Our jaws dropped when we heard that our family travel expert, Heidi Sherman Mitchell (travel editor at Town&Country magazine and mother to three kids under the age of 5) brought her four-week-old baby on a press trip to Uruguay. So we asked her to share some thoughts on finding the courage to travel with an infant, and more importantly: where to go.
“Once you get past the initial anxiety, you’ll recognize the truth—that traveling with a wee one is pretty easy, and you should take advantage of it before this little blob becomes a little person, complete with toys, food allergies and the ability to jump off a balcony. I always tell my new-parent friends that having a baby is like carrying an extra piece of luggage: just strap it on and off you go. Here are a few of my favorite ideas for first-time parents and their first-time getaways.”
Parrot Cay, Turks & Caicos
Known as a bliss-out spot for couples, Parrot Cay would not seem fit for a baby. But the one-bedroom suites have blackout shades and French doors dividing the bedroom from the sitting area, which has its own entrance and bathroom so you can come and go without waking the baby. The pool has a wading section (perfect for toddlers), and if you’re still not convinced: the restaurant offers high chairs, kids’ menus and bibs (!). Rooms from $575; www.parrotcay.com
Hotel Plaza Athenee, Paris
Only while your baby is Bjorn-able can you amble through city gardens at a leisurely pace and gaze upon painted masterpieces in silence. Splurge for the Hotel Plaza Athenee, right by the Eiffel Tower. This way, if you’re too exhausted after a day of cultural immersion at the Louvre, you can order room service in your robe and still feel like you’re having a special night. Plus, the hotel will arrange for an English-speaking sitter and, um, Baby Dior is right across the street. Rooms from $600; www.plaza-athenee-paris.com
Resort at Pelican Hill, Newport, California
Incredible weather. Nice beaches. Cute villages. Beautiful people. All of this will go unappreciated by your baby, but it certainly makes a nice getaway for you. Book a villa at the Resort at Pelican Hill, and all you’ll need to bring are some clothes; the crib, bottle warmer and baby food will all be waiting for you. A shallow pool, an amazing kids’ club (for older siblings) and solid oak doors to hush middle-of-the-night fuss sessions round out the offerings. Villas start at $695 (regular rooms at the resort are considerably less); www.pelicanhill.com
Park Hyatt Buenos Aires, Argentina
Latinos love babies. You’ll be shocked by the number of strangers eager to entertain your infant with coochie-coochie-coos while you finish that magazine article you started three weeks ago. Stay at the Palacio Duhau Park Hyatt Buenos Aires for excellent service (including babysitting), prime location (with a garden for new crawlers) and anything you forgot to pack. Also key: an overnight flight both ways with no jet-lag. From $430 per night; www.park.hyatt.com.
FDR Resort, Runaway Bay, St. Ann, Jamaica
Ok, so it’s not the most luxurious resort, but we have found no other villa-hotel that comes stocked with everything baby needs—including a nanny. Yes, each villa at this all-inclusive has a dedicated baby-minder, so you can actually use the spa and the gym and even reinstitute date-night. From $280/night, all-inclusive; fdrholidays.com