tips for successful family travels

What to Look for in a Family-Friendly Hotel

Going on vacation with your family is a wonderful thing. We all live busy lives and spend most of our weeks rushing around, managing school runs, working, cooking meals, cleaning the house and generally keeping on top of things. It makes it hard to spend time having fun together. You might feel as though you never have time just to be together enjoying each others company.

Going on a trip together is your chance to spend some quality time together without distractions. It’s an opportunity to get to know your kids and their interests as well as time to catch up with your partner. A vacation is a chance to explore the world, to have an adventure and to see more of the world. It might also be your only way to spend time with family who usually lives far away.

Family holidays don’t last long. When your kids are very young, you might choose to stay close to home to reduce stress. But, by the time they are teenagers, they might not want to come away with their parents at all. Your next family trip might be with your grandkids. So, with only a few short years to make the most of the trips with your own children, it’s crucial that you make the most of them. This means that finding a family-friendly hotel is essential. Here are some of the things that you should look for when booking accommodation for you and your young family.

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Large Rooms

When we travel on our own, with friends or our partners, without the kids, the hotel room is never a priority. We sleep in them, they are our base, but that is it. We don’t spend time in our rooms. We’re too busy out seeing the world. This means it really doesn’t matter if your room is tiny and contains barely more than a bed.

Your room is a little more important when you are away with young children. You’ll need a place that fits an extra bed or crib, and gives you space to keep spare clothes, toys and anything else that you need. But it’s more than that. Your kids don’t just see the room as a place to sleep. It’s part of their adventure. Kids see the room as a playground — a place to have fun and feel safe. So, you want to be able to book a bigger room, so that you can all live comfortably together without stress and tension.


When traveling with kids, it’s all too easy to overpack. You might be tempted to take all of their toys, a travel cot and highchair, changing mats and anything that you might need for yourself. You might worry about mixing their milk or keeping their food cool and safe.

Finding a hotel room with the right facilities can make everything much easier. Look at what is included in the room. Can the hotel provide spare beds, cots, high chairs, and changing mats? Is there a fridge and a hairdryer in your room? You might also want to make sure there’s a bath if your children don’t like showers.

Then, look at what’s on offer in the rest of the hotel. An on-site pool, park and even things like a cinema and bowling ally can have your trip much more comfortable. You’ll have plenty to do without having to travel far, and even if the weather isn’t on your side, you won’t be trapped in your room for days at a time.

Dining Options

Some kids will eat everything. They’ll get stuck in and try new things happily. But, let’s face it, not all of them. Most kids are at least a little fussy and reluctant to try anything new.

While on holiday you might be keen to try restaurants and eateries. But, sometimes it’s easier to just eat in the hotel. So, make sure any hotels that you consider have a choice of restaurants and more informal cafes. Check that they are suitable for children, and if possible look at the menus online before you book, to make sure they serve things that your kids are likely to eat.


If you are going to be taking a long flight, the last thing that you want is to get off the plane, spend time going through security and getting your bags, only to face another long journey to your hotel. This could make an already long day unbearable. Instead, look for hotels relatively close to the airport. Or, if that’s not possible, think about an airport hotel for that first night, to break the journey up and make things more comfortable.

Local Area

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It’s not just traveling distance that you need to think about. While your hotel might be packed with fabulous entertainment and facilities, but it’s unlikely that you want to take your family on a trip to spend your time in your hotel and its grounds. Hotels like Novotel Melbourne Central are close to city centers where there is plenty to do and see. You might also want to be relatively close to local train or bus stations so that you can get about easily and see more of the surrounding area.

Childcare or Kids Clubs

Some parents want to spend their whole holiday together as a family. Others are happy for their kids to enjoy playing with new friends and learning new things at kids clubs. Even if you just want a few hours for yourself, an on-site kids club is a great option. Check online to see what is available, and make sure the clubs aren’t closed for the off-season when you visit.

Red Flags

It’s important that you don’t just look for the things that mark a hotel as family-friendly. You also need to be checking for red flags that suggest that the hotel isn’t suitable for kids. Not many of them will say “not suitable for kids”, but the signs might be there. Your children might feel more at home in a larger hotel, with a swimming pool, on-site park and other fun facilities, instead of a small, romantic and quiet establishment that promotes peace and tranquility. Look out for hotels advertising quiet, romantic restaurants and intimate breaks. Your kids might not be happy here, and your holiday might be awkward and uncomfortable.

Family Friendly Hotels in Thailand


Travel Items You Mustn’t Forget To Pack

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Packing for a vacation? Make sure that you haven’t forgotten any of these essential items before you leave the house.


This is one of the most commonly forgotten items – and yet probably the most important item. You won’t be allowed on the plane without a passport if you’re travelling abroad. Even if you’re taking an internal flight, it could prove a useful form of ID. Your passport should have a minimum of six months left on it before expiry – some countries won’t let you travel with less than this. Applying for a passport can take several weeks, so you’ll want to get this sorted as early as possible.

Other travel documentation

Nowadays, a lot of documentation can be accessed digitally, however it’s still worth always bringing paper copies just in case. A few documents you may need include boarding passes, hotel booking receipts, visa receipts and travel insurance documents. If you’re hiring a car meanwhile, you’ll need your driving license, plus any receipts for car hire or insurance that you may have bought in advance.


Having access to money is also important. In some cases, it could be cheaper to take out currency before you reach the country. Nowadays, many places accept card, so you may just be able to bring your card – however expect transfer fees each time. A preloaded travel currency card may be able to avoid these charges.


If you’re bringing any electronics, don’t forget to bring chargers – these items can often get forgotten. A portable charger could be useful for a long-haul flight in which you may not have access to plug points. A car charger meanwhile could be useful if you’re driving.

Plug adaptors

Some countries may use different plug sockets. Without a plug adaptor, you won’t be able to charge your devices up. Airports may have them for sale, but you can buy them much cheaper online.


If you’re on any medication, make sure to bring this with you. Medication against allergies such as inhalers and EpiPens could also be important. There could also be medication for family planning such as contraceptive pills that you need to bring as well as medication against foreign illnesses such as malaria tablets. Don’t forget to also pack a first aid kit just in case of an accident.

Glasses/contact lenses

If you need prescription glasses or contact lenses, make sure to prioritise these when packing. Even if you only need glasses for reading, you don’t want to be squinting at menus the whole trip.


Toiletries can sometimes be bought once you reach your destination, however certain emergency toiletries could be important for the flight such as sanitary towels. It’s worth always bringing hand wipes too – especially if you’re travelling with kids. Certain toiletries such as toothpaste, deodorant and mouthwash may be restricted if you’re only bringing hand luggage.

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