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This post was last updated on February 26th, 2019 at 09:11 am
I love travelling, always have and always will but lets face it, some things have to change when the pitter-patter of tiny feet come along! For me, one of the major changes that I’ve made to my trips is which accommodation I choose.
For me, it really hit home when we visited Costa Rica and we stayed in an air b’n’b apartment in the jungle. The shower sparked when we turned it on, we had to throw a lit piece of paper in the over for it to light up and there were HUGE bugs crawling across the floor. Fortunately, baby Isla was not yet moving around so we could confine her to the bed and keep her away from the enormous insects, but I was under no illusion that should we have stayed here a few months later I would have most likely found her with a half-eaten centipede!
In light of this, I am now a lot more fussy when I select which accommodation we will be staying in on our trips. We typically spend more than we used to now that we travel with a baby, but it is worth every penny as it puts my mind at rest!
I generally have three main types of accommodation that I book: Air b’n’b’; Booking.com and independent accommodation providers.
Finding the best accommodation when travelling with children is important, not only for comfort but also for safety! I have had enough experience of noisy, small hotel rooms which make us all grouchy when we have had a bad nights sleep or because we are cramped!
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My first choice of accommodation when travelling with children is Air b’n’b. In case you are not familiar, this is when a host essentially allows you to stay in their accommodation for a set fee. There are set rules and guidance set by Air b’n’b themselves and the review system is very effective, so you can rest assured that the chances are you will get what you see on the tin. Hosts have to provide essentials such as towels, soap and cooking oils and the exact facilities provided will differ depending on what type of accommodation you choose.
We generally opt for an apartment or villa where we get the place to ourselves. We also make sure that there are different rooms (no studio apartments) so that we can stay up for a while when we put the baby to bed. There is nothing worse than having to creep around I the dark while your toddler snoozes at 7.30pm! We also try to book places that have a bath where possible, as this makes washing the baby much easier! I’ve done the shower thing- trust me, holiday a wet baby covered in slippery soap is no easy feat! A kitchen is also an essential so that we can eat at times that suit our family and keep lots of healthy snacks in the fridge!
For a discount on your first booking with Air b’n’b click on this link.
Whilst Air b’n’b is my first choice, there are times when a hotel is more appropriate. Wew find that this is often the case when we arrive late or depart early and need to stay close to the airport. Airport hotels can be really convenient, but they can also be a bit pricey!
Our go-to for booking hotels is booking.com as that is generally where I find the best deals! They have an easy to use search function and has offers of regularly. Click here to take a lot at the offers available today.
Independent accommodation providers
As a university lecturer who focuses on tourism management, I am not shy to the fact that much of my hard-earned money that I spend whilst travelling does not stay in the country that I am travelling in. This is especially true with the large conglomerate hotel chains that you will often come across. So, whenever I can I try to book with a local tour operator/hotel provider/individual. Many of these will advertise their properties on Air b’n’b, but others will promote their business through other means, such as their own website.
I have always been a fan of luxury villas, such as Mykonos Villas who offer a range of high quality accommodations perfect for families and individuals alike. You get the same benefits of having an Air b’n’b apartment, but this type of accommodation often has a more formal structure, meaning that if you have any issues/complaints they are usually a lot easier to resolve!
When choosing the best accommodation when travelling with children there are a few perquisites that I have found to be essential. I recommend that you look out for these things when you are doing your research (and don’t forget to read the reviews too!).
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Choosing the best accommodation when travelling with children: Bedtime
Baby Isla needs to go to bed before my husband and I. For this reason its important that our accommodation has more than one room. I’m not necessarily fussy at this stage about having separate bedrooms (although this will change as she gets older!), but having a place to be able to sit and have a drink and a chat in the evening without waking her up is very important!
You might also want to ensure that there is an appropriate bed with bed rails or a cot. We co-sleep so this isn’t something that we worry about too much. You can also pack your own travel cot, such as the Phil and Ted travel crib.
Choosing the best accommodation when travelling with children: Noise
We stayed in a hotel for New Years eve when travelling in Sri Lanka and despite being quite far away from the disco the sound radiated up into our room and was just as loud as it was on the dancefloor! Needless to say we had a VERY tired and grumpy baby the following day… it wasn’t the best start to 2018!
When choosing the best accommodation when travelling with children you will want to make sure that you are away from the discothèque, the evening entertainment or the drunken Brits who get louder and louder with each pint!
Choosing the best accommodation when travelling with children: Eating
Children’s eating schedules aren’t always flexible. We found this to be particularly problematic in Sri Lanka when the evening meal started at 8.30pm… an hour after Isla would have like to go to sleep! Poor bubba was falling asleep whilst eating her veggie lasagne!
Staying in a self-catered accommodation enables you to plan your meals, baby bottles, snacks etc around your family’s individual requirements which can make life a lot easier- nobody wants a hungry child! You can also buy food in from the supermarket which is generally more cost effective than eating out and buy some of the healthier options that might not always be on the restaurant menu.
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Choosing the best accommodation when travelling with children: Flexibility
This leads nicely on to flexibility. Self-catered accommodations usually allow you to eat when you want, get up when you want, leave when you want- what more could a family ask for?
For us, flexibility is key as babies and children can be very unpredictable!
Choosing the best accommodation when travelling with children: Space
Children, especially babies, require a lot of stuff. I’ve never carried so much luggage before I went travelling with baby Isla (see what to pack when travelling with a baby for more)! This became somewhat problematic when we stayed in small hotel rooms- I remember one place where we couldn’t even open all of the cases at the same time as there wasn’t enough space!
Having more space also allows your children room to play freely, which keeps the kids happy!
Do you have any recommendations for places to stay with children? I’d love the hear them- leave your comments below!