Travelling with kids - should you stay in an apartment or a hotel?
Thinking about staying in an apartment instead of a hotel on your next family vacation? Find out if this will actually work, especially with kids. We also bring you some great tips on what to keep in mind before you book an apartment for your holiday. Read on!
Traveling with kids can be both fun and tiring.
Fun because of the wonderful things you can do with your kids, your and their sheer excitement at the thought of going somewhere new and interesting, and of course the marvelous memories that you make in the process.
Tiring because of the zillion items you have to pack (especially if you are traveling with a baby) the kid-related chores that don’t stop just because you are on vacation, and of course managing the kids on a flight and keeping them occupied throughout your holiday.
Of course, where you stay when you reach your destination helps immensely in making your trip a memorable and stress-free one. For many families with kids, staying in a hotel is considered to be the best and most sensible option.
But have you ever considered staying in an apartment when traveling with kids…or even a Bed and Breakfast (B&B) for that matter?
Recently I travelled to Bali for a vacation with my husband and two sons, aged 1.5 and 3.5 years. When my husband suggested we stay at an apartment there instead of in a hotel, I panicked. Would the standards be the same as a hotel? Would the linen be clean and changed every day? Would it be secure and safe? Well I’m glad to say it was all these and more!
Here are some of the benefits of staying in an apartment when traveling with kids:
- The space – perfect for kids to run around. Apartments are generally more ‘homey’ than hotel rooms, which can help your kids settle in faster. And a relaxed child means a relaxing holiday! Most B&Bs/apartments we stayed in had garden space too, which the kids loved.
- Not everyone may make use of a functioning kitchen while on holiday. But to me having a kitchen was immensely useful on our last vacation as my older son decided not to eat anything else other than noodles and bread. I was able to whip up quick noodle meals for him in the kitchen and pack them all into a lunchbox for him to eat on the go. Having a proper fridge to store things like eggs, milk, butter and vegetables meant I could make those noodles as nutritious as possible. Heating my kids’ morning milk was also a breeze – parents, you know how being able to do these little things matter in keeping your kids happy!
- Sometimes you get your own swimming pool…well we did! The kids loved having their own private pool parties and so did my husband and I!
- It’s usually less expensive than staying in a good hotel, yet you still get to enjoy clean bathrooms, fresh linen and towels, and fresh fruit and bread delivered every morning.
- There are usually no hidden fees for extras such as wi-fi, bottled water, DVDs etc.
- The owner/s of the apartment generally have great tips on the best places to visit and eat out at. They can often guide you to restaurants and attractions that offer an authentic cultural experience and are not tourist-traps.
What to keep in mind when booking an apartment or B&B
While staying in an apartment/B&B is a great alternative to staying in a hotel, there are still a few things you should check out before making a booking, especially if you are going there with kids.
- Find out how kid-friendly the apartment/B&B is: Will the owners provide high-chairs/cots? If there is a swimming pool, is there a pool fence in place? Are the microwave oven and fridge in good working condition? Is the place cleaned every day?
- Check with the owners how close the apartment/B&B is to facilities such as hospitals and supermarkets. Also, find out how easy it is to get a taxi from that particular location, if needed.
- Sometimes apartment/B&B owners will also provide a driver and a vehicle for an extra fee – if you think this will be useful to you, inquire with the apartment owner in advance.
- Check with the owners what time the gardeners/cleaners come in to clean up things. If it’s at a time when you’re rushing around trying to get the kids ready to go out, ask the owners if they could change the time.
- Find out if the apartment has a safe to lock up your valuables. If not, check with the owners if they can provide one.
Some useful sites to book a B&B/apartment
Was this article useful to you? We certainly hope so! We’d love to hear about your experiences of staying with kids in an apartment instead of a hotel – just leave a comment.