How to Travel With Friends Who Have Kids, Retain Your Sanity

Vacations are supposed to be a time to get away from it all.

Kids included.

And while having them — or having friends who have them — may seem to preclude ever enjoying any peace and quiet with your best mates again, we’re here to tell you that is not the case. In fact, there is an entire industry built around destinations that cater to just that.

“Adult-friendly” resorts — not to be confused with “adult-only” excursions like the one of Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice fame — have a little something for everyone, including the little ones.

Here are seven we’re happy to vouch for.

Club Med Punta Cana
Dominican Republic

Here you can have your cake and eat it too. The DR’s Club Med Punta Cana just opened Zen Oasis, an adults-only area with private bungalows, a pool, lounge beds, a massive jacuzzi and a bar. It’s footsteps from CMPC proper, so you can meet up with your ball-and-chain-toting friends by day for windsurfing, sailing and fishing. And the place is a shangri-la for the little ones, with a next-level program called Creactive, aka a circus-inspired playground with classes hosted by Cirque du Soleil. Meanwhile, adults can golf and enjoy the L’occitane spa by day and dance the night away at one of the resort’s bustling clubs or beach parties once the sun goes down. Everyone wins.

Le Guanahani in St. Barths
St. Barths

This newly renovated five-star resort is located on a private peninsula on Grand Cul-de-Sac lagoon. They’ve got myriad water sports offerings for the whole fam (paddle boarding, windsurfing, kayaking), while adults will enjoy reposing at The Spa by Clarins. They also have spa treatments for children, including the Massage Angel’s Face or Cinderella’s Hands. Additionally, the resort offers two kid programs: a Kindergarten and a Junior’s Club. Activities span singing, painting seashells, snorkeling, canoeing, windsurfing and volleyball.

Eden Roc at Cap Cana in Dominican Republic
Dominican Republic

A secluded 30,000-acre seaside paradise in the Caribbean, this 34-suite lodging offers families a variety of on-property activities, from snorkeling to hiking, to boogie boarding. The “Family Suites” include a master bedroom that links to a secondary bedroom with bunk beds. The daily kids’ club offers contests, games, scavenger hunts, arts and crafts and access to Koko’s Mini Spa. Meanwhile, couples can disappear to Eden Roc at Cap Cana to unwind in a freestanding suite with a private swimming pool and exclusive massage and relaxation area. Recommended: the Shared Indulgence experience at Solaya Spa, with side-by-side massages and luxurious facials in the outdoor spa pavilion overlooking the lagoon, all capped off with a bottle of Champagne in the jacuzzi.

JW Marriott Venice Resort & Spa

Located on the Venetian Lagoon, the resort is a 20-minute complimentary boat ride from St. Mark’s Square. Back on the resort’s private island, Isola della Rose, the rooftop adults-only pool offers guests the best vantage point of the Venice skyline. Families looking to relax together can enjoy the Family Pool in the resort’s garden area, next to the Giardino Garden Grill, a BBQ-style eatery. The resort also offers a range of cooking classes at the Sapori Cooking Academy and two-day mask-making class for kids and adults alike.

Omni Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Montelucia

Nestled at the base of picturesque Camelback Mountain, the Omni is a Spanish-inspired desert oasis with three pools: the Oasis Pool (adults-only), the Joya Pool (strictly for spa guests over 16 years old) and the Kasbah Pool (all ages). In addition to its world-class rejuvenation treatments (and the area’s only Hammam spa), the resort hosts a variety of adult-focused food & beverage specialties, from “Taste of Spain” to ‘Wednesday Wine Down” to “Mbar Happy Hour.” Indulge thy palate.

Round Hill Hotels and Villas

Set in Montego Bay, Jamaica, families traveling with children can enjoy the complimentary use of the Pineapple Kids’ Club and 7-Up Club, a perfect program for a adults needing a break from the littl’ns. The course promotes fun and education, with itineraries that include nature walks, arts and crafts, water sports, reggae lessons, basket-weaving and a drama workshop. Another program on property, the Teen Spa Program at Round Hill, offers spa treatments specifically designed for teens.

Park Hyatt Aviara Resort, Golf Club & Spa

Situated on Southern California’s sun-drenched Pacific Coast, this Forbes Five Star and AAA Five Diamond resort is the ultimate outdoor playground. For the kids, the resort offers a Family Pool with underwater lighting and a “Kiddy Café,” Aviara Kids Academy by Camp Hyatt, Aviara Golf Academy, tennis lessons from Resident Tennis Pro Steve Halverson, a Surf Concierge program, trips to Legoland and more. And if you’re a grown-up looking to unwind, direct your attention to the adult-only pool — equipped with underwater music and private cabana service, the VeraVia Wellness Facility and an exclusive couple’s spa suite at Aviara Spa.