Don’t skimp on sorting this one out, because when it comes to family travel, there’s more to consider than simply organising a travel cot for your baby. That’s because often the easiest sounding option – staying in a hotel room with a baby – is not necessarily the most baby friendly accommodation choice.
Why not rent a standard hotel room?
After all, if you are co-sleeping with your child, or your baby is still sleeping in the same room as you, a bog standard hotel room may seem tempting. But remember, babies sleep a lot (and if yours doesn’t, you’ll probably find you spend a lot of time encouraging them to).
Do you really want to be tip toeing around a hotel room, not even able to make a cup of tea for fear of waking up your sleeping cherub two or three times a day, not to mention every evening? Remember, you are not just looking for baby friendly accommodation, but adult-friendly accommodation too! (Of course, if your baby is still a newborn, this is less of a concern: those little ones sleep a lot, and many are very good at sleeping through noise.) Of course, there you can find a baby friendly hotel – you just need to know what to look for.
4 baby friendly accommodation solutions:
1. Rent a suite rather than one room.
If you are going to rent a hotel room, aim for a suite, so there’s a separate bedroom for the baby to sleep in during the day.
On holidays with babies, many savvy travelling parents decide to splurge on nicer hotel accommodation than normal, in recognition of the fact that you’ll probably be spending a lot more time at your accommodation than you did before bub. A balcony can also be a nice way to ensure that the time you’re trapped there with a sleeping baby offers a pleasant place to pass the hours.
2. Consider your cooking needs.
Depending on your baby’s current eating situation (are they exclusively breastfed, on formula, eating solids but mostly in purée form, or eating family meals?) many parents travelling with a baby find it easier to book accommodation with a full kitchen or at least a microwave, fridge and small cooktop.
Even if you’re planning on eating out quite a bit, you’ll probably discover the ability to cook at least some meals gives you more flexibility if the baby suddenly makes it plain that eating – or simply being – at home base for a few hours is her preference.
3. Can you rent an apartment?
Apartments are fabulous when travelling with a baby. In fact, they are one of the best types of baby friendly accommodation (although all inclusive family resorts are quite nice too!) as you’ll have a kitchen, place to do washing and usually plenty of separate sleeping areas for whatever configuration you need. Rent apartments through a commercial operator or a local real estate agent specialising in holiday lets, a hotel chain which has suites, or, for those happy to stay in other people’s homes, try Airbnb or an equivalent like Kids and Coe, which provides rentals targeted at families (mostly in the UK).
While babieswhotravel.com founder, Sue, is a big fan or Airbnb and similar programs, these aren’t for everyone; read more to find out if it’s for you. Remember, whatever way you go, you’ll probably have way more choice if you don’t leave bookings till the last minute: as soon as your trip is confirmed, try to lock in your accommodation. Most other planning can wait a bit longer.
4. Choose the optimum length of stay.
Remember, it’s far better not to change location too often when travelling with a baby under 1. Why? In part, because packing up takes a lot longer than simply folding up the travel cot or grabbing the baby bassinet. Our itineraries post has some great advice on planning your trip when you are traveling with a baby.