You know where you want to travel. Now it’s time to choose a hotel—and there are a lot of methods for doing that.
Putting a search engine like Google to work is one way to get started. You can also visit hotel booking sites like Booking.com or Hotels.com to search available options in your location and timeframe. Those kinds of sites, along with other booking and travel resources like TripAdvisor, offer all kinds of information, reviews, and photos to help you make your lodging decisions, along with ways to actually book any that you select.
Checking various sites helps you get a sense of the kind of room options and pricing levels available for hotels that meet your family’s needs. It also allows you to compare many different hotel options in an easy way, especially if you’re looking for specific amenities or family-friendly features.
You may also want to visit hotel websites directly to compare prices you’ve found on various booking sites. They typically offer exclusive packages or deals to customers who book directly through their sites.
No matter which reservation channel you’ve used, it’s always a good idea to call the hotel directly to confirm any special requests you’ve made, like a crib, connecting rooms or rollaway bed. You can also confirm your reservation at the same time.
Choosing a hotel and finding the best rate or room for your family often involves making use of a number of different resources. So when it comes to searching through all the reviews and potential deals, we’ve found that these are the best hotel booking sites for families.
Here is a quick list of the best hotel booking sites. Scroll down to read more in-depth summaries on why we think they are the best hotel booking sites for families.
- Family Vacation Critic
- Last Minute Travel
Available in 43 languages with more than 28 million accommodation listings, it’s not surprising that Booking.com ranks as one of the best hotel booking sites. This hotel booking site does include apartment, home, and hostel listings as well, so if you’re only looking for hotels, you’ll have to choose that filtering option. It’s also easy to search by location, price, and review score. Booking.com will price match in some instances if you find your identical reservation cheaper on another website.
Best Feature for Families: You can choose to have your search results be listed as top picks for families. (Other choices include by review, price, or star level.) Results feature a family rating, outline why families love a property (such as for its great location or amenities), show exactly how close the hotel is to nearby attractions, and spell out whether cribs, rollaway beds, and other amenities are available for traveling families.
This hotel booking site features both independent and major chain hotels and offers users more than 25 million reviews from actual hotel guests. You can compare prices on other dates around the time of your desired trip to see if making a shift would save significant money. Listings offer drilled-down details on important extras for travelers with young kids in tow, like whether rooms have blackout drapes/curtains and if there’s a bathtub in the bathroom or just a shower. Join the Hotels.com reward program to “unlock secret prices” and earn a reward night after 10 nights booked through the site. (Users do pay taxes and fees for their reward night.)
Best Feature for Families: You can filter searches by family-friendly properties, and reviews and ratings from other families who’ve stayed at the hotel are easy to access. Listings also spell out why the hotel is great for families, everything from whether it offers cribs to whether connecting rooms are available.
The ability to easily comparison shop is a big reason why Kayak is among the best hotel booking sites for families. For every query, Kayak searches hundreds of travel sites to turn up its results. Users can compare what’s available on Priceline, TripAdvisor, Hotels.com, Expedia, and other sites to get the best deal for their family. Listings detail the sights and attractions that are nearby and show the hotel’s location score for sightseeing, dining, and shopping.
Best Feature for Families: If one hotel catches your eye, the site lists similar hotels in your desired location, so you can easily see if one might work better for your family than another. There might be a property that’s part of a rewards program you’re active in or a hotel with a killer pool area that you didn’t know about.
4. Family Vacation Critic
We’re not just tooting our own horn. Family Vacation Critic is a great resource when searching for a hotel. Type in your destination and dates and the site will give you a list of available hotels in the area and links for booking, with any Family Vacation Critic Favorites (awarded to our favorite hotels that our editors have personally visited) right at the top of the list. Each hotel listing details family-friendly amenities and activities and explains why our editors love the property. You can also further filter your search results by amenities, age of children, and hotel class and ratings.
Best Feature for Families: Every piece of information on Family Vacation Critic is geared toward parents traveling with children. So you won’t have to sift through information about romantic escapes for couples or the best hotels for solo travelers. Instead you can easily find hotels with awesome pools, fun-filled kids’ programs, and rooms big enough for everyone in the family.
