Families of 5 Traveling Abroad

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Old Nov 27, 18, 2:06 pm
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Families of 5 Traveling Abroad

We are a family of 5 (kids are essentially middle school aged). In recent years, we have done some traveling abroad (Paris/London, Shanghai/Japan) where we have, with careful planning, managed to stay at Marriott hotels together. This has been through lots of research regarding suitably-sized rooms, generally combined with pre-trip communications with the hotels to confirm that our smallish children will be okay with us in the room.

In planning for an upcoming northern Italy trip (stays focused in Florence and Venice), I have essentially given up trying to go the Marriott hotel room route, and instead think the service apartment/AirBNB route is the easier and cheaper one. With the kids getting older and larger, I was planning on having two rooms this trip, but as I tried various hotel options, the pricing and suboptimal hotel choices made me think hotels are no longer the right choice for when we travel as a family abroad (I can save our big points for US resorts or trips abroad for my wife and I!).

That being said, just wondering what other families (of 4 or 5 or more) do, if anyone cares to share. I am loyal to Marriott, but it doesn't seem to really work (esp. in Europe and some parts of Asia). Any magic tricks that others have? Any places where having a family of five was no problem? (And, I am open to hearing about travels anywhere, not just Italy....I can store that info for our next trip!)

Please note: I am not complaining about the issues with occupancy or the sizes of rooms. I understand how that works and why they are the way they are. Just trying to see how other families succeed in traveling with Marriott abroad.

Thanks in advance for any info you share!
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Old Nov 27, 18, 2:43 pm
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I think separate rooms for families are tricky. Many hotels only permit requests for connecting rooms and won't confirm in advance, plus the property (especially overseas) may have few such rooms. Depending on the family demographics, rooms that are far apart but with a parent in each could work but be inconvenient, while depending on the kids, you might not want them in a room together by themselves, or even in a connecting room if you're concerned that they could lock out the parents (by closing and locking the connecting door and using the deadbolt or chain device on the door, so that even having extra keycards wouldn't help if you were to need to enter their room quickly in an emergency. Can you trust them to never open the door to any strangers?

AFAIK Marriott has few if any RI type properties overseas, but there are some foreign chains (one that I know is French, and breakfast isn't normally included but is offered for a small additional amount, but I can't recall the name) that are similar. Some serviced apartment buildings seem to require longer stays, such as one month or more, but are staffed at the front desk and offer Concierge services, so this would be much more convenient that AirBnB arrangements with worries about meeting the person at the agreed check in time and potential maintenance and cleaning issues.
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Old Nov 27, 18, 2:51 pm
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Originally Posted by dcchi View Post

That being said, just wondering what other families (of 4 or 5 or more) do, if anyone cares to share. I am loyal to Marriott, but it doesn't seem to really work (esp. in Europe and some parts of Asia). Any magic tricks that others have? Any places where having a family of five was no problem?
SPG.com will search entire countries (I checked Italy and France) for parties of 2 adults and 3 children. It will display room types within minimum guest count of five - although that may include one or more roll-aways. Generally I think the availability of family accommodations is better than the online search for such rooms.
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Old Nov 27, 18, 3:58 pm
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We (family of 5 with 2 high school, 1 college) are doing IHG two rooms with 4th night free in Barcelona, Air BNB in Norway for $200 - $250 a night, IHG x 2 rooms in Dublin, and then air BNB elsewhere in Ireland next summer. When we went to Oz I used AA miles to book a condo in Cairns for a week. It was a lot of miles but Citi seems to like me (on my 14th personal and 6th biz platinum card in the last 4 years now) and it saved cash for the dive trips to the reef. AA has a surprisingly good selection of properties that would host families but they aren't cheap unless you are flush with AA miles

Quick search of AA shows a 4 star hotel in Milan at 22.5 k miles per night with a queen, twin, and a set of bunkbeds that has free breakfast.

Florence is 44.5k miles per night for lowest and Venice is 73k per night

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Old Nov 27, 18, 8:49 pm
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In Florence, Hotel Rivoli has a family room that can fit up to five.

https://www.hotelrivoli.it/en/room-a...d-friends-room

For Venice, we choose to get two rooms at Four Points Venice Mestre. It is not in Venice itself, but a short train ride away. We choose it because (1) it is way cheaper than anything in Venice proper, (2) it is a fairly new contemporary hotel with good air conditioning and clean (3) it is within 6 minutes walking distance to the Venizia Mestre Ospedale train station for the train ride to Venice. If you have MR points to burn, this is a Category 3.

https://www.marriott.com/hotels/trav...venice-mestre/
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Old Nov 28, 18, 12:52 am
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if hotel offers suites with higher occupancy i usually book a base room with points and email them to check on paid upgrade noting kids
with 3 kids airbnb or similar is probably a more practical solution but sometimes there are hotel options - we booked a giant suite at radisson resort near padova last summer (and it was close to train station 1 hr away from venice)
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Old Nov 28, 18, 5:51 pm
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Thanks all for the replies. Appreciate it.

