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Getaways for Two, Plus One

By K.C. Summers
Special to The Washington Post
Sunday, May 31, 2009

Q. My wife and I are planning a getaway with our 10-month-old. Can you recommend any resorts or spas that cater to those with infants, particularly those that might include day care? We are partial to the outdoors, so anything near a national park is a plus.

Jim Reynolds, Vienna

A. Babies -- can't vacation with 'em, can't vacation without 'em. Resorts with day-care programs are a good compromise, offering parents a break while allowing plenty of family time. But although many vacation choices have supervised programs for grade-schoolers and teens, those that cater to infants are harder to find. Here are a few options.

-- Beach resorts. Club Med has baby-friendly room amenities (crib, changing table) and offers day care for infants 4 months and older at four of its resorts. At the Sandpiper in Port St. Lucie, Fla., the Baby Club Med program offers age-appropriate activities and a personal chef who prepares fresh baby food daily. A week's stay at the resort in June runs $1,935 for two adults and includes meals, drinks, fitness activities and sports; Baby Club Med costs an additional $390 for six days. For your national-park fix, the Everglades are about an hour and a half away. Info: 800-258-2633, http://www.clubmed.us.

Other baby-friendly beach resorts include Franklyn D. Resort and Spa in Jamaica (800-654-1337, http://www.fdrholidays.com), which provides a vacation nanny for each family, and Beaches resorts in Jamaica and Turks and Caicos (888-232-2437, http://www.beaches.com), with nurseries for newborns on up.

-- Family camp. Tyler Place Family Resort on the Vermont side of Lake Champlain (802-868-4000, http://www.tylerplace.com) welcomes infants from newborns on up, providing Parents' Helpers for one-on-one care while you swim, fish, canoe, do sports or practice yoga. Mid-June rates start at $187 per person per day for adults and include meals and recreational facilities; there's an additional 10 percent service charge. Parents' Helpers cost $7.50 to $9 an hour. Nearest national parkland: Missisquoi National Wildlife Refuge.

-- Ski resorts. At Vermont's Smuggler's Notch -- where summer activities include hiking, tennis, golf, water parks, canoeing and kayaking, llama treks, fishing and more -- babies from 6 weeks and older can spend time at the Treasures child-care center. Typical weekly rate for a family of three in late June is $1,253; child care is $85 a day. Details: 800-419-4615, http://www.smuggs.com. Nearest national park: Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park.

Two other ski resorts with infant day care are Beaver Creek in Colorado (970-845-9090, http://www.beavercreek.snow.com) and Whistler Blackcomb (in winter only) in British Columbia (866-218-9690, http://www.whistlerblackcomb.com).

-- Cruises. Disney Cruise Line offers group day care for babies 12 weeks and older on its Disney Magic and Disney Wonder ships. Reserve times in the "Little Mermaid"-themed nursery in advance, since space is limited. Cost is $6 an hour. Details: 888-325-2500, http://www.disneycruise.com.

My husband is battling cancer and must drink six to eight bottles of Ensure nutrition shakes each day. We are traveling to France and are concerned about how to carry small bottles of Ensure aboard the plane. Will the Transportation Security Administration honor a letter from his doctor?

Barbara Bermpohl, Washington

The TSA permits passengers with medical conditions to carry nutritional drinks on board. Separate the bottles from your other items to be screened and tell the agent that the drinks are required for a medical condition. To be safe, bring a letter from your husband's doctor, although it's not strictly required. To make things easier, carry on just what's needed for the duration for the flight and pack the rest in your checked luggage. For more information, contact the TSA at 866-289-9673 or check the agency's Web site, http://www.tsa.gov.

By the way, you may be reassured to know that Ensure shakes are available through most pharmacies in France, according to Michelle Zendah of Abbott Nutrition, the company that manufactures the supplement.

Send queries by e-mail (travelqa@washpost.com) or U.S. mail (Travel Q&A, Washington Post Travel Section, 1150 15th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20071). Please include your name and town.

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