Taking a vacation with the family is always fun but is important to choose accommodation that suits the needs and requirements of a family with babies or young children. When you are travelling as a couple without kids or with your friends, the hotel room is a place to rest and sleep but not much more. However, when you have a family it needs to be much more, it becomes a family room to hang out, feed babies and kids, a place for nap times and for nappy and clothes changes etc. So in order to make your vacation more comfortable and relaxing you need to have the right hotel. I have gained my experience working in Dublin city hotels and European hotels over the years and has taught me a lot about the needs and requirements of hotel guests. So here are some tips to help you choose a family friendly hotel.
A good way to begin your search for a suitable family hotel is to ask other mums and dads about hotels that they have stayed in with their family. Word of mouth is still very useful and can help eliminate or include particular hotels for consideration. There are plenty of family travel websites on the internet which is a good place to start for ideas and inspiration, not only about hotels but also family friendly destinations.
- Make sure that the hotel is easily accessible and not too far from the airport, train station etc. You do not want to be dragging your children and luggage around unnecessarily. For example, if you are staying in Dublin city centre you should book a Grafton Street area hotel.
- Choose a hotel that is located close to any attractions or destinations you will want to visit on your trip, preferably all within walking distance. For example, the beach or nearest town.
- Is there a park or playground nearby, this is more important on those on city holidays.
- Having plenty of things nearby that kids will enjoy is essential to keep them entertained for the duration of the holiday. For example, kids museum, waterpark or amusement park.
Hotel Facilities & Services:
- Firstly, does the hotel have discounts for children or are babies under a certain age free?
- It is a huge advantage if there is a restaurant in the hotel that caters for children by offering children’s menus or portions.
- Having a laundry service in the hotel or close by is essential for families going away for a number of weeks with young children. Research the cost of this, many hotels will have affordable coin operated washer and dryer machines.
- Many hotels will have a kids club which will have daily events and activities for children.
- Some hotels offer a babysitting service; this is more of a bonus than a requirement and allows parents to have an evening meal or a night out without worrying about the children.
The Hotel Room:
- A large family room is not only practical but it will make your time on holiday easier and more relaxing. Family rooms will often have two or three rooms together with adjoining doors. An extra sitting room is an advantage which may be available.
- If you have a young baby, enquire about the availability and cost of having a crib included in your room.
- A kitchen or kitchenette will allow you to prepare snacks, drinks, bottles, breakfast for the kids without having to leave the comfort of your room.
- Most family rooms will have a bathtub in the bathroom but if you are not in a family specific room it may only have a shower so do ask. A bathtub is a must.