How To Choose The Right Accommodation For Your Family Holiday (2024)

Last Updated on March 11, 2024 by Nicole

Many people discount the importance of accommodation on a family holiday. Many times, people choose a destination, figure out their budget, and then, try to find accommodation. That is a mistake. When you have a family, making sure that there is appropriate accommodation that works with your family dynamic is as important as the destination itself. If you or your children are tired or irritable because the sleeping arrangements don’t work, then each day on vacation could be a struggle. In this article, I highlight what you need to think about and look for in accommodation so that you can have the best family getaway possible.

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At A Glance

I know you are busy. If you only have a couple minutes to spare, here are the key takeaways from this article.

  • Having a good night’s sleep is very important for a successful family holiday.
  • Try to avoid hotels as much as possible, especially when your kids are young.
  • You want to duplicate your kids’ sleeping arrangements on holiday as much as possible. Separate bedrooms and beds are fundamental to this.
  • Staying at rented houses and apartments gives you more room to spread out, more bedrooms, and a kitchen and washing machine.

If you can find more time, try to read my full article. It explains my points, gives you examples and more strategies to try when thinking about your accommodation on your family holiday.


I am a mother of four kids – two girls and two boys. They are all completely different humans who, as you would expect, all have unique sleeping habits. There is also 7 1/2 years differences between the oldest and the youngest. As I write this, the oldest is 26 years old and the youngest is 19 years old.

One of my most favourite things that I loved to do (and still love) with my children is travel. We have been doing this together since they were babies and it is unequivocally one of the most important ways in which we reconnect and bond as a family.

I can not emphasis enough how important our family holidays have been in creating the connections we have today as a family, even as everyone’s lives seem to get busier and more complicated.

As of today, I have been to over 70 countries and my children have been to over 40 countries.

Patrycja Tomaszczyk Photographer

A Good Night’s Sleep is Fundamental for A Successful Family Holiday

Choosing the right accommodation is important for three reasons.

1. When you are tired, you are not at your best.

This is not only a problem for a family with teenagers. I can remember time and again when my children were younger, they were exhausted by the time Christmas or summer break arrived.

Everyone is a little more irritable, impatient and inflexible when they are tired.

2. Everyone has different sleeping habits.

Whether you are young or old, we all sleep differently.

Some need to read before falling asleep, others need to watch TV.  Some children need a light left on all night, while others need it completely black. Some of us are night owls, while others are early birds who are ready for action first thing in the morning. And then, of course, some of us are blanket hogs, while others think that sleeping on a diagonal is completely natural.

Making children who have different sleeping habits share a room or a bed together will create difficult nights, but even more difficult days when everyone is tired and grumpy.

3. Not everyone is best friends all the time.

In a family, everybody gets along with each other differently. No matter how much you love someone, there are days that you like them more than others.

In my family of six, there are two boys and two girls, with an age range of 7 1/2 years between the oldest and the youngest. Tracking who is sharing a joke together versus who is ready to strangle their sibling is a skill set that I have had to finely tune! 

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Separate Beds And Bedrooms Are Often Important For A Successful Family Getaway

I have always avoided putting all of my children together in one room every night on holiday. I mix it up as much as possible. Sometimes, they need separation from each other as much as parents need to close their bedroom door and take a moment for themselves.

Ryan Mcguire Photographer

To create a successful holiday, you should try to think about how your children actually do sleep well while at home. You must also be honest about how they relate to each other.

The right accommodation will help create relaxed and happy children, setting yourself up for an amazing day.

The wrong accommodation may lead to a day filled with grumpy, ungrateful children who you wish you had left behind at home. Success is in your hands!

Is a Hotel the Right Accommodation On A Family Vacation?

When my children were little, we never stayed in a hotel. This was the worst accommodation for us (especially when we transitioned from 2 to 3 kids to 4 kids) for a couple of reasons).

1. Bad Sleep

Hotel accommodation for six people normally meant two rooms – either the parents alone in one room and four kids in the other; or three and three.

There was little to no way to deal with different sleeping habits without simply making someone endure the other. It also meant that beds had to be shared when my children were used to having their own beds.

No one sleeps very well with another when they are not used to it! Add in a baby sleeping in a travel bassinet who may still be waking up in the middle of the night, and this turns into a disaster!

2. No Separation

It was also difficult to manage personal relationships in hotel accommodation. With four children, at least two kids were not getting along at some point in the day. Whomever they were that day, we all needed them to be separated for everyone’s peace of mind.

There was not going to be any relief from that tension by merely putting them in a separate bed a few feet away. A separate bedroom and some of their own space was a much better solution for everyone.

Ali Inay Photographer

Why A House Or Apartment Was The Right Accommodation On Family Getaways

When my kids were little, we always rented an apartment or a house, with a minimum of two bedrooms (but preferring three), when we went on a family holiday. 

