Survey among Little Travel Society readers - what makes an accomodation child-friendly?

We wanted to know what German families particularly value when staying with children in accommodation. Is it the diaper pail or rather the fall-out protection that makes toddler parents happy? We also asked our readers about their no-gos. It seems that sometimes it's the little things that make a vacation for families perfect...

What do German parents expect from a chield-friendly accomodation? This is what we wanted to know.

This is why we asked our readers in November 2020 on Instagram, Facebook and in our newsletter to answer a few questions about childcare and child- friendly equipment in accommodations. Readers could participate directly in our Instagram story or via an online questionnaire

639 participants answered our questions on the following topics:

  • Childcare
  • Baby and toddler friendliness
  • Vacation with older children
  • No-Gos in family-friendly hotels

Child care Requirements: Mix of Family and Me-time as well as Undisturbed Dinners

The majority of respondents (63%) use childcare in accommodations. However, most parents also want to spend time with their children on vacation and therefore do not need all-day care for their children. 84% said that it is enough for a hotel to offer a children care program only from time to time.

Therefore, a mix of children’s programs and parent-child programs is rated as ideal by most parents (91%).

Only at dinner parents would like to have some peace and quiet to finish their meal while their children are being looked after. 57% of parents mentioned this, making it the most important childcare time. Surprisingly, only 26% of parents prefer a children’s meal before the adult meal.

Nice caregivers are the first priority for parents when it comes to childcare

Considering the number of super luxurious indoor playgrounds in large family hotels it surprised us that 64% of the answers about childcare referred to the staff. The equipment hardly played a role, 18% referred in their answers to the program.


Mainly the soft skills of the caregivers were important to the parents – mom and dad want to see their children received with a smile and have the feeling “she/he is a nice person”. However, some parents also mentioned the formal education of the caregivers as an important criterion. Trained and competent staff is an important prerequisite for many. When it came to the program, it was particularly important to our readers that the children were mainly outside in nature and could express themselves creatively.

A clean playroom with lots of light (but without a TV) is a basic requirement for many parents

What are the no-gos for parents? Our readers are most annoyed by dirty playrooms (77%). Furthermore, many parents do not like when children do not have enough space to run around and play (68%). Late mealtimes – as is often the case in southern countries – or inflexible mealtimes that often don’t coincide with their offspring’s hunger are also a problem for the majority of German parents. In addition, a TV in the playroom is for nearly half of the parents not a good idea (46%).

Families with young children actually have quite simple wishes

Baby parents often arrive on vacation particularly tired. That’s why as many as 40% of parents with children under the age of 3 would be happy about infant care.

We were surprised by the fact that it’s often the little things that make life so much easier for toddler parents on vacation. At the top of the must-have list for toddler parents are: bed railings (85%), window blinds (81%), socket protection (70%) and a washing machine (63%).

Also an interesting result: children’s bikes and child seats are in much demand by many parents. 82% of parents would be happy to receive children’s bikes and child seats for bicycles (77%). A baby monitor with sufficient range to the restaurant (73%) and handcarts (59%) are also very popular with parents.

ChildrensĀ“ crayons and paper for the restaurant are easy to find for the hosts, but make parents and children really happy (89%), high chairs are an absolute basic (90%). A play corner is also well received by parents (86%) and “somewhat earlier meal times” for small children are again mentioned as helpful (64%).

For older Children the focus lies on the experience

What do parents of older children want? 38% of parents believe that their schoolchildren will be happy with a specially varied action program. Parents want their older children to do sports, handicrafts, horseback riding and experimenting instead of watching TV. Furthermore, parents feel that enough space and an interesting equipment are more important for elder kids than for younger children. Suggestions were: A cool chill-out corner for teenagers, pump tracks, soccer fields and climbing walls. However, some parents also mention that it would be helpful to have other children of the same age at the hotel so that their offspring can quickly make new friends.

Ideas from parents for even cooler accommodations: How about a ball pool in the room?

In an open question, we asked our readers: What have you ever found in an accomodation you found really great?

The following featurs were mentioned several times: Toys in the room, play corner in the restaurant, babysitter during dinner, night light, kettle, baby monitors, baby carriers