When you think about the most important factors for the health and happiness of a family, vacation time might not be the first thing that comes to mind. But taking time away from the busyness of everyday life to spend quality time together, bond, and create new memories is critically important to building a happy family.
However, the bliss of a family respite in an idyllic setting can be ruined if you don’t find the right place to lay your head at night. National Lampoon’s Family Vacation might be a fun movie to watch, but it’s certainly not one you want to re-create on your trip! Here are five things to consider when booking your family vacation home.
Number of Bedrooms
The number of bedrooms is perhaps the most important feature to consider, as it will greatly impact price we well as your sanity. Do you have a sleep-trained infant who only goes down with a sound machine in complete darkness? She probably needs her own room then, unless you want to go to sleep at 6:30 p.m. with her. Or will your tween sons want to share a room so that they can play video games together until the wee hours?
Perhaps most importantly, is there a master bedroom with its own bathroom so that you can recharge in the evening? Hey, this is your vacation, too!
In short, limiting the number of bedrooms needed slash the price tag of your vacation home, but it might make the trip a lot less relaxing.
Furniture and Appliances
Vacation homes can be sparsely or extravagantly furnished. While décor may matter little to you, the right furniture can ensure a restful stay.
Let’s start with the youngest members of your family. Approach this as if you are shopping for the best and safest baby furniture. Ask about the crib, co-sleeper or pack-n-play set up in your potential vacation home so that you can check for ratings and recalls. If the crib isn’t up to your standards, ask for an upgrade or prepare to bring your own.
Other important furniture considerations, depending on the make-up of your family, include enough dining room or kitchen chairs for everyone to eat together and a living room space with seating for game nights.
When considering appliances, an in-house washer and dryer can come in handy when the touch-football game turns into tackle and everyone comes home with grass-stained clothes. It will save on packing space, as you can re-wear outfits instead of needing to pack a separate set of clothes for each day. Another time saving appliance is a dishwasher. Who wants to spend their vacation in front of the sink, elbow deep in dirty dishwater? Not you.
A rental home can be a target for burglars, as they know it’s full of temporary residents who are unfamiliar with the area and likely to be out all day. A good home security system will help you feel and be safe during your stay.
If traveling with a younger child, also research childproofing. At home, you may have every medicine cabinet locked and every power socket covered, but you’ll spend your time shadowing your toddler if you stay in a home without those safety features.
Area to play
Rainy days are a reality on most vacations. Or maybe someone is feeling under the weather or needs a calm day away from the crowds. Having enough room to spread out a puzzle or board game is critical. So is some nice outdoor space, like a bike path, walking trail or enough backyard to play freeze tag. Don’t get so focused on the flat screen TVs that you forget to evaluate the home for areas to play.
Activities and Amenities
“Location, location, location” is a common phrase in real estate, and it applies to picking your vacation home as well. Are you near amusement parks, beaches, museums, theatres, shopping and other activities that would fulfill your vacation dreams? A newly renovated home may look beautiful when browsing photos online, but is the 5 mile walk into the city center worth the complaints from tired kiddos? Make sure you are near public transportation, within walking distance or otherwise near by the attractions that are important to your kin.
Does your vacation home come with access to a pool? A fitness center? A private beach? Or maybe your landlord has arranged for discounted meals at a local restaurant? A less expensive house might seem like a better deal at first, but when you add in the out-of-pocket expense of a daily beach pass for your whole family, you may see that the amenities are worth the extra cost up front.
Surveys show that Americans leave over 400 million vacation days unused every year. That’s over 400 million days we could be spending with the ones we love!
Vacations are an important part of building memories and growing closer as a family. By researching the number of bedrooms, furnishings, safety features, areas to play and amenities, you can locate the perfect vacation home for you and your children. Finding the right vacation house can ensure a truly relaxing and reinvigorating time away from home.
Kacey Mya Bradley is a lifestyle blogger for “The Drifter Collective.” Throughout her life, she has found excitement in the world around her. Kacey graduated with a degree in Communications while working for a lifestyle magazine. She has been able to fully embrace herself with the knowledge of nature, the power of exploring other locations, cultures, and styles, while communicating these endeavors through her passion for writing and expression. Her love for the world around her is portrayed through her visually pleasing, culturally embracing and inspiring posts.
The Drifter Collective: An eclectic lifestyle blog that expresses various forms of style through the influence of culture and the world around us.