Call a Sitter: These Are the Best Places for Travelers Without Kids
Have you ever wondered if a family vacation is even a vacation at all? Sometimes accommodating that many people, from babies and small children to seniors and teenagers, can just feel like a trip, not a break. By the end of it, you need a vacation from the vacation. We've all been there. And while family road trips and reunions can be fun and rewarding, sometimes you'd rather travel on your own, with your significant other, or with your friends.
With that in mind, we decided to compile a bucket list of the best places for travelers without kids. We made sure to include plenty of variety so you can find the type of holiday you're looking for, whether that be kicking back on a beach, bustling nightlife experiences, or unexpected adventures far away. While these places can accommodate children if you'd rather bring them along, they're best enjoyed without kids so you can truly unwind and get the most out of your vacation.
So without further ado, find out the seven best places for travelers without kids, from singles to honeymooners, tired parents, and empty-nesters. Get ready to call a sitter for the kids (or the cats and plants), and pack your bags.
Head to Another Hemisphere:
Buenos Aires is the birthplace of the tango, so you can expect an energetic nightlife and romantic atmosphere, from the architecture to the people. This cosmopolitan gem of Argentina is the perfect destination for anyone who likes European cities but wants to get off the beaten path or try something new. Stay at Legado Mítico, an exclusive boutique hotel that serves as a retreat from the hustle and bustle of the city. We also love the minimal design of Hotel Pulitzer and The Clubhouse, which is a social club similar to Soho House (it happens to be in the hip neighborhood of Palermo Soho too!), but it has hotel rooms as well. You also can't go wrong with the design-centric and lavish Faena hotel, which recently opened up a second location in Miami. You'll feel like you've stepped into a dreamlike interpretation of 1920s opulence and style.
If you want to spend time outside the city, head to Salta, a town that sits at the foot of the Andes Mountains. Here, you'll explore Inca ruins, see abode architecture, visit wineries, and unwind in the countryside. Spend time at the House of Jasmines, or check out Finca Valentina, which offers cooking classes to guests who want to learn about the local cuisine, as well as horseback riding and massages to unwind. All this is set amid gorgeous grounds and luxury accommodations. Or head to one of the remote Patagonian towns on the cusp of Chilé known as El Chaltén and San Carlos de Bariloche. They sit adjacent to the Parque Nacional Torres del Paine, a magical destination with otherworldly beauty. Stay at a rustic, cabin-style lodge called Laguna Candor or a large lakeside resort like Llao Llao.
Be Ready for Adventures:
City-Hop in Europe:
Paris and Berlin
France and Germany sit side by side, so it's easy to hit a city in each spot during one trip (and more, if you have the time).
Berlin: We love the Bavarian charm of Munich and the gorgeous countryside castles and whizzing cars, but Germany's edgiest city is a must-see if you're looking for kid-free travel hubs. It's historically charged and full of cultural activities both tourist must-sees and under-the-radar local haunts. When it comes to museums, you should visit the architecturally spectacular Jewish Museum and memorial. Eat at Ziet fur Bret, Shiso Burger, and Monki Bar, which has a gorgeous terrace overlooking the Berlin Zoo, hence the name. Cantina is a swanky speakeasy with delicious food, Glass is another must-try food spot for minimalistic interiors and fine dining. For shopping, make sure to check out Voo, a hip shop with a cute café. Stay at Sir Savigny or Das Stue for a taste of the city's cool, trendsetting style today, or book a room at Provocateur to get a sense of the pre-Soviet spirit of Berlin in the 1920s.
Paris: Having attracted so many writers (including F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, Gertrude Stein, and James Baldwin) and fashion designers, Paris is a paradise for the literature- and style-obsessed. For art buffs, we recommend staying at Le Roch Hotel by the Louvre or L'Hôtel Particulier Montmartre. Aside from the usual tourist destinations, take advantage of the gallery scene and the charming cafés and bistros the city offers. For intimate drink spots and fun nightlife options, head to Candelaria or Andy Wahloo. If you can book your trip before December, make sure you visit the legendary fashion destination, Colette, before it closes at the end of 2017. Be sure to check out the brick-and-mortar stock of Paris-based brand Olympia Le-Tan for a souvenir that speaks to both fashion and literature (you probably recognize her quirky, elegant, handmade book clutches adorning the influencers of fashion week).
Go Out on the Town:
The wine country in California is another prime spot to travel if you want a kid-free experience without leaving the country. Stay in Napa or Sonoma if you want to spend your days relaxing in the countryside, touring wineries, and soaking in the gorgeous landscape. Calistoga Ranch is a stunning resort, as it's nestled in a lush, private canyon with rolling hills and vineyards. Did we just describe your version of heaven?
