Traveling with kids can be challenging, and sometimes the most intimidating part is not the airport or long days at tourist attractions, but deciding on the best place to stay. Whether you have toddlers likely to run thunderously around your room and down the hall, bored older kids, or a fitful infant who doesnâ€™t tet sleep through the night, many parents are intimidated by choosing a place to stay where they donâ€™t feel their children will be disruptive.
Different families will be comfortable in different types of accommodations, but there are a few guidelines that can help you make a smart decision for your family. Here are 4 things to consider when choosing where youâ€™ll spend your downtime.
Consider Your Hosts
When you take children to stay at a corporate hotel chain, you can be sure that theyâ€™re used to plenty of young kids coming through their doors. Bed and breakfasts, however, may not be quite so used to families coming to stay and many AirBnB hosts arenâ€™t child-friendly.
Particularly when dealing with AirBnB, be upfront about your family situation, but donâ€™t apologize for it – and expect hosts to be upfront in return. If youâ€™re given the runaround or feel youâ€™re being unfairly discriminated against, as happened to this interracial couple, report the posting to AirBnB. Itâ€™s one thing for hosts to be upfront about not hosting children, but when itâ€™s unspoken the owners arenâ€™t doing anyone any favors.
Look For Kitchens
It can be very difficult and expensive children to feed children while traveling, and especially with younger children it can often seem wasteful. Thatâ€™s why itâ€™s a great idea to stay at a small hotel that offers a breakfast buffet and some snacks when traveling with kids. Even better are suites and condos that give you access to kitchen facilities. Being able to buy and prepare some of your own meals while on the road can save a lot of money and pacify picky eaters or overwhelmed kids who just want to eat grilled cheese and watch cartoons after a long day.
Just because youâ€™ve come back from your daily adventure doesnâ€™t mean the kids are done for the day, so look for accommodations that allow you to keep them entertained during the evenings or on an off day. For winter vacations, ski chalets are a great idea because theyâ€™re often roomy yet convivial and there may even be other families with children there. Think about what your kids enjoy doing and what will entertain them – DVDs, mini golf, hanging out in the hotel pool – and seek places where those activities are available.
Ask For Support
In large hotel chains, especially in popular vacation destinations, hotels often have special treats that they dole out to children – but you need to ask for them. When booking a hotel, do your research and call your destination to ask if they have any little extras to make the kids feel welcome. Some will equip your room with crayons and coloring books, will offer rubber ducks or other tub toys, and if youâ€™re traveling with very small children, the hotel may even have a few basic childproofing tools, such as outlet covers, on hand.
Vacationing with your kids is a great way to build a lifetime of memories, but it helps to know youâ€™ll be welcome wherever you land. For your next trip, instead of just booking the family into the closest Holiday Inn, do a little research and see what you discover – the perfect accommodations are the cherry on top of a great vacation.