An infant is generally defined as a baby from 2 months of age to 1 year old, although when it comes to travel I think of infants as under 6 months and babies from 6 months – 1 year. The reason is because an infant traveler is so much more different than a baby traveler in what their needs are, what they are doing in their specific stage of development. Every baby is different and not on the same timeline but in defining travel with an infant as under 6 months I’m assuming they aren’t crawling, walking and are in general quite sleepy which gives you some nice flexibility in your travel plans.
I’ve given suggestions below on the best places to travel with your infant and some suggestions of things to do in those destinations. Traveling with your baby will never be easier than when they are an infant – take advantage of their littleness and flexibility of all the places you can take them when they aren’t mobile yet on their own.
1. Travel far in the infant stage
It will never be easier to make it through a long international flight with your kids than when they are an infant. It will never be cheaper or more comfortable for you to sit through this flight with your infant as a lap child, flying for free. Here are some places far from the United States you should see in the world and bring your infant along for the journey.
Sydney, Australia –
See the magic of the land down under with your infant because if not now, when will you make it there? Its one of the furthest places you can go and easy to get to from the United States with several direct flights per day on major airlines such as United, Delta, Qantas, American and Virgin Australia. The flight from Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) to Sydney Mascot Airport (SYD) in 15 hours and 29 minutes. I did a flight this long with my infant at 3 months old and guess what? She slept for 10 hours of it.
A lot of flights going to Asia-Pacific leave late in the evening. Your infant should be starting or already well into their normal sleep cycle. If you put them in a baby carrier as you board and let them keep sleeping once you’re on the plane you’re golden. Read my article here for tips on traveling on international flights with your baby so you can relax and sleep yourself.
To get the most out of your trip to Sydney here are some top recommendations of amazing once in a lifetime things to do that you can easily bring your infant along to.
- Sydney Opera House Walking Tour
- Learn about one of the great architecural wonders in the world on this one hour long walking tour of the Sydney Operaa House. Its just an hour long, completely doable for your baby, and you will get to learn about and take iconic photos of your family together in front of one of the most famous landmarks in the world.
- Big Bus Open Top Bus Tour of Sydney
- Big Bus is a double decker open top sightseeing bus tour that allows you to hop on and off at as many stops along the route as you like at your own pace. There is always another bus coming within 15-30 minutes when you’re ready to get back on. You can discover all of Sydney and Bondi beach with a 1 or 2 day ticket to use as often as you’d like
- Sydney Whale Watching Cruise in Darling Harbour
- This cruise is 3 hours out in Darling Harbour where you will take in breathtaking views of the Sydney Opera House and go under Sydney Harbour Bridge all while on a Catamaran seeing the incredible Humpback Whales, the almost extinct Minke Whales with a variety of other wildlife. There is a specific kids section on this boat as well so you will be in good company with other traveling parents.
- Blue Mountains Tour, Scenic World and Cruise
- This tour is a full day out but you will have plenty of stops for changing and feeding your baby. Its important to note there are no strollers allowed so no better time to take this tour in Australia when your infant is light enough to wear in a baby carrier the entire time. Don’t miss the opportunity to venture into the Blue Mountains and explore this amazing nature where you can ride the skyway, railway or cableway at Scenic World, stop at Echo Point to look over some of the most famous natural landscapes the world has to offer.
2. Seek out moderate climates but try to avoid rainy ones
I don’t like to expose my infant to anything more than a drizzle when they’re so young. Of course its inevitable, but I avoided rainy destinations when my daughter under 6 months old and her lungs and immune system were still developing. I also have peace of mind in moderate temperatures so I can wear my baby and not worry about her overheating.
Munich, Germany –
Munich and throughout Bavaria you will find the best weather in Germany meaning it doesn’t get much warmer than the mid 70s and it doesn’t get as cold as in Northern, Germany. Unlike the rest of Germany it also doesn’t rain as much either. When I lived in Berlin and Hamburg I could expect my sunny day to suddenly without warning be interrupted by a downpour of rain. It also wasn’t uncommon to have rain for several days in a row. You won’t get that in Bavaria and its such a culturally rich and beautiful place to visit with large open public spaces to wander and ornate Palaces and Castles to explore.
- Day Trip from Munich to Neuschwanstein and Linderhoff Castles
- On this 9 hour tour you will see the best of what Bavaria has to offer. You’ll never be on the bus for more than 2 hours at a time and you’ll have the chance to see the magnificent castles of King Ludwig II, King of Baveria and learn about his descent into madness. The Neuschwanstein castle is what the Disney castle was modeled after, standing tall amongst the mountains of Bavaria. Plenty of places to feed and change baby along the way. Bring the baby carrier!
