Travel with Family: Vacation Rentals

by Marla on March 7, 2013 · 31 comments

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Travel with Kids | Vacation Rentals |

After we had kids there were big changes in how we travel. No longer were teeny tiny hotel rooms considered an option when packing bags for four. They are OK for brief stints, but for longer vacations we need plenty of room to play, move, do cartwheels and cook.

Back in the honeymoon phase, all that mattered to me was 5 star status, a high thread count, in room coffee maker (this is still essential) and great views. Now that is all fine and dandy when I travel alone for business….but with the family other priorities prevail.

These days my top travel requirements are living in a condo or home  that has a well stocked kitchen (of course.)

The great thing about vacation rentals is that you can can find them all around the world in all kinds of sizes to suit the needs of your family. Browsing a website like will open up your travel options in ways you never thought possible.

Whether looking for beach houses, cabins, condos, cottages, homes or villas in all price ranges a website like this can easily hook you up. The selections are vast and fabulous!

Here are some of the main reasons I love vacation rentals with my family.

Enjoy Local Cuisine At Home!

Whenever we travel we love to experiment with the local flavors and cuisine. What better way to do this than to be able to shop the market, pick out your own groceries and cook as a family. Local supermarkets and farmers markets are great ways to understand how and what the locals eat.

No matter where I am I experiment with the local picks.

Travel with Kids | Vacation Rentals |

Kids can cook too…

Are the kids looking for something to do aprés beach or ski?

Great when you have your own kitchen they can make their own snacks and nibbles any time they want. Keep the fridge and pantry stocked with their favorite munchies so they can help themselves to feasts. Little kids love all kinds of kitchen experiments. Why not let them have at it while on vacation.

The finest memories are created when we share the gift of cooking food together. Step into the kitchen with them and listen as the giggles fly!

Easy to Make Like Home

What is the one thing you miss the most when you travel? For me it is my kitchen. I like to manage our costs and I prefer to feed myself and my family in the way that we are used to. With the timing that we are used to as well. Someone wants a midnight snack? No need to order room service when you have everything you need at your fingertips.

Picky Eaters

OK, soooooo your picky eaters don’t want to experiment with local flavors. Not a problem when you have a vacation rental with a kitchen. Go ahead and make that pasta with cheese and butter, PB& J or plain toast. No stress, no worries. Anything can be prepared at any time when you are the boss and don’t have to rely on expensive restaurant fare.

I will never forget how hard it was when our kids were babies and toddlers. Taking them to restaurants seemed pointless most the time. The kids were usually overtired and cranky after big days of vacation fun. Not to mention it was ridiculous to pay huge amounts of money for orange juice and scrambled eggs.

Ship it!

Heading out for an extended stay? Have boxes of non-perishable groceries shipped to you at your vacation address ahead of time. Make sure it is held for you or someone can receive it for you. You can also pack some items in your suitcase. Sometimes I bring an extra suitcase to pack our favorite foods.


It can be tricky and really expensive to dine out for every single meal. Not to mention very inconvenient. Having healthy foods at the ready is the most comforting thing to me. A big bowl of fruit on the counter, veggies in the fridge, snacks in the pantry. Dreamy.

Constant Access

Not sure about you but around here someone is ALWAYS hungry. We do loads of active travel so tummies rumble at all hours of the day and night. Your home away from home kitchen will have you well prepared even when they try to catch ya off guard.

Disclosure: This post is brought to you by our me + my pals at

{ 31 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Paula - bell'alimento March 7, 2013 at 5:10 am

We absolutely love the convenience of a home rental when we travel too : )


2 Jocelyne Kerrigan March 7, 2013 at 9:13 am

We did also for years now…therefore we have this beautiful villas in Crete…Thanks for checking our website. Jocelyne


3 Carrie @ Bakeaholic Mama March 7, 2013 at 5:30 am

Oh I will have to check out… I miss the days of hotel rooms. Finding a house rental is not always as easy! I have been searching for weeks for the perfect beach house on Cape Cod for our summer vacation.


4 Marla March 7, 2013 at 5:31 am

Sounds like a great idea Carrie ~ this is really soooooo much easier for travel with the family!


5 Cookin Canuck March 7, 2013 at 5:33 am

Great tips, Marla! I love having a kitchen available when we travel so that we can at least eat breakfast and lunch in the comfort of our home away from home.


6 Rosa March 7, 2013 at 5:42 am

Great tips!




7 Averie @ Averie Cooks March 7, 2013 at 5:51 am

A kitchen is a MUST when traveling for me for longer than a day or two. Or at least a mini fridge and microwave. But with kids, I cant even imagine being locked in a small hotel room, no kitchen, no options and having to eat out every meal…we’d go broke! Not to mention, it’s time consuming eating out and not exactly always healthy. Great post and tips, Marla!


