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  • tmischler 5 posts

    We are a family of 6 and we often find that the world is designed for families of 4, maybe 5 (hotel rooms, etc). I thought it might be interesting to post a thread where people could offer tips / advice or ask questions on this topic. As a starting question:

    Airport Lounge Access

    We have various cards / bank accounts that give us lounge access through priority pass, DragonPass etc. some of them offer free access, some discounted entry but the problem is we can only use one offer per person.

    The best value seems to be using our Amex Platinum cards which gets 4 of us in for free but we always have to pay full price for two of the children.

    Does anyone have any tricks / clever ways around this

    NigelHamilton 134 posts

    So we are a family of 5 and therefore can sometimes find a room but not always, but I’ve lots of experience and happy to give tips on accommodation and trains in particular!

    Regarding this question, there isn’t an easy answer. You can often persuade Eurostar to guest your kids in the lounges, and it can also work at the Grain Store in Gatwick or the Movenpick Cafe in Berlin because that’s a credit rather than an actual access. Otherwise, is one of the kids old enough to use the DragonPass themselves? Our daughter turns 18 this year and that’s certainly my plan.

    NigelHamilton 134 posts

    I’ll add one more quick tip, if you want one room then Hilton have a good search facility, you can put your dates in with 6 people, and then search a wide area (e g. Europe). I just did this and it came up with a small number of hotels, including two in Croatia which we did last year.

    The Savage Squirrel 547 posts

    To add to Nigel’s Hilton advice; Hilton’s built in search for confirmed interconnected rooms is extremely useful.

    tmischler 5 posts

    Thanks

    Sadly our eldest is 13 so not yet an option on DragonPass but it’s a good point for when she does get there. That said I get it with my NatWest Account and I was looking at RoosterMoney for my kids – turns out you can get a maximum of THREE free Rooster Money accounts with my NatWest! All my kids now have Starling Accounts!

    Good tips on Hilton too – agree the connecting room search facility (and of course being able to actually guarantee connecting rooms) is really helpful.

    That said we stayed at 2 Hiltons in the US recently – both were pretty good for various reasons but the sofa bed (for occupants 5 & 6) was so bad that we ended up with kids sleeping on cushions on the floor – not sure if anyone else has found that?

    I think you should post all those accommodation / train tips – I’d definitely be interested to hear more!

    tmischler 5 posts

    Otherwise, is one of the kids old enough to use the DragonPass themselves? Our daughter turns 18 this year and that’s certainly my plan.

    Nigel – did you just add your eldest daughter as a joint account holder to get her the DragonPass?

    BBbetter 448 posts

    Can one in the family, those who don’t hold the Amex plats, apply for this card:
    https://www.headforpoints.com/2023/11/20/review-lloyds-bank-world-elite-mastercard/

    Comes with two unlimited PP cards.

    The real Swiss Tony 635 posts

    Booking.com is very good for throwing back hotels that have big rooms/suites, although as the kids get older that becomes less important.

    I have always been happy to pay the extra £20 on Priority pass for the 5th guest (my wife and I each have a card) as the alternative is no one goes into the lounge and we all end up in Pret which will mean spending waaaay more than £20… Even at £40 for 2 extra guests I think you’ll still come out ahead.

    Reney 687 posts

    Can’t you also get a gold card (first year free) which comes with 2 lounge entry. And then you and your wife can alternate getting a gold card so you don’t have to pay for one. It’s not much but it will save 2 kids entry fee once.

    Also where possible go to centurion lounge instead where you can guest 2 person each so you can get 6 in.

    Do you and your wife have your own plat cards each or one main card and one supplementary. If the former then open a sup card for each other to get extra priority cards?

    Freddy 13 posts

    Ah, I’ve said many times that the world is built for people with 1 to 2 children. Hotel rooms are a bugbear, as others have mentioned, hiltons search is useful. Many times tho, as a family of 5 we’ve found air bnb or similar better value than hotels

    NorthernLass 6,718 posts

    A bit niche, but in the US you can book accommodation for 6 (or more) at Homewood Suites. Some of their suites have 2 double beds in the bedroom and a double sofa bed in the living room, and some properties have 2 bedroom suites which sleep up to 8.

    tmischler 5 posts

    Can one in the family, those who don’t hold the Amex plats, apply for this card:
    https://www.headforpoints.com/2023/11/20/review-lloyds-bank-world-elite-mastercard/

    Comes with two unlimited PP cards.

    Good point but I would have thought both main & supplementary card holders would have to be 18 or over?

    alastairtravel 21 posts

    I’m working on a website right now, launching next month covering hotel rooms for 4 and over. Agree Hilton and Homewood Suites good options you can web search for – feel free to share any experiences / tips on here and I will include where possible

    NorthernLass 6,718 posts

    What a great idea! Most chains which have a “suites” option will have accommodation for 4+ guests. So Residence Inn & Suites, Townplace Suites (both by Marriott, I think), and IHG has Staybridge Suites and even some HI and HIE have suites available. In the US I’ve also seen Candlewood Suites.

    One of the Hyatt brands (House or Place) is all-suite as well.

    It’s always worth looking at condo/apartment properties which are usually marketed as timeshare but which can often be rented via sites like booking. com. Think Diamond Resorts, Hilton Grand Vacations etc. You can often get these for a steal – e.g. £100 per night for really good quality accommodation and fantastic facilities for kids.

    alastairtravel 21 posts

    Thanks NorthernLass any more let me know – I’ll post here when launched

    FatherOfFour 253 posts

    I have looked at six suitcase travel before. I assume Alastair that your site would be along similar lines?

    I tend to find something via booking.com. the missing piece in many cases is the ability to know if neighbouring rooms are available.

    NorthernLass 6,718 posts

    If you search for 1 room which accommodates 6, the site will show you 2/3 bedroom apartments which are self-contained units and therefore ideal for families.

    NigelHamilton 134 posts

    There’s a website called Sleeps5 as well along the same lines. I do find that booking.com is useful for identifying whether a hotel has space for 5, whether across one or more rooms. Also Amex plat concierge has been useful in the past. Now I have access to the B2B bed banks there are more useful options in there (and hugely cheaper of course) but not available to the public.

    alastairtravel 21 posts

    Thanks for the comments and agree booking.com has this best of the big sites. Aware of Sleeps5 and more recently SixSuitcase – definitely think there is more space here.

    Is the search functionality easier on the B2B bed banks – this is not an angle I had considered?

    NigelHamilton 134 posts

    I’m not sure I’d say it’s easier, but it’s at least equal to the main Internet sites. Obviously there are other advantages too – goes against the mantra of this forum which is book direct but it’s substantially cheaper, and if you use Teldar for example far better service than anything online (they will ring the property in advance to confirm the booking and any requests – you don’t get that from booking.com!)

    Depends what the aim of your site is really – several give information and use the OTAs as a search facility and take the click commission. Or you could partner with a travel agent group who could search the bed banks and get your visitors cheaper prices.

    I had a play around in a couple of places I know where there are hotel rooms for 5, and they came up along with several villas I didn’t know.

    alastairtravel 21 posts

    Thanks – the aim initially is information with affiliate links.

    It could evolve into more of a booking facility further down the line, but there are barriers / responsibilities once you are accepting money that I don’t want at the start. My day job is B2B travel, and aware Teldar doing well with their ringing to confirm this is reducing payments challenges.

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