The choice of accommodation is one of the biggest decision you have to make when travelling as a family today. So is it going to be hotel or holiday rental?
Many factors come into play, budget, family size and preferences, is it a holiday by the beach or a city break… and more.
Thanks to websites like Airbnb, Homeaway or Uniquehomestays, it is now just as easy to book an apartment or a villa than to book a hotel room directly from a hotel website or an online travel agency (the likes of Booking.com, Expedia or Hotels.com).
At the end of the day, the choice is yours and will depend on your priorities. Here at Babybreaks we have taken 5 points that you might want to consider before making your decision.
Cost is often one of the most important factor when it comes to travelling with your family.
You work hard to be able to enjoy some time off and it’s important you get the most out of your money.
For that reason, holiday rentals are most likely the way to go budget wise. Why? Because for the same price or cheaper than a hotel room, you can get a whole property to yourself, with a kitchen area, living room and separate bedroom(s). Having a kitchen means you don’t have to go to a restaurant for every meal and you can experience living like a local. The downside of course is that someone has to do the cooking (unless you book a chef but then the budget rises) and usually there is no cleaning service.
But here again, it will depend on the length of stay and location, our next two points…
Urban or Rural? City break or Beach holiday? It’s all about the right location when choosing a hotel or a holiday rental. We mentioned that living like a local can be fun, but depending on where you going, it might not be ideal. Amsterdam or Lisbon can be great fun, whilst Kiev or Hanoi might be more challenging if you don’t speak the language.
In Europe in general, you can find great apartments in the city centres for a much better price than a hotel room.
If you go to Greece or Spain, here again, villas and apartments are great options to be close to the beach without having to pay for the hotel’s higher price tag because of the location.
Short stay or Long stay holiday? If you are staying somewhere for a couple of nights, you might prefer booking a hotel where you will have more service and not worry about cooking and cleaning. Most short breaks are all about exploring and spending time out and about.
Whether a holiday rental might be most cost effective for a longer stay. Cost is not the only factor, convenience plays a big part as well. Travelling with young children means naps, feeding and quiet time, all of which are easier to do in a villa or a flat.
Are you traveling as a family of 3 or maybe as a family of 5, 6 or more?
If you travel with one child, especially a little one, hotels can be an easy option. Many hotels don’t charge for children under 3, 10 or even 18 years old in some countries. Therefore, if you don’t need an extra room for them, you might prefer staying in a hotel. Having said that, renting a studio is also a good option, bigger than a hotel room and can be cheaper too.
Now if you are a big family, holiday rentals are the way to go. Whether it is a city break or a beach/mountain holiday, you are likely to find big villas or apartments to accommodate everyone for a cheaper price than booking a few hotel rooms. You might even find somewhere that has a kid’s bedroom with a cot and toys. Another benefit of a shared space is the time spent together, around a nice meal, by the fire or by the pool without any other people around you. We should never underestimate quality time as a family!
This one is important and will depend on where you are travelling to.
Hotels are typically more secure than holiday rentals with a 24h reception, staff, maybe a kids club and security available if needed. It means you don’t have to worry about triple locking doors and windows.
Having said that, it doesn’t mean that renting a property is dangerous. You just have to make sure you are booking a place in a safe area, possibly not in the middle of nowhere if you are unfamiliar with the location, and also make sure you are using a valid accommodation website where you can see reviews from the property and the host.
So in conclusion, will you choose Hotel or a Holiday Rental for your next family vacation?
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