When you are on your travels, there can be an undoubted joy in having, constantly at your side, family members who can join in with many of your exciting holiday experiences. However, when preparing for a family holiday, there are certain factors that you are especially advised to take into account but wouldn’t usually apply with the readying of lone travel.
Those factors include securing family-friendly accommodation. After all, while you might possibly be content with snoozing in a small bed and breakfast, reasoning that it’s “only for one weekend”, your partner might not have the same sentiment. There are also particular amenities that you can find an especially good use for when you have a baby or toddler in tow.
Here are some tips that, while not always widely known, can reap dividends in your search for accommodation that is not merely good, but instead great value.
What type of trip are you eager to take?
This is a good question to start with before you turn to the question of which accommodation you should choose. Different holidays can significantly vary; hence, different holidays could also have different implications for what you would like with the accommodation.
If, for example, you’ll be bringing a baby, you might be attracted to Mawgan Porth. Yellow sand, rock pools, and towering cliffs are features of this Cornish beach, overlooking which is the family-friendly Bedruthan Hotel highlighted by The Telegraph. Another plus point of this beach and hotel is that they are in Britain; hence, they could be relatively easy to reach and inexpensive. The falling value of the pound might have sent an overseas holiday only just out of your budget…
However, you shouldn’t completely disregard the idea of embarking on such a holiday – particularly as, later in this article, we will explain ways of cutting costs of one. So, if you are a woman who has only recently given birth, you shouldn’t entirely rule out a stay at the family-run farmhouse Manoir La Croix de la Jugie. Based in the Limousin area of France, it lets postnatal women focus on cardio, stretching, and toning workouts while fathers bond with their little ones.
Has your child progressed to the walking toddler stage? Then, for a staycation that will still stimulate their mind, you could travel to Devon, where fascinating animals can be seen in abundance. The Sidmouth Donkey Sanctuary has the highest donkey concentration of any place globally, while the UK’s largest aquarium is in Plymouth. Devon also has a good supply of family-friendly accommodation, a good overseas example of which is the Holy Mama yoga retreat on Ibiza.
Tips for securing good hotel prices
Once you have decided the general part of the country or world where you will stay, when should you book the hotel room? Research cited by The Guardian puts the optimum time at a month before the trip. Try to avoid booking two to three months ahead, as hotel rooms are then at their priciest. However, booking last-minute might not be a bad idea – as, though prices do rise as the travel date approaches, that run-up rarely sees them touching their most expensive rate.
Also, exactly when you should book can depend on the destination country as well. For the cheapest hotel rooms in Spain, book as far ahead as seven weeks before you travel. Meanwhile, for a France holiday, it’s possible to get the best hotel accommodation prices by booking two weeks beforehand.
Business as not-so-usual
You will be on a family holiday, not a corporate trip; however, you can save big by booking a weekend stay in a city’s business district. Once the businesspeople have left this kind of area’s hotels, the weekend room rates can be amazing; you might even be able to pay less than £100 nightly for accommodation at a five-star hotel.
Aim to stay on a Sunday night, when city hotels not only are typically at their cheapest all week, but also could be so quiet that you find yourself upgraded to a suite. Generally, corporate hotels are at their least busy during December’s last two weeks – New Year’s Eve excluded – and January’s first two weeks. However, whenever you check in, make it as late as you can, when the hotel is likelier to have filled all of its standard rooms and, thus, be willing to give you a room in a higher category.
Where exactly should you book?
When you are on the hunt for the best possible hotel room prices, it can pay to see all of the available prices in a single place, making comparisons easier and quicker. Therefore, you should seriously consider perusing the choice listed on a booking portal such as Travezi. This site lists thousands of hotels across hundreds of global destinations – and the impressive choice includes budget, apartment, and luxury hotels. Paying through the site is completely secure, too.
This last point should not be underemphasised. While, as MoneySavingExpert.com implies, you might be considering booking a private holiday property instead of a hotel, there are risks of doing so. For example, many owners of such private properties lack facilities enabling you to pay by credit card. If you make a bank transfer instead, the money won’t be protected.
This is also the case if you pay through an instant money transfer service like MoneyGram or Western Union. Such services are popular with scammers, as the payments can’t even be traced if fraud has occurred. However, Travezi only accepts payments through valid credit or debit cards. Due to Section 75 laws, if you pay more than £100 for a purchase through a credit card, the card must protect that purchase for free. Thus, using a credit card is a less risky manner of paying.
The massive choice of hotels called “family-friendly” can leave you feeling bewildered and indecisive; however, we hope that, with this article, we have assisted in clearing confusion that you may have felt. Now, you should get those preparations underway…