Once you decide where you want to take a family vacation, it’s time to look for the best hotel where you’ll be staying. But with so many available options, the decision is not always easy. That’s where hotel booking sites come in. But again, there are several options to choose from, something that can easily overwhelm you.
To make your search easy, we looked at 12 of the best hotel booking sites for families in 2021.
Not booked your flights yet? We’ve created a guide to the best flight booking sites to help you book your next family trip.
With booking.com, you have access to not only hotels but hostels, apartments, vacation homes, bed and breakfast, and even vacation homes. In addition, the site offers over 2 million listings in over 43 languages, something that has seen it rank as one of the best hotel booking sites.
The site makes it easy for you to search for the best hotel through search filters such as location, price, and review score. They also have a Top Pick for Families tab that features why families love a particular property, family rating, and its proximity to attractions, among other family-friendly features.
Features that Make Booking.com the Best Booking Site for Families
- They offer the best prices compared to other online booking sites
- Outstanding customer service in case anything goes wrong
- Offer ‘Verified Reviews’ left by confirmed guests, making their reviews the most reliable. However, it’s possible to get fake reviews as well.
- Offer better maps than other sites, although they can sometimes be wrong
- Have different types of reservations, some of which you can cancel for free, others with a cancellation fee, and others charge the total amount with no ability to change or cancel.
- Has generous price guarantee
- Great filtering options such as family-oriented filters and accessibility filters,
- Has the option to book modern accommodations such as B&B and hostels
- Offers verified reviews
- You can view multiple accommodation types in one search
- Hotels reward program doesn’t earn you loyalty points
Hotels.com is the best site to use when looking for hotels and air packages without car or cruise rentals. The site is one of the longest-running listing sites and has over 300,000 listings in over 20,000 locations. It has a user-friendly interface and offers a robust mix of properties ranging from hotels, B&B, hostels, castles, condo-hotels, and vocational rentals.
What makes it a suitable booking site for families is setting apart individual hotel rooms based on the number of people it can accommodate. You can apply search filters based on customer ratings and reviews from families that have already stayed there. In addition, it offers an option to search hotels that offer free cancellation.
The best thing about booking using hotel.com is a reward program whereby you get one free night for every ten nights you stay in a hotel. That may seem like a minor reward, but the one free night is the average of the ten paid nights. You can redeem your bonus without any restriction and can choose from over 200,000 properties from all over the world.
Features that Make Hotels.com the Best Booking Site for Families
- You can filter properties based on the available family-friendly features, reviews, and ratings from other families.
- The listings give details of why the property is family-friendly. You, therefore, have a clue of the kind of hotel you’ll be staying in even before your vacation.
- Offers reward programs
- Offers members-only secret-pricing
- Offers competitive pricing
- Has a user-friendly interface
- You need to pay to get your reward points unless you use the mobile application.
- Include sold-out properties; although they’re greyed-out, they still appear on the list.
The company has been in the hotel aggregator business for many years and understands what boosts user experience providing numerous options. It offers multiple search features that make it easy for you to find the most suitable hotel for your family. For example, Expedia.com search filters include the distance from the airport, price, and common filters based on the city.
Once you choose a hotel, you can view all the available amenities, room options and conveniences, and other essential features around the area. You can further filter your options based on customer reviews, hotel ratings, check-in dates, and payments. In addition to booking a hotel, Expedia also allows you to book flights, car rental, and even cruises.
One of the best features that make Expedia stand among other booking sites is its reward program. The program is free to join and allows you to redeem your points when booking a hotel. However, the program is not rewarding for booking flights.
Features that Make Expedia the Best Booking Site for Families
- The site has a lot of family-friendly search features
- It allows you to plan your vacation by displaying all the available amenities in a particular hotel once you click on it. In addition, you get to learn everything about the hotel’s location.
- Has extended price guarantee
- Has a reward program
- Offers split rates
- Some of its bookings are non-refundable
Like any other hotel booking site, Hotwire requires you to enter your destination, dates, and details to get a list of available hotels. But that’s where the similarities end. Once you input your details, you have the option to choose standard rate hotels or hot rate hotels.
The standard rate hotels list regular hotels with their pricing, location, and traveler ratings. The hot rate hotels include the star rating, location, traveler ratings, and price per night. However, you won’t be able to view the hotel’s location until you book. The best thing about blind booking is that the site can keep your sense of adventure alive while at the same time allowing you to enjoy incredible discounts.
Features that Make Hotwire the Best Booking Site for Families
- You can enjoy last minute deals when you book through Hotwire
- If your family is the spontaneous type, you can use the Deals of the Day listing that allows you to choose a hotel at an undisclosed location until you book.