8 Marla March 8, 2013 at 4:13 am

Thanks Averie! I know those condos and villas speak to us. You and I NEED to have access to kitchens all the time 😉


9 Heather March 7, 2013 at 6:14 am

What a great post! I am a blogger for vacation rental owners and always looking for new ways for them to upgrade and raise standards. I promote having a superbly equipped kitchen as a way of attracting families, and wonder if you have any tips for what they should be offering in the way of small appliances, equipment and utensils etc.


10 Marla March 8, 2013 at 4:05 am

Hi Heather! A great set of knives is helpful ~ blender, toaster, hand mixer, lots of dish towels (for some reason I go through tons when I cook) …. I will think of more. Also a microwave!


11 Brianna March 7, 2013 at 8:23 am

Great post! Grey and I are expecting our first baby this summer…and don’t know what to expect, (as far as how travel is going to be different) …just another something to prepare for. :) Thanks for posting this!


12 Marla March 8, 2013 at 4:04 am

Brianna, you guys will quickly find out that more room and a kitchen is the way to go with the little kiddos in tow! Congrats on your great news :)


13 Jennifer @ Mother Thyme March 7, 2013 at 7:13 pm

Great tips, Marla! Having 2 1/2 year old twins, things can get cramped when we travel and stay at a hotel. We much prefer a condo or a home as well. We just started planning our summer vacation so I can’t wait to check out


14 Marla March 8, 2013 at 4:02 am

Sounds like a great idea Jennifer ~ bet those twins need lots of room to run around :)


15 Kevin (Closet Cooking) March 8, 2013 at 6:20 am

Great tips! I am definitely going to have to check out Flipkey!


16 Sommer@ASpicyPerspective March 8, 2013 at 6:23 am

Great tips Marla. When traveling, things move a lot slower with kids, but are just as much fun!


17 HeatherChristo March 8, 2013 at 7:39 am

Nice tips Marla! I always love a kitchen when I travel- with kids you want to be able to have breakfast and snacks available and healthy when you need them.


18 Caroline @ chocolate & carrots March 8, 2013 at 11:10 am

Such great ideas! I keep wondering when we’ll end up taking our first family vacation (desperately need one) and this looks like just the solution!


19 Marla March 8, 2013 at 6:52 pm

Caroline, I’m sure you will make the perfect decision for your family travel!


20 Aimee @ Simple Bites March 8, 2013 at 12:26 pm

Marla, you know we love to travel with our kids! Finding the right accommodations just might be the biggest decision we have to make when planning a trip. Thanks for the suggestions!


21 Marla March 8, 2013 at 6:51 pm

I know how well traveled you guys are!! I am sure finding the perfect, most comfortable place is essential :)


22 vadim March 8, 2013 at 2:06 pm

It’s so true! Ever since I had my first experience at a vacation rental condo it changed my perspective on type of accommodations forever. Many travelers book a getaway for a party consistent of three generations! This is only possible by booking a home away from home:)


23 Marla March 8, 2013 at 6:50 pm

We do that in Grand Cayman every year!! 3 generations in rental condos ~ a total blast!


24 Marian (Sweetopia) March 8, 2013 at 3:08 pm

Accommodations do make a huge difference in the ‘success’ of a trip. Thanks for the great tips, Marla!


25 Marla March 8, 2013 at 6:49 pm

The accommodations can make it or break it huh!!


26 Nancy R. Salter March 10, 2013 at 10:24 pm

I love the idea of renting homes when travelling. This offers everything that you need and more! Thanks!


27 Kiran @ March 10, 2013 at 11:43 pm

I’m sure this post will come handy when we have our “bundle of joy!”.. For now, a tiny hotel suite with a small kitchen is doable. Can’t live without a kitchen!


28 Marla March 11, 2013 at 3:12 am

Hi Kiran! Lots changes when the littles come around….glad I could share this post with all of you!


29 traveotrips March 20, 2013 at 8:44 am

Nice post. I am checking flipkey to find rentals in Spain as I am planning it to visit in May.


30 James N. Hazley April 8, 2013 at 10:29 pm

What a lovely kids! I wish I can encourage my kids to cook too! Nive ideas! Thanks!


31 William K. Wicklund April 16, 2013 at 1:28 am

You got pretty kids who enjoys similar things like yours. I envy that. My kids are all grown up now and they are off to college. Seeing the pictures of your kids reminds me so much of my children. You have a lovely blog too. Thanks!


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