difficulties finding accommodations for 5

Anyone out there ever travel with a family of 5? I am just starting to try to book accommodations for our trip and am struggling to find places that can accommodate us with out having to rent 2 or sometimes 3 rooms. I am in a panic because this now doubles or triples the expense. We are staying 2 nights most places so can only rent an apartment in London and Paris. Need help for Dingle, Dublin, Amsterdam, Venice and Salzburg. Any specific search engines anyone is aware of would be great. Most search engines do not even have 5 persons in the drop down but upon further delving at individual hotel websites, you can see that they do have a family type room. There has to be an easier, less time consuming way....HELP!! Thanks.

Posted by Lola
Seattle, WA
6175 posts

I don't have the specifics, but when I was researching Venice apartments I saw many that had only a 2-night minimum. You also might want tomre- think a travel plan that has so many 2-night stands. Most of the places you list are worth waymore time,mand you are spending a lot of time just in transit. Consider dropping the one that does not fir in a logical progression, maybe Amsterdam,,and adding time to others.

Posted by Liz
Malaga, Malaga, Spain
410 posts

I am not sure what you were expecting to find. Hotel rooms in most parts of the world will generally only accommodate 2, or maximum 3 people, one of those generally being a child. Apartments are the best option but you will come across the minimum night issue, especially as you are wanting to stay in some of the most expensive places in Europe. Sorry I have no specific recommendations re a particular search engine as other than apartment accommodation is not really designed for that number of people. Are you committed to those cities or could you reduce the number of cities, thereby staying longer in the others and opening up apartment accommodation options?

Posted by Monique
Pittsburgh, PA, USA
583 posts

Hi Susan, We were in Dublin last November with a group of 15. We used Dublin City Apartments. They have many properties in the Dublin, ranging from 1-3 bedrooms and all over the city center. We put 5 in a 3 separate 2-bedroom apartments (2 in each of the 2-bedrooms and 1 on the sofabed) for only 95 euro per night, less actually because we got a deal for our 2-week stay.
Anyway that's a great place to look for DublĂ­n. In general though, try renting an apartment using homeaway.com, homelidays.com, airbnb.com, wimdu.com, sabbaticalhomes.com, vrbo.com, etc... The list is endless! Or like l do, just do a Google search for any combination of your city of choice and "apartment" and you'll be led to many more options. But renting an apartment is definitely the way to go!

Posted by pat
victoria, Canada
8785 posts

Susan other then suggesting apartments I can't offer any help either. I will tell you that we were a family of five and having travelled to Europe quite a bit before we had our family my husband and I knew our group of five would be a hassle, bigger rental car, two hotel rooms, more airfare etc.. so we elected to take each child on their own trip. I took oldest son at 14 , then hubby took next child when he turned 14 , then I took daughter when she was 11( she was more mature, LOL ) .. see how I worked that out, I got two trips, lol Anyways, a family of five does have more difficulty and all at once expense but others here have done it so with some planning you can too. Suggest you make it easier by staying more then 2 nights in one place( some apartments will rent for three nights with an added fee, may still be cheaper then hotel) . Remember two nights is only one full day at a destination anyways. There is no easy way to book and plan a trip for five, but there is a way,, lots of homework, and hopefully some specific recommendations. I would post this question on many forums to get more answers. tripadvisor.com has seperate forums for each city, and try Fodars too. Good luck.

Posted by Norma
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
4574 posts

My suggestion would be to drop Ireland and Salzburg, thus lengthening the time in Venice & Amsterdam and increasing your chances of finding apartments. This would be "an easier, less time-consuming way".

Posted by Sylvia
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
331 posts

In Amsterdam you can get a "family room" in both the Stayokay Vondelpark Hostel and in the Stayokay Zeeburg Hostel. We stayed there with a family of 4 but there were beds enough for 6. The Zeeburg Hostel was Brand New , spacious and Very Clean. The Vondelpark Hostel was older and not as nice but in the Centre of Everything.

