While everybody knows that families come in all shapes and sizes, it seems like this is sometimes forgotten by travel companies. With many options being created with the family of four in mind, extra family members can sometimes mean extra fun, but extra trouble! Never fear, there are plenty of ways to make sure your vacation with a family of five is the perfect trip you’d always hoped for. Here are our top tips and tricks to help you with your planning your family of 5 vacations!
One of the biggest hurdles to successfully planning a vacation for a family of five can be the accommodation. Many rooms have a maximum occupancy of four, which means families of five are often required to book two rooms to accommodate the family. Not only does this often double the cost, but it also means splitting up the family, which is certainly not ideal – especially with younger kids.
Luckily, as family vacations become a bigger and bigger portion of the tourism economy, more and more companies are providing for families with five. Today, many major booking sites allow you to specify the number of people in your booking, allowing you to quickly weed out those places that can’t accommodate five.
One particularly good option for larger families is booking an apartment. With the rise of sites such as Airbnb, this is easier than ever before. Many properties nowadays can comfortably accommodate five or more, especially if one of the kids (or the adults!) doesn’t mind camping on a pull-out sofa! This certainly helps for a vacation for a family of 5.
If you have your heart set on a particular hotel or resort yet they only advertise as accommodating four – don’t despair! It is worth sending an inquiry through to the property, as many are able to add in an extra bed or cot. While this is often at an additional cost, it is still much more affordable than having to book two separate rooms! And if you can afford, perhaps look into all inclusive vacations for your family of 5.
Most families of five (or more) would be familiar with the logistical difficulties of trying to fit everyone into a passenger vehicle. Unfortunately, this can certainly be a problem while on a vacation with a family of five, as many taxis and transport options will not fit everyone in one vehicle.
Of course, there are plenty of ways to get around this with just a little bit of pre-planning. If you are renting your own vehicle, most sedans will fit five – although someone’s going to have to draw the short straw and sit in the middle! Otherwise, you could upgrade to an SUV for a more comfortable journey.
Likewise, the key to arranging transport with a driver is to plan for it ahead of time. Most taxi companies will be able to accommodate a family of five as long as you book ahead; for example, they can send a larger passenger vehicle or even a minibus. Public transport should be no issue, just as long as you keep a bit of a hold on each other, especially in busy locations! We know a 5 person family vacations are not easy to plan.
3. Tours & Attractions
For the most part, tours and attractions are easily able to accommodate five or more guests – just make sure to let them know beforehand so there is no chance of missing out on tickets. This is especially important if you book a guide and driver where the price is per tour, not by person – while this can be really cost-effective for families of five, it’s important to let them know how many people are going so you don’t miss out.
One good thing about traveling as a bigger family is that it can even work to your advantage in negotiating a good price! Particularly in countries where haggling is the norm (such as in Asia), you can definitely negotiate the price per person down, the more people who you bring on your trip. You are likely to find that many tour operators are excited to hear about having five people on board – use this to your advantage to negotiate a good price for everybody. You could get the best vacation deals for your family of 5. Strength in numbers!
If you’re planning to take a vacation with a family of five, chances are you are already pretty good at keeping your family organized, and you’re bound to do just fine while traveling. While sometimes traveling as part of a bigger family can have its challenges, it also gives you the opportunity to enjoy each other’s company and make lifelong memories. And when in doubt and it’s affordable, perhaps consider a vacation package or an all-inclusive vacations package for a family of 5 – if it’s any cheaper.
The key to successful travel as a family of five is doing your research beforehand and notifying your accommodation/tours/transport ahead of time. Don’t just assume that people realize there’s five of you – many tour companies expect families of four and you don’t want to risk missing out on anything because the provider underestimated the size of your party! Call ahead to avoid any tears – and while you’re at it, try to use your sheer numbers of paying guests to try to negotiate a better deal for you and your family members. It can’t hurt to try! You certainly want an affordable vacation for your family of 5.