Most parents with babies and small children find that eating out in restaurants can be exhausting enough in their own hometown, let alone in an unfamiliar destination where the menu and presence of high chairs or boosters is a question mark. (And don’t get me started on countries where dinner service only begins at 8 p.m.)
However, opting for a vacation rental or hotel room with a kitchenette and planning to cook and clean up after every meal may not feel like much of a vacation either.
How to find a happy balance? At least one night of your trip, have your dinner delivered to your door. Room service can be a real sanity — and time — saver while traveling with infants and toddlers, but it’s not always an option. Pizzas can be delivered in most cities around the world–yes, even to hotels (check the phone book in the drawer for numbers).
But for the lucky visiting Vancouver, B.C., you can now even have child-friendly foods (“Mac the Cheese”) along with gourmet grown up fare (wild sockeye salmon risotto) freshly prepared and delivered to your door by Meals for Mums(the ingredients are organic and all natural to boot).
If you’re headed to San Francisco, you might take advantage of Waiters on Wheels, which can deliver everything from pancakes and omelets to sushi and falafel from dozens of S.F. restaurants (see the menus online–you can even print the ones of interest to tuck into your suitcase).
Dining out with toddlers anywhere can present some serious challenges, and then there’s New York City… so when you’ve finished juggling the stroller and have exhausted the few child-friendly options, try GothamMenu.com for a first-rate collection of Manhattan’s to-go menus, including restaurants with delivery.
And now delivering restaurant-prepared dinners to San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston, Boston, NY Metro, Jersey City, Philadelphia, Washington D.C., and London: SeamlessWeb.com. Of course, you’ll need Internet access to take full advantage of most of these services, so if your hotel doesn’t offer free access, make a pit stop at a cybercafé during your sightseeing.
Shelly Rivoli, author of Travels with Baby
The Ultimate Guide for Planning Trips with Babies, Toddlers, and Preschool-Age Children