Posted by Lo
1401 posts

Booking.com wasn't mentioned yet. The "Search Hotels" box is in the upper left hand corner of the opening page. The "Guests" search defaults to 2 adults, but you can click on the down arrow to get to "More Options" to put the number of kids in your party. Then you have to fill in the ages of the kids. You have to put the dates of your stay to get any useful results. I tested it with Dublin, 2 adults, 3 kids ages 10, 12 and 14, arriving on 26 Feb and departing on 28 Feb (2 nights). The results show a variety of hotels and apartments with prices for 2 nights. I clicked on the "Review Score" for "Families with Older Children" to sort them. You will need to adjust all this for your needs, but the point is that I think you can more easily locate lodging for your group using Booking.com than any other way I have seen so far. You don't necessarily have to go through Booking.com to make reservations. You can always contact the lodging directly to see if they can give you a cheaper deal, although you might have to Google it separately if there is no link to it. Having said all that, I agree with the person who advised you to skip some of these locations due to the travel times. For example, according to Google directions, it's 343KM from Dublin to Dingle. No matter how you go there on the ground, it will take about 4 hours. Checking the distances using Google directions might help you decide which places to go or not go. You can also use the DBahn website to check train routes and how long it will take. For example, it takes 6 hours to get from Salzburg to Venice by train.

Posted by Lo
1401 posts

Sorry, Susan. I just discovered your "Venice or Amsterdam?" question which included the ages of your kids and your actual itinerary. You've obviously already covered the distance and time issues thoroughly. Good luck with the lodging search and have a great time!

Posted by Pam
SF Bay Area, CA, USA
77 posts

Susan, we also are a family of 5 so we are going the apartment route (with one stay in Normandy in a B&B which had a family room for 5) since my kids are 13, 11, and 10 and I prefer that we're together instead of splitting up. It also gives us more living space, a washer , and kitchen facilities. How old are your children and how long is your entire trip? As others mentioned, it would be easier to find apartments if you're able to have more nights in one city/town. Is that possible? I was able to find an apartment in Venice for 2 nights...input "Gran Canal Apartment" on vrbo.com or contact Fabio at info@rentveniceapartment.com. I think they have several apartments that sleep 5. I mainly used vrbo.com for the apartments we booked (Paris, Venice, Rome, Interlaken) and you can enter in the minimum # of people. That helped to narrow down the long list.

Posted by Randy
Minneapolis, MN, USA
1525 posts

Hi Susan, We travel as a family of five all the time. Our youngest is now 10. In addition to using many apartments for long stays, we often use an entire 5 or 6 bed room of a local youth hostel for short stays. The children like the vibe there and it's very welcoming and safe. It's certainly a lot cheaper than 2+ hotel rooms and has other benefits as well. We haven't been to Ireland yet, but in Amsterdam, we stayed here: http://www.bedandbreakfastamsterdam.net/ in their top level suite. It's pretty pricy with the extra beds, but it's the cheapest we could find and it was VERY nice. If you find something you like (sometimes called a "family room") for four people, you can always email and ask if you could squeeze a 5th person in for a small extra fee. Sometimes the answer will be no, sometimes yes. It never hurts to ask. We've found 3-4 single rooms that way in the past. It was listed for 4 and then we emailed and asked. But if you can't find anything through regular channels, my next place to look would be the nearest youth hostel. If there isn't one, or it doesn't look nice enough for your tastes, then try a hotel or B&B to your liking and bite the bullet for two rooms. That's really the best you can do for short stays. Good luck!!

Posted by Michael
Des Moines, IA
2193 posts

I'm going to recommend you take a look at airbnb.com for apartment rentals. Guaranteed...they will have many inexpensive options in every single one of your itinerary locales (even Dingle). Not only will they be inexpensive, you'll find some truly awesome gems. I've used it...it works...it's a great site. Check it out.

Posted by Brad
Gainesville, VA
7927 posts

Yes, I've traveled as a family of five. I find it's hard to use normal booking sites to book for a family. What works well for me, whether booking ahead or reserving as I'm on the road, is to call potential lodging directly and tell them what I need ("Two nights for five people, self, spouse and three children ages ... on these dates). The hotel will suggest accommodation they can provide. If it's acceptable, ask the price. If the price is good, book. Traveling this way, I've ended up in a variety of arrangements. Sometimes family rooms/suites, sometimes multiple rooms, sometimes apartments. I've often stayed in apartments, booked by contacting a hotel, for two or three nights (even though you normally can't book ahead for less than a week). Booking on the road in shoulder season, I generally end up paying less than the advertised price - because they're sitting on space that will go vacant (the downside is I may end up with something other than my first choice of lodging).

Posted by Patty
Steilacoom, WA, USA
577 posts

Have posted this questions in the Trip Advisor forums for the cities you're interested in?