What to Look For in a Hotel for Your Family Holiday

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What to Look for in a Hotel for Your Family Holiday

Choosing a hotel for your family holiday is a very individual decision, what we look for is probably the exact opposite of half the global travelling market.

Location and Facilities

Some families prefer hotels with child-friendly clubs, activities and surrounds, so parents and kids can spend some time apart. Others, like us, seek out hotels with access to family-friendly sites and activities that they can all participate in together.

Family travel holiday choices, water parks
Top favourite for my kids, water parks!

For water-babies, a swimming pool may be essential, while for other families proximity to parks and playgrounds might be more important. I know my boys have almost zero interest in swimming pools unless they have slides, so they would be a big draw for us.

Still other families opt for those hotels closest to the beach or lake, while some families like to be in the midst of the downtown tourist shopping and eating districts – it’d be a very boring world if everyone wanted the same things.

A few important priorities are listed below, as featured in the top 5 list of holiday essentials. Our top priority, a good wifi connection is on top of the list. No surprise that a family of professional travel bloggers needs good wi-fi, but the rest of the travelling world’s priorities seem to be shifting, too.


family travel blog need wi fi and internet on holiday
Rain or shine, I have to be online! No free wi-fi, no stay!

What is becoming more common is the demand for wi-fi; more and more families are making the availability (or not) of this service a part of their decision making process when choosing a holiday destination.We would not consider ever staying anywhere without good, free, wi-fi. The only exception we make to our internet rule is cruise ships, I think we’d be asking too much to expect free satellite based ship to shore connectivity.

So important has connectivity become, that wi-fi access such as that provided by My Port ranks among the top three vital services required when selecting a destination for a family holiday.

Great View

Umbrian hills  view or wifi?
Views like this made our Umbria trip visually stunning, but I will always take internet over view.

This one ranks top of the list for most holidaying families, and may be connected to the fact that women tend to make most of the decisions regarding where to billet their family during the annual vacation. It may not be politically correct to say so, but studies indicate that women are generally more visually sensitive to their environment than men, which isn’t to say that the guys would be happy staring at a brick wall for days on end either. Nothing says ‘getting away from it all’ better than a magnificent view from your hotel balcony or picture window – and it makes a nice background for your holiday selfie.

Clean Room

This one makes the top three as well – although it comes third, behind wi-fi access and the view.

It’s interesting that most people value their access to social media and online services over the hygiene of their hotel room. When you consider however, the benefits of wi-fi while you’re travelling, it really isn’t so much of a surprise. After all, you can’t transfer money for emergencies with a clean pillowcase, nor can you book day trips, or confirm itineraries, with one of those cute miniature shampoo bottles.

The Mattress

 Family travel blog, holiday needs, bed
This bed was a slice of heaven, but any old bed will do me!

I really have little interest in how soft or hard a bed is, it doesn’t affect my sleep, but some people love a comfortable bed. The quality of the hotel mattress made the list of top five most important factors that come into play when holidaymakers select their hotel, and it’s another curious one. After all, whether a mattress suits you or not is pretty specific to the individual. Still, it’s not much fun vacationing on too little sleep either.

Is The Wi-Fi Requirement Surprising?

Are we taking the office with us? Are our social media addictions more important than relaxing with our families?

While many think the popularity of wi-fi access as a criterion for selecting a family holiday hotel is all about staying in touch with, rather than getting away from it all, this may not actually be the case. Wifi is invaluable in planning your holiday, we all need to access information on local attractions, maps, opening times and so on. We need to check on our return flights and maybe check in online. Internet usage is a fact of life these days, there’s often no way around it and for many it is a highly enjoyable part of their lives, why stop on holiday?

There are also a lot of sound safety reasons why staying connected while you’re far away from home and extended family is a good idea.

What’s your number one priority when selecting a hotel for your family holiday? Share your thoughts in the comments box below.

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About the author
Alyson Long
Alyson Long is a British medical scientist who jumped ship to chase dreams. A former Chief Biomedical Scientist at London's West Middlesex Hospital she started in website creation and travel writing in 2011. Alyson is a full-time blogger and travel writer, a published author, and owns several websites. World Travel Family is the biggest. A lifetime of wanderlust and over 6 years of full-time travel, plus a separate 12 month gap year, has given Alyson and the family some travel expert smarts to share with you on this world travel site. Today Alyson still travels extensively to update this site and continue her mission to visit every country, but she's often at home on her farm in Australia.

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