Membership has its privileges on Orbitz. Sign up for the free Orbitz Rewards loyalty program to immediately get access to special pricing and promotions. If you’re not a member, the site will highlight search results where a lower price is available for members. You’ll start earning points right away that can be redeemed at more than 385,000 hotels around the world. Stay more than four nights a year through this hotel booking site and get added perks like free breakfast or Wi-Fi. You can boost your point accumulation by using the Orbitz app or the Orbitz Rewards Visa Card.
Best Feature for Families: It’s easy to search availability for multiple rooms if you’re traveling with grandparents or other family members in your party. And if you’re part of the loyalty program, you earn rewards even when booking for other people.
Priceline offers many of the standard features for hotel searches, like the ability to search by amenities, price, and location. This hotel booking site provides info on the average retail price of hotel rooms in your destination on the dates you’re searching, so you can compare the results you’re getting. You can also select to have results show the total price including taxes and fees, so you don’t get that unexpected surprise of a much higher rate once you choose a hotel and everything is added in. The site touts a lowest-price guarantee: If users find a lower price within 24 hours of booking, Priceline will refund 100 percent of the difference.
Best Feature for Families: You can save a lot of money on your hotel stay—if you’re adventurous. The site’s “Pricebreaker” deals show you three possible hotels you could get for the listed low price, with the property revealed after you lock in the deal. Express Deals offer big savings too, but you have to commit to knowing only the general location and star level of the hotel. If you don’t mind taking a bit of a chance, you could score some significant savings.
If you’re searching for accommodations in a destination you’re visiting for the first time, TripAdvisor is the best site to use for booking a hotel. The platform features more than 800 million reviews of more than 8 million accommodations, restaurants, experiences, airlines, and cruises. For hotel searches, its calendar highlights the lowest-priced dates for each month and provides average daily hotel rates in your chosen destination for comparing the cost of the options you’re weighing. You can filter reviews by family travelers to get valuable insight and see photos from other parents who have already stayed at the hotels you’re considering. (Full disclosure: TripAdvisor is Family Vacation Critic’s parent company.)
Best Feature for Families: You can filter your search by amenities to find hotels with popular family-friendly features like a pool, kitchenette, or suites along with less common but much-loved kiddie perks like a lazy river or mini-golf course (if applicable for your destination).
Trivago is another hotel booking site that helps you compare prices across sites like Expedia, Orbitz, and Booking.com. There are lots of photos and reviews to access while making your decision, along with full details on hotel amenities and location. When choosing dates for your search, the calendar shows what nights are cheaper or more expensive so you can make the best picks for your budget.
Best Feature for Families: You can search by family-size rooms, so you won’t get results that offer just a single king-sized bed. Instead, you’ll find deals on suites and other rooms that actually have space and sleeping options for the whole family.
You already Google pretty much everything else. And you can also use Google for booking a hotel. You can search by location, dates, and number of people in your traveling party. Google will turn up all kinds of results that can be filtered in the usual ways, along with options like “guest favorites” and “luxury stays.”
Best Feature for Families: If you’re trying to stretch your travel funds, choose “budget options” when you get your results for a listing of affordable hotels in your destination. You can also see price trends for your chosen dates and other times of the year, so you can understand how the rates you’re turning up compare.
10. Last Minute Travel
If you’re a family that prides itself on having a spontaneous spirit, Last Minute Travel can turn up hotel deals from leading brands and other properties for those spur-of-the-moment getaways. You’ll get all the standard info on location and amenities when making your choice and can filter results by price, reviews, star rating, or hotel name. Join the Last Minute Travel Club for $50 a year for hotel savings of up to 65 percent and personalized offers.
Best Feature for Families: The hotel booking site also offers “Undercover” hotel deals that can provide families with big savings if they’re comfortable choosing just by location and star level. You do get a listing of amenities, so you can make sure any must-haves like a pool or fitness center are on the list.
Beth Luberecki is a Florida-based freelance writer who writes about travel, business, and lifestyle topics for a variety of publications and websites. She enjoys exploring destinations close to home and farther afield with her husband and teenage daughter. Visit her website at bethluberecki.com or find her on Instagram at @bethluberecki.