- Offers vacation packages
- Availability of hot rate hotels that range from B&Bs to villas
- Low price guarantee
- Some hotel chains offer discounted member rates, but you won’t see them on Hotwire.
Orbitz has an easy user interface, but this site’s most attractive feature is its loyalty program once you sign up. Once you sign up, you’ll start earning points that you can redeem at more than 385,000 hotels from all over the world.
Every booking through the site earns you one Orbuck, which is worth $1. However, you can only redeem your Orbuck in prepaid hotel rooms. If you book through the Orbuck mobile app, you get 5% Orbucks, while booking through a desktop earns you 3% Orbucks.
The site offers an elite status version that gives you complimentary breakfast and Wi-Fi after four stays in a hotel for one year. If you stay for 12 nights in one year, you rise to the Platinum status, offering free benefits such as TSA precheck. You can increase your chances of earning rewards by booking your hotel room and flight together.
Features that Make Orbitz the Best Booking Site for Families
- It has a search filter that allows you to choose multiple rooms depending on the number of people you’re bringing on your vacation.
- The site rewards you through its loyalty program when you book for other people.
- Orbitz offers excellent discounts; 4% when you use the app and 3% when you book through the site.
- Offers vacation packages
- Competitive loyalty programs
- You can only earn Orbucks on prepaid hotel rooms
Kayak has a sleek design that allows you to compare prices across several online travel agencies. This will enable you to see and book hotels with the cheapest rates and view nightly hotel rates across other booking sites. The site is also easy to navigate, whereby you get a list of rentals, hotels, resorts, and guesthouses through the search filters. In addition, you can narrow down your search by removing some unwanted features.
While searching, you need to specify the way you want the pricing to be listed, either nightly, total nightly rate, or total cost, including taxes. In addition, Kayak offers an option to find family-friendly properties through a search filter “Family” under the “Style” drop-down menu. Finally, when booking, be sure to check out for Kayak Hacker Stays, and you might get some huge savings.
On the upper left-hand side of the page, there’s a map of your destination. Once you click on it, you get more details about the location, such as hotels in the area, things to do, eateries, sightseeing, and shopping, among others. Each red dot on the map represents a hotel. To get more information about the hotel, just click on the dot, and you will get information regarding pricing and availability.
Features that Make Kayak the Best Booking Site for Families
- If you get one property that catches your eye on the site, Kayak lists similar hotels in the exact location, allowing you to choose the one that works best for your family.
- The OTA compares deals across various sites to offer you the most competitive for your family.
- Shows the maps of your destination
- The Kayak Hacker Stays
- If you show interest in one hotel, the site lists similar sites to help you choose the one that offers the best features for your family.
- The site does not always show the hotel price on the hotel’s website, although sometimes it might be cheaper.
With Travelocity, you can book various products, including flights, hotels, travel packages, cruises, and car hires. Booking your hotel and flight together is cheaper than booking them separately, hence saves you money. The site has a great design that allows you to choose using hotel rating and property type filters. They also offer a variety of properties, including B&Bs, hotels, vacation rentals, and apartments, among others.
One feature that makes Travelocity a particularly ideal booking site for families is the ability to specify the number of rooms you want when booking a vacation rental. You also have an option to determine that you need a family-friendly property whereby you can select the number of kids and their ages.
If you have an account, Travelocity offers lower rates of 10% or more. However, the discount is available on select hotels. You, therefore, need to be more flexible with your choice if you want to enjoy these discounts.
Features that Make Travelocity the Best Booking Site for Families
- Travelocity allows you to specify the number of rooms you need during your vacation.
- The site offers a wide range of family-friendly properties worldwide, allowing you to choose the one that matches your preferences.
- Offers lower member rates on certain hotels
- Lower price guarantee
- Easy to use
- Offers family friendly search filters
- Booking through the site won’t earn you loyalty points from the hotel’s reward programs.
- Their package rates are a bit higher than other OTAs
Agoda homepages feature a minimalist search bot that allows you to search your family travel requirements. The site doesn’t offer additional searches such as flights and car rentals, but it lets you search for hotels and resorts and non-traditional properties such as hostels and holiday homes. You can select your search by using available filter options, which include:
- Accommodation class
- Guest rating
- Hotel star rating
- Proximity to attractions
- Amenities available
- Deals and discounts
The site has a Secret Deal listing where you can view highly discounted hotels. Any hotel that offers a lot of booking and refund flexibility has a bulge mark. In addition, the site provides an Insider Deal, whereby you get to enjoy a 30% price drop when you create and sign in to your account. The site also offers an option to book a hotel that doesn’t require a credit card. Many rooms available on Agoda offer the flexibility to pay now or later, with a free cancelation policy.
