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Family Travel and Hostelling with Kids
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Family Travel and Hostelling with Kids

Icelandic Farm House Nedra-Vatnshorn

Photo by HostelBookers

By Madeleine Wilson

Keeping a family fed, watered and entertained on holiday can be a daunting financial experience. But with hostels all over the world now offering private or family rooms, finding cheap accommodation has never been easier.

Aside from saving money on the price of a room, family hostels offer a range of facilities that help keep all your other holiday costs down. If you are worried about paying to eat at a restaurant three times a day, breakfast is often included at hostels. Something that hotels lack is self-catering facilities. These common kitchens mean you can throw together a packed lunch or a light supper and not worry about paying for three meals day.

Hostels are geared up for budget travellers so when you arrive, check out what activities are planned during your stay. You could join a free city tour, tuck in to a pizza or pasta night, or snuggle down in the lounge for a movie night - maybe with some free popcorn! If there is a tour or travel desk, hostel staff can advise you about discounted excursions and also suggest family-friendly restaurants and things to do in the area.

Sightseeing is tiring, especially for little legs! Book a hostel with a games room, TV lounge or computer games such as a Nintendo Wii or Playstation so kids and parents can enjoy some well deserved 'time-out' - remember, you are on holiday!

Whatever trip you have planned with your family you can find a hostel to suit your city break, beach holiday or if you fancy an adventure, there is a hostel for that too…

City Break
Major cities can often be pricey so budget accommodation is in great demand! The Edinburgh Central Hostel in Scotland is just 10 minutes from the main train station and bustling Princes Street. All rooms have secure key card entry and there are self-catering facilities, a bistro and a laundry on site. Guests can also book Highland tours at the hostel's own travel desk or you can ask about special events during the Edinburgh Festival.

Beach Holiday
Spending time on the beach is a great way to restrict spending. A few buckets and spades, beach balls and picnics and your daily spend is nicely reduced compared to visiting museums and pricy restaurants in cities. In Croatia, the Begovid Boarding House is located just 5 minutes from some of Dubrovnik's loveliest city beaches. They provide dedicated family rooms including breakfast and it boasts spectacular views from the pretty terrace. They offer a free city tour and tennis courts are available to guests nearby.

Adventure Trips
For a holiday to remember, make your child's dreams come true by opting to stay in a quirky hostel such as a treehouse, a boat or even a jumbo jet - they all exist! Try the Icelandic Farm House Nedra-Vatnshorn. It's a working farm with over 400 sheep, 40 horses a collie dog and a cat. There are plenty of opportunities for the kids to muck in with the morning feed while parents relax in the Jacuzzi. Local activities include horse-riding, collecting shells from the beach, spotting seals basking on the rocks, hikes to waterfalls or exploring a nearby fortress. You'll receive a hearty farmhouse breakfast of homemade breads and additional home-cooked meals can be arranged on request.

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Travel Trivia
Magellanic penguins breed in: