The top ten things I look for in a holiday home when we go away with our three (all under 5) are:
1. Adult Space
The first thing I look for when I’m booking holiday homes with kids is space for me and hubby or any of the grown ups we are away with for when the kids have gone to bed. My three are still young enough that we get an evening when they have gone to bed around 7 and so I look for somewhere that has a lounge or a dining area that we can relax in after they have gone to sleep. I don’t want to be hiding in my bed with the light off every night, for me that’s ok for one night in a hotel but not for a week or a long weekend in a cottage.
2. Outside area
I always look for an area they can play in outside. This could be a playground area, some grass, or just a large outside field.
3. Books and toys
It is much easier if the holiday home has a selection of toys, books or dvds. For kids, like us I suppose, it is fun to do something different and playing with new toys makes a holiday fun. It also means you don’t have to pack an extra suitcase full of toys to keep them entertained.
4. Inside Space
If for any reason it rains all day (when would it do that in this country !?!), you need space in your holiday home to have fun with the kids. I’ll always remember my Mum questioning why they had paid to go and stay in a tiny chalet for two weeks in Devon when it rained every day. On rainy days, you do need inside space – or lots of the right clothes!
5. Close to activities
We love to get out and about, you might have guessed that from this blog, but I always try and book a holiday home near some things we want to see and do, whether that be a farm, a theme park or a beach.
6. On site playground/play area
This is my favourite thing near a holiday home. On site is preferable, back garden even better. It doesn’t have to be huge but it really makes the holiday for me if this is close by. One of the best places we ever stayed in had a small slide, a playhouse and a set of swings, the kids can then run about happily with a sense of freedom.
Ideally for me the holiday home will be no more than 2 hours away. We never stick to this rule, really I’m not sure we ever have. But I always start by looking for something close to home! I mean that makes it easier doesn’t it.
8. Eating area outside
I love to eat outside on holiday. It is one of the things that makes it feel to me like we are away. I like to stay sitting outside until I climb into bed later in the evening. So I look for somewhere that will make me happy outside. It doesn’t have to be hot for this to work for me. We sat outside all evening when we were glamping earlier this summer. There just has to be space for us to do that.
9. Swimming Pool
My three girls are obsessed with swimming. If we go abroad we always try to find a villa with a pool. In this country I try and find a house with access to a swimming pool, whether that be on the estate or just in the nearby town. Again it’s all about making the trip fun for the kids, so that it’s fun for us.
This isn’t a must have, but when I look at holiday homes I love to see that little bit extra. This might be access to a spa; it might be the opportunity to have someone come in and cook a meal, or it might be a babysitting service. This is something Olivers Travels do incredibly well in their holiday homes so do take a look.
NB: This post has been created in collaboration with Olivers Travels.
Karen Beddow founded Mini Travellers in 2014 while doing what she loves most...going on holiday!
Mini Travellers is for parents looking for holiday ideas, destination reviews, days out and things to do with the kids. We also have family travel tips, activity ideas and all other things family holiday related. Take a look at some of our latest reviews for holidays and day trips in the UK.