- Trip into the Alpine of Germany to visit Garmisch and the highest mountain Zugspitze
- On an easy day trip from Munich see the enchanting fairy tale villages of the German Alpine and make your way into the Olympic city of Garmisch where you’ll have the opportunity to ascend to the tallest mountain peak in Germany by Cable Car. At the top of the mountain there are places to go on light hikes, have a meal at an atmospheric German gastropub and be on the look out for some adorable free roaming cows with bells
- Walking Tour of Munich to Discover the History of the Third Reich
- Here you’ll see the sights of Munich through the dark history of the rise of the Third Reich. This is a chance to see the setting of these history lessons with your own eyes as you venture to all of the most famous landmarks in Munich as they relate to the stories of Hitlers rise to power such as the Hofbrauhaus, the Altes Rathaus, and Karolianplatz.
- Plus learn about the fascinating resistance movement that lived and breathed through the streets of Munich at this time. This walking tour would be too much to do with toddlers or older kids who weren’t ready to learn this history, but its completely doable while wearing your infant baby.
3. Visit places where you can Skip the Lines
Rome, Italy –
Out of all the places I’ve traveled in the world I’ve been to Rome the most often. Each time I’m just as overwhelmed as the first time I step foot in the center of the Ancient City. Rome is overrun with tourists in August and almost all Italians flee on their own vacations for the month to escape the heat so I would suggest going in May, September or October to get the most out of it.
Rome is home to some of the most important and ancient sights of our human history – the birthplace of the Roman Empire where you can explore the Roman Forum or step inside the Colosseum and feel where the Gladiators once fought for entertainment to the crowds. Explore the Vatican Museums, St. Peter’s Basilica and quietly observe Michaelangelo’s ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, and so much more.
The best thing about visiting Rome is while all of these attractions are busy at all times of the year and sometimes the wait time can be 2 or 3 hours, most people don’t know you can buy in advance to skip the lines and walk right through the entrance. This is especially important when you have a baby and don’t have the luxury to wait in line as your baby gets hungry or fussy.
- The Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel and St. Peter’s Basilica Skip the Line Tour
- Skip the Line to Visit the Colosseum with a Guided Tour of the Arena Gladiator Floor
- An Ancient Rome Walking Tour with Skip the Line Entry into the Colosseum, The Roman Forum and Palatine Hill
4. Travel to places with low population density
I feel better when I know my young baby is breathing in good and fresh air quality in wide open spaces, so for me its really important to consider how crowded a city is. I don’t want to go to Rome in August like I said above. The most sparse, spacious and untouched nature I have ever seen is on my trip to Iceland. There are endless activities to do out in the nature and no its not as cold as you think it is. I’d just recommend not going in the heart of winter.
Rekyjavik, Iceland –
In the last 10 years Iceland tourism has gotten attention around the world. More people than ever have discovered what a beautiful, special gem on this planet Iceland is in both culture and natural beauty. Its a relatively short flight from the United States with direct flights on Delta or Iceland Air. Iceland Air is a great airline, you get quite an inexpensive ticket and its just a 5 hour flight. Not bad with an infant at all.
The population of Iceland is just over 300,000 people throughout the whole country and the capital city of Reykjavik has about 122,000 of that. Iceland is known for its Nordic history and culture of believe in elves and “hidden people” who protect the pristine nature of the country. To me it looks like a desert but painted green instead of brown. If you go in fall the landscape will be hills of greens, yellows, oranges and reds.
- Reykjavik Golden Circle Tour to see The Gullfoss Waterfall, Geysir Area and National Parks
- This is about an 8 hour total trip with several stops and plenty of breaks to hang out with your baby at your own pace. You’ll have the opportunity to go from Reykjavik a short distance into the heart of the country to see the magnificant Gullfoss Waterfall and the endless rainbows it produces, Kerid Crater where the American and European tectonic plates meet to form a rift in the Earth, among many other beautiful places.
- Explore the Black Sand Beaches, Glaciers and Waterfalls of Southern Iceland from Reykjavik
- This is just a bit longer of a drive to the South so the total time is 10 rather than 8 hours. You also stop at many places along the way – that I can’t properly spell or pronounce but the diverse awe inspiring beauty of Southern Iceland is a once in a lifetime experience to have. You’ll be able to walk behind waterfalls, marvel at mountainous glaciers and walk on stretches of black sand beaches. Visit a small village at the southernmost point of Iceland.
Enjoy the journey with your infant
Parenthood has so many highs and lows and we know we have to stop and remind ourselves all the time to enjoy the entire journey and soak up their littleness because its fleeting and time moves way too fast. Because time will never slow down and the moment with your child as an infant are so precious its important to get out in the world and explore with them. They may not remember anything about these trips but the experience will be a forever imprint on their heart and mind and you will make some amazing family memories captured in breathtaking photos.