Family travel tips for kid friendly hotels and accommodation. There is a difference between properties that just tolerate kids versus those that really welcome families. Making the right choice of family holiday accommodation can mean all the difference between a fun and relaxing vacation and a stressful one where you spend all your time sooshing your children and avoiding glares. But that doesn’t mean you always have to opt for all inclusive resort style holidays with millions of other families. There are still lots of chic middle ground options that are also perfect for kids and their parents – here is the suitcases&strollers travel guide to finding family friendly accommodation.
Family friendly accommodation will always try to appeal to parents upfront
For instance, look for hotel websites that have lots of images of kids or advertise amenities such as high chairs or toddlers splash pools. Even if your kids are too old to need these things, this is still a good indication that this is family friendly accommodation and kids are frequent guests.
If there are only images of infinity pools, couples drinking cocktails and you can’t find mention of anything to do with kids anywhere, this is unlikely to be a place where you and your children will feel totally relaxed and comfortable.
Family friendly accommodation will supply lots of bulky kids’ items
Portacots, high chairs and even strollers are often available free of charge at many properties to make your life easier so you don’t have to cart all of this on the plane. Properties that invest in these types of services are also more likely to have other kinds of kid friendly devices like baby monitors, plastic tablewear and even potties so they should be high on your list.
Even if a hotel is charging a nominal fee for a cot (for instance), it is still well worth considering as it will save you a lot of hassle (and a potential excess baggage fee).
A kids club or advertised babysitting on a hotel website doesn’t necessarily mean a property is family friendly
Especially in foreign countries where you don’t know the customs, standards of childcare can vary widely. For instance, some kids clubs only take school aged children. Others may not offer much more than colouring in and watching DVDs in a very tired room down the back of the property. Get as much information as you can about the kids club, hotel nanny services or other activities for kids being offered to get a sense of all the finer details of what is really involved.
Family friendly accommodation should have plenty of food options
For instance, it’s worthwhile starting by investigating serviced apartments with a full kitchen or at least a hotel suite with a kitchenette because this means you can cater your own meals and not be beholden to hotel restaurant opening times.
Otherwise, look for a resort or hotel that has at least one all day restaurant and (ideally) plenty of other eating options as well (this is as much to prevent you from getting bored as it is the kids!).
Remember kids don’t limit the times they get hungry to when restaurants open and shut, so if there is a convenience store on site or close by where you can also purchase snacks, this will be invaluable.
Check out the size of the hotel room
For instance, if the hotel you are considering is so expensive that you can only afford a standard room, think about the logistics of what the adults are going to do for the rest of the evening once baby is down at 7pm. The more space you have, the more options you have to move around bedding and create a playspace if the weather is bad and you need to stay indoors.
Location is crucial
When you travel with kids you either want to be in a very central location (so you can easily return for nap and rest time) or at least walking distance to public transport (to save costs). Don’t just settle for any public transport though – does the train station nearest your hotel have a lift if you plan to take a stroller?
Also look for amenities around the accommodation. Ideally it is useful to have a convenience store or supermarket and chemist close by so you can purchase sundries whenever you need them (for instance, this might save you bringing nappies from home).
If you are doing a road trip with kids, check out the car parking facilities
Hotels in particular can often charge extortionate rates for car parking, even for guests, so make sure you factor this in before you book.
Make use of guest services
If you have specific requirements, needs or questions, ask the accommodation. A hotel that refuses to respond to your additional questions when you are booking, for instance, is unlikely to be a particularly family friendly accommodation when you arrive.Family Friendly Accommodation in Norway: Kirkenes Snowhotel
Think about what to avoid when choosing family friendly accommodation with toddlers
Look out for all those
things you may have toddler proofed at home that won’t have been done at the
vacation accommodation. For instance, high storey hotel rooms with easy access
balconies or Balinese style villas with swimming pools and koi ponds without a
safety fence. Think through the logistics of how you will deal with these
issues before you leave home so you can avoid the stress later.
Double check all the finer details before you leave home
Ask about what times are check in and check out, whether there is housekeeping daily, whether cot sheets are provided and all the other little details you need to know so you will know what to expect. The more information you have, the better equipped you will be to arrive and immediately start to feel at home.