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Daily Archives: Jul 29, 2011

Renting a vacation home with kids can be a welcome change from the hotel scene. Not only does it make your home away from home feel more like, well, home, it also provides amenities that might not be possible in a traditional hotel. When planning to reserve your next rental, consider looking for these kid-friendly amenities for kids of all ages.

  1. A pool
    Kids and pools are like peanut butter and jelly — they just go together. Look for a vacation rental with a well-maintained pool, preferably a heated one if you’ll be in a cooler climate or the temperature might not be as tropical as you want.
  2. A full kitchen
    While the kids might not appreciate the full-sized fridge and ample workspace, they will enjoy the resulting meals. Make a trip to the local market and stock the shelves to ensure that the kids (and the adults!) are well fed.
  3. Outdoor grill
    An outdoor grill can provide a quick way to cook up a meal without a big mess or heating up the whole house. What’s more, if it’s located on a patio or deck, the whole family can enjoy time together while the food is cooking.
  4. Pet friendliness
    For vacationers with pets, traveling isn’t the same without their furry friends. Book a pet-friendly vacation rental so all the members of the family can come along.
  5. Cable/satellite TV
    During vacation, a little rain may fall, leaving you with cooped-up kids with nothing to do. Cable or satellite TV can provide a distraction from foul weather, or help the little ones to settle down for quiet time or a nap.
  6. DVD player
    If cable or satellite TV aren’t available, or nothing good is on, pop in a DVD to entertain the family.
  7. High-speed Internet
    Kids of all ages will appreciate a good Internet connection, whether to check email or Tweet, play games, or instant message.
  8. Air conditioning/heating
    No matter what time of year you’re traveling, the weather might take a turn for the worse, leaving you grateful for central heating or air conditioning.
  9. Swing set/play equipment
    A swing set or play equipment on site or nearby can be a great way for young kids to stretch their legs and play. Look for age-appropriate play equipment for your little one.
  10. High chair or booster seat
    It can be difficult or nearly impossible to travel with a high chair or appropriate booster seat; instead, look for a rental that provides them so you don’t have to lug them along yourself.

Rentals provide more than just a place to stay – they can also provide amenities you didn’t know you needed. Look for some of these features the next time your family travels.

Teresa J. Shaw is a Michigan-based writer specializing in travel and family content. Read more of her work at www.teresajshaw.com and follow her on Twitter @TeresaShaw.