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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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