Features that Make Agoda the Best Booking Site for Families
- Agoda provides instant confirmation on all bookings, allowing families to lock in great rates when they find one with 100% certainty.
- The site lists over 35,000 family-friendly properties, giving you a variety to choose from when going for a family vacation. The properties have over 300K reviews from families that have already stayed in those hotels.
- Every property listed on the site has its policy regarding children who can stay there for free. When booking, make sure you expand the Hotel Policies to view which age group can stay in the property for free.
- The site is easy to navigate.
- Allows you to specify family size and room preferences
- Insider and Secret Deals
- Ability to book modern accommodations such as hostels and private holiday homes
- When you use Agoda, you won’t earn loyalty points from the hotel’s reward program.
- Sometimes the insider deals don’t save you money
HotelTonight aims at offering you great deals on last-minute hotel stays. However, you can book hotels in advance in select cities. One of the best features of the HotelTonight app is that you can book hotels that show zero availability on the hotels’ website. On the downside, the site doesn’t have a lot of search filter options, and you have to scroll through. However, it’s a great option if you’re looking for a hotel room on super short notice.
Features that Make HotelTonight the Best Booking Site for Families
- The app lists a wide range of properties that offer 16% off average nightly rates, and sometimes the discount can go as low as 50% off depending on the time of the day. By allowing you to book at the last minute, you can get to enjoy these discounts.
- It has a geo-rate feature that tracks your location and allows you to view hotels within a designated area with rates 10 to 20 percent lower than what other users will view.
- HotelTonight offers excellent customer service, making it easy to get all the answers you may have when looking for a family-friendly property.
- The more you continue using the app, the more your chances of getting rewarded by the OTA. Every time you book, you unlock levels that give you access to exclusive discounts, which you can use to book your family vacations or for future reservations.
Offers availability to book rooms on short notice, a feature not offered by other OTAs
It doesn’t list all hotels, and hence your search is limited to the available few.
Trivago allows you to compare booking prices across over 300 travel sites, including Expedia, Orbitz, Booking.com, and Travelocity. In addition, it has over 5 million hotels and other types of accommodations in over 190 countries worldwide.
The site makes it easy for you by displaying a lot of photos and reviews of different hotels. Trivago further helps you get a comprehensive overview of the hotel by showing its overall rating and extensive customer reviews from other booking sites.
In addition, Trivago allows you to find cheap hotels by comparing prices from different websites. All you have to do is enter your destination and the travel dates, and the site’s search engine will carry an extensive price comparison on your behalf. It includes search filters such as facilities available, proximity to landmarks, price, and star category.
Features that Make Trivago the Best Booking Site for Families
- Provides a lot of flexibility by offering free cancellation, which you can use to browse and compare better deals on the site.
- The site provides multiple travel deals and discounts for baby and kids clothing, strollers, and accessories, allowing you to save up to 50% on your travel expenses.
- The site has filters to allow you to search pet-friendly properties, hence ensuring that you won’t leave your pet behind during a family vacation.
- Ability to compare prices across multiple booking sites
- Offers millions of properties across the globe
- Search filters make it to find the ideal hotel
- They have poor after-booking customer service
- No reward program
Last Minute Travel
If your family is the spontaneous type, then Last Minute Travel is your best travel booking site. It focuses on gathering most booking options up to the day of departure, making it the best choice if travel planning is not your cup of tea. The agency provides you with various options, but most are expensive since most airlines increase their fare as the travel date draws near.
The site displays a wide range of properties from leading brands, helping you choose the best deal for those spur-of-the-moment travels. The site allows you to make reservations for hotel rooms, rental cars, flights, and cruises up to the last booking day. In addition, you can book other activities such as sightseeing, restaurants, golf, outdoor activities, and theme parks. Despite the prices on Last Minute Travel being higher, it’s possible to get deal and promotion packages if you want by booking multiple reservations.
Features that Make Last Minute Travel the Best Booking Site for Families
- Last Minute Travel has a list of family-friendly properties that have kid-friendly features such as swimming pools, waterparks, sandcastles, and digging.
- Categorizes top family-friendly hotels separate from thousands of available deals to make the search easy.
- Gives a list of ideas for family holidays, further making it easy for you to choose the best destination for your family vacation.
Last Minute Travel Pros
- It offers plenty of choices for available last minute flights
- Availability of coupons for hotels and package deals that range from $20 to $50
- Frequent travelers get to enjoy a return on travel expenses through the site’s Triple Dip program. You earn a Triple Dip point for every dollar you spend on the website. You can then redeem the points to book hotels, pay for airfare, cruise and car rentals, and vacation packages.
