. Where to stay for a family vacation : Budget Travel Adventures

Find the best place to stay on a family vacation

best place to stay on family vacation KauaiWhile summer is the perfect time for family vacations, Fall is my favorite time of year to travel.  The weather is cooler, the crowds are fewer, and the flights, hotels, and vacations are cheaper.  Europe in the Fall is perfect while closer to home, I prefer Fall getaways in California.

Sure, most people think summer is ideal for planning that big trip.  While many people spend a lot of time on finding cheap flights for their travel plans (and rightly so – this is often the most expensive part of a trip), don’t ignore the other ways to save money on your vacation.  If you want to find cheap places to stay for the family vacation, some of the best deals are happening now.

The choices are endless – hotels, condos, and even family and friends.  Whether you are traveling in the summer, Fall, or during the holidays, make sure you find the right accommodations for your family vacation.

Popular accommodations for family travel

For many people who travel, these are the popular options for where to stay when traveling.

Budget hotels – Cheap hotels and bargain prices are what appeal to many families when they are on vacation.  You can find a number of hotels that offer affordable prices for family vacations which help you save a lot of money.  Don’t expect a lot of style or options for many of these places.  However, if spending more time on activities and things to do is more important than time in your hotel, these are good options.

Quality hotels – For those that enjoy 3 star hotels, there are plenty of options hotel chains that offer comfortable beds, free breakfasts, swimming pools, and amenities to keep the family entertained.  Comfort and options are a part of your stay so these options will be higher than the budget hotels.

Luxury hotels – Many families want to get, away, relax, and enjoy a bit of pampering.  While luxury hotels are the most expensive hotel options, they can also be the most enjoyable as everyone can enjoy a little more quality and comfort during their stay.

All-inclusive resorts – Similar to luxury hotels, these places offer everything that a family could want in accommodations – a place to stay, activities for the family, and food.  From golf outings to fun activities for kids (to give mom and dad a break), resorts are popular for those looking for theme-style vacations.

Condos – For more those that want more of the “at home” feeling when you travel, condos are a great option for family vacations.  While the prices for these compare to the quality to luxury hotel options, you get more privacy and a little more peace and quiet.  Most condos come with a kitchen as well giving you the chance to enjoy some family meals and helping you save money by not going out to eat.

Timeshares – These are great options for those you share a place with many other people.  The idea is that people are able to rent or purchase a unit of time in a resort (typically for a week or two a year) and then share that place with other travelers throughout the rest of the year.  This gives you the same private feel and comfortable accommodations as condos but at a cheaper cost.  There are a number of ways to get a timeshare including a timeshare rental or the option for people to buy timeshares.

best place to stay on family vacation timeshare rentalLess popular, budget-friendly family travel accommodations

While these may not be as popular travel options for many families, these are some of the more affordable and creative places to stay.

Hostels – While many think of hostels as shared dorms where you pay by the bed, not all hostels are the same.  Many hostels offer private rooms and private baths while others offer family rooms as well.  Some hostels function more like hotels than the traditional dorm style accommodations.  While not the first choice for family vacations, hostels do offer a different type of experience for families.

Apartments/Homes – These are a great way to connect with locals as well as get more spacious, comfortable places to stay.  Renting an apartment or a house gives you an opportunity to have room to spread out, cook your own meals, and even shop at local stores.  Weekly rentals gives you the chance to save money as you get more value for the same (or lower price) as a hotel.

House sitting – For other people who are traveling, you may have the option of house sitting for other couples or families who are willing to let you stay in their homes.  Some duties come with house sitting such as feeding plants, watering gardens, or taking care of little things around the home.  However, many of these opportunities are free but you need to find the right match for your family.

Home exchanges – Another option for families is the home exchange.  Travelers, couples, and families all over the world are willing to exchange their home for yours regardless of the site of your home.  You can get a free place to stay and even the use of a car in cities and towns all over the world.  Understand what things would be your responsibility (telephone, utilities) and make clear what things your guests must do in your home.  Most importantly, make sure you are OK with strangers using your home.

The best place to stay for family vacations

For those who travel and stay close to people they care about, this may be the best place of all.

Family and friends – Family and friends offer you the chance to stay with people you like, love, and enjoy spending time.  They can be the perfect hosts, offer warm beds, great meals, good conversation, and someone to do things together.  While staying with other people may have its ups and downs at times (we may disagree with family and friends at time), staying with friends and family may be the best option of all.

What other types of places do you recommend for families and groups of people? Do you agree or disagree with these places to stay for families?

Thanks to Sell My Timeshare Now for sponsoring this post!

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Filed Under: Family TravelTravel Tips


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  1. Thanks Jeremy, I enjoyed reading your post, and absolutely loved reading the different types of accommodation for people on a budget- a great eye opener! I would however recommend booking serviced apartments in general, but I feel for Families and work assignments you need the extra space and privacy and this concept would be ideal.
    Self service / Serviced apartments can be cost effective solution, with more space and bedrooms than a hotel, they provide you with a fully equipped kitchen – therefore you don’t have to dine out each day for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Most apartments will include Washing machines- again allowing you to not spend excessive amounts on hotel dry cleaning and laundry charges. The daily rates for an apartment are based per apartment and not per person, therefore easily allowing the individual to budget accordingly….with twice the space and freedom of your own home. Security is another important factor, in a survey recently in was mentioned that female travellers felt more safe in an apartment than in a hotel, because the only people on the premises are either staff or other guests in house.
    Of course at the end of the day each and every one of us has different outlook and preferences as to where we would like to stay… so there is no wrong and right way… it’s about providing the client accordingly to their needs and requirements.

    • Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this! While some of these are definitely for the budget minded, not all of them are. For me, I prefer the apartment type accommodations with family. I like the privacy, the ability to spread out, and a chance to eat meals without having to go out. I know people like a variety of options and each family is different. I guess that is why there are so many options and people are coming up with more creative ones every day!

  2. I have done Condos, Hostels, and event Bed n Breakfast for family. I like some aspects of hostels (like able to talk to strangers, some hostels are nicely furnished), but the fact that some has curfew did not win my heart.
    I think I like the condo the best when there are several families traveling together at once.
    Bed and Breakfast is also great when able to find one with enough open rooms for everyone. You get to interact with the owners who has lots of information about the place, plus usually Bed n Breakfast are really cute.

    I have never heard of time share before, so it is rather interesting ^^

    • Annie, Bed and Breakfasts are also great places to stay! I should have included those as well and may update this to make sure I put those in there. I have stayed in those with my family and it really is a nice, quiet place to relax and get to know the owners as well. Thanks for reminding me of this because there are some beautiful ones out there!

  3. My family used to rent a condo for a week every summer in Myrtle Beach. We liked having the kitchen because it helps save on food costs, and you can eat healthier

  4. Amy says:

    Pretty comprehensive list, but you did forget to mention tents or an RV.

  5. Apartments, housesitting, and RVs are our favorites. :)

  6. Lately I’ve been using AirBnb, but I don’t think that would necessarily be a good option for an entire family. It seems to work best for one or two people.

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