EdofFX, I made then cancelled the Venice Mestre Four Points many times in the past couple of weeks! They actually have a family room that would fit us no problem, and even if we had two separate rooms, it would've been no problem as the price was really affordable. Plus, we are very much used to training it out of the city center in our other travels (e.g., in Paris, we stayed at a very nice Renaissance in La Defense that was perfect for our needs.). However, since we are only staying in Venice for a few nights (and for the first time), my thinking was that we should enjoy the later evenings and earlier mornings in the core area. For now, I have booked a 2-BR apartment that is associated with Pensione Guerrato hotel that is a couple of blocks from St Marks Square. I think that's a good plan, but we'll see!
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Old Nov 28, 18, 10:29 pm
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If the price difference is not an issue, staying right in Venice will definitely give you more time to enjoy Venice. My kids really enjoyed the day where we made no plan and just walk around mindlessly to where the roads and alleys led us.

One thing I noticed when I was in Venice made me glad that I stayed outside. As we were crossing one of the many little bridges, we saw quite a number of tourists struggled with getting their heavy luggage up and down the bridges and through the narrow alleys. That luggage situation never even occur to me when I was choosing locations to stay. I am sure there are better ways to handle that.
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Old Nov 30, 18, 1:51 pm
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Originally Posted by EdofFX View Post
One thing I noticed when I was in Venice made me glad that I stayed outside. As we were crossing one of the many little bridges, we saw quite a number of tourists struggled with getting their heavy luggage up and down the bridges and through the narrow alleys. That luggage situation never even occur to me when I was choosing locations to stay. I am sure there are better ways to handle that.
Yeah, I definitely noted this in various comments/reviews I've read in preparation for our trip. If I can't figure out an alternate plan, I'll be the middle-aged man struggling to haul three suitcases up then down Rialto Bridge to get between the hotel (where we need to check in) and the actual apartment! (It can't be any worse than hauling a loud, old-style luggage through the beautiful temple gardens -- on pebbles/rocks -- because the Kyoto rail station's lockers and luggage storage were all 100% full....my kids didn't need to keep close track of me because they could hear me and my luggage loud and clear---much to the annoyance of the many Japanese tourists around me and my embarrassment!).
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Old Nov 30, 18, 2:20 pm
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I’ve done this in both of those cities with a family of four. Stayed at the autograph in Venice, amazing hotel, two rooms on points...and the ac hotel in Florence, same, two rooms on points. Worked out great. Kids were 11 and 15 at the time....


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Old Nov 30, 18, 2:28 pm
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My family of 4 (kids 15 & 17) are going to Ireland next summer and for the first time are going the airbnb route. Found a great 2 bedroom apartment at a great location for half the price of a single hotel room.
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Old Nov 30, 18, 3:00 pm
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It's also worth calling around to properties. Just because something does not show in online inventory does not mean that it does not exist. Explain the specifics of your party and preferences and see what the property has to offer.
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Old Nov 30, 18, 3:06 pm
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Check this place out in Venice. Family of 6 stayed here in 2017. It's fantastic.
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Old Nov 30, 18, 3:50 pm
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Our experience in Venice, Austria, and Croatia

[QUOTE=dcchi;30473104]We are a family of 5 (kids are essentially middle school aged). In recent years, we have done some traveling abroad (Paris/London, Shanghai/Japan) where we have, with careful planning, managed to stay at Marriott hotels together. This has been through lots of research regarding suitably-sized rooms, generally combined with pre-trip communications with the hotels to confirm that our smallish children will be okay with us in the room...........
That being said, just wondering what other families (of 4 or 5 or more) do, if anyone cares to share. I am loyal to Marriott, but it doesn't seem to really work (esp. in Europe and some parts of Asia). Any magic tricks that others have? Any places where having a family of five was no problem? (And, I am open to hearing about travels anywhere, not just Italy....I can store that info for our next trip!)

We are a family of 5 with the youngest being 18. Like you I gave up on hotels including Marriott in Europe in general. Too many instances of 2 rooms to accomodate 5. We did stay near the Marco Polo airport in a room but had to "hide" the fact we had a 5th person in the room. In Venice, and Austria, and Croatia we found wonderful AirBNB accommodations for us with the ability to cook or bring take-out back and to have fun shopping for food. We love Marriott but Europe and families of 5 or greater are tough in hotels.
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Old Nov 30, 18, 5:16 pm
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[QUOTE=rcsgeorgia;30485327]
Originally Posted by dcchi View Post
We are a family of 5 (kids are essentially middle school aged). In recent years, we have done some traveling abroad (Paris/London, Shanghai/Japan) where we have, with careful planning, managed to stay at Marriott hotels together. This has been through lots of research regarding suitably-sized rooms, generally combined with pre-trip communications with the hotels to confirm that our smallish children will be okay with us in the room...........
That being said, just wondering what other families (of 4 or 5 or more) do, if anyone cares to share. I am loyal to Marriott, but it doesn't seem to really work (esp. in Europe and some parts of Asia). Any magic tricks that others have? Any places where having a family of five was no problem? (And, I am open to hearing about travels anywhere, not just Italy....I can store that info for our next trip!)

We are a family of 5 with the youngest being 18. Like you I gave up on hotels including Marriott in Europe in general. Too many instances of 2 rooms to accomodate 5. We did stay near the Marco Polo airport in a room but had to "hide" the fact we had a 5th person in the room. In Venice, and Austria, and Croatia we found wonderful AirBNB accommodations for us with the ability to cook or bring take-out back and to have fun shopping for food. We love Marriott but Europe and families of 5 or greater are tough in hotels.
If the youngest is 18, you have a party of five adults and the fact that they're your kids doesn't matter. Most hotels would object.
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