Lillian Gaitho’s weekend thoughts, this week about Family Travel

Top Six Tips to Consider When Choosing a Hotel for Family Holiday

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Once the kids kick in, your travel plans will definitely change. From your choice of holiday destination to the location and type of accommodation and the demographics of the guest pool; the must haves and must dos by and large shift from you to the little ones. The hottest club in town suddenly takes a back burner while having the glam in spotting the funkiest carry-on on the trek simply sounds laughable. See below a few tips by Lillian this weekend to guide you on a seamless family holiday fun.

#1 Teens, toddlers and trailers

What age are you looking at? Remember having a toddler on holiday is very different from going out with an infant who may prefer to cuddle on your arms as opposed to crawling around. Similarly, teenagers may not find any fun in spending afternoons reading books around the swimming pool nor will bonfire dinners trapped between adults tickle their fancy. Before settling on any hotel, list down favorite activities for respective family members and match them against what’s available at the hotel. Also, find out what facilities will allow for an all-member participation from time to time. Once you are booked in, it’s important to try to explore new activities as a family unit, you may be surprised by new traits and interests that may never have been discovered in years spent in the comfort of familiarity back home.

One more thing; out of the most exhilarating of a seven day family holiday, do not get touchy-feely or heart-broken if your six year old pitches her best moment as ‘ice cream in the park’.

#2 Hotel Amenities and Facilities

Whether lodging in starred alliance hotels, or putting up in a low-budget cottage, there are creature comforts that must be fulfilled without compromise. Tuck shops must top the list, why, because one out of your seven packs of milk may just spill – leaving you with a need to refill. You may also run out diapers when least expected and who knows – your little ones may decide, miles away from home that a chocolate or cereal snack bar is the only cure to their homesickness.

#3 The Logistics, how to get there

The independent days of the freedom to wander and explore are perhaps best remembered when faced with the decision on ‘how to get there’. Once upon a life, an eight-hour flight across the continents for kick off your bucket-list sounded like part of the fun, not anymore. Between on board feedings, pushing a stroller across the cabro pavements and shouting yourself hoarse for high-on-energy kids; the logistics of transport have acquired quite a new and all important meaning. The big question to ask yourself is, what is worth the hassle and what can wait for next season. If you are looking to relax on a family weekend getaway, aim to spend the least time on your way and instead build on the hours spent together in something more fun and engaging than a snooze-off the waiting bay.

#4 Do your research; read online reviews

Online reviews may be the next best thing after flier miles. While doing your prep up on this and any other trip, try to get as much as possible online reviews on your desired hotel and destination. Undeniably, there always will be that one hard to please vacationer; but a general look at the reviews and a feel of the hotel’s tone and response will definitely provide you with very important information to guide your decision making process.

#5 Sorting out childcare

It would be great if all ‘family friendly’ hotels invested in on-site childcare, kid clubs and so. But this still remains a dreamy wish for most vacationers on-boarding with their brood. Find out what is available as well as what is possible where you intend to lodge. Remember that booking in your kids in a children’s-club or taking your nanny with you does not make you a bad parent-as some may argue. Find out what works best for you and your family and enjoy each and every last second of your adventure.

#6 Keep records

Quite a number of times, guests are caught up in blame games and tug of war on what was promised and the actual delivered. At the risk of sounding too skeptical, remember everyone is out to make business. This is mostly achieved by offering a deal that seemingly beats all completion. Ensure that all that has been promised is on record, request your travel advisor, or the operator to capture and acknowledge every last element on mail for future reference. Fact is, we all will be happier if you do not need to retrieve your mail thread for this; but will be glad to have a fall back if anything went terribly wrong.

One response to this post.

  1. Your tips regarding lodging are great, you have pointed out the best information. Keep posting more and also add information regarding motel accommodation wellington.

    Reply

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