6 of the best family vacations with toddlers

Between making time for naps, packing diapers, having access to appropriate snacks, and navigating the inevitable tantrums, traveling with toddlers may be a challenge you're not ready to face. But don't let these obstacles stop you! The best way to overcome the challenge may very well be to forge ahead, go to a destination you've always dreamed of seeing, and make some adjustments to accommodate small children. Wherever you go, your toddlers will follow—and even though they may not fully remember every detail of the vacation, you are likely to instill a love of travel and adventure. Following are 6 of the top places to rent vacation homes for families with toddlers.

Vacation rentals in Captiva Island, Florida

Set offshore between Pine Island Sound and the Gulf of Mexico, Captiva Island, with its shallow coastal waters and tropical white-sand beaches, is an ideal vacation spot for families with toddlers. You can tire out your little one by chasing the gentle waves, building sandcastles, collecting a variety of shells, and running along the beach. And since it's never too early to learn, the entire family, with kids of all ages, can attend programs at Sanibel Sea School to hear about dolphins and wading birds, among other topics. Come naptime or mealtime, you can retreat to a beachfront vacation home that offers views of the turquoise gulf waters.

Vacation homes in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee

A small mountain town in the heart of the Smoky Mountains, Pigeon Forge is full of outdoor fun. Rent a getaway cabin to use as your base, and take your toddler on a forest adventure on foot, a horseback ride, or a swim in one of the many swimming holes. Beyond the call of the wild, you can visit theme parks, including Dolly Parton's Dollywood, or go for a ride on The Coaster at Goats on the Roof.

Getaway home rentals in Orlando, Florida

Orlando, Florida is one of the best places to travel with toddlers. Why? For starters, it's home to Walt Disney World Resort, arguably the king of all theme parks that can appeal to the entire family. But there are a number of other amusement parks and activities aimed at the younger set, including an aquarium, a Crayola museum, a science center, and botanical gardens. An Orlando vacation rental will help make this one of your best toddler vacation destinations. As a bonus, there are also many places where toddlers enter at no cost.

Lake Ozark, Missouri rentals

Lake Ozark, in the center of Missouri on the shores of Lake of the Ozarks, is another top place to vacation with toddlers. Sit on the deck of a cabin rental overlooking the lake, take a boat for a spin, or dip your toes in the water—there's no shortage of fun! If you're looking to get out of the sun, you can visit Ozark Caverns and see unusual animals that never venture out of the caves' darkness, as well as Angel's Shower, a never-ending flow of water that falls from the solid rock ceiling. Other family activities that appeal to toddlers and older children alike include Miner Mike's Indoor Family Fun Center.

U.S. Virgin Islands vacation homes

For a more exotic vacation spot with your toddler, away from the mainland but without leaving the United States, the U.S. Virgin Islands offers a good compromise—no change in language or currency, but a definite Caribbean vibe. The 4 main islands, St. Croix, St. John, Water Island, and St. Thomas, offer beautiful beaches with opportunities to snorkel and fish. St. Thomas also has shopping and Coral World Ocean Park, a 5-acre marine and conservation park. You can enjoy all of this in the comfort of a vacation rental that sits on the beach.

Italian vacation rental in Rome

If a different language and culture don't faze you, you can go on holiday with your toddler to Rome, in Italy, a city steeped in ancient history. While toddlers may not understand the importance of Ancient Rome for today's world, they will still be awed by the grandeur of The Colosseum, the Pantheon, and the Roman Forum. You can book an Italian vacation home in the middle of the city or opt for a more tranquil setting on the outskirts. Either way, you might prepare yourself by reading up on Ancient Rome.