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The 10 BEST Places In the World to Travel with a Baby

Now that my son is 19 months old with the ink drying on his 11th passport stamp, it finally feels like time to put together our list of the best places we’ve traveled with him, starting with his first international trip at 5 months old.

Felix has been to four continents now (North America, Africa, Asia, and Europe), and as one well-traveled little guy, some places have really stood out as amazing for parents with young kids. Whether the locals were particularly sweet and helpful or the country policies were designed with families in mind, these are some of the best places in the world to travel with a baby or toddler:


Portugal is easily my #1 best country to travel in with a baby due to the law (yes, law!) that those with babies under 2, disabilities, and pregnant women get to cut all queues, even in busy restaurants.

I remember looking at the customs line when we landed in Sao Miguel with dread, as it looked at least 2 hours long. Imagine my delight when an officer came and took us out of line and escorted us to a special line that only had a few people in it. We were able to cut the long car rental line as well, and every line we encountered after that. When you think about it, it just makes sense!

Beyond that, people LOVE babies in Portugal. Everyone wanted to smile at our son, interact with him, and one waitress even kissed his head. It was weird and endearing at the same time.

We also had the pleasure of being able to book a crib at every hotel and home rental we stayed at. They all went above and beyond, with cute blankets, toys, and pillows (that we removed, but it was still nice), and one hotel even provided a baby bathrobe, toiletries, and a toy he could keep. It was adorable. Read more about Traveling with a baby in Portugal.

Pros of traveling in Portugal with a baby:

  • Cut the line!
  • Locals love babies.
  • Nearly every hotel will have a crib you can pre-book.
  • Nearly every restaurant has a high chair.
  • Baby necessities are easy to find at any major grocery store or pharmacy.

Cons of traveling in Portugal with a baby:

  • Changing tables were rare.
  • If you rent a car, it will probably be tiny. Pack accordingly.
  • Cobblestone is rough on most strollers.


Japan our first big international trip with my baby at 6 months old. I’d heard mixed things about its baby friendliness, but I’m happy to report that we had a great experience.

It’s common in Japan to be ushered to a family line at airports or train stations, and nearly every train station and tourist attraction we saw had a family/disabled restroom that was equipped with a changing table. Unlike in the US, they were always clean, and people really respected that these bathrooms are only for families or those who really need them. Japan Airlines is also fabulous to fly with, especially in their business class.

Locals were also enthralled with Felix. We regularly heard “kawaii!” (cute) and saw people playing peek-a-boo with him.

Though a travel stroller would have been useful in some cases, most of the time a carrier will be the better choice. We exclusively used our Artipoppe carrier, though I’ll admit we were hurting by the end of the trip! For a larger child, consider a hiking backpack carrier, and remember to pack as light as possible if you’ll be taking public transportation. Read my full travel with a baby in Japan guide for more info, and you can find our Japan itinerary here.

Pros of traveling in Japan with a baby:

  • Abundant changing areas.
  • Baby necessities are easy to find.
  • Can usually skip lines at airports.
  • Nearly every room has a hot water kettle.

Cons of traveling in Japan with a baby:

  • Cribs are rare, even at 5-star hotels. Consider traveling with one.
  • If you nurse, you’ll want to do so in private as public nursing is generally not done.
  • Some higher-end restaurants do not allow babies, though we never ran into a problem.
  • Hotel rooms can be small, but Airbnbs often have lots of space.


This is another place where locals love babies. Don’t be surprised if a local asks to hold your little one, especially on Bali. Nannies and babysitters are also quite affordable, and are offered by many hotels. Some hotels will also have cribs available.

That said, Indonesia is a large country with many islands to choose from. The more small and remote you go, the fewer services there will be. Keep in mind that the water is not safe to drink from the tap, so you’ll need to use bottled water if feeding with formula. Most higher end hotels provide this and it’s easy to buy as well.

Islands that cater to tourists like Bali will have plenty of baby supplies and services, as well as baby gear equipment rentals and private cars and drivers that are affordable, but once you head off the beaten path, plan on mostly tuk-tuks, buses, boats, and fewer options for baby items. It’s best to arrive prepared on islands like Sumatra, Flores, and Lombok where it could be a long drive to the nearest big box store, if there are any around at all.

