Many Australian families are searching for kid-friendly holidays, and recent research* reveals that almost all parents (91%) agree that if their child has a terrible holiday, they will too.

Research conducted by Holiday Inn uncovered that the first thing most kids do (70%) when they enter their hotel room is jump on the beds, while three-quarters of kids admit that they are happiest when they enjoy special foods such as pancakes (75%) and ice cream (74%) while on holiday.

In response, Holiday Inn has answered the call, announcing 24/7 free ice cream for all Holiday Inn Kid’s Critics that stay with them from now until the end of November*.

Importantly for decision makers, the research highlights the significant impact that kids have on the holiday plans of parents, with most (93%) agreeing that they value their kid’s experience on holiday over their own.

To put the findings to the test, Holiday Inn teamed up mum of three and TV personality, Chezzi Denyer, and her kids. Denyer admits that her kids are some of the harshest critics, especially regarding holidays.

“Many kids are happy with the simple things when holidaying. Simple pleasures like ice cream or yummy pancakes, colouring packs and the bounciness of the beds are some things my kids enjoy most when we go on holiday. However, we often overcompensate by giving our kids larger-than-life experiences.”

Chezzi further suggests doing your research thoroughly before you book your next stay and making sure that the hotel caters for your specific family.

“Can we all fit into one room is the number one make or break for me. Our girls are too small to stay in separate rooms. Our favourite hotels allow for two double beds in the one room plus have room for a cot in the corner. Easy! This also becomes a massive budget consideration, as we don’t want to pay for an additional room if it is not needed, especially with kids under the ages of twelve.”

The research is part of Holiday Inn’s 70th anniversary celebrations as the brand looks ahead into its most significant transformation in 20 years.

Chezzi Denyer shares her five top holiday tips when booking a hotel for the family:

  1. Make sure you do your research before booking and always check out reviews – I’ve stayed in many places that were supposedly “family friendly” that really didn’t cater very much for kids at all. Does the restaurant have a kid’s menu for most meals? Do they have highchairs and a kid’s corner? What’s the nighttime room service menu?
  2. Know what kind of holiday you want to achieve before booking. Is it a relaxing holiday or is it a fast-paced energetic style getaway that you want? Once you know the style of holiday you are after, it becomes much easier to narrow down the right hotel.
  3. Location can be important if you have kids. Knowing the hotel’s location in relation to where you think you’ll be spending your days is crucial. Is it close to the action say the beach? Or is it such a long way away that you would need transport to access it most of the time? Consider whether your hotel is close to public transport or if you are taking your car, whether there is allocated parking areas for the duration of the stay. Other location considerations are surrounding businesses, is it right next door to a nightclub because that could be noisy at night – not ideal for putting kids to sleep! Also, look whether there are convenience stores nearby so that it is easy to get something you might have forgotten to pack.
  4. Always look for special deals that involve kids before booking. Deals such as stay and eat for free can sound too good to be true but it’s this kind of deal that can really save you some serious money!
  5. Are there hidden charges for extra rollaway beds or cots? Does the hotel have facilities if you have a baby? These are useful things to consider when looking to book a hotel.