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Friday, May 3, 2013

Finally a Kid-Friendly Alternative to Hotel-Hell

rock haven sculpture joshua tree aifbnb
Rock Haven Sculpture Joshua Tree airbnb
Traveling with your kids can be tough, let’s face it hours spent traipsing through airports, long car trips and grumpy kids can get a little overwhelming!  After a long journey we would arrive at our destination only to find that staying in hotels with children wasn’t much fun either. Confined in 1 room they would be bouncing off the walls and the alternative was just vegging in front of the TV. If we wanted any adult time we’d have to wait till the kiddo’s fell asleep, which was often late at night which not only meant we were sitting in the dark trying to get them to sleep for hours but in the morning they were exhausted and grumpy.
Often we’d resort to the divide and conquer method.  I love to read so my husband would take over while I snuck in some reading in the over lit bathroom and after a few chapters I’d come and take over so he could go wet his whistle with a nightcap down at the hotel bar. I would have much rather had a great evening with him together but with kids waking up it just wasn’t possible. It certainly wasn’t the ideal vacation.
If your kids are anything like mine, they have bigger eyes then stomachs.  The hotel would feature menu items full of sugary pancakes, cinnamon rolls and French toast which my kids automatically wanted and I would unwillingly allow.  High hotel prices and lots of leftovers led to hyper kids and a big ding in my wallet! Needless to say with the lack of nutritious foods my kids were naturally hungry an hour later.on the trail joshua tree
Returning from many failed vacation attempts I began looking for a more suitable way to take a trip with my family and actually enjoy it.  The answer I found has been Airbnb and  Vrbo which will allow your family to stay in someone else’s house,  with  a wide variety of options ranging from just a bedroom in someone’s home to an entire house to yourself.
Table Art Joshua Tree Airbnb
Table Art Joshua Tree Airbnb
For a quick overnight we love AirBnB which is more of a Bed and Breakfast and the owner is usually present it also includes a light breakfast which means no waiting to eat in the morning and works so much better for our children. Coffee, cereal, fruit & pastries are fairly standard; we have also had some amazing experiences where we’ve been treated to a slap up cooked breakfast too!
Vrbo (Vacation rental By Owner) is great for longer stays when we want to spread out as it typically offers an empty apartment, condo or house.
It’s like being in your own home but in a beautiful location! Here we could cook our own meals, saving us lots of money & often owners will also leave addition items for use such as books, board games, DVDs and even beach chairs or coolers that can be used during our stay.
Finally the kids can play and sleep on their own, while we enjoy the patio and a nice glass of something.  Now this is a vacation!
rock haven joshua tree
rock haven joshua tree airbnb
I always read reviews of any accommodation we are considering, interestingly not only do guests leave reviews of their vacation experience but also hosts can actually review guests as well.  A surprising notion but a great idea, finding out how my family and I faired was a cool and it’s helped us secure future accommodations!
*HINT – At times when I haven’t been able to find available accommodation listed for 4 people, I have searched instead for 3 person availability, and then emailed the owner explaining we have 2 kids who are happy to sleep on the floor etc and have found they are often happy to take the addition little one.
Have you used these sites?  Have you been happy?  Do you have any other sites to recommend?  I would love to hear your story, tell us about it!

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