In collaboration with TFE hotels

When I was one, my parents took me on a family holiday to New Zealand. They had chosen to stay at a nice hotel, not realising that each night they would end up sitting in the bathroom while they waited for me to go to sleep. With them in the room I thought it was party time and all bets were off!

While I once chose the hotels I stayed at based on how pretty the pictures looked on the website, now I have different priorities. Here are the key ones to consider for your upcoming family holidays.

Room size

For older kids, this probably isn’t so much of an issue. As long as they have a bed to rest on they will go to sleep and a later bedtime doesn’t make as much of a difference. But for younger babies and toddlers, size does matter! Even a short hallway in the room can be the perfect spot to put the port-a-cot so you aren’t left hiding in the bathroom.


When travelling with kids, you probably don’t want to be right in the hustle and bustle of where you are staying but you definitely want to be in close proximity to public transport or at least walking distance from the key attractions you will be visiting. Do a bit of research on where you want to visit at your destination before booking your hotel so you can choose one that is convenient for you.


Is breakfast included? Wi-Fi? Sometimes having breakfast in the hotel can be an easy way to start the day and you know there will be a toilet the kids can use before you head out for a big day. Hotel breakfasts are also served from quite early in the morning if you are a family of early risers. If you will be hiring a car on your holiday, as we often do when travelling as a family, also look into the availability and cost of parking at the hotel.

Room amenities

When we travel, I always look for a kitchen or kitchenette at our hotels. It gives us flexibility to cook dinner in if our daughter crashes out, or as often seems to happen when you travel, the kids get sick! Somewhere to keep milk refrigerated as well as fruit or whatever else you might want to keep handy.

Hotel amenities

You’ve been out all day exploring and just want to head back to the hotel to put your feet up. But what is there for the kids to do? I don’t think there will be many takers for giving you a foot massage. Check if the hotel has a pool or other amenities suitable for kids to use and pack accordingly. A quick nip to the pool can be just what you all need to rejuvenate for another big day of adventure.

Check in and out times

Pre-kids, hubby and I once woke up at 10am for a 10am checkout – remember sleep-ins? Our bags were packed and we were out the door in record time. But that wouldn’t be so easy with kids. Confirm the checkout time and possibility of late checkout at the time of booking so you can be sure it will not leave you racing to get the kids and bags ready in time.


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