Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Flat Lands

When the kids are little, it’s easy to have one of them sleep in the hotel double bed with you, or to ask for a crib or a rollaway.  But as they get bigger, you risk losing a good night’s sleep on your vacation if you let your tossing, turning, kicking, 9 year old sleep in your bed with you.  An option then, is to book a double room, with two double beds, and let the kids sleep in one together, with mom and dad in the other.  If you have more children, sometimes the hotel can squeeze a rollaway into a double room.

But what my family has now encountered, with a teenager and an almost-teenager, is that they DO NOT want to sleep with each other in the same bed.  That’s so gross, mom!  So begins the hunt for a hotel with a “Family Room” or a “Junior Suite,” with three or more beds, and these are few and far between when searching in the budget accommodations category, as I usually am.

The answer to this challenge, and in fact, I think, the answer to almost all family overnight lodging, is to stay in an apartment.  An apartment will have a kitchen (a benefit so valuable I’ll save listing the advantages for another post) and a living room couch, which can usually serve as a bed in a pinch.  And I have found vacation apartments in Europe to be equal to or less expensive than a hotel room with three or more beds.  Really!  (Check out www.vacationinparis.com, for example.  Their service is excellent, by the way.)

How do you find a vacation apartment in Europe?  Just like a hotel, you can google it.  Check out some of the bed and breakfast websites too, because often these lodgings are fully equipped with kitchens, couches and extra beds.  One of the most spacious apartments we’ve ever stayed in in Europe – with a private bedroom, full kitchen and eating area, and backyard with swing set – was in Delft, The Netherlands, booked through www.bedandbreakfast.nl.  (I personally recommend this site, as well.  Have had pleasant experiences with their apartments.)
Moderately priced hotels in Europe with great family rooms, per my experience:  Nadia Hotel in Amsterdam, Hotel Rubenshof in Antwerp, Park Inn Munich East in Munich, Crescent Hotel in London.

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