As far as places to stay, we particularly enjoyed Capella Ubud.

Pros of traveling in Indonesia with a baby:

  • Affordable childcare.
  • Locals love babies.

Cons of traveling in Indonesia with a baby:

  • The more remote you go, the fewer services there will be.
  • Mosquitoes, especially during rainy season (Nov to April). Consider bringing a mosquito net.
  • Changing tables won’t be widely available.
  • Water from the tap isn’t safe to drink or use for baby bottle washing.


Thailand was another magical place to travel with our son. The locals were never too busy to stop and wave at him, and like on Bali, would pick him up if he was willing.

It’s also much easier (and cheaper) to book hotel rooms that have access to their own pools in Southeast Asia than just about anywhere else in the world, and this has come in so handy for us when traveling with a napping baby. He can swim while he’s up, and us parents can enjoy the pool and chill area while he sleeps. Everybody wins!

Like Bali, strollers aren’t super useful here, but we ended up utilizing ours more than I thought! Also like Bali, you won’t find many changing tables, and unfortunately, outside of Bangkok airport, don’t expect any family lines. On the positive side, many hotels offer nanny services, and everywhere we stayed offered cribs. This may be less common in budget accommodation.

If it’s within your travel means, the Six Senses Koh Yao Noi was divine, and so family friendly!

Pros of traveling in Thailand with a baby:

  • Affordable childcare, transport, and food.
  • Locals love babies.
  • Easy to navigate.

Cons of traveling in Thailand with a baby:


Singapore is a wonderful place for a stopover if you’re heading elsewhere in Southeast Asia. Not only is it incredibly clean, but the sidewalks are easy with strollers, there are frequent overhangs to prevent you from getting wet when it rains, and there are plenty of wonderful accommodation options and kid-friendly activities to choose from. We particularly enjoyed the Jewel in the Changi Airport, and the interactive ArtScience Museum with a teamLab installation.

From the free sky trees to the abundance of parks and easy transportation options, we’ve enjoyed our Singapore visits each time, and equally love Singapore Airlines, which must be one of the nicest airlines in the world.

We particularly loved the family room at the Intercontinental on middle road. It had bunk beds with slides!

Pros of traveling in Singapore with a baby:

  • Easy to navigate.
  • Super clean.
  • Family friendly activities and transport.
  • Easy with a stroller

Cons of traveling in Singapore with a baby:

  • Is it ever not hot and humid?
  • Pricey.


Though Canada is a country we’ve only spent a night or two in while transiting with my son, it made an impression with its family-forward airports. Plus, Canada is one of the safest and friendliest countries to travel in. If you’re looking for something that’s easy to navigate, similar to home (for my fellow Americans, at least) and has gorgeous landscapes, Canada is a great place to start your international family travels.

Pros of traveling in Canada with a baby:

  • Easy to navigate.
  • Safe.
  • Easy with a stroller.
  • Family lines at airports.

Cons of traveling in Canada with a baby:

  • If you’re looking for a warm escape, most of the year this won’t be your best bet.
  • can be pricey.

South Africa

Before jumping into this suggestion, I absolutely want to acknowledge that this isn’t AS family friendly as the other suggestions on this list, mostly since South Africa can be dangerous in the bigger cities, but it’s also a wonderful place to travel and one of the only countries where it’s easy to self-drive on safari, making bringing a baby along easy.

South Africa has been one of my favorite countries to travel to ever since I first set foot there. People are friendly, the wildlife is amazing, the scenery is gorgeous, and if you’re somewhat of an independent traveler, it’s easy to rent a car and self-drive. Though we did the same in Namibia, the roads are often not paved, and I frequently questioned if it was wise to be in such remote areas (though we did have a satellite phone should we need help).

There are lovely beaches, lots of family friendly activities like safari parks and Kruger, and I find the locals to be some of the most welcoming and friendly in the world.

Pros of traveling in South Africa with a baby:

  • Easy to navigate.
  • Affordable.
  • Amazing scenery and wildlife.

