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How to pick the perfect family hotel

Based out of Dallas, Texas, Mary McCoy is a writer and social worker for disenfranchised women and children. She's a single mom, lover of Texas barbecue, and a die-hard fan of yoga

Stay in style

A hotel room is so much more than a place to crash at night. If you plan it right, you and your family can enjoy a hotel stay that enhances your vacation throughout the night and day.

Family in hotel bed

When it comes to traveling with family, it pays to plan ahead. According to CBS MoneyWatch, the best time to save money on booking a hotel is 14–21 days in advance of your trip. Although early booking won't allow you the chance to make a thrilling last-minute bid on a hotel room, you'll be thankful that you paid a little bit more for peace of mind and for value-added features that make the vacation rewarding for everyone.

Make priorities before you book

Before you plan your hotel stay, make sure you prioritize the experiences and amenities your family wants to enjoy during your vacation. So many hotels are competing for your business that it can be hard to decide where to book. Consider the following factors to help you narrow your search:

  • In which vicinity would you and your family most like to stay?
  • How much privacy do you and your spouse want?
  • Do you plan to participate only in activities as a family, or do you want a few date nights?
  • How important is it to you to outsource details of family travel (like snacks, supplies and toys for kids) to someone else?

Check for family amenities

Hotels across the country offer an array of family-friendly amenities that you'll want to look into before you book, including the following:

  • On-site toy, book and DVD lending to keep the kids occupied
  • Stroller and car seat rentals, so you don't have to haul numerous contraptions around town
  • Programming just for kids, like on-site kids' camps, hotel-wide story time and daily planned activities for children
  • In-room babysitting services
  • Food services that specifically meet the needs of kids, like the to-go breakfasts and special afternoon kids' drink-and-snack reception offered by Embassy Suites

Make a list of the services that are most important to your family — and book accordingly! Some of the services may come with a price, but sometimes it's worth spending a little more for a quality experience.

Give yourself a chance to get away

Let's face it: Vacationing with kids isn't for the faint of heart because there's no guarantee that the adults will have a chance to rest and recover during the trip. That said, make sure that your family hotel offers opportunities for you and your spouse to have adult time and space. Embassy Suites, for instance, has wonderful amenities that will let you enjoy real relaxation on your family vacation:

  • Fully private two-room suites allow for adult privacy and space for alone time.
  • Embassy Suites' complimentary evening reception allows you and your spouse to enjoy free drinks and light snacks during the lull of the afternoon.
  • Free cooked-to-order breakfasts provide adults with one less thing to think about on vacation.
  • Adult relaxation and quality family time start at rates as low as $114 per night.

Share with us

What makes or breaks a hotel stay for your family? Share with us in the comments section below!

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