Choosing Child-Friendly Accommodation

by Claire Minnaar

We are half way through the year and we have the 2 longest holidays of the year coming up and when it’s holiday time, many plan on a holiday adventure with their kids.

Now, let’s face it – going away with kids requires planning especially when they are young. You need to think about how much to pack, what to pack and if travelling by car, space is always a consideration, so one needs to be practical. But, something one also needs to think about is where you plan on staying and when taking advantage of the beautiful places around South Africa or abroad, there are some factors one needs to consider before paying a deposit and confirming a booking at a particular venue regardless of whether it’s a tented camp, a B&B, a Self-Catering place or a hotel. And, just as you have to be practical in your packing, you need to be practical with your choice of accommodation. So, to do just that, I’ve put together a list of the 6 TOP tips to consider when making your choice of accommodation for you and your family.


When choosing the place you are staying, take into account what you are close to and what you are NOT close to.

For example, some places do not have a shop, pharmacy, hospital, doctor, etc close by. One never thinks something is going to go wrong when going away, but life does happen and you may need something urgently like an antihistamine or need to see a doctor. If you know you are planning on staying in a remote place, make sure to have contact numbers and information of places close by in the event you need something quickly.

Before booking your choice of accommodation, check what activities are close by (if any) and how far you have to travel to get to the places you want to take the family – you don’t want to spend traveling for hours to get to your various outings and activities each day, so be practical when choosing your choice to stay in.


Make sure the places you are considering for your accommodation are, in fact, child-friendly and will meet your needs as a parent/family. A venue may accept children, but they may not have the facilities / amenities like a crib, a cot, high chair, etc available for use and you may have to bring your own items from home in certain instances or have to pay additional fees for use of such items. If your child has a formula bottle, you may not have a kettle at your disposal, so make sure to check out what amenities are available in your room/unit. If you have babies/young children, you may prefer them bathing than showering, so make sure to check whether a bathtub is in the bathroom or not.

Services, Facilities and Activities

As with the amenities/in-room items, take note of facilities available at the considered venues. Do they offer a babysitting service, children entertainment, jungle gym or kiddies area, games room, TV channels, kid excursions, etc? This is of importance if you are looking to spend some time at the venue and not be out and about away from the venue.

There may be other services or facilities you particularly want to be aware of e.g. security, parking (available, additional cost, offsite, onsite?), transport, etc.

Room Configuration

Regardless of whether you are staying with your teenagers or babies, you want to know room layout and where everyone will be sleeping. You also want to ensure you have adequate space for everyone to move and fit in comfortably. Make sure to get clear on the layout and whether

Make sure to get clear on the layout and whether space will be sufficient for your family’s needs.

Dining Options

Make sure to check what food options there are available from restaurants to grocery stores to take away outlets, so you can plan food accordingly and you can plan ahead. For the restaurants, whether it’s located outside of the venue or at the venue, make sure to get an idea of the menu on offer to ensure there are options for the whole family, after all, we know how picky some kids can be!

Also, keep an eye on for specials to save on costs. Many restaurants have a “kids eat free” or “half price” days, so make sure to check with the various restaurants on what days they have specials running for families.

Read Reviews

Read up about the venue before booking. With there being so many accommodation websites available these days, you can see what the venues look like thanks to gallery photos and, more importantly, what people have said about their experience. My experience of the “Mom Community” is we share our opinions and make our opinions known, particularly if we have had a bad experience, so make sure to do some online research to make sure you’re making a good (and safe) choice for your family’s accommodation.

If you have taken these 6 tips into account in planning your upcoming holiday, you’re off to a good start! So, on that note, travel safe and make plenty of memories on your upcoming holiday!

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