Whenever I used to travel, I was exclusively hotels. Everything all in one, my room, food and drink, plus amenities. However, when I had kids I learned that hotels weren't always "kid-friendly". We've got three kids, so as soon as you type in FIVE people staying in the room either your hotel options get cut by 85% or your rates go through the roof! This is when I discovered that staying with Air B&B is a better option for family vacations.
We have been really impressed with the places we have stayed in. More importantly, it has been so much more functional for family travel. When traveling with multiple young children, the idea of eating out for three meals a day is not appealing, and it's pretty darn costly. By renting our own vacation space with a kitchen, we are able to feed them breakfast and get organized for the day. It also allows us to keep enough food and snacks around (minimizing the number of times we need to hit a grocery store) or stopping at a fast food spot for a quick meal. There's also the added benefit of being able to nap your children and not have people running up and down the halls (at least not people you can't control). As someone who's motherhood thrives on routines, staying at an Air B&B allows us to maintain our same patterns with little disruption on our day to day lives.
Here are our tips for finding your family friendly Air B&B with kids:
1. Budget: Typically most air B&B's are pretty spot on with hotels but again you do have more space so it could be higher cost but in the long run I really do think it's worth it for everyone's sanity!
2. Review the Pictures: Some places REALLY invest in photography like Chattanooga's own The Inn at The Gray Dove. If the pictures don't look appealing, most times I've found that the space itself isn't appealing. Also, look for neighborhood pictures or images of the local community and things you might want to enjoy during your stay.
3. Pet-Friendly?: We travel with our dogs on longer trips so it's great that Air B&B has a tab to select not just family friendly spaces but also pet friendly spaces as well.
4. Read the Reviews: Even if it looks like the perfect space, read the reviews. This will tell you how other stayers have enjoyed or not enjoyed the space as well. They might have tips on places to go in their reviews or they could just have some information that maybe isn't listed and could sway whether you chose to rent the space or not.
5. Contact the Host: Always let them know kids will be with you, even if it's family friendly. They might have information you need, they might have certain parts of the property they want you to steer the kids clear of (sheds and such). But just giving them a heads up goes a long way to making your stay smooth sailing!
photography credit to Sarah Catherine Photography
And while these tips are great, I often child proof the space by moving anything super breakable or putting up TV remotes that kids are likely to misplace to break. I also walk the kids through the house and show them things I'd like them to not touch or be gentle with so they understand that this is NOT their space but we are enjoying it for a short period of time and we'd like others to be able to enjoy the space as much as we do after we leave! We never would have guessed we'd be spending our evening walking barefoot in the grass, swinging in trees or saying hello to a herd of horses but these were all unexpected but PERFECT things for our Air B&B stay and I'm so thankful we got to experience them at The Inn at The Gray Dove.
Buffalo Wild Wings
For the tablets alone, that let you eat in semi-peace this is a top restaurant for us to go to. There is something for everyone. My kids eat the boneless wings, mama can get a healthy wrap and husband gets his spicy garlic while watching sports. It’s one of our family go-to restaurants!
We’ve been going to Salsarita’s for several years, back when we lived in Virginia so when we were driving on Gunbarrel and saw it we became regulars again. The kids love the tacos and I love the queso! Bonus is that they give a cookie with your kid’s meal for dessert!
This is worth the trip to North GA (Chickamauga/Rock Spring). With stellar pizza, arcade games to keep the kids busy and an in-house brewery for the adults you just can’t match it! They even have cornhole outside with a few tables which is perfect for the spring and fall.
Can you tell we like Mexican? What I love about Chuy’s is not just the creamy jalapeno dip for chips but that no matter what kids meal I order it comes with a Push Pop afterwards for the kids, which they love! I also enjoy that the food comes out FAST, another necessary win for moms out with little ones. I personally recommend the chicken tacos!
GOOD DOG Restaurant
I don’t know about you but my kids love hot dogs and this place makes them GOOD! Perfect for a quick bite when we just need to get in and out of somewhere fast but everyone can leave happy and full!
Here are a couple places that kids eat FREE:
Saturday & Sunday’s – Steak n’ Shake, Taco Mamacita, Community Pie
Tuesday’s – Golden Corral (another family fav for quick and easy), Fazoli’s, Moe’s, Mellow Mushroom
Wednesday’s – Good Dog
Thursday’s – McAllister’s Deli
Friday’s – Mellow Mushroom
Did I miss any? Is there a restaurant you want to add? Remember to double check for consistency since menus and locations change from time to time.
I've been looking for a long time a way to bring a new platform to this amazing brand and my life. Over the months at our Chattanooga events, I have been asked if I do motivational speaking or a podcast, the answer was no, until now! I'm thrilled to be bringing Penny For Your Thoughts Podcast with me, Penny Chevalley to your iTunes, Google Play, Sticher & Soundcloud!
We will discuss a multitude of topics from motherhood to business and self-care. I'm so happy to connect with you all on this level and highlight everything Chattanooga and I have to offer you! Please take a moment to listen, review and subscribe to the podcast to stay up to date on everything. I will be uploading the podcast weekly here to Chattanooga Housewives blog but you can catch the first two episodes (one featuring the beautiful Bekah Cochran) below. If you are looking to be a guest, be featured as a sponsor or booking as a motivational speaker please email me here.
I am a Virginia Native, who has recently moved to the Chattanooga Area with my handsome husband and 3 gorgeous children. I am a movie lover, a motherhood advocate, an absolute introvert…but if you get the chance to know me well, I am an absolute nutcase. I am slightly OCD and love organization to the fullest extent. My planner is almost as important as my family.
I have been a self-taught Photographer and Makeup Artist for 5 years and I specialize in Lifestyle & Maternal Photography. The Blogging Industry is flooded with information, but through my site, I hope to inspire beauty, encourage easy routines, give tips and tricks that anyone can use them and share all the things I love.