Try to book a hotel room for a family of two adults and two young children and you’ll find that most booking engines can’t do it. If you’ve managed to locate a family room, it’s not unusual to spend the hours after 7pm watching sleeping children with the glow of CNN playing quietly in the background, sighing at what might have been. Alternatives like family hotels and resorts are fine - if you have endless cash and don’t mind an overdose of lurid colors and other peoples’ screaming children. It’s enough to make you wonder - are your glory days of travel over?
A lot of things change when you have kids. Late nights are replaced by very early mornings; indulgent hours spent shopping in boutiques become snatched minutes binge-shopping online, and exotic travels, where you stroll on board a plane with nothing more than a passport, half-packed bag and yen for adventure can become something of a trial.
And yet - there is a solution. Family home and apartment rentals are a beacon of hope in these dark, parenting times, giving families the space they need for a quality vacation: separate bedrooms without forking out for a suite, a kitchen so you’re not relying on a limited room service menu for picky kids, and even cots, high chairs, scooters and bikes to borrow during your stay.
One of the largest perks of this new and booming sharing economy is the community that takes shape: of like-minded travellers, of parents with insider knowledge around what makes their homes and neck of the woods ideal for other parents. It feels good to share your neighbourhood, favorite restaurants and stores, and your home with other families. For hosts this works out as a simple way to make money - especially useful as travel rates during the summer holidays and half terms in Europe continue to skyrocket. For guest families, the experience is an authentic one that just can’t be found when staying at a hotel with a price tag that makes family travel less of a pipedream. This new sharing way of travelling eliminates a good number of the issues around family travel. It’s not quite the same as the footloose backpacking of your twenties, but it does open up a whole new world of authentic travel, stepping into the shoes of people who live in the country you’re visiting and seeing it through their eyes. So what are you waiting for? Pack your bags and bring the kids!
Check out one of our favourite kid friendly vacation rentals for families, Kid&Coe. Enjoy!.