Editor's Note: This article is a contribution from one of our readers. She's also a family traveler and blogger. I (and I hope, you!) look forward to reading more of her stories! Please welcome Latresa from The Low Cost Traveller.
We live in the UK and the weather isn’t the best at times, to say the least. Our small family is growing and it’s really important to me that we travel as much as we can, to experience as much as a family at home and abroad.
There are a lot of factors that you need to think about when going abroad with small children. Like you reading this, and any other parent, one of the main points we think about is, where’s family friendly and is it best to stay in a hotel or apartment?
We’ve taken a few trips in the last year, a week-long stay in New York, a few days away in the beautiful city of Budapest in Eastern Europe, and we’re just back from the sunny island of Ibiza. Every trip was great for their own reasons, but some were better catered to families due to the accommodation that we chose.
Let’s first look at last year’s trip to the “Big Apple.”
Accommodation– Le Parker Meridien (Hotel)
I’ve always loved New York. I’ve travelled a few times to this iconic city and literally fallen in love with the place. Now that I’ve got more than myself to think about, I really wanted my family to experience this place too. We went in late November 2015. We knew the Christmas holidays were around the corner, so it was a great way to spend the latter part of the year together.
We stayed at the Le Parker Meridian New York which is situated 2 minutes from Central Park and close to many amenities such as Central Park Zoo and the Museum of Modern Art. The reason we chose this hotel out of the countless in the city was based upon 2 factors: Is it near to family attractions? Does it have Mother and Daughter based activities? The answer to these 2 questions was, of course, yes.
Our room was spacious and had a number of nice features including 46” TV, twin beds, ironing facilities, high speed internet and much more. The location was just fantastic - we had so much on our doorstep. We were able to gaze from our window into picturesque Central Park, venture into and get fat at the Myzel Chocolates store and, as previously mentioned, the visit the impressive MoMA. We also took in a show at the Carnegie Hall which wasn’t far away either.
There were also spa facilities onsite which suited my daughter and myself down to a tee. The family friendly restaurants within the luxury hotel were great too – a break which was ideal for both of us.
The next port of call was the cultural city of Budapest. To say I was excited about visiting here was an understatement.
Accommodation – Fraser Residence Budapest (Serviced Apartment)
I love visiting new cities. They have so much to offer and one place I’ve always wanted to visit is the city of Budapest in Hungary. I’m not sure what I love about it, whether it’s the architecture or history but it’s somewhere I’ve always wanted to visit. We went in April and it was the best time to go as the weather wasn’t too cold and it wasn’t too warm either.
Our first thought was to find suitable accommodation for us and our little one. We looked around for quite a while but we kept getting pulled back to Fraser Residence Budapest. The look, style, and location were the real pulling factors here.
We were under a 10-minute walk to the metro centre and weren’t far away from big amenities such as the Chain Bridge and the Széchenyi thermal baths which are a must visit when you’re in the city.
We chose the 2 bedroom suite which was adequate space for my child, my partner and myself. This place was a home from home, with its own living, dining, and separate kitchen area. Our balcony had great views of the city while the entertainment system kept our little one occupied while we were relaxing in the apartment.
The facilities during my stay were exactly what I was looking for. The gym was a great place where I could go running early in the morning while the breakfast facilities served anything you wanted and Fraser Residence also had a variety of foods available for my child too. This was a nice change from cooking inside the apartment, although I have to say I enjoy cooking my meals from scratch.
What added to the whole experience was that the breakfast buffet and children under 12 stayed for free – which I was never going to complain about (lol!).
Budapest and New York were lovely for the colder months of the year but as it reached July we realised we wanted some peace and quiet – while getting a tan and we thought Ibiza would be a great option for all of us.
Accommodation – Balansat Resort (Self Catering Apartment)
We wanted to go to Ibiza but wanted away from the noise of San Antonio and the other lively places. We wanted to relax, plain and simple. We came across the quiet area of Sant Marquel and the Balasant Apartments. The apartments were self-catering which were fine, we went all inclusive in the on-site restaurant so we could eat and drink as much to our hearts content while there were various child-friendly and family pools dotted around so we could hang out in the sun all day.
We could even leave our little one in the safe and capable hands of the kids club as we relaxed drinking cocktails.
The apartments themselves which were recently renovated were supremely modern, offering views of the pool, sea and mountainside.
A minutes’ walk from the beach with a choice of great water sports and close to restaurants which make it ideally located.
If you want to venture further afield it’s about 30 minutes and around 30 euros to reach the likes of San Antonio via taxi while buses stop right outside the resort too.
So let's wrap it up...
As previously mentioned all these destinations are great for various reasons. New York for its shopping and overall hustle and bustle vibe, Budapest for its history and eerie architecture and Ibiza for its sun, sea, and sangria (isn't this one of Blake Shelton's favorite drinks?)
The point in this post was to look at the types of accommodation and what is best suited when bringing a little one along.
What I’ve found is that an apartment over a hotel is the only option if you’ve got a small family. They usually work out a little cheaper, there’s usually more space and the homely atmosphere makes it easy for your child to get used to.
Facilities in Ibiza and Budapest were ideal too, like children under 12 going free, and the family friendly activities nearby.
Till next time, thank you ~L
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