Family travel with kids requires hotels that work well for everyone. Our year living abroad took us to over thirty hotels in many cities, and I am now quite adept at finding hotels that work well for us and our 7- and 10-year-old children. While my recent hotel searching experience is with European hotels, I think my advise is global.
Here are my top seven tips for picking a great kid-friendly city hotel:
- Determine your top sight-seeing activities and search for hotels within walking distance. Being able to walk out of your hotel and be near activities and restaurants is key to everyone’s happiness. When in Rome, the Coliseum was our number one priority. We stayed within a few blocks which made for excited and fresh kids the morning we visited. It’s also easy then to pop back in for afternoon naps or quiet time before heading out for more.
- Read hotel reviews from other guests. My favorite website for this is TripAdvisor, which is also great for restaurant ideas. You can put in an attraction, landmark, train station, etc., and it will map hotels nearby. I also recommend Darn Good Digs, a great resource for budget friendly small hotels and B&Bs around the world, all nominated by travelers themselves. Some other things to consider:
- Hotels outside of the USA have much smaller rooms, few connecting rooms, and few rooms with two double beds. A double in Europe is actually two twin beds pushed together. For our family of four, we request a triple (three twin beds), a suite, which have various configurations, or if we can find it, a king bed with a roll-away cot.
- Consider trading quaintness and character for a business-class hotel. Though perhaps sterile in décor and atmosphere, you may be more likely to find two double beds, in-room movies and perhaps even an indoor pool! If we are traveling to two or three hotels on a trip, we try to balance charming local hotels with one business-class hotel.
Recommendations from my daughters:
If you haven’t realized, I highly recommend down time in your hotel each day. A short vacation from your vacation makes for a great kid-friendly vacation!
What tips do you have for kid-friendly hotels?
This post was originally posted by me, Dee Andrews, on the blog Sieze el Dia.