When my wife and I travel with our three young kids, we like to have adventures. We love to be outdoors, hike, see the sights and experience as much about our destinations as possible. Fun destinations are new, exciting and inspiring. Yet, it’s nice to have the certain comforts of home when you’re playing tourist.
We just wrapped a trip down to Southern California and we were so thankful that for most of our trip, we stayed in Carlsbad’s Villagio Cottages. Don’t get me wrong – our kids love hotels, they love eating the all-you-can-eat breakfasts and they love hotel pools and bouncing on hotel beds. But, for our sanity and our tourist dollars, the cottage is the way to go – here are 5 reasons why.
One: Target Your Spending By Eating In
Being a family of five, we try to spend our vacation dollars wisely. Also, we don’t like to eat out constantly for 5-7 days. Having a cottage that features a full kitchen allows you to eat breakfast in, pack a lunch in a cooler and eat better food and save money as a result. That way, the family can, instead, spend dollars on doing fun stuff like hitting amusement parks or other adventure and not feel too guilty.
My wife and I, in staying at a cottage, can take the savings of not constantly eating out and stretch a 5-day trip into a 7-day trip when you spread the budget wisely.
Two: Everyone sleeps better
In a hotel room, we all cram into one room with multiple beds and maybe a roll-away. However, when we have a cottage that’s 2-rooms, our girls have their own room and our son can sleep on a hide-a-bed. That way, everyone sleeps better and everyone’s happier! Rested kids = happy hearts.
Three: Laundry facilities!
When we go away for 5-7 days, the amount of packing that is needed for children is daunting. But, at the rental cottage, there’s a washer and dryer – so if our 4-year-old son gets muddy and sandy, we can easily wash the garment and re-wear it. This is a small thing that makes a huge difference. Less packing=less time involved.
Four: Outdoor dining on a private patio
Our family is from Oregon. For us, when we’re in Carlsbad, California, we like to eat al fresco. And, the Villagio Cottages have their own patio set out in the back yards with private garden dining! Combine this with point number one about eating our own breakfast and we have daily meals that are refreshing, enjoyable and cost-effective!
Five: Live like a local
In the case of the Villagio Cottages in Carlsbad, they are 9 cottages that are private and unique, all connected by a common area. It’s fun to bump into other families, couples, and tourists that are coming and going. We met other families and swapped places to eat, grab a drink and told them about our hike we enjoyed at Torrey Pines State Park.
Also, being in the cottages gives us a sense of ‘living’ in Carlsbad because we’re in a neighborhood right next to downtown. I like this approach more than staying in some high-rise hotel building near a freeway or next to Legoland. Also, dining, ice cream stops and the legendary Carlsbad beach is only a 5 minute walk away. So fun.