Our family has done a lot of traveling through the years. Having three children has proved to be challenging at times while on vacation, especially when choosing a place to stay. The average hotel allows for 2 full or queen size beds. This means we have room for 4 people, but what about the 5th? We would often request a rollaway bed, but almost every hotel would tell us they couldn't allow a rollaway bed because it's a fire hazard if you have a room with 2 beds already.
So, what's a family of 5 to do? For our family, it meant bringing along an air mattress and convincing one of our children how it would be sooooooooo much fun to sleep on it. ;) Air mattresses are the worst though. They're loud and make noise every time you roll over and they really aren't very comfortable. Inevitably, half way through the night somehow the air escapes and you spend the rest of the night touching the hard floor.
Then one day it dawned on me. Why in the world are we spending so much money to cram our family of five into a tiny space? There are better options out there! If you are a family traveling with children, here are 5 reasons why you should choose a vacation rental.
#1 More space! This one is fairly obvious. If you rent through Airbnb or Vrbo, you're going to be renting an actual house with tons of room. Your children can have separate bedrooms which means mom and dad can stay up in the evenings and watch a show or hang out and talk without worrying about waking the kids up. When my kids were younger, we would all have to go to bed at 8:00 because we had no other choice. That isn't fun for the parents. With a vacation rental, everyone can have their own space and not be right on top of each other.
#2 Kitchen access. If you have children, you will know they are constantly hungry. Like all the time. They will finish eating lunch and 5 minutes later ask for a snack. With a vacation rental, you will have access to a full kitchen. This means you can cook dinners (and save money!), store snacks and drinks in the refrigerator, and have all the comforts of home right at your fingertips. This makes great sense for families.
#3 It's cheaper than you think. You might be surprised to find out just how economical a vacation rental can be. The average hotel ranges from $200-$300/night (luxury hotels can be double this amount). I did a quick search for San Diego Airbnb and found multiple listings for a family of 5 between $85-$180/night. Again, this is going to be for full house access. You can often get an even better rate if you're planning to stay for a few weeks or a month. A vacation rental can be a great economical choice for the traveling family.
#4 It's great for groups! A vacation rental is the perfect solution for groups traveling together. This past summer, my entire family met up in South Dakota. We rented a beautiful cabin for the week and we had more than enough space for everyone. It was quiet and peaceful and we didn't have to listen to hotel elevators and ice machines at 2am. The great thing is, if you split the cost of a vacation rental with multiple people then the price gets even cheaper for your family. This is also a great option for a weekend away with the girls or guys. The more the merrier (and cheaper).
#5 You'll experience the local culture. When staying in a vacation rental, you'll be able to experience the local culture first hand. You might have the opportunity to stay in a local neighborhood, get insider knowledge about the area, and see the neighborhood through the eyes of a local. You will feel more connected to where you are traveling to and will return home with more than the average cookie cutter hotel experience.
If you're staying locally in San Diego, don't forget Sitterwise offers vacation rental childcare services. Enjoy a night (or day) out and let one of our highly qualified caregivers take care of your little ones. Check out all of our 5 star reviews on Yelp and book today!