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5 Factors to Consider When Choosing a Hotel During Your Family Vacations

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Family vacations provide the perfect opportunity for families to bond, explore new places, and create memories that will last a lifetime. From the bustling streets of Nashville to the serene mountains of Gatlinburg, there are many exciting places to explore with your loved ones.

However, planning a family vacation can be a bit of a daunting task, especially when choosing the right hotel. After all, you want to ensure everyone is comfortable, safe, and happy during your stay. This article will discuss the factors you should consider when selecting a hotel for your family vacation. 

1. Location

When selecting a hotel for your family vacation, the location is one of the most crucial factors. You want to find a hotel that is safe, family-friendly, and conveniently located near all the activities and attractions you have planned.

Consider the purpose of your trip and what type of activities you'll be doing. If you're planning a beach vacation, look for hotels near the coastline. If you're planning a city adventure, choose hotels near the city's main attractions.

It's also worth considering the hotel's proximity to public transportation, especially if you're not planning on renting a car. Look for hotels near bus or subway stops to make getting around the city or town more accessible. For instance, if you're looking for a downtown Gatlinburg hotel, we highly recommend the Sidney James Mountain Lodge.

The hotel is conveniently located near a trolley stop, making it easy to explore other areas of Gatlinburg without worrying about parking or traffic. You can easily hop on the trolley and visit famous attractions like Ripley's Aquarium of the Smokies, the Gatlinburg Space Needle, or even Dollywood.

2. Room Size and Amenities 

When choosing a hotel for your family vacation, it's necessary to consider the size of the rooms and the amenities offered to ensure your family is comfortable and happy during your stay. Room size can vary greatly depending on your hotel selection and room type. Some hotels offer standard rooms that can comfortably accommodate two to four people. Others offer suites or connecting rooms perfect for larger families or groups. If you're unsure about room size, don't hesitate to call the hotel directly and ask for more information.

Amenities are also an essential consideration when choosing a hotel. The right amenities can take your vacation from “meh” to “OMG, this is the best vacation ever!” So, when choosing a hotel, make sure to look for amenities that cater to families. Does your family love to swim? Look for a hotel with a pool. Bonus points if it has a waterslide or lazy river – because who doesn't love a good lazy river ride? Is your family a bit competitive? Check out hotels with game rooms or sports courts. You can challenge your kids to a game of ping pong or shoot some hoops. And, of course, some essential amenities make life on the road a little easier, like complimentary breakfast, a fitness center, or a laundry room. So, be sure to research and choose a hotel with amenities your family will love and appreciate.

3. Safety and Security

Safety and security should always be top priorities when traveling with your family. One of every 12 hotels reports a nasty fire within their building each year. When choosing a hotel, consider the safety measures in place to ensure that your family feels secure and comfortable during your stay.

First and foremost, check the hotel's safety features, such as fire exits, smoke detectors, and sprinklers. Knowing that the hotel is equipped to handle emergencies and keep your family safe is vital. Additionally, consider the hotel's security measures, such as 24-hour surveillance cameras, security personnel, and room key card access. Knowing that your family is in a secure environment can give you peace of mind.

Researching the hotel's location and surrounding areas is also a good idea. Look for hotels in safe and well-lit areas, and avoid those in sketchy or unsafe neighborhoods. Check if the hotel has a security guard or if there is a police station nearby. Knowing that help is readily available in case of an emergency can give you added peace of mind.

4. Budget

Let's talk about everyone's favorite topic: money! Setting a budget for your family vacation is crucial, and that includes choosing an affordable hotel. Don't forget to factor in any additional fees, such as resort, parking, or internet that may not be included in the room rate. To save money, consider booking directly with the hotel or using a travel website offering discounted rates.

Another budget-friendly option is to choose a hotel that offers free perks such as breakfast, Wi-Fi, or even a shuttle service. These perks can add up to significant savings over the course of your stay. And don't be afraid to negotiate – some hotels are willing to offer discounts or upgrades if you ask.

But remember, don't sacrifice safety or comfort for a lower price. A cheap hotel may seem like a great deal. But it could cost you more in the long run if it lacks necessary safety features or the rooms are uncomfortable. So, make sure to find a balance between affordability and comfort when choosing a hotel for your family vacation.

5. Reviews

Reviews can be a valuable resource when choosing a hotel. Reading the experiences and opinions of other families who have stayed at the hotel can give you a good idea of what to expect. However, you must remember that not all reviews are created equal. Some reviewers may have different standards or priorities than you, and some reviews may be fake or biased.

Look for trends in the feedback to get the most out of reviews. Are multiple reviewers complaining about the same issue, such as noisy rooms or rude staff? Conversely, are many reviewers raving about a particular aspect of the hotel, such as the friendly service or delicious breakfast? These trends can give you a good sense of what the hotel excels at and what to watch out for. When reading reviews, also pay attention to the date of the review. A hotel's quality can change over time, so you should read recent reviews to get the most up-to-date information.


Choosing the perfect hotel can make or break your family vacation. By considering the location, room size and amenities, safety and security, budget, and reviews, you can make an informed decision to help you create memories that will last a lifetime. So, whether you're heading to the mountains of Gatlinburg or the beaches of Florida, take the time to research and find the perfect hotel for your family's needs. 

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