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What to Look For in a Family Friendly Hotel

family friendly
Posted by on January 24, 2017

Top Items That Make a Hotel Family Friendly

Searching for a family friendly hotel? Today I was in a discussion with other family travel bloggers about what amenities or designs we look for in a hotel. The conversation inspired me to list items that are important to me when I travel with my family. When you’re comparing hotels, look for these things for a more family friendly stay.

Black Out Curtains

Especially when your children are very young and sensitive to light. When traveling the kids might be going to bed later than usual, so you don’t want them waking at the crack of dawn!

PACKING TIP:  I usually bring a few clothespins or plastic clips to keep any light from seeping through. Clothes hangers with clips also work.

(Disclaimer: This post contains links to travel products for your convenience. When you make a purchase through these links, I may receive a small commission, which will go toward the operation of this website. Thank you for your support! –Beth Henry, Flight Attendant Mom)


Some kids can handle showers at a young age, but for many it’s just much easier to bathe than shower a young child.

Large Bathroom

It sounds silly, but I get excited when there is a large bathroom in our hotel room. The reason? I often have to hide away there in order to read or work on the computer without disturbing the kids.  If there’s a hint of light or activity in the room then they’ll never go to sleep!

family friendly

Funny how excited I get when the hotel has a bathroom large enough to sit in! I don’t have to hide in a corner trying to not wake the kids. LOL

Sink Outside of Bathroom

When you have several people sharing a room it’s so useful to be able to use the sink even when someone is showering or using the toilet.

Space for Travel Crib

I hate having to move hotel furniture around to create sleeping space for the kids! If you’re traveling with a child under 2, then bringing a travel crib can really help to give your child a better night (and nap) sleep. We love the Baby Bjorn Travel Crib. It sets up in just about 20 seconds and the mattress rests on the floor, with a liner but no bars under it. This makes it so much more comfortable compared to a Pack ‘n’ Play. My son John just turned 4 and he still wants to sleep in the Baby Bjorn Travel Crib! We still used it for him until he was 3.5, because he didn’t try to climb out. He couldn’t stretch out in it, but he loved to scrunch up against the side like it was a hammock.


When you have a refrigerator in your room you can stock a few snack items to keep your kids happy between meal opportunities. We usually stock milk, cheese sticks, and yogurt.


The reason I personally like having a microwave is to make coffee! Although it’s a nice amenity to have a coffee pot in the room, I never really trust the cleanliness of it. I like to travel with Starbucks VIA Instant Coffee so that I always have a consistent brew. With a microwave I can heat up water, add my coffee packet, and I’m happy! If you know in advance that there is a microwave in your hotel room then you can bring along a few packets of microwave popcorn, reheat restaurant leftovers, or heat up a frozen burrito or something if the kids are going to bed early and you don’t want to pay for room service.

Free Breakfast

It’s nice any time something is free, but when traveling with family, free breakfast in the hotel is especially useful. Your kids may wake up at varying hours, making it difficult to plan a specific time for breakfast. If free breakfast is provided it will save you money going out to a restaurant every morning, plus there is usually enough variety to make even the pickiest eaters happy. At our favorite hotel in Newport, R.I., The Jailhouse Inn, I can leave the kids sleeping in the room (while listening on the baby monitor I bring along) and set up a tray with breakfast for us all. That way if they actually sleep in late, I don’t miss the breakfast hours.

family friendly

Most hotel breakfasts offer enough variety to make everyone happy.

For Bonus Points (Hotels, Take Note)

These aren’t things I would actually ask about when booking a hotel, but they might be the thing that wins me as a loyal customer on future visits.

Power Strip with USB Outlets

Power outlets are such an important commodity! I wouldn’t actually search for this when looking for a hotel, but when a hotel has lots of accessible power outlets it sure makes me happy! When you’re unsure of the setup in your hotel room, you might want to think about packing a small, lightweight power strip so that you’re always prepared.

Step Stool

Karilyn Owen, Family Travel Blogger from No Back Home, shared this great idea:

“Oh yes another for traveling with kids is a small stool in the bathroom so they can reach the sink to brush their teeth! I love when I see this in a room. Rather than turning the trash upside down as a stool!”

She also shared that, “The only hotel we have ever stayed at that my son gave thumbs up to for child thought out amenities was the Legoland hotel.”

Without a stool, what other creative things have you used to help your child reach the sink in a hotel room?

Shower Head with Hose

If there is a shower head nozzle it is just so much easier to rinse your child’s hair. Pouring water from a cup only works for a few years before their hair gets too thick for it to rinse well.


What family friendly things do you look for when booking a hotel? Are the same things that I listed important to you? I love to hear from my readers. Comment below or on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

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