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How to choose the right hotel and room for the family vacation

Choosing the right hotel for your upcoming family vacation may seem like a complicated process, but it doesn’t have to be. From juggling the needs of all of your family members, to ensuring your hotel stay fits in your budget, there are lots of things to consider. However, with proper planning, you can have all of your accommodation needs met so that when you arrive you can simply focus on enjoying your family vacation. With this helpful advice for choosing your hotel room, you’ll be packing your bags for a restful vacation in no time. 


Do

Do set a budget

The most important thing to do when choosing a hotel for your family vacation is to set a budget and stick to it. Too often families over-spend on their lodging and then don’t have money to do all the fun things they want to do on vacation, like eating at nice restaurants and visiting popular attractions. No matter what your budget is, there’s a hotel that meets your needs within your price range.

Do prioritize hotel features

When looking for the perfect hotel for your family vacation, it’s important to prioritize your wants and needs. Based on the type of vacation you’re planning, different amenities may be more important to you. If you’re taking a road trip, you won’t be spending as much time in your room, so features like price, convenience, and location may be most important to you. However, if you plan to spend a lot of time at the hotel during your vacation, amenities like a hotel pool, free breakfast, wireless Internet access and more could top your priority list. Depending on the age of your children, you may opt to share a room, select a suite, or request adjoining hotel rooms.

Do research

Don’t limit your hotel search to just the hotel website. Check out popular websites to find out what other travelers have said about the hotel. Reading hotel reviews and looking at travelers’ photos is a good way to get a broad sense of what a hotel is like, but take each opinion into consideration carefully. Pay most attention to the characteristics that are high on your priority list and don’t worry too much about the others.

Do include your family

Your entire family is going on vacation, so it makes sense to gather some opinions about the hotels you’re considering. You could start by asking each member to share what’s most important to them in a hotel (this can help you make your priority list). Or, narrow your options down to two or three hotels that meet your requirements and have a vote. This is a fun way to get the whole family excited for the trip, plus it takes the decision-making pressure off of just one person.

Do look around

No matter where your next vacation takes you, learning about what’s nearby your hotel can enhance your stay. Once you select your hotel, find out where you can find restaurants, attractions, and stores nearby. There may be a hidden gem near your hotel that doesn’t show up on the typical tourist itinerary.


Don't

Do not book blindly

With the many resources available online, it would be silly to book the first hotel rate you see. Make sure you check prices on multiple websites and see if you can get a lower rate with the hotel itself. Keep in mind that many online booking websites tack on taxes and fees that are different than what the hotel would charge you. Don’t forget to ask if there are added expenses for parking and resort fees. Some of these prices could surprise you.

Do not assume expensive is best

While many high-end hotels offer lots of special amenities like on-site spas, some of the less expensive hotel brands may have what you really need. Most value hotel chains offer amenities like free breakfast and free wireless Internet—features that can save you big in the long run.

Do not be shy

Some of the best advice from your vacation can come from the employees at the hotel front desk. They can suggest the best restaurants, give you directions and ensure your stay is pleasant. When you check in, don’t be afraid to ask for a particular room location, whether that’s near the elevator, away from the ice maker, on the second floor, etc. Whatever it is that will help you feel more comfortable, ask for it. It may not be available, but there’s no harm in trying.

Do not stress

Remember, your hotel stay doesn’t make or break your vacation. Of course, if a hotel doesn’t deliver on its promises, speak up, but don’t let it ruin your trip. Stop stressing about whether things are perfect and just enjoy the time you get to spend with your family. Nothing ruins a relaxing vacation like stress does.

Do not forget to share

You made it. You chose a hotel, went on vacation and had an unforgettable and relaxing time. Now it’s time to share photos of your trip with friends and family. But don’t let the sharing stop there; sharing your experience on hotel review websites can help other families like yours make informed choices about hotels.


Summary
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No matter which hotel you select, you can count on your next family vacation to be unforgettable. From planning your trip and selecting your room, to relaxing with the kids on a fun getaway, your next trip will be a breeze when you follow the Dos and Don’ts of choosing a hotel room.


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Photo Credits: volare2004/BigStockPhoto.com; Check Man, Cross Man and Jump Man © ioannis kounadeas - Fotolia.com

Michelle RunzerDirector of Marketing

Michelle is an avid traveler, having driven the U.S. from coast-to-coast, backpacked through Europe and toured China. She has experience traveling to small towns, popular cities, and everything in between. Michelle has extensive experience in th...

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