When it comes to travelling with kids or toddlers, the steps to prepare can seem overwhelming. What to pack, how to prepare the kids, time off work, and everything in between. But arguably the biggest decision of the trip is choosing the right place to stay.
How To Pick The Right Kid-Friendly Resort – Complete Guide
Choosing a truly kid-friendly hotel or resort is ESSENTIAL when it comes to whether you return from the trip feeling refreshed, or just more burnt out from parenting in a new location that isn’t actually attuned to hosting children. Consider our BEST travel tips with kids when it comes to choosing the right place to stay on our latest post: “How To Choose the Right Kid-Friendly Resort”!
• Location, Location, Location
Ok I know this sounds cliché, but choosing the right location in relation to the events or activities you have planned is so important when it comes to travelling with kids. Will you need to rent a car once you’re there to get to and from the hotel to the activities? Do you plan to use public transportation? If you plan to use Uber or a Taxi, will you need to bring car seats? Consider all the possible situations when it comes to moving from place to place!
Pro-tip: Booking a hotel within walking distance to whatever it is you have planned is a great way to get your kids’ energy out before an event. Especially where they may be expected to sit still or be quiet for an extended period. Think restaurants, bus tours, etc!
Our resort in Playa Del Carmen had a really neat jungle path that intertwined between the trees from where our room was located before arriving at the restaurant areas. This offered a GREAT way to burn out the kids energy before being expected to sit for a meal! (Without bothering everyone around us!) The kid-friendly amenities at this resort was a HUGE reason we chose this property over others in Playa Del Carmen.
Book This Resort at a GREAT Rate
• How To Choose the Right Kid-Friendly Resort? Consider Sleeping Arrangements
Depending on the number and age of the children you have, sleeping arrangements within your hotel/resort can be really important. Toddlers may be able to share a bed with parents, but keep in mind getting your toddler down for the night in a bright room may be difficult. Does the hotel offer a bedroom option? This way you aren’t required to shut off all the lights at a typical toddler’s bedtime. (Hello, actual vacation time!) Does the hotel offer a roll away cot or crib for a younger child? If not, you’ll need to pack your own!
Pro-Tip: A slumberpod allows for a private, dark space for your toddler/baby when a bedroom isnt an option. They fit perfectly over a Pack N Play or rollaway cot, and are incredibly breathable. These were a LIFE-SAVER when we were sharing a one room hotel room with our two under 2 toddlers for a week in Mexico! Throw in a white noise machine and you’re set! Find our favorites in our shop: White Noise Machine
• Check Out Available Hotel Amenities
Does the hotel/resort offer any on-site amenities? Whether it has been a busy couple days in a new place or the weather just isn’t cooperating; Sometimes it’s nice to not have to pack up the kids each day to make memories. Check out what hotel/resorts offer on-site amenities such as food and restaurant options or even just an indoor pool. It doesn’t take much to entertain children! Pack some inflatable pool toys and make the most of it!
If you’re going with an all-inclusive resort, be sure to read up on how to get the most out of your all-inclusive resort stay on our travel guide: “Tips for All-Inclusive Resorts” here!
• Check for Hidden Fee’s
Some hotels have an additional charge to request a roll-away crib or cot. Be sure to research ahead of time and double check with each hotel whether or not there’s a maximum amount of people allowed to check into a room. Don’t just assume because your children are young and can share a bed with you that you won’t need to count them as a person when booking!
Does your booking rate include the Kid’s Club?
Kid’s clubs can be a great way to get the most out of your booking not only for you but also for your kids! Take advantage of the moment to yourself AND make sure your kids make the best memories with a resort that offers a stellar Kid’s Club. Just be sure to check out what kind of activities the resort offers within the Kid’s Club and whether those activities are included in your booking rate.
•Think About Breakfast or Kitchen Options in the Room
If your kids are anything like mine, they demand food the moment their eyes open. It’s not ideal, I’m not happy about it, I’ve done everything I can to break them of this habit. But lets face it, we don’t have the energy to argue in the morning. Plan ahead and avoid the tantrums first thing in the morning because you aren’t getting dressed fast enough to get down to the buffet and get breakfast for the hangry kiddos – just book a hotel with complimentary breakfast.
Even better: Make sure there’s a fridge in the room and plan ahead with small breakfast snacks to hold them over when they first get up. You’ll thank me as you relax for an extra 10 minutes!
• Book Through a Reputable Service
No matter what hotel/resort you go with, make sure you’re booking through a reputable source. There are so many online booking services these days – make sure to ALWAYS read the fine print and triple check booking details. Nobody likes interruptions on their first day of vacation during the check in process, but its even worse with antsy children running about the lobby. Opt for a hotel/resort with an easy check in process and start your vacay off on the right foot!
We personally book a lot with booking.com – their app is easy to use and makes it really efficient to compare multiple properties!
Consider Restaurant & On-Site Meal Options
Consider the available food options at every kid-friendly resort you look at. Do they offer options that your kiddos would enjoy? The last thing you need is a food-power-struggle in the middle of vacation. Take a look at the menu’s for on-site meal options ahead of time!
Be sure to look into what time meals are served or what time the on-site restaurants open. We recently stayed at a resort that stopped serving breakfast at 10AM but didn’t open for lunch until 1PM – which left our toddlers without a place to eat during their usual lunch time. We ended up packing up food from the breakfast buffet each morning and eating in our room!
Safe Beach or Pool Options
Take a close look at the properties beach and pool accommodations. Many beachfront locations will offer a roped off area in the main swimming destinations which can offer a huge peace of mind to parents with young ones.
If there are on-site pool options take a look at which pools are adults-only and what the advertised depths are. We stayed at a resort that boasted 8 outdoor pools, but we quickly realized that 3 of those were adult-only! Be sure to take a look at the fine details on the properties website before booking.
How To Pick The Right Kid-Friendly Resort Highlights & FAQS
- Is Location Important? YES! Choose a location that makes your trip easier! Walkability, on-site amenities that suite your family, etc
- What Should I Plan Ahead Above All Else? Be sure to consider sleeping arrangements for everyone in the family & meal options that accommodate kids!
- What about my booking? Check for hidden fee’s & ALWAYS book through a reputable source
- Be sure to consider safety tips such as safe pool/beach options and locks on doors!
Lastly, don’t let the idea of travelling with children keep you from making the BEST memories. Follow our best tips for “How to Choose the Right Kid-Friendly Resort” and ensure your vacation goes as smoothly as it can with little ones
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