5 Kid-Free Zones for Travelers

You’ve been dreaming of a vacation. No, not Disney World or any other place where costumed characters walk around with plastered smiles, cheerfully worded songs play on repeat and meals consist of chicken strips and fries made into smiley faces. In fact, you don’t want to vacation with children at all. Whether or not you have kids to call your own, sometimes you just need a relaxing vacation minus the cries, whines and pleading that’s unavoidable when grown-ups and tikes under 4 feet tall intermingle. 

Hire a babysitter and leave the kids at home, because a childfree foray into paradise is possible. Check these options out:

Beach Cabana [Cancun, Mexico]

Adult Only Resorts | Your best guarantee for finding childfree peace is to go somewhere no kids are allowed. These grown up vacation spots cater to adults only. Guests under the age of 16 or 18 years old are restricted, and activities are geared towards relaxation, luxury and cuisine rather than toys, games and rides. 

Canopied beds, spa amenities, extravagantly prepared dishes, phenomenal views and elegant décor are the trademarks of many of these such resorts. It’s the perfect prescription for recovery and refreshment before going back to tackling the unpredictability of life as a parent. 

Bed and Breakfasts | If you’re looking for something more quaint and charming than the vast beachside resorts, check yourself in for a weekend at a B&B. These Old World boarding houses are not what a family-friendly vacation makes. They’re quiet, full of breakable antiques, no televisions and encourage slow mornings with a cup of tea – A.K.A. they’re basically child repellants. 

Bed and breakfasts are the perfect getaway – more affordable than their franchise hotel counterparts and full of personalized touches. Wake up to a homemade breakfast and chat over coffee with the owner about the can’t-miss shops in the area. Stay snuggled in bed, light a fire in the hearth and read that book you’ve been meaning to. It’s a temporary escape into a bubble bath nirvana. 

Couple enjoying cocktails on cruise ship at sunset

Cruise into the Sunset | Don’t worry, this isn’t a trap. It may seem counterintuitive to voluntarily place yourself in a moving vessel, which very may contain screaming kids. With some careful planning, though, a cruise can become your safe haven on water. Most cruise lines won’t restrict against little ones, but you can strategically avoid them. 

If you choose a longer itinerary that includes stops at ports in far-off lands, you cut down your chance of families joining you aboard. Further decrease this risk by planning it around summer and school breaks and parents take to the skies, roads and waters with their tikes for trips. Spend some time researching as well though, some cruise ships do make arrangements for grown-ups. You may find an offering of an entire deck of adults only cabins, pools reserved solely for those above the age of 21 (complete with bar, yay!) and roped off sanctuaries where you must be a VMP (very mature person) to enter. 

Childfree Months | Industry experts have the insight on what months you’ll see more or less kids running down the hallways of your hotel, pushing a baggage cart like they’re competing in NASCAR. What’s been dubbed the “romance months” include May and September, and kids are most likely to be studiously in their desks due to end-of-year final examinations and the kick-off of the new school year. Early June and October tend to be safe bets as well. Take caution as you approach breaks, though. If you’re dying for a spring escape from dreary winter, schedule it earlier in the season in February rather than March when the gates are thrown open to the very young and energetic masses. 

Woman and man relaxing together during massage at spa

Avoid Family-Friendly | The words “family-friendly” should instill an automatic reject reflex in you. It’s a red flag for anyone looking for best places to vacation away from tots. You’ve been warned, so don’t be surprised when you’re lured in by a good deal to have it ruined by strollers rolling over your toes. If you absolutely must, then make friends with your concierge and the front desk quickly. Be open with them that you’d prefer a room far away from rambunctious families. They’ll likely do their best to help you out. Inquire about any off-limit to kids areas. You might find the adults only spa is your perfect answer for a reprieve from other people’s kids. 

On the flipside, Bring the Kids! The 5 Best Islands for Families


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Alyssa Derby

Passionately curious about the world around her, Alyssa Derby is a self-proclaimed wanderlust aficionado. She’s tallied a count of seven countries visited, with New Zealand, Greece and Bolivia next up on the bucket list. To reminisce about past trips, s