It doesn’t take a mathematician to know that vacations are more expensive when kids and other family members are added to the equation. More mouths to feed and more space for bodies to sleep (no matter how little) can add up quickly.
To save on both, seek out cheap hotel chains that offer pricing incentives for children. These are the best kids stay and eat free programs for families.
Written by Hilarey Wojtowicz
Holiday Inn Hotels & Resorts
Holiday Inn Hotels & Resorts
have set the standard on affordable vacations with children. With the Kids Stay and Eat Free program, kids age 19 and under stay free when sharing their parents' room, and breakfast is free for all guests. Up to four kids age 12 and under eat all meals free if the hotel has an onsite restaurant.
Many properties feature swimming pools, and all offer free Wi-Fi. Some Holiday Inns, such as the Holiday Inn Resort Aruba
, are even all-inclusive!
Choice Hotels are a great option for families -- whether you're on a budget or not. Children age 17 and under stay free when sharing the same room as their parents or guardians. Most hotels offer free breakfast and free Wi-Fi, as well, and many offer pools. Some also offer added perks and incentives. Guests of the Comfort Suites Paradise Island
, for example, enjoy access to many of the amenities at Atlantis Resort
Choice Hotels includes the following brands: Quality Inn, Econo Lodge, Comfort Inn and Suites
, Clarion Hotel, Mainstay Suites, Rodeway Inn, Sleep Inn, Cambria Hotel and Suites and Ascend Hotel Collection.
Aston Hotels & Resorts
Located throughout Hawaii -- with additional locations in Orlando and Lake Tahoe -- Aston Hotels & Resorts
offer family-friendly accommodations, with extra-special amenities for kids, such as in-room gaming consoles.
Better yet, the Aston Kids Stay, Play & Eat Free program allows children and teens age 17 and under to stay free when sharing the same rooms as their parents or guardians.
At the Hawaii hotels, such as Aston Waikiki Beach Hotel
, children age 12 and under eat and play for free offsite, too, with the Aston Aloha Book. The book provides free kids' admission and meals at top island attractions and restaurants when accompanied by a paying adult.
Kimpton Hotels are a favorite for families -- especially since children age 17 and under stay free when sharing a room with parents or guardians. The boutique hotel chain also features Kimpton Kids, with welcome amenities, child-size robes, in-room safety features, stroller rentals and even goldfish to borrow during your stay!
You'll find Kimpton Hotels
in most major U.S. cities. There's also the Kimpton Seafire Resort + Spa
on Grand Cayman.
Children under age 12 stay free at all BEST WESTERN Hotels
in North America, while some even allow kids under age 18 to stay free with a paying guardian. Add to that complimentary breakfast, free Wi-Fi and gorgeous swimming pools, and BEST WESTERN properties are a slam dunk for family vacations. We especially love the upscale Premier properties, such as the BEST WESTERN Premier Eden Resort & Suites
near Lancaster, Pennsylvania.
Children age 18 and under stay free at Marriott Hotels
, such as the Marriott Coronado Island Resort and Spa
, when using existing bedding. Kids eat free packages or promotions are regularly offered, as well, or onsite restaurants offer discounted rates for children.
Kids also stay free at some of Marriott's budget chains, such as Courtyard
and Residence Inn
. Many of Marriott's budget chains offer complimentary breakfast and free Wi-Fi, too, allowing for added savings.
Our team of parents and travel experts chooses each product and service we recommend. Anything you purchase through links on our site may earn us a commission.