than sitting on a towel, soaking in the rays. Sandcastles need built, holes need dug, Dad needs buried, waves need splashed in, and seashells need found. Just don’t forget the sunscreen!

All inclusive resorts
All-inclusive resorts use to get a bad rap because it meant a lesser experience. But now that luxury resorts have gotten into the family-travel niche, it just means you’re getting more for your money! It also means an easy, no-brainer vacation. It’s comforting knowing exactly how much your vacation is going to cost before you even depart. In addition, certain all-inclusive resorts offer the most extensive amenities for families with toddlers. Amenities such as nannies, waterparks with special features for tots, free children’s programs, family suites with separate kid’s rooms, gourmet meal programs for babies, and so much more. Any resort can throw a mini-robe in the bathroom and call themselves ‘family-friendly’ – but truly family oriented resorts go out of their way to cater to our little ones. Some by even putting the cast from Sesame Street on the beach. You heard me … Sesame StreetSummerVac3Castle.

Disney
Traveling to Disneyland or Walt Disney World has never been easier with a little one. The park’s Baby Care Centers are perfect for families with toddlers. The Centers offer restrooms with child-sized toilets, a nursing room, changing tables, a feeding area complete with high chairs and bottle warmers, and so much more. The park’s rider swap policy allows family members with young children to ride attractions with minimal wait times and is one of my top tips when visiting Disney with toddlers.
Or check out a Disney cruise. A Disney cruise offers the best of all worlds: activities the family can enjoy together, trustworthy babysitting, and sites and activities for adults.
From Theme Parks to resorts to cruise ships to far-off lands filled with adventure, a Disney vacation offers an endless manifest of amazing experiences. So no matter what type of Disney vacation you choose, you’ll discover the best accommodations, the most superb amenities, and unforgettable moments that only Disney can provide.

Runner up…
Dude Ranches
SummerVac4Vacationing at a dude ranch doesn’t mean you’re going to be handed a bucket to milk the cows or a bar or soap when it’s time to scrub up for dinner. Sure your kids may be told to help set the table and earn their keep – but is that such a bad thing? Dude ranches are a far cry from what you’ve probably seen in the movies. In fact, some guest ranches now even offer massages, golf, five-star accommodations, and amenities planned solely for toddlers. Do some research before considering vacationing at a dude ranch to find out which one is right for your family. If you have dreamed of trying out the cowboy life, and a week away from cell phones, TV and your iPhone sounds tempting, then a Dude ranch may be the vacation for you and your family.

Summer travel can be pleasure … or a real pain when you throw a toddler into your plans. Often, as parents of toddlers, we feel like we need a vacation after the vacation to recover from traveling with our tots. But it doesn’t have to be that way. As long as you are getting away from home and making lasting memories as a family, that’s the only thing that matters in the long run. Even if you don’t have any hair left once you arrive back home.

Amanda is a freelance writer and blog owner of “The Procrastinating Mommy” – a PR friendly family blog. You can also follow her on Twitter at: @Amanda_aka_Mom or on Facebook at: The Procrastinating Mommy.