Finally a Kid-Friendly Alternative to Hotel-Hell

rock haven sculpture joshua tree aifbnb

Rock Haven Sculpture Joshua Tree airbnb

Traveling with your kids can be tough, let’s face it hours spent traipsing through airports, long car trips and grumpy kids can get a little overwhelming!  After a long journey we would arrive at our destination only to find that staying in hotels with children wasn’t much fun either. Confined in 1 room they would be bouncing off the walls and the alternative was just vegging in front of the TV. If we wanted any adult time we’d have to wait till the kiddo’s fell asleep, which was often late at night which not only meant we were sitting in the dark trying to get them to sleep for hours but in the morning they were exhausted and grumpy.

Often we’d resort to the divide and conquer method.  I love to read so my husband would take over while I snuck in some reading in the over lit bathroom and after a few chapters I’d come and take over so he could go wet his whistle with a nightcap down at the hotel bar. I would have much rather had a great evening with him together but with kids waking up it just wasn’t possible. It certainly wasn’t the ideal vacation.

If your kids are anything like mine, they have bigger eyes then stomachs.  The hotel would feature menu items full of sugary pancakes, cinnamon rolls and French toast which my kids automatically wanted and I would unwillingly allow.  High hotel prices and lots of leftovers led to hyper kids and a big ding in my wallet! Needless to say with the lack of nutritious foods my kids were naturally hungry an hour later.on the trail joshua tree

Returning from many failed vacation attempts I began looking for a more suitable way to take a trip with my family and actually enjoy it.  The answer I found has been Airbnb and  Vrbo which will allow your family to stay in someone else’s house,  with  a wide variety of options ranging from just a bedroom in someone’s home to an entire house to yourself.

Table Art Joshua Tree Airbnb

Table Art Joshua Tree Airbnb

For a quick overnight we love AirBnB which is more of a Bed and Breakfast and the owner is usually present it also includes a light breakfast which means no waiting to eat in the morning and works so much better for our children. Coffee, cereal, fruit & pastries are fairly standard; we have also had some amazing experiences where we’ve been treated to a slap up cooked breakfast too!

Vrbo (Vacation rental By Owner) is great for longer stays when we want to spread out as it typically offers an empty apartment, condo or house.

It’s like being in your own home but in a beautiful location! Here we could cook our own meals, saving us lots of money & often owners will also leave addition items for use such as books, board games, DVDs and even beach chairs or coolers that can be used during our stay.

Finally the kids can play and sleep on their own, while we enjoy the patio and a nice glass of something.  Now this is a vacation!

rock haven joshua tree

rock haven joshua tree airbnb

I always read reviews of any accommodation we are considering, interestingly not only do guests leave reviews of their vacation experience but also hosts can actually review guests as well.  A surprising notion but a great idea, finding out how my family and I faired was a cool and it’s helped us secure future accommodations!

*HINT – At times when I haven’t been able to find available accommodation listed for 4 people, I have searched instead for 3 person availability, and then emailed the owner explaining we have 2 kids who are happy to sleep on the floor etc and have found they are often happy to take the addition little one.

Have you used these sites?  Have you been happy?  Do you have any other sites to recommend?  I would love to hear your story, tell us about it!

50+UPF Sunny Sleevez


About sunnysleevez

I'm a freckly red head, originally from London now living in LA with 2 pale children. Frankly with our coloring we have no business being such an outdoorsy family and living in southern California. I grew up in a time when factor 8 sun milk was considered the best protection available to combat the hot rays of a holiday in southern Spain, that lead to 3rd degree burns and the rest of the vacation spent in the shade of our apartment. As a family we love to be outside, going to the beach, camping, swimming & hiking. We can't completely avoid the sun (nor should we) but taking sensible measures to avoid unnecessary UV damage is a priority. How do we do that? By staying in the shade in the middle of the day, wearing sun protective clothing (that's why I created Sunny Sleevez), a broad brimmed hat, UV rated sunglasses, using chemical-free broad spectrum sun screen on exposed areas & eating a healthy diet with as few chemicals as possible & lots of antioxidants.
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5 Responses to Finally a Kid-Friendly Alternative to Hotel-Hell

  1. Ron says:

    Sorry. Haven’t used them.

  2. betunada says:

    joshua tree, eh? i miss the daze when fam and i would/could drive slowly thru’ aridzona and that region.
    now, my kids are a bit older (and we now worry about grand-babies falling into stuff) — but i am doing something i did once before — RENT A HOUSE near a beach during our winter (all my family has just crawled out of the cave after the snow melts (Oregon, Colorawdough)) and we’re all together but can wander off separately. sounds similar to your experience ?

  3. swedenole13 says:

    A great idea! You can even do house swaps as well with other kid friendly folks. And, just about anywhere you want to go! Great informative blog, thanks for the follow!

  4. Lorraine says:

    I understand what you kean by travelling with children and choosing an accomodation which is suitable for all family members. I have used Air BnB but have now switched to Wimdu. Wimdu is now booming in West Europe. It offers more conveniences to the users. Through Wimdu I booked a loft in Barcelona, am apartment in Berlin and a studio in Paris. Thanks for the follow.

  5. So glad you followed my blog and I stumbled upon this post. We’ve used AirBNB before in San Francisco and loved our hosts and their apartment. We were close to buses, the train and a Whole Foods. Perfect for our family. I am attempting but haven’t gotten a reply so may try one of the other sites mentioned. Thanks!

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