Fun family hostels for an international stay

Wake up in a Turkish cave, a rainforest treehouse, or aboard a 747 airplane that never flies when you check into one of these unusual hotels the adventurous folks at Hostelbookers recommend for families. Besides being easy on the purse strings, these off-beat kid-friendly hotels add a playful, relaxing atmosphere to your vacation that you won’t find at pretentious resorts!

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Kadir’s Tree House, Olympos, Turkey: Tarzan would feel right at home in the jungle-style accommodations at Kadir’s Tree House where your family is invited to “go native.” For the ultimate back to nature experience, claim your territory at their campsite and enjoy the rugged life while having access to a real-life pizza hut, hot showers and bathrooms. Get a taste of life in the canopy snuggled in a tree house hut perched among the branches with cozy bunks and hammocks. If you prefer more civilized comforts, opt for the air conditioned bungalows with private bathrooms and mosquito-proof windows.

Designed like a tribal village around a central courtyard, the friendly staff welcomes guests to join in fun activities like the daily volleyball game or take the half hour walk to the coast and spend the day at the beach. You’ll be pleasantly surprised at the delicious meals included in the price served buffet-style three times a day. Dance the night away at their swinging lounge with two bars or swap stories around the firepit.

Aydinli Cave Hotel, Göreme, Turkey: Treat your family to the Flintstone experience at the Aydinli Cave Hotel carved into the hills surrounding a pre-historic looking Turkish city. This family-run hotel doesn’t have Stone Age facilities though–all six rooms have free Wi-Fi and family suites include stone fireplaces and jacuzzis. The Turkish-style bathrooms with hamam basins and walk-in showers make getting clean as much fun as getting dirty!

Enjoy complimentary breakfast in the on-site restaurant and savor your Turkish coffee on the rooftop terrace overlooking the honey-colored walls of the city below. Your helpful hosts can arrange a rental car or guided tour exploring such wonders as the Fairy Chimney Rock Formations in the Göreme National Park.

Jumbo Stay, Stockholm, Sweden: For what may be the best night’s sleep your family ever has on an airplane, check into the Jumbo Stay, a cleverly converted–and permanently grounded–747 jumbo jet. The kids will love exploring this massive plane that’s as much fun as a ride–but seat belts aren’t required!

Live it up in the cockpit suite with a private bathroom or opt for the more budget-conscious dorm-style rooms with single or double beds complete with free Wi-Fi and flat-screen TVs that even display the airline schedules. The eight compact bathrooms are wheelchair accessible and include efficient showers. Downstairs in the Jumbo Lounge you can enjoy airline-style drinks, snacks and a hot breakfast.

When you’re planning your next family vacation, consider these unusual hotels where the accommodations make your trip twice as much fun while costing even less than boring hotels!

Written for Pit Stops for Kids by HostelBookers, a leading authority on family-friendly hostels.