Last Minute Travel Cons
- The site doesn’t offer frequent flyer miles for booking on the site
- You can only book hotels with the LMT android and iOs app
Priceline has an easy to navigate design and offers several search filters that allow you to narrow down your search by:
- Hotel star rating
- Available amenities
- Hotel brand
It offers many properties, including hotels, rental apartments, apart-hotels, private rentals, and holiday homes.
The most exciting features about the site are Pricebreaker; which flags cheap hotels, allows you to book, and only find out the hotel’s name after you make a reservation, and Express deals; which works if you want to book multiple rooms for your family but not when booking a single room for more than two people.
Through Express Deal, you get to enjoy a generous best price guarantee than a standard booking. For example, when you book a hotel room through Priceline, you’ll get a 100% refund of the price difference if you get a cheaper hotel within 24hours. However, if you book through Express Deal and get a more affordable hotel any time up to midnight before your travel date, you get a 200% refund of the price difference. But for you to get the rebate, the reservation must be identical in all details and the rates available to the general public.
Features that Make Priceline the Best Booking Sites for Families
- Priceline offers lower prices through Name Your Price Product that gives you up to 60% off on hotel rooms and Express Deals, where you can get up to 55% off regular hotel rates without bidding.
- If your family travel plans go awry and you need to reserve a hotel at the last minute, you can use the mobile app to book Tonight-deal only, whereby you can get highly discounted hotel deals that you can reserve on the same day. They also have a Deals Near Me feature that allows you to use your iPhone to view hotel deals near your current location.
- By using the mobile app, families get to enjoy up to 20% savings on their flight through the Air Express Deal,
- Priceline offers competitive car rental prices for larger vehicles to fit your family, including SUVs, mini-vans, and full-size vans.
- Availability of mix of hotels and other types of accommodation
- Easy navigation
- Pricebreaker deals that flag hotels with significantly lower prices
- Best price guarantee
- Express deals
- You don’t earn hotel loyalty points when you book through the site
Tips for Finding the Best Hotel Deals for Families
Even when using any of the above booking sites for families, you still need to know how to get the best hotel deals for your family vacation. With the competition high in the travel industry, many hotels add family-friendly features to their packages to make them competitive. The following tips will guide you on what to look for when booking a hotel for your family vacation.
Call the Hotel
Before you place your booking, make sure you call the specific hotel to confirm whether they can beat the price you’ve found online. Reaching the hotel increases your flexibility as you don’t have to deal with third parties if anything goes wrong, get lower costs, and you don’t have to pay in advance.
Confirm the Total Cost
Some hotels throw in costs such as Wi-Fi, breakfast, and use of a fitness center, something that may not appear when booking through an online travel agency. Ensure you’re on the safe side by confirming the exact amount you’re expected to pay before you book a hotel.
Check If the Hotel Offers Discounts for Kids
Many hotels offer free meals and stay to kids up to a certain age. First, however, you need to find out if there are other discounts offered to kids. For instance, some hotels allow parents to book an extra room for kids at half the price. Others sell tickets to nearby attraction sites at discounted prices, while others have coupons for nearby attraction centers.
Look for Pet-Friendly Hotels
If you have a pet, you need to book a hotel that accepts pets. While most hotels are pet-friendly, the rules and prices vary widely. So before you book a hotel, make sure you check the pet policies and the extra cost incurred for bringing a pet along.
Consider a Larger Property
Book a property where you’ll fit comfortably, such as a holiday home or an apartment. Most booking sites discussed above provide you with such listings depending on your destination. Make sure you compare the prices from various properties as well as available family-friendly features.
Travel Booking Sites FAQs
What Is an Online Travel Agency?
An online travel agency, OTA, is some sort of an intermediary between a traveler and a hotel. The sites offer search and booking abilities, whereby the OTA acts as your travel agent.
What Are the Best Hotel Booking Sites and with the Best Prices?
Honestly, there’s no easy answer to the question. Different sites have their benefits, as discussed above. In addition, several booking sites have various offers that you can use to get the best price guarantee when it comes to prices. It’s, therefore, vital that you compare prices and benefits across different booking sites before you decide which site to use.
Can I Win Loyalty Points If I Book Via a Third Party?
Most hotels don’t give loyalty points if you book through an online agency. However, you can use the agencies to compare hotel deals but book directly after choosing. In addition, booking sites have reward programs, which you might find better than hotel loyalty programs.
Settling for the best hotel for your family holiday is tough, but knowing where to look for seers you in the right direction. If you are more interested in smaller and independent hotels, you should consider OTAs with reward programs like Expedia and Orbitz. If you are more interested in finding the best deal other than remaining loyal to a particular brand, then you can try sites such as Kayak or Booking.com.
More about our TFVG Author
A seasoned traveller, Dad, and avid sports tourist, James foundered The Family Vacation Guide to share his expert vacation experiences- especially when it comes to being a travelling family man.
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