Cons of traveling in South Africa with a baby:

  • Cities are not as safe (especially at night).
  • Don’t expect family lines at airports.
  • You will probably need to travel with your own crib.


While the USA, admittedly, is not the most family friendly destination I’ve ever been to, it’s still a great place to travel as a family, particularly if you’re a fan of road trips, hiking, camping, or have your sights set on an Alaska cruise.

You’ll find plenty of stroller-friendly sidewalks, and just about every national park has at least a few paved/accessible trails you can bring a stroller on. Changing tables aren’t absolutely everywhere, but they’re easy enough to find in most major areas.

Since we’re American, this is where we’ve traveled with our baby the most, and though Felix doesn’t quite get the love and attention he does in Asia or parts of Europe, the US offers so much natural beauty, you’ll never run out of things to see and do here.

Pros of traveling in the USA with a baby:

  • Easy to navigate.
  • Generally stroller-friendly.
  • Plenty of hotels have amenities and cribs for babies and kids.

Cons of traveling in the US with a baby:

  • Honestly HOW are there not family lines at customs, security, and check in at US airports?
  • Can be pricey.


Speaking of countries where locals love babies, count Italy near the top. Similar to Portugal, Italy will have you feeling welcomed from the moment you step off the plane (or train).

Expect to see lots of interaction with your baby, and maybe even requests from locals to hold them.

While car rentals are small, cobblestones are rough on strollers, and you’re going to encounter a lot of stairs, knowing this ahead of time can help you prepare. I recommend a hiking backpack carrier instead of a stroller in Italy, especially if you’ll mostly be reliant on public transport.

Pros of traveling in Italy with a baby:

  • Locals love babies.
  • Family-forward policies and family lines.

Cons of traveling in Italy with a baby:

  • Not stroller friendly.
  • May have a hard time finding changing tables.
  • Pack light if taking public transport, and plan on encountering stairs.
  • SUPER crowded in the summer.


Mexico was the first international trip we took my baby on (and was coincidentally my first international trip as well, when I was 15!). I appreciated the ease of traveling there. Food, diapers, and formula were easy to find, and since I usually rent a car in Mexico, transport is easy, too.

It’s also a country that’s so easy to enjoy just from one spot right on the beach. We rented a house in San Pancho, just north of Sayulita, that had a water filter (this made bottle cleaning easier though we still used bottled water for formula), and enough to do and enjoy right where we were that we didn’t have FOMO from not moving around a bunch.

Although a resort in Mexico with child amenities would probably be different, since we often stay in small towns in Mexico, we didn’t come across high chairs or changing tables. Locals also didn’t seem that interested in our baby, which is just fine, but it was such a difference to Portugal and Japan! Read everything to know about traveling with a baby in Mexico here.

Pros of traveling with a baby in Mexico:

  • Baby necessities are easy to find.
  • Navigating Mexico is less challenging than some other destinations.
  • Nursing in public is no problem.

Cons of traveling with a baby in Mexico:

  • Changing tables and high chairs might be hard to find.
  • Water is not safe to drink.
  • Foodborne illnesses are very common.
  • No dedicated family lines or priority.

While each of these countries is a great option for families with babies and toddlers in its own way, this list could almost be endless. I like to think that almost anywhere can be great with a baby, though some vacations, like ones with lots of ocean diving and swimming or long hikes, might not be as young-kid appropriate.

Young babies are wonderful to travel with. They’re portable, they can nap in a baby carrier, and they’re almost universally loved. Don’t hesitate to travel with your little ones – these are memories I’ll hold dear for the rest of my life.

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  1. Mexico will be my son’s first international trip and was mine, as well, when I was his age. We’ve taken him all over the U.S. so I’m excited to see how he does in another country. Just curious, but were there any foods you avoided for yourself and your little one while in Mexico? We will be at an all-inclusive resort with probably fairly safe food, but I still want to take precautions.

    1. I never avoid specific foods when I travel, but unfortunately, Mexico is the country where I’ve gotten sick from food the most. We went to fruiterias and fed him a lot of our own shopped for food that we washed and knew how it was prepared to avoid that.

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