Starting to think about 2021 travel? Got kids coming along? Check out the recommendations below curated by family travel bloggers for the best vacation rentals for families. When choosing a place to stay, many places with say they market to kids but we wanted to seek out some special options that have been tested by myself and my fellow travel bloggers.
Highlands Farmstay Cottage (Twizel, Canterbury, New Zealand)
One of the best vacation rentals for families we have found in New Zealand is the Merino Cottage at Highlands Farm Stay in Twizel. It is perfectly set up for families and has the added bonus of a whole lot of animals to feed and a farm walk to explore right where you are staying. So many visitors to New Zealand are looking for that classic farm experience, but there is no need to pay for a commercial meet and greet with the animals when you have an authentic experience right here on your doorstep. Your host Angela will leave a couple of containers of food for each type of animal and you can hand feed the alpacas, sheep and chickens and any food scraps will please the resident pigs.
Unlike some farm stays, you have your own separate accommodation on your own area of the farm, away from the owners with your own privacy. The two bedroom modern cottage has room for 4 (and a portacot), has a living area with toys and games and a lovely modern kitchen including a gas oven. Kids will also love their new outdoor baths which are perfect for stargazing at night.
While you are visiting Twizel, there are some great Mt Cook Walks for exploring the large mountainous national park, you can feed the salmon at High Country Salmon and swim in the river at Lake Ruataniwha. The township also has two playgrounds and an outdoor pool for the summer. In winter, try out the two local ski fields at Roundhill in Tekapo or the nearby Ohau Skifields.
-Jennifer from Backyard Travel Family: Active Family Travel Specialists in New Zealand.
The Saturday House (Nags Head, North Carolina, United States)
Looking for a family friendly place to stay in the Outer Banks of North Carolina? The Saturday House is the perfect vacation rental where families can enjoy all that the Outer Banks have to offer any time of year. This three bedroom, two bathroom home comes with all the standard amenities you’d expect in a rental house. But this Airbnb has gone above and beyond. Also included are kid friendly items like boogie boards, surf boards, bicycles, toys, a high chair, and even a ping pong table. Families will also be super excited to find laundry facilities on site, a picnic table, rope swing, grill, garden, and fenced in yard.
During your stay you can walk to the beach, mini golf, the park and playground, restaurants, coffee, and even ice cream. Ready to explore a little more of the OBX? The area is most well-known for the beautiful beaches where you can try surfing, boogies boarding, kayaking, or simply play in the sand or collect seashells, Beyond the beach, you can visit any of the four nearby lighthouses, get your history fix at The Wright Brothers National Memorial, or check out the largest living sand dune system on the east coast at Jockey’s Ridge State Park. Finally, no trip to the Outer Banks would be complete without a tour to see the wild horses in Corolla. A vacation to the Outer Banks is one your family will remember for years to come!
-Julie from More than Main Street
Pie de Monte Cabin (Monteverde, Puntarenas, Costa Rica)
One of the best vacation rentals for families that we stayed in during our one year, round the world trip was Pie de Monte log cabin in Costa Rica. The cabin was ideally positioned in a quiet, rural location but was just a short taxi ride (or 2 mile walk) to the town of Santa Elena with excellent facilities and attractions such as an orchid garden and the ‘Children’s Eternal Rainforest.’ Plus, regular public buses run the short journey from Santa Elena to its more famous neighbor Monteverde and its incredible cloud forests. Tours are also available to nearby hanging bridges and adventure activities such as zip lining.
The log cabin was rustic but spacious and well equipped with everything needed for a comfortable, self-catering stay including the thoughtful addition of children’s tableware. The cabin has two large bedrooms with comfortable beds, and a large, cosy kitchen diner/living area complete with a log fire. Plus, it had all important wi-fi and a washing machine. But it was the garden of this Airbnb that stole our hearts. The cabin’s extensive, tree lined garden holds a variety of fruit trees including banana plants. Each day the garden was filled with tropical birds and butterflies; at night the garden was visited by coatis and skunks. The cabin’s wide veranda and outdoor seating enabled us to observe these animals at close range. Visiting Costa Rica with kids is like stepping into a living, breathing nature textbook and this cabin proved to be a wonderful base for our nature mad children.
Want to see some local waterfalls? AirBnB Experiences offer a tour of 10 local waterfalls suitable for ages 7+.
-Sinead from Map Made Memories
Lucky Bend Lookout (Guerneville, California, United States)
With kid-friendly amenities like bunk beds, swings, a fire pit for s’mores and plenty of water toys for the Russian River (the house has a private dock), Lucky Bend Lookout in Guerneville, California is the best vacation rentals for families. You can spend your days on the deck taking in the enormous redwood trees or head down to the river to use the house’s kayaks, canoe and stand-up paddle boards. Even though you feel remote, a large grocery store and plenty of restaurants are just a few minutes drive away.
Parents will also love the extras that are provided to help lighten their load en route: stroller, high chair, portable crib, kid-sized potty, baby monitor and water table are just a few of things provided by the owner for use. A local private chef can also prepare meals for the whole family upon request (additional fee).
-Kristina from Million Miler Mom
Sinai Sun Villa (Dahab, Egypt)
While most families that travel have probably heard of Hurghada, Sharm el Sheikh or Marsa Alam, Dahab is a bit more off the beaten track. The oldest area of Dahab, called Assalah, houses a lot of Bedouin families. They prepare their tea (with loads of sugar) in their garden on an open fire and their goats freely roam in the streets. While there are many hotels and resorts in Dahab, a lot of families prefer a vacation rental. Prices are generally quite low and for $300 a week you can rent a nice family house or apartment with air conditioning.
This spacious 2-bedroom holiday home is located a stone’s throw from Assalah Beach, where you can swim and snorkel. Various small supermarkets and other shops, as well as lively Assalah square are around the corner. The busy Lighthouse area is an easy 15-minute walk (or a 2-minute taxi ride) away. With two large air-conditioned bedrooms, a spacious open-plan living room, a nice garden and 100m2 roof terrace, Sinai Sun Villa is a great Airbnb for your family holiday.
Families will enjoy Dahab’s Lighthouse area with its shallow and sandy confined swimming area, as well as the numerous small open air restaurants along the boulevard. A day out exploring the nearby oasis and mountains with a Bedouin guide or a fun day relaxing and snorkeling at Wadi Ginay is also a favorite.
-Lisa from FlipFlopGlobetrotters (disclosure: Lisa and her family are the owners of the unit highlighted in this post).
Stunning Sea View in Deauville (Deauville, Normandie, France)
One of our best vacation rentals for families we ever stayed in was an oceanview studio in Deauville, France. The top floor unit was located in a building right on the marina jutting out into the ocean. The views were unobstructed and so close to the water — it was even further out in the ocean than the pier. We felt like we were in a lighthouse. We soaked up every color of the sunset, ate French pastries buttered in heaven, and read books to fill our hearts. The unit we stayed in had a lot of fun nooks to put kids in. It was really relaxing.
-Alene from Pennies to Paradise
Looking to kayak near Deauville? Check out AirBnB Experiences starting at $35 per person.