In addition, I also always tried to rent ones that offered two twin beds in a bedroom, or bunk beds, or a pullout couch, rather than one large bed in each bedroom. 

Multiple bedrooms and multiple beds allowed for the separation that we needed. It allowed us to pair children together with similar sleeping habits. It gave each of them their separate bed and allowed for all of us to get that good nights’ sleep that we all craved!

Don’t Forget the Importance Of A Kitchen And Washing Machine On A Family Holiday

A house or an apartment on a family trip just gave us more rooms, more space.  

We had a full kitchen. We were able to provide nutritious meals that the kids would eat. It also allowed us to save money by making our own meals, rather than purchasing every meal at a restaurant. Of course, we could go to a restaurant whenever we wanted.

We had the living room for those who needed to stay up later, or for those who woke up earlier. It was a separate place to socialize, hang out, and play games with everyone.

A living room also allowed me and my husband to stay up after the children went to bed. We could have a glass of wine, talk, and watch tv without feeling guilty about who we might be disturbing. It allowed us to have our own holiday time together.

Guillermo Nolasco Photographer

Whether you are a family with young or teenage children, having easy access to a washing machine is always a plus. This is especially true on extended trips where it isn’t possible to bring enough clothes for each day of your holiday or when you have baby clothes that seem to get dirtier faster.

Most hotels charge an exorbitant fee to wash any items of clothing. You could try and locate a local laundromat. However, that could pose unique challenges alone, and likely would mean that you end up using a day of your vacation just doing laundry.

When Is A Hotel The Right Accommodation On A Family Trip?

Once my youngest daughter turned seven years old, I believed my children were old enough to stay in a hotel. They had consistent and more conventional sleep habits. In addition, they handled conflict with their siblings in a more productive way.

Were they perfect? Absolutely not! But, we were able to start to stay in hotels in destinations where that was a better alternative.

This was still not the ideal. It was better for everyone to have enough space to spread out. However, it allowed us to start looking at certain destinations that we previously could not because of the lack of accommodation that we needed.

In many instances, it was far easier to find two hotel rooms in the middle of a city for a decent price than a two or three bedroom house or apartment.

Today, we practically never stay in a house or an apartment anymore. Not because the advantages of staying in a larger accommodation with multiple rooms have disappeared. But because we are now taking family trips to developing countries where hotel accommodation may be the only type of accommodation offered, or the living conditions would not make a house or apartment rental a wise, safe, or healthy choice.

Erik Jan Leusink Photographer

What’s The Best Accommodation For You On Your Family Vacation?

Whether you have one child or a bus load of them, you need to have the right accommodation for your family at the destination that you want to visit to have a successful family holiday.

There is no point heading to Peru for a trip of a lifetime if you can not find the accommodation that will work for your family. It would be far better for you to wait a couple of years until your children are older, have better sleeping habits and can calmly share spaces with their siblings than spend the time and money on a trip that may be filled with tired, unhappy kids.

Everyone needs to be well rested to enjoy their day and to appreciate the wonders that they get to experience. This is true no matter where you go and what you do. 

If you would like to save this article for future use, please click on “Save” on one of the photos below. If you think that someone else might find this article useful, please feel free to share it on your social media channels. Have a great day!

Picking the right accommodation for your family holiday is very important for the success of your holiday. Everyone needs to get a good nights sleep or the next day, you run the risk of children or even adults being grumpy! Here are some suggestions for picking the right accommodation for your family.
It might be tempting to save money and book one room in a hotel for your next family holiday, but is that the right accommodation for your family? Will you all sleep well and be rested the next day? Or will you be grumpy because of lack of sleep? Here are some considerations to help you decide what type of accommodation would be best for your family. #travel #familytravel #travelwithkids |baby, age, bed, vacation, condo, house, kitchen, living room, teen

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  1. I agree 100% with your views on sleep! I don’t have a family of my own that I’ve travelled with but I’ve gone on trips with my close friends up to a group of 13 one time. I find that many things go wrong or we hit a few more bumps along the way when people don’t have their good night’s sleep.

    1. But at your age, with that many friends, most likely on a budget, putting as many people into a room to sleep as possible is likely a must do! I can remember those days! So much fun! But yes, no matter how old you are, no one likes the feeling of being super tired from lack of sleep.

  2. Sleeping while traveling is necessary at least 8 hours sleep in night after long hectic day, but it all depends on the selected hotel and what amenities and facilities it offer, at least always wish and better to look before booking in that space which offer sweet sleep arrangement.

    1. I agree Steven! Eight hours of uninterrupted sleep is a perfect amount of sleep (and a little nap in the middle of the day would be nice too). I definitely like hotels and all the amenities they can offer. A perfect world is great sleeping arrangements and lots of amenities offered by a hotel.

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