Once you have kids, vacation planning becomes very different. Instead of looking for hotel that offer romantic couples massages or fancy nightclubs, you’re more likely to be searching for ones with kids clubs and babysitting services. Since most families are closely managing a budget, it’s extra important to make sure to not waste money on a hotel that won’t suit your family’s needs. Finding the perfect kid-friendly hotel room is possible, though! It just requires a little extra work.
Use Your Contacts
The Internet is full of resources for parents looking to travel with their children, but sometimes nothing beats a personal recommendation. Tap into your mom and dad network. Ask parents for recommendations at the playground, day care centers, schools, and play groups. One of these recommendations may bring up a hotel you may not have know about or one that isn’t specifically geared towards children but worked perfectly anyway. You can also make use of social media and ask for recommendations on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Tailor Your Online Search
If your friends weren’t able to point you in the right direction, you can still make use of the incredible travel resources online. Although your first instinct may be to head to a popular site like TripAdvisor, it may be more useful to source your information from sites centered on children. Kidscantravel.com, familytravelforum.com, and ciaobambino.com all offer extremely detailed reviews of family-friendly accommodations around the world. Once you’ve narrowed your list of options down, you can still use TripAdvisor for user-generated photos to see if the hotel is all it claims to be.
Location, Location, Location
Although the room itself is important, location can be a determining factor when selecting a hotel for a family vacation. It’s crucial that the hotel be in a central location or within walking distance to major attractions or public transportation. Walking a mile after a long day may be no big deal for adults, but you definitely don’t want a meltdown when your child refuses to walk home. It’s also a good idea to find a hotel near shops, in case you need to run out for any emergency snacks or supplies.
Look for the Right Amenities
Once you’ve worked out the perfect location for your hotel, you’ll want to consider what amenities you need to enjoy a stress-free vacation. Some features that may be helpful include:
- A suite – multiple rooms make it much easier to live your life while the kids are asleep.
- A bathtub – trying to bathe a child in a shower is almost impossible!
- A kitchenette – even a mini fridge and a microwave will make a huge difference in heating up bottles and storing snacks.
- Rental cribs or Pack ‘n Plays – not having to pack your own will seriously lighten your luggage.
- Babysitting – some hotels offer this service or can recommend an agency, allowing you to get out for some adults only time.
- Kid-friendly food – check to make sure the onsite restaurant has a kids menu or options your child can enjoy if you plan on eating at the hotel some nights.
Vacationing with children can be incredibly rewarding. With the proper planning, you’ll be able to enjoy seeing how happy the little ones are, while avoiding any major meltdowns. Bon voyage!