Living in the UAE we’re so lucky that we have a host of staycay options available on our doorstep. Before moving here, Dubai was always a favourite holiday destination of ours. We’ve had good and bad experiences… So the question is… to staycay or not and what to consider before booking… Keep reading!
Staycay with Kids
We’re a family of four (soon to be five) so space, facilities and practicality are all at the top of our list.
Top things to consider when going on a staycay with kids…
- Room options: Is there a balcony? Is there an adjoining room? If booking a family suite, how many beds, separate living area etc. There is NOTHING worse than putting the kids to bed and sitting in silence… in the dark! We like to book a suite if possible or at the least have a balcony where we can escape whilst the kids are asleep.
- Meal times: Check what time breakfast, lunch and dinner is served, what all day dining options are available. Area’s where kids are/are not allowed. We’ve stayed at placed before when dinner isn’t served till 7pm! As a family resort this baffles me! I always pack snacks etc anyway but they still need to eat staple meals.
- Take your own travel cot and bedding. If you have one and you’re packing up the car anyway why not?! You just don’t know what you’re going to get at a hotel, even the five star ones!
- Kids facilities; kids clubs, age restrictions, pools, sun shades areas, stroller access, child friendly eateries etc. These are all key. We recently stayed somewhere where online their pictures showed a sunshaded splash pad… But when we arrived the sunshade was not there?! In 40 degree heat!
- Do your research! I’ve recently been stung by this… although I did do research it turns out it was all fake! I looked online at pictures and reviews. In hindsight I should’ve asked on a forum. These are unfiltered and honest real people who will give feedback. There are lots of UAE staycay Facebook groups as well as mum/parent groups too.
- How far is it? Plan your journey, is it too far for the kids in the car etc? If it’s close by you can always pop in to take a look around before booking… the beauty of having it all on our door step.
What to do if it goes wrong?!
These things happen… here are some suggestions on what to do…
- Speak to management to resolve any issues. You might even get an upgrade or free night (If you want it that is)
- Social media blast… sometimes its the only way to get a organisations attention! Pictures and videos are key to show what you’re unhappy with!
- If all else fails, just leave! Tell them to email you regarding your bill and leave! We recently checked out of a staycay early. I just couldn’t bare to stay there, it was FILTHY, half of it was a building site (with no building work actually going on), exposed hazards, wobbly fixtures and fittings and the pictures online did not represent the facilities whatsoever! The list is endless! Such a shame. I sent an email after explaining out decision to leave. I think if it’s a bad hotel you’re probably not the first to complain so don’t be afraid to. Everyone works hard for their money and to enjoy a little holiday, it shouldn’t be wasted on bad experiences.
Staycay top tips
- If you’re close by home and have a nanny then you can bring her for the day/evening and even enjoy a child free lunch or dinner… ah just imagine!
- Residents rates and offers… These are so popular and actually more frequent than you might think. Often by calling the hotel directly you get a cheaper rate than online.
Strange but useful things to pack
- Electric air pump. Essential if you have kids and inflatables! Trust me
- Washing up liquid, brush and tea towel for your bottles bibs etc.
So basically, if it’s not nicer than our villa then I’m not leaving our home comforts! We’re so lucky to have great facilities on our door step that when we stay away it NEEDS to be AMAZING to justify the cost and hassle of taking the kids. Daycays are a happy compromise for hotel facilities and back to home comforts. Our last experience has seriously put me off compromising for anything but perfection. And outing organisations that put up false reviews and misleading pictures. It really shouldn’t be allowed. We have an amazing staycay booked for next week to make up for our last experience. We know this hotel and know its amazing so we’re super excited.
Hit me with your favourite UAE family staycays in the leave a reply box below. I need some honest recommendations please!
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