How to Make the Most of Your Vacation When Traveling With Kids
Traveling with kids and the family can be a wonderful bonding experience. But it can also quickly turn from glorious to get-me-out-of-here pretty soon. You don’t want to be stressed out on your vacation! Besides, there might be times on your vacation when you really want to take a break from the group and spend some time to yourself—as you should! Here are a few tips for stress-free family travel for all you people who love to indulge in luxury travel when you take that hard-earned, much needed vacation!
1. Book a Suite With Separate Bedroom and Living Area
Booking a one two-bedroom suite that has a separate bedroom and living area (even better if separated by a door) is one of the best things you can do while traveling with kids. After a long day out, the kids might be exhausted but you might still have a whole half day ahead of you! With a suite with a separate bedroom, you can just put the kids to bed, turn on the TV, and enjoy some privacy on your vacation.
What Is a Suite Really?
When booking a suite, make sure you're booking an actual suite and not a glorified room. The best suite for families would be an actual studio apartment style construction (sans the kitchen) where there is a solid wall or door separating the bedroom and living area.
Some suites are junior suites. Junior suites, in most cases, do not have a solid separation between living area and bedrooms. These suites are mostly expanded bedrooms with a living area space (and not a separate living room). These suites are functional in terms of space, and they often come with sofa beds so you can accommodate more guests. But it might not work if you need the suite for privacy, with a separate bedroom to make sure the kids go to bed on time (and that you don't have to!). Here is an example of a junior suite: Junior Suite at Hotel Bel-Air where you can see the suite has space and all the functional elements, but there is no door separating the living area and bedroom.
2. Book a Suite With a Connecting Room Instead of a Vacation Rental Apartment
Vacation rentals are great when you’re traveling solo or even with friends. For some, it is a great way to save a few bucks and for other, it’s a way to have an entire apartment to themselves and their friends. But when traveling with kids, the last thing you want to worry about are chores and maintenance and washing the dishes. If you need more than one room, book a suite with connecting rooms so your family stays together. Let someone else worry about the small details so you can focus on spending time together. The best way to do this would be to either call up the hotel directly and ask them to give you a suite with a guaranteed connecting room. Or you can look at third-party booking websites like Suiteness that show you options of suites with guaranteed connecting rooms so you can directly book them online.
3. Always Opt for Complimentary WiFi
This might not sound so important right now, but trust me, it will count when you’re back from your trip and have to deal with sky-high data charges. With travel comes photos and with photos comes social media. WiFi is hard to come by when you're on the road. Don't let the charges pile up or let your rising star bloggers not share their excitement (looking at you families with teens). Whether it is to keep up with all those hashtags, or to answer annoying 'emergency' work mails, it’s always a great idea to go for a hotel with complimentary WiFi.
4. Look for a Hotel That Has Access to Vacation Babysitters or Childcare Professionals
Sometimes you would like to have some alone time with your spouse at the end of the day (good thing you booked a suite where you have a separate bedroom and living are with a door in between). If you have to attend business or more adult-appropriate events, book a hotel that offers babysitting facilities. Or just ask your concierge to find you the best care nearby for your kids!
5. Book a Suite That Has a Kitchen or Kitchenette
Eating out too much can leave you feeling not so great, especially with kids. And having your own kitchen, or even a small kitchenette, will help you save a little by skipping breakfast outside for maybe bread and eggs. Making sure you’re staying at a place that has some sort of cooking facility can be both a money saving, and tummy saving tip!
6. Make Use of the Hotel Concierge!
Most hotel concierges are complimentary, especially if you book a suite. Make full use of that service! Want to get front row tickets to the best shows? Want to have a surprise cake waiting for your kid on arrival? Need dinner reservations and you don’t have time to do the research? A concierge will get all that done for you! When you’re dealing with every little detail about traveling with kids, having an assistant to help you out is a blessing!
7. Book a Family Friendly Hotel
No, you don't always to vacation at a Disney resort! As parents, it is understandable that you want to separate the party from the living arrangements when you have your kids with you. It could be a matter of safety or just having peace and quiet. Take Vegas for example. A lot of families bring kids to Vegas—the place has plenty activities and experiences for kids as a family travel destination. You can always opt for to stay in a casino-free luxury hotel where you don't have to stay around a noisy casino all night.
Or if you're headed to Miami, staying in a family-friendly hotel makes sure you have family-friendly pools and an overall, more enjoyable atmosphere.
8. Book a Suite With Access to Spa (Without Leaving the Hotel)
A vacation doesn’t come around often and sometimes you really need that time to yourself. Look for hotels that allow in-suite spa treatments or has a spa nearby so you don’t have to leave the family behind. It can also be a great way to stay close, bond and unwind as a family, whether it be poolside or in a beautiful indoor spa.
9. Plan Ahead!
No matter what you do, when traveling with kids, always plan everything ahead, Winging it is not really the way to have a good time. Plan your meals, know where to go and at what time—the last thing you want are hungry and tired toddlers when on vacation. Also, let the hotel know well in advance if you have special requests—most of them will try their best to accommodate them. Need a crib or rollaway bed? Make sure you let them know at the time of booking or at least before you check in so they can make arrangements.
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© 2016 Divya Mulanjur
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