Once upon a time you could hop on a plane to Ibiza at the last minute and enjoy a spontaneous hedonistic holiday but that’s not really on the table now you have a couple of tots in tow. Even though you now have some kids to think about, that doesn’t mean your tastes have changed and you’d be happy with a cheap and cheerful break in a huge, faceless hotel. So, what’s the answer? Leave the kids at home with some handy babysitter and escape to a luxury bolthole or find a boutique hotel that actually works for all of your family’s needs?
The latter may sound impossible but it really isn’t. You can still stay in a boutique hotel with character and take your kids with you, you just need to choose carefully based on your particular family needs. The most important factor to consider is, unsurprisingly, the age of your kids. This will pretty much determine which option you select. A little online research will show you that there are properties around suitable for each age range, even babies. You just need to dig around a little to find the right place.
For example, if you’re planning to head off to somewhere in Portugal, then search specifically for ‘boutique hotels in Madeira suitable for families’. You will find there are a lot of independent options that you definitely wouldn’t find if you went through a travel agent. It’s about piecing together the perfect holiday for you.
Of course, the downside to any boutique hotel is it’s generally more expensive so booking early or going slightly off season can be a good idea. Searching for the cheapest flights possible is also a good plan. For example, if you’re booking far in enough in advance, it’s perfectly possible to find very reasonably priced flights to Madeira with little effort, and you can cut the costs of your holiday in this area instead of when selecting the hotel.
When searching for just the right hotel, be aware that many resorts use ‘family friendly’ as a catch all to entice people in, but actually they may not be suitable at all. You need somewhere that you can relax in and that is well reviewed by other families. This is where tripadvisor is absolutely invaluable. If you can’t find the right place through ratings and reviews then jump on the forum and ask people about their experiences directly.
If you will definitely want some time away from the kids while on holiday, make sure you check the childcare options. You need somewhere where you will feel safe leaving the little ones and that covers the age group you’re looking for. This is especially the case if you’re traveling with a very young child, so always check beforehand. It will also sometimes be necessary to book in advance so check that too.