What is your preference? After taking a few little trips here and there with our family, I’m thinking the Air B&B is the way to go. We have had positive experiences so far, and I love finding locations that are kid-friendly.
Pluses of an Air B&B or vacation rental are: multiple bedrooms, kitchen and common area, backyard with a fence, parks or attractions nearby. When we stayed in Flagstaff, my favorite part about the home was the fenced backyard with tall pine trees, a picnic table and quiet neighbors. In Idaho, the house was very large and not within our normal budget—traveling with other people and splitting the cost made the home affordable, and gave us the chance to spend as much or little time together as possible. We could walk downtown, and there were several hiking and jogging trails within half a mile of the house. Colorado has been my favorite so far. The basement apartment was quiet, and private, so when our son wouldn’t sleep, we weren’t worried about disrupting the homeowners. Also, they had a huge yard, and a sweet son who played with the kids and had several toys the kids could share.
Hotel positive points: I found it easier to stay at a hotel when we only had one child. She had plenty of room to play, breakfast was included at most places, there was a secured pool, workout room, and sometimes airport transportation. Our daughter is a good sleeper and was happy to have a big bed all to herself. Honestly? The biggest bonus of a hotel, for me, is the free breakfast. Bring it on, mom doesn’t have to cook! Also, the baby coffee maker in the room. It’s so cute, and convenient!
The downside of personal home rental: you never know what you’re walking into. Sure the photos were lovely, the host communicated openly, but there have been negative experiences from potential guests and hosts. Reviews speak volumes. I like being able to review the host, and have them review me. Although, it makes me think about the “Nosedive” episode of Black Mirror—not as grim though. Other than the slight worry of a shady situation, home rentals win hands down in my book.
Hotel shortcomings: Sound! When you have loud kiddos like mine, space is key. One time, before the kiddos were in our lives and our dogs were our kids... we took our dogs to a hotel, and we were next door to a group who partied all night and kept us up with their noise. We were there so I could run a half marathon and I was irritated at the lack of sleep, but dealt with it. In the morning, one of our dogs whined and barked, and we got charged an extra $100 for noise when the party group complained to management! Ever since, I’m paranoid if we're at a hotel and the decibel levels rise, especially with the kids. You never know what grump is lurking around. I don’t want to spend extra cash just because someone stayed up too late and was nursing a hangover and was bothered by a child or pet. Though I will take one of those fluffy waffles with some extra syrup.