Family Vacations: Airbnb Versus Hotels?

October 26, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

How do you feel about staying in someone else’s home during family vacations? I don’t mean visiting family during your holiday break (which is no picnic, let me tell you). I mean renting someone else’s house for a night, a week, or even a few weeks?

If you’re traveling somewhere for a few days on one of your family vacations, would you rather rent a hotel room with a brand you can trust so you can get an experience you can expect? Or would you rather be adventurous, stay in a place that lets you experience the real part of a city, and have a lot more space than you would in a cramped hotel room?

I’ve had a chance to stay in both Airbnbs and hotels over the years, and I’m actually having a hard time deciding which I prefer. Not my wife though. She’s insistent: no staying in other people’s houses. She’s only done it once, and then only because it was way cheaper than a hotel room. Otherwise, she doesn’t like it.

She just doesn’t like the idea of sleeping in a stranger’s bed, using their sheets, occupying their space. I’m less worried about it. For one thing, they always put clean sheets on the bed. For another, they’re never around (I always get the “whole house” rentals, never an “own room”).

Airbnb is a great way to find an inexpensive place to stay during family vacations
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The 9-Step Hotel Safety Checklist Used by Some CIA Operatives

July 8, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

You know how, when you’re on a mission, and you reach your hotel, you check for surveillance equipment, and secure the door against counter-intelligence operatives?

Not so much? Me neither.

Holiday Inn Express Daytona Beach ShoresDrew Dwyer does. He’s a Marine veteran and former CIA operative who shared his hotel check-in safety checklist with Entrepreneur.com. He’s been on countless missions in other countries, and developed a habit of making sure his hotel room was as safe as he could make it.

Our vacations may not be as danger-filled and exciting as Dwyer’s, but there are still a few things we can do to be safe while staying in a hotel. Here are a few of the items from Dwyer’s list.
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Top Resorts/Hotel Brands for Families

March 18, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

As a family of five, hotel stays can be a little tricky. They’re cramped, crowded, and can make vacations pricey. So we’re always careful about where we stay when we hit the road. We’ll try to book ahead of time, but there are times we have to rely on Travelocity or remembering previous stays to find a hotel that meets our standards.

Holiday Inn Express Daytona Beach ShoresWhen we’re on the road, we have three criteria:

  1. The place has to be clean, or have a reputation for being clean. This is one time I favor chains over local options, because those chains have corporate standards to meet.
  2. We prefer a continental breakfast. It’s actually cheaper in the long run.
  3. We want a pet friendly hotel. It varies from hotel to hotel, depending on ownership, but you can find them with some research.

Last year, Parents Magazine picked their own choices for Top Family Friendly Hotels, naming as their top five budget hotels, the Residence Inn, Hyatt Place, Springhill Suites, Hilton Garden Inn, and Wingate by Wyndham.
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