We also love Hotel Healdsburg for a smaller boutique feel in the middle of town, Meadowood in St. Helena for intimate luxury cottages, and for something more casual, stay at the Farmhouse Inn in Sonoma. This trip is for anyone in need of a friends-only escape or a romantic retreat. We suggest going on a hot-air balloon ride to get a bird's-eye view of the expansive greenery of the area.
Explore a European Country:
Architecture fanatics, night owls, and beach bums flock to the Catalan city of Barcelona for the lively nightlife scene and scenic views of Gothic structures and Gaudí landmarks all set against the seaside. It's pretty much an adult version of Disneyland. And aside from being a fun locale with endless activities and shopping destinations, it's also incredibly liveable, with plenty of diverse neighborhoods, schools, and delicious food. You can't go wrong regardless of where you stay, but we think the coolest, more design-savvy spots are Destination BNC, Mercer Hotel, and El Palauet. For the best tapas you'll try in your life, go to Bar Cañete, and for high-end shopping, go to Santa Eulalia, which is Barcelona's conceptual, stylish department store on the main drag, Passeig de Gràcia. The Gothic Quarter is full of incredible vintage stores, too.
If you have time to explore the whole country, island-hop from Majorca to Ibiza, go to the quainter seaside port towns of San Sebastian or Cádiz, or venture inland to the charming old-world town of Seville, where horse-drawn carriages are the norm, and visit Granada or Cordoba for Moorish cathedrals.
Pack Your Bags:
See the Subcontinent:
Getting to Kerala is a bit of a trek, but the journey is worth experiencing the magic of the sparkling waters and outdoor adventures. We also think the journey will be a lot more romantic if you choose to make the long journey without crying babies. Kerala is well-known for its backwaters, so stay at the Marari Beach Resort or Brunton Boatyard. Both of these options have unparalleled access to gorgeous views. For a truly authentic experience on the water, consider renting a houseboat for your vacation. We recommend The Lotus. Whether you're feasting your eyes on the endless sea of paddy fields or drifting through the lagoons, you'll experience the wonder of Kerala.
You should also experience one of the larger cities like Udaipur, or the capital, New Delhi. If time permits, you should visit both places since they each offer unique travel opportunities. Both are incredibly dense with people, which is why it's probably better to visit without kids. This way you won't have to worry about getting separated from your little ones. The Park New Delhi is one of our favorite hotels in the city for its sleek, contemporary design (it also makes luxury affordable, with starting rates under $100). The Lodhi is an incredibly luxurious hotel with impeccable design, architecture, and service, making it the perfect home base after a busy day in the city. Then spend a few days in the city of Agra so you can see the world-famous white marble mausoleum, the Taj Mahal. And staying at the Taj Lake Palace alone makes a trip to the city of Udaipur worthwhile.
Taste the Tropics:
When it comes to hotels in Miami, we suggest a stay at the Faena Hotel. It'll give you the full experience of the city in all its opulence and glory. With an on-site Damien Hirst masterpiece, it's one of the coolest spots in the world. It's right on Collins Avenue in South Beach, though it offers more privacy since it's a little further north of the other popular hotels, like the traditional Setai and hip Miami Beach Edition Hotel (which are also great options). For something more, try the Freehand Miami, which boasts a young, tropical energy that will instantly transport you to vacation mode. It's quintessential Miami magic with lush greenery and island vibes.
Given Miami's rich art and architecture, it's no surprise that the city has preserved the Art Deco buildings with a tropical edge. Take a tour of the Art Deco district to get a sense, and then walk through the Wynwood neighborhood, where you'll see a series of murals and street art in this bustling creative enclave (while you're in the area, don't miss Style Mafia if you want to shop for on-trend stylish pieces at an unbeatable price).
The Webster is our favorite shop for one-of-a-kind pieces. You can either take a stroll down Collins Avenue, and check out its multilevel boutique (it's in a historic Art Deco building painted in vibrant pastels), or you can go to its space in the Bal Harbour shopping center, a great outdoor mall with a unique design. The Design District is another great shopping area with all the usual high-end suspects plus a few concept stores, from Céline to Maison Margiela and Dior Homme.
You could also just lounge on the beach with a good book. For an unforgettable meal in a gorgeous setting, you can't miss Mandolin Aegean Bistro. And you should definitely make time to try a Cuban restaurant (our favorite is Puerto Sagua for a late-night bite). Speaking of late-night bites, Bodega Taqueria y Tequila is great for some fast tacos before a night of dancing in the speakeasy (the entrance is through its refrigerator). If you're planning on hitting the town, try The Broken Shaker in South Beach or Bardot in Wynwood.
Hit the Beach:
What are your favorite places to visit without kids? Share your travel tips with us in the comments below.