Selecting the right hotel for family is one of the most important decisions to make when planning a vacation. Book wrong and you could wind up overspending, staying in a sketchy part of town, or feeling overtired and just plain blah throughout your hard-earned vacancy. If you choose the best hotel for your family vacation, however, you’ll ensure a relaxing trip for all.

These 10 factors will help you narrow down options to find the ideal place to stay

  1. Location
    Similar to the old adage for restaurant success, picking the right location for your holiday can mean the difference between an enjoyable or miserable hotel stay. Do you want to be near the beach, or in the heart of the city? Or maybe you prefer the tranquility of the suburbs. Transportation is a factor, too. If you want to save money on renting a car, be sure to choose a hotel within walking distance of attractions or close to reliable public transportation. Call your hotel in advance to see if they offer a shuttle from the airport or to nearby sites, and whether a fee is charged for the service.
  2. On-site Dining Options
    After a long travel day it sure is nice to have an on-site restaurant or two at your hotel. An in-room fridge, coffee maker and microwave make snacks and quick bites easier, too. And what kid (or grown-up!) doesn’t get a little thrill out of ordering room service to be delivered straight to the room? Embassy Suites takes it up a notch by offering complimentary evening receptions with snacks and drinks for adults and kids alike (including beer, wine, cocktails and mocktails).
  3. Ambiance and Décor
    Fresh flowers, attractive art, and thoughtful interior design add to the vacation experience. Even if you’re on a tight budget, you want to sleep somewhere comfortable, clean and inviting. The signature inner atriums at Embassy Suites hotels encourage guests to kick up their feet and relax a while with their plants, fountains and sometimes even koi ponds.
  4. Childcare Options
    Want a little me-time or couple-time during your family vacation? Many hotels and resorts offer on-site kids clubs. Beware, however, that this extra perk usually comes with a hefty price tag in terms of a resort fee and/or hourly charge. Even if there is no on-site childcare facility, most hotels are happy to provide a list of local babysitting agencies. Or, you can check out online babysitter services.
  5. Included Breakfast
    Whenever searching for a hotel, be sure to factor freebies like included breakfast in the cost. Dining out each morning can add up quickly, both in time and money spent. Cooked-to-order morning meals at Embassy Suites make a convenient and tasty way to start any vacation day.
  6. Complimentary WiFi
    Paying for WiFi at a hotel is a pet peeve for many travelers. Thankfully hotels are catching on and providing Internet service at no extra charge. This makes staying connected while away easy and affordable.
  7. The Pool
    The clincher when choosing a hotel for many families is often the pool. Indoor? Outdoor? My family loves them all! Throw in a waterfall or splash area and we’re in heaven.
  8. Room for the Brood
    I always recommend springing for extra space when traveling with children. Booking a suite or connecting rooms gives parents privacy for a little vacation romance and ensures better sleep for all. Be sure your suite is a TRUE suite with two separate rooms, though, and not just a larger or fancier room.
  9. The Details
    Little extra details at hotels make vacationers feel more at home. This means welcome gifts for children, family-centric “Do Not Disturb” signs and tic-tac-toe or hangman napkins to encourage family playtime at evening receptions.
  10. The Price
    Price is one of the biggest factors when choosing the best hotel for your family vacation. No matter your budget, you need to weigh the pros and cons of every item on your dream hotel wish list and determine whether the extras are worth the extra cost. Sometimes you may want to splurge on that fancy, high-end resort. But if you want a lot of included amenities with at an affordable price.