We’ve Outgrown Hotels

twins, boys, birthday, cake

Celebrating the boys’ 3rd birthday in the Dominican Republic … tough to party with Lightening McQueen at the Ritz.

As a kid, we didn’t go on family vacations, and I was jealous of those who did. Come April break, I put lemon juice in my hair and baby oil on my body. Regardless of temperature, bodily harm and skin cancer, I would slip and slide out my bedroom window onto the roof and bask next to a reflective skylight. You’d be surprised how tan you can get in early spring if you know the tricks.

I want my kids to have a slightly more exotic and responsible vacation experience. They’ve all been flying since infancy and things were going pretty smoothly until the twins got too big to sleep in a drawer. Now, we need three adjoining hotel rooms. Even if this was affordable, it still just doesn’t work. We’ve graduated from the hotel with room service and all its wonderful amenities to renting houses. And, we are loving it!

Even for a smaller family staying in a house over a hotel has several advantages.
1 – It fosters togetherness, as no one is tripping over suitcases to get out of crowded rooms. The accommodations are less a pitstop and more a destination.
2 – Everyone can be on his or her own schedule. If one of the kids — or parents — wants to sleep in, the rest of us can be poolside, with no one having to babysit the sleeper.
3 – we can be as loud and crazy as we want without embarrassing ourselves in front of the other guests or staff.
4 – The food/bar bill is cheaper as we can fill the fridge and have breakfast, lunch and beverages at the house.
5 – My favorite benefit to a house … there is no Julie McCoy on a megaphone telling us where to sign up for the next activity. Our schedules are hectic enough. Vacation should be a time to play games, lounge, read or even, heaven forbid, just do nothing. Believe me, you think the kids will drive you crazy looking for something to do, but after a day of no agenda, they will be using their imagination and their creativity in ways you never thought possible.

A few tips for making the most out of a vacation house rental:
– Book through a service which employs a concierge. It helps to have someone to contact about where to buy groceries, where to dine, etc.
– If you can swing it financially, have someone come in to clean a few times through the week. Also available in many vacation homes, for less than you may think, is a private cook to come in and make a few meals.
– It is wonderful to find a house which has privileges at a nearby resort or beach club. This way, if you want to hit the spa, hit some balls or use the other amenities, like a gym or a kids’ club, you can.

Make sure to check out Erin’s post on some of the best websites to find and book a vacation rental.

Facebook Twitter Google Digg Reddit LinkedIn Pinterest StumbleUpon Email

Author: Karen Latimer

Karen is a Family Doctor, mom of five and founder of Tips From Town.


Sign up for our email newsletter