Guest Author - Angela Thompson
Finding accommodations when traveling with more than two children is challenging. Many hotel chains in the United States “cap” the number of occupants to standard rooms at four—requiring that large families split into multiple rooms if larger rooms or accommodations are unavailable. Multiple rooms can be not only expensive but stressful as the family must be separated for a large portion of the vacation. How can family travelers simplify the logistics and budget stressors of finding lodging for a large family or group?
The early bird gets the best worms. Plan and book your family outing as early as possible—especially if traveling during a peak season for your destination. Family suites, affordable condos and smaller vacation homes disappear quickly to families seeking to avoid separate rooms and hefty, budget breaking lodging expenses.
Compare prices and amenities carefully. Many thrifty family travelers believe that a large family suite or private cabins or cottages are beyond their reach. Remember that, while such large accommodations are usually pricey, the convenience and peace of mind may prove invaluable to your relaxing family vacation. Also, after a complete cost comparison, one larger space may prove to be a better bargain than multiple rooms.
Get research help. Perhaps you have just realized that your third child entered you into a whole new world of family travel dilemmas—or maybe after years of family travel planning, you have become frustrated with a tedious hotel by hotel search. Sometimes you could use a little help in your search. There are websites such as Sleeps5.com and SixSuitcaseTravel.com that offer a number of listings of hotels throughout the world that are available to accommodate larger families in one room or suite.
Veer away from the beaten path. This does not mean that you should avoid tourist hot spots and convenient access to activities. It does mean that sometimes families can explore alternate options to obtain reasonable vacation lodging for larger families. Instead of limiting your search to traditional suites and condos seek out modern alternatives. Consider sharing a large vacation home with another family—or participate in a “house swap” where travelers literally agree to exchange homes during a scheduled vacation time.
Do not let lodging define your family vacation.Successful family travelers must understand compromise. If your family craves the excitement of the tourist spots, booking a remote cabin with limited road access creates some tension which can be resolved if you counteract complaints and concerns during your initial planning phase. With early planning, research and price comparisons, it is possible to find family accommodations that suit your family’s travel personality—and can complement without limiting your trip experience.