How to choose the right hotel for the kids

Once you become a parent, your holiday wish list will often change. When traveling with the tots in tow your priorities are different, so it’s worth doing your research to find a hotel that fits your needs and budget. Once you’ve decided on a location – most probably short-haul, because let’s face it, who wants to spend hours on a plane with little ones, you’ll want to write a list of your requirements. Here are a few factors to bear in mind.

Location

Choose a destination with sandy beaches so that the little ones can enjoy hours of free castle-building fun. There’s nothing more disappointing than arriving at a beach to be confronted with pebbles, so think about Spain, the Balearic Islands and the Canaries which offer a variety of family-friendly resorts as well as manageable flight times. When picking your hotel, go for one that’s right on the beach or a short walk to make it easy for little legs. Make sure that the resort is suitable, too – if you have children, the last thing you want to do is head somewhere with late-night bars and banging music until all hours. If you’re going to Ibiza, for example, think Cala Llonga not San Antonio.

Board basis

Choose a hotel that offers a board basis that suits your needs. If you’re accommodating babies and fussy eaters then going self-catering can be the most convenient. Older children may enjoy the variety of a buffet restaurant, though, so think about their needs and yours. Some complexes offer self-catering accommodation within a hotel environment, so you can prepare meals and enjoy onsite restaurants – the perfect compromise.

Kids clubs

Avoid the dreaded words ‘I’m bored’ by booking a hotel that offers children’s clubs. Many holiday companies offer kids’ clubs for ages from 0-11 so they’ll have lots of fun and you’ll get some quality time with your other half. Be sure to choose ones that are run to UK standards and that staff have advanced DBS security checks and first aid training for your peace of mind. Clubs will vary but most offer a selection of crafts activities, sports and games to keep them happy and entertained. Many also offer creche facilities so you can enjoy child-free dinners or spa time.

kids club

Facilities and entertainment

Aside from kids’ clubs it’s wise to pick a hotel with plenty of options for both you and the children. A good-sized pool with separate section for little ones is essential – and if there’s a splash park and water slides, so much the better. Look out for playgrounds, soft plays and grassy gardens that will give them a chance to let off some steam. It’s worth checking, too, if the hotel provides entertainment. Many hotels have animation teams that organize fun quizzes, events and mini disco time to keep the whole family smiling.

Sightseeing and days out

If you have slightly older children, you may wish to pre-plan days out. Natural treasures can be fun and educational option so go for the Caves of Drach in Majorca or Mount Teide National Park if you’re visiting Tenerife. Waterparks also provide hours of fun for children of all ages so see if there’s one close to your chosen hotel or if the hotel has its own that you can use for free.

Extras

Traveling light with kids is not easy. Luggage is bad enough but when you factor in toys, buggies, sterilizers and other essentials it can become a stressful affair. Some holiday companies give you the option of pre-booking a baby pack which includes high chairs, buggies, blenders and bottle warmers so this is well worth considering. It will cost you a little extra but it’s worth the money and will save you a lot of hassle.

A family holiday is a great way of reconnecting with your loved ones so make sure you pick a hotel and destination that’s right for you, preferably with that all-important kids club so that you and your significant other can enjoy some quality time together, too!

About the author

Pit Stops for Kids AUTHOR: Amy Whitley is the founding editor of Pit Stops for Kids and content editor of Trekaroo. She writes on staff monthly at a number of travel publications, and contributes to OutdoorsNW magazine as an outdoor adventure traveler. Find Amy at Google.

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