Travelling with children means you’re likely to dedicate a little extra time in planning your trips away. As a result, there are a lot of additional factors to consider when travelling with children. For instance, should you travel by plane or take a road trip? How do you keep the kids entertained on that journey? What super duper travel products are on the market claiming to make your trip easier? What time you should leave so you can factor in naps and bedtime? See the common theme here? All of these factors are for before getting to your destination! You’ve not even got around to thinking about your actual holiday and you’re probably already exhausted!
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When you’re at your hotel, you want it to be as easy as possible. A child friendly hotel is invaluable to keeping a happy balance and more of an opportunity for all to enjoy the holiday.
I’m the planner in our family. I love it. My husband looks over the bigger details. I get stuck into the nitty gritty details of what’s on offer and finding the right hotel to suit all of our needs. So what do I look for when searching for a child friendly hotel?
Child Friendly Hotel Options
We’ve stayed in hotels which are all singing and dancing, with fairground rides and bowling alleys. Hotels with numerous playrooms, soft play centres. Waterslides, child friendly restaurants and the best steak ever, (no the steak was not useful to our needs but it’s something I cannot forget because it was just that good!). We’ve also stayed in hotels where there wasn’t really much going on, but a small pool and a waterslide. But what do we look for when choosing a child friendly hotel? By choosing a hotel – in this post, I mean a hotel where you plan to spend a large part of your time.
Now no matter where we are going and what the budget we are working with, when going abroad, we always stay somewhere rated at the very least a 4 star rating on TripAdvisor. This is especially true if we will be eating at the hotel. A hotel with a 5 star rating might look appealing and the photos might look gorgeous but head over to TripAdvisor and find a rating of 2, it’s probably best to stay away as something doesn’t quite add up. If it were just my husband and I travelling, we would likely opt for a 3 star at times. However when travelling with kids, a higher rating gives us confidence that we know what we are going into.
Hygiene, customer service and food all play a part in the overall experience of a hotel. We need the food to be at a certain standard when travelling with kids. Customer service is a must if any problems arise or you need a cot bed that you forgot to book. Hygiene is just a must for us as I’m a huge germaphobe!
Kids clubs can be a nice way for your children to meet other children or take part in some activities. A child friendly hotel will usually provide an activities timetable where you can pop in and out as you please. Many child friendly hotels provide an option where you can leave your child in the kids club for a while. Either way, it provides something fun for the children.
Children’s Water Areas
If you’re holidaying with toddlers it’s nice to have a splash pad area where the water is shallow and the features are catered to the younger guests. It’s slightly easier than navigating a pool at times and can be less intimidating for some children. For the older children, water slides are usually a big hit. Our 5 year old loves water slides, it’s her favourite part of any hotel we go to.
If you can get a room with a bathtub in the room rather than a walk in shower it can be so much easier with younger children / babies. We’ve had times when we didn’t have a bathtub and therefore purchased an inflatable baby bath instead. However an actual bath tub, or even better, a baby bath is way easier!
On-Site Child Friendly Restaurants
Family friendly restaurants inside the hotel are must if you’re spending a lot of time there. It’s always easier to go to restaurants where there are other children there and it’s a little more laid back. The restaurant is more likely to have a children’s menu so be sure to check this out. If you’re really concerned or have fussy eaters, you can always email the hotel ahead of your stay to ask for a copy of their menus.
Are there any supermarkets near your hotel? A hotel in a location where there is a supermarket nearby is useful in case you run out of anything. More often than not, everything in a hotel store is overpriced. Are the supermarkets walking distance from the hotel? Can you get a taxi to and from it at ease with the kids?
Proximity to Local Restaurants
If you plan to eat outside of the hotel, are there many restaurants nearby? How easy is it to get to them? Are they busy, can you make reservations if need be? Google Maps make this an easy task to look into these days, showing the walking or driving time from your location.
Is it easy to get transport from your hotel to the popular local areas? Some hotels provide free shuttle buses which are a great option if you prefer not to take a taxi. What are the costs to these, how often do they run? Do taxi’s provide baby car seats or booster seats?
Child Friendly Amenities
If your hotel provides any child friendly amenities, it’s an added bonus. Baby baths, cot beds, disposable bibs, baby food, microwaves to warm baby food or milk can come in really handy. Therefore even if you don’t plan to use any, if you forget a thing or two, these amenities can be useful to have to hand. If you can trust that your hotel meets your needs, it can sometimes just allow you to travel lighter. Most hotels cater to adults and older children. Staying at a hotel that caters to your baby or toddler too can make your stay that little bit more relaxing and enjoyable.
Are there any factors you consider when looking for a child friendly hotel? If so, let me know in the comments below.