Aug 052009
 
Las Vegas Strip
Image by http2007 via Flickr

Census statistics indicate that family size has been decreasing steadily over that last several decades. Ironically, this phenomena is accompanied by a seemingly counter-intuitive trend towards making commodities more family or child friendly. For example, the Las Vegas Strip, formerly the center of vice and sin for North America, has been undergoing a steady transformation to being a more family friendly destination, while cruise lines such as Carnival specifically target the family demographic with certain cruises and special offers. Not surprisingly, this trend has permeated the service industry, leading to the development and introduction of family friendly hotels, which are intended to serve groups with small children more efficiently than a regular hotel.

Family Hotels are a great option when you’re travelling with children of any age, whether infants or teenagers. On a certain level, they can be considered a reactionary movement initiated to counter adults-only motels and hotels, which attempt to provide a more peaceful atmosphere for older members of the population. By patronizing a family friendly hotel, you are making a positive difference on two levels. First of all, you’re providing your family with accommodations that were designed or remodeled specifically for children, and second you’re taking the concerns of older guests into consideration by self-selecting into the most appropriate rooms.

The extra considerations provided by family hotels are both simple and more complex in nature. For example, one great reason to consider a family hotel is the availability of rooms with cribs and/or bassinets for infants, as well as additional beds or cots for older children. The more subtle changes can include electric socket protectors, safety cords on the windows, and even specially designed toilet seats. Some of the best family hotels provide entire rooms built around a single theme, such as a safari, a space trip, or a sea voyage. Family friendly hotels also offer more common amenities such as pools, vending machines, and a concierge.

Interestingly, family friendly hotels are a great way to facilitate dates and couples nights out. This is because family hotels often offer baby sitting services for the benefit of parents. Child watching programs are yet another benefit of family friendly hotels, which often eliminate more adult-oriented entertainment options such as bars in order to focus resources on more family friendly programs. Some family hotels even offer fully featured playgrounds and other facilities, allowing both children and parents to have a great time.

There are entire websites devoted to providing information about family friendly hotels, just like there are internet resources for pet friendly and adults-only facilities. These hotels are often attached to restaurants with menus designed specifically to suit the highly picky and selective eating habits of children. There are literally thousands of child and family friendly hotels throughout the United States, ensuring that regardless of where you’re planning to vacation there will be a family hotel nearby. Many family hotels are located near and even run by popular corporations such as Disney.

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