What should you consider before booking a vacation with children?

What details should you look at before finalizing your vacation plans with the kids?

THE HERBERT Samuel Opera Hotel – a full experience in the heart of the White City. (photo credit: ASSAF PINCHUK)
THE HERBERT Samuel Opera Hotel – a full experience in the heart of the White City.
(photo credit: ASSAF PINCHUK)

Some say that going away with the kids isn't a vacation. They might be right. Yes, you still need to care for the kids even if they can't fall asleep alone, eat alone or listen to you when you ask them to do something. But it's also possible to enjoy fulfilling your parental tasks in a lovely, pampering place with delicious food.

Choosing the hotel for your vacation has a lot of weight on any trip you decide to go on, so read reviews, look at photos, check proximity to nearby places on a map, etc. These are the additional elements to take into account which can make or break your trip.

A hazard-free room

You're going to be in it for a while so it's important that it's safe for your little ones. Safety features include easy access to the gallery floor that is meant for kids. The sliding door to the balcony must have a high lock that kids can't open, with a very high railing with the rails close together so that even a baby can't squeeze through. Also, no glass furniture with sharp corners like a coffee table.

Also, an attached private pool can be very indulgent but must be covered securely and be surrounded by a fence. Drownings can occur in just one moment of inattention.

  (credit: Gali Eitan) (credit: Gali Eitan)

Hotel accessibility

A hotel whose rooms are scattered on a mountain where you use golf carts to get around can sound like an ideal dream vacation destination, but not with small kids. 

You should choose a hotel with convenient and accessible roads, without being dependent on transportation or help from generous guests. Look on the hotel's site to check accessibility and consult with customer service.

Activities for children at the hotel or nearby

It's important to remember that what's fun for you isn't necessarily fun for your children. Maybe long car trips and watching a gorgeous view can be enough for you, but kids want more. 

What is more? Kids want attractions suitable for them such as an amusement park, a museum suitable for kids, a sea and a pool, or a hotel with a kids' club, water slides, etc. You know your kids best and what they'll like or dislike. 

Don't try to force a museum on them, no matter how cool it is, if it's not the type of activity they enjoy at the moment, or at all.

Babysitting services

It's worth checking out, even if you're not sure you'll use it. Many hotels offer day and evening babysitting services to allow parents to go out alone or simply sleep in

Check if the hotel you like provides such a service, and if so who the sitters available are. Do they speak English? Do they have training? How much does it cost?

Easy access to and from the hotel

Let's say you chose an excellent hotel, comfortable, fun and accessible to kids, but very far from the airport, requiring an additional flight and even a long car ride to get there - is it worth it? No. 

When traveling with kids, choose a hotel in a convenient location, one that doesn't take too much time to reach, especially abroad. Even the most comfortable children tend to lose it after too long "hanging out" at an airport, on a plane and then on the road.

If you are going to a hotel in Israel, adapt it to the character of your little ones. Those who fall asleep while traveling will make it easier for you to choose a hotel so choose one an hour away from your home, or a location with a shorter drive for the benefit of all involved. 

Before choosing a hotel, always read reviews, even if you think that it's kid-friendly, and get recommendations from other parents who were there with their kids. It may be that the experience, good or bad, of another family will influence your decision so your trip will be much more successful.

This article was written in partnership with the JAMA parenting app.