We’ve rounded up our fave family travel sites for renting kid-friendly villas, houses and apartments all over the world – with special perks for Sassy Mamas!
Don’t get us wrong – no one loves a nice beach resort or posh city hotel like the Sassy Mamas – but when it comes to traveling with kids, things like pillow menus and turn-down service matter a whole lot less than having the space for separate bedrooms (so you can actually talk – not whisper – at night!), along with amenities like bottle warmers, cribs, or toys and books for older kids.
Of course, not all travel booking websites are created equal. A site might be full of pool villas, but if they don’t have a safety fence or any pool toys or floats, they’re probably not the kid-friendliest. Ditto if a luxurious chef’s kitchen doesn’t have a high chair!
With October school holidays coming up (and Christmas hot on its heels), we’ve taken out the guesswork to round up the best family travel booking websites. Some are global players (handy if you’re looking to rent a flat in London or a ski chalet in the USA), while others specialise in villas in nearby holiday havens like Bali and Thailand. None of them will bat an eye when you ask for a travel crib, a car seat or a mini toddler potty!
Swipe through to see our top picks – and keep an eye out for special perks for Sassy Mamas!
Lead image via Villa Finder
Offering over two million places to stay all around the world, HomeAway is part of VRBO, the vacation rental division of the global travel behemoth Expedia. That means cutting edge technology to create the absolute best travel experiences for customers, along with cool group planning features like Trip Boards and high-tech virtual tours (in fact, HomeAway’s Bali properties were the first market in Asia Pacific to offer virtual tours!). Another benefit of going with a large, trusted site like HomeAway is their Book with Confidence Guarantee™, which provides secure payments and 24/7 customer support. Pictured: Your potential future front yard in Sydney?
Just in time for anyone planning end-of-year holidays, HomeAway has just launched their special year-end campaign! And even better, they’re offering Sassy Mamas a complimentary airport transfer worth up to $100* in partnership with Klook! Spend $700 and you’ll get a $50 voucher; spend $1,000 and you’ll get a $100 voucher. Click here to make your booking!
*HomeAway will send an email to traveler with a unique Klook promo code. Promo is valid for the first 500 bookings. Transfer bookings should be made on the Klook website and are subject to availability. Booking must be made by 31 December 2019 and is valid for travel until 30 June 2020.
Headquartered right here in Singapore, Villa Finder covers 28 destinations around the world, but their top destinations fall nicely in line with family travel favourites from Singapore, including Bali, Phuket, Koh Samui, Japan, New Zealand and Sri Lanka. All villas are inspected and handpicked to ensure they are well-maintained, with a particular eye toward family-friendly amenities like pool fences, high chairs, baby cots, toddler potties, kids’ meals, car seats, strollers and more.
In addition to live chat and customer service associates in 11 countries around the globe, Villa Finder also offers a standout Concierge Service to make clients’ wishes come true. Want to arrange VIP fast-track immigration at the airport? Done! Need to plan a last-minute barbecue dinner? Sorted! Villa Finder is all about ensuring families can enjoy quality time together.
Australian-owned and operated (in fact the owners live on Bali, where they’ve raised three young boys), Bali Family Villas specialise in…just that: Bali villas that are fantastic for families! Each and every listing features complimentary baby equipment (car seats, toys, high chairs, etc.), and takes into account proximity to kid-friendly restaurants and attractions.
They’ll highlight key features that are particularly important to families (such as big gardens to run around in, or ensuring that kids’ rooms are in a safe and logical location, i.e. not right next to the pool). Even the local staff at each villa specialise in interacting with kids! The personalised service from Bali Family Villas makes you feel like you’re getting advice from good friends: they’ll tell you their fave kid-friendly restaurants, then make the reservations for you!
We’ve used Airbnb to rent city flats, houses, and even Tuscan villas with kids, all with fantastic results (they offer yurts, house boats, and treehouses, too!). There’s a lot of dreck on there, though; the key is to make sure you 1) read all reviews thoroughly and 2) select the proper filters under amenities (such as “cot” or “high chair”). In certain cities you can just tick “For Families” under “Trip Type” and you’ll automatically see places that have received 5-star reviews from other families. We’d also suggest selecting “Superhosts” for an added layer of reliability.
Image via Facebook
Known as “Airbnb for families,” Kid & Coe specialises in curated properties (everything from villas, to apartments, to partner hotels) that offer family-focused services. That means you’ll never have to scramble to arrange an ad hoc baby crib, or schlep your own toys – you can rest assured that they’ll be there waiting for you upon arrival (and you’ll feel like you’ve walked into a magazine spread!). We like that their different “collections” highlight suitable accommodations for younger kids, older kids, and other categories. On the downside, their nearby stock is rather limited (currently only 10 properties in Indonesia, and 9 in Thailand, for instance), but they’ve got hundreds of amazing properties concentrated in Europe and the US (with a decent amount in Australia, too).
Image via Facebook
Specialising in luxury villas around Asia-Pacific – including Thailand, Bali, Sri Lanka, and ski villas in New Zealand and Japan – The LuxeNomad allows you to search for features like “child-friendly” and “kids rooms.” Some of their villas come equipped with super cool bunk beds, playrooms with slides, and all other manner of fun amenities that’ll make your kids never want to leave!
With a focus on luxury and boutique hotels along with select villas, the travel experts at Mr & Mrs Smith hand-select properties with features like “toddler-friendly beaches” and “two bedrooms come standard.” They’re also ace at identifying great kids’ clubs, whether you want to watch a movie under the stars in the Maldives or find pint-sized surf lessons in Hawaii.
Launched 30 years ago to provide ski chalets in the Swiss Alps for families, Scott Dunn is a luxury tour operator that plans tailor-made, bespoke holidays all over the world (like, on every continent, including Antarctica!). They even have their own kids’ clubs and in-house nannies at some of their own properties! If you want to coordinate a European ski holiday or a family safari in Africa, and don’t have the time or the inclination to stress the details, Scott Dunn is a great option.
Image via Scott Dunn