Family-Friendly Hotel and Resort Chains Where Kids Stay Free


Any parent who travels knows that kids can make a travel experience more rewarding. Unfortunately, children can also make travel — including hotel accommodations — frighteningly expensive. 

Adding children to your room can increase your bill significantly. This is especially true in all-inclusive resorts, where in many instances, adding two children under 12 years old to a reservation for two adults hikes the room rate by 50 percent. Hotels in larger U.S. cities and elsewhere in the world also charge extra for children.

Fortunately, a handful of family-friendly hotel chains and resorts allow children to stay for free.

Choice Hotels

Choice Hotels offers an array of lodging options around the country where kids under the age of 18 are welcomed with open arms. Think Comfort Inn, Sleep Inn, EconoLodge, and Rodeway Inn. These properties may not be the type you'll want to select for a full-fledged vacation, but they can make a nice resting spot while you traverse the country or wait for your next-day flight.

According to Choice Hotels, kids stay free at select locations, provided you book at an eligible rate and don't require any additional bedding. Also keep in mind that Choice Hotels are relatively inexpensive to begin with. It's fairly easy to book one of their properties for less than $100 per night, which is a stellar deal whether you bring the kids along or not. (See also: Best Credit Cards for Hotel Rewards)

Holiday Inn Hotels & Resorts

While this isn't commonly known, kids stay and eat free at all Holiday Inn Hotels and Holiday Inn Resorts. The rules vary at different properties, however. For example, kids 19 and under stay free in a shared room with their parents at traditional Holiday Inn properties. And up to four children age 12 and under can eat for free with a paid adult any time of the day in any on-site Holiday Inn restaurant.

At Holiday Inn's all-inclusive properties in Mexico and Jamaica, however, only kids under 12 stay for free. And since all their meals are included anyway, you won't have to pay for their food, either. (See also: Breakdown of Benefits and Value of the Best Hotel Rewards Programs and Credit Cards)

IBEROSTAR Hotels and Resorts

IBEROSTAR offers five-star, all-inclusive vacations in some of the most beautiful destinations around the world. It also makes its offerings more affordable by allowing kids to stay free with certain packages. Currently, one child can stay free with a paying adult at certain hotels in Mexico and the Caribbean, while the chain's Cozumel property welcomes two kids for free with two paid adults. A minimum three-night stay is required, and other terms and conditions apply. IBEROSTAR hotels also offer supervised kids clubs and unique programming created especially for children. (See also: Which Credit Card Should You Use to Get Free Hotel Stays?)

Club Med Resorts

At all-inclusive Club Med Sun Resorts in Europe, Africa, and Mauritius, children under six years old are always free; At Club Med all-inclusive resorts everywhere, else the cutoff age is four. From there, a sliding scale of discounts is in place. Children ages four to 11 get a 50 percent discount, for example, while kids 12–15 are 40 percent off.

Like other all-inclusive resorts, Club Med offers all your food, drinks (including alcohol), and entertainment for one low price. But Club Med offers another round of excellent programming for children, including supervised kids' clubs, trapeze lessons, and special sports activities for children of all ages.

Divi Resorts

Divi Resorts offers all-inclusive properties in some of the most stunning regions of the Caribbean. Children stay free at some, but rules vary by location. At Divi Dutch Village Beach Resort in Aruba, for example, kids ages 12 and under stay and eat for free with the all-inclusive plan. At Divi Little Bay Beach Resort, on the other hand, only children ages five and under stay free with the all-inclusive option. Kids ages six to 12 eat at a discounted rate.

Before you book a Divi Resort for a family-friendly stay, make sure to read the guidelines to see what children cost, if anything. And whichever resort you stay at, make sure to sign your kids up for Treasures of the Caribbean, a supervised children's program for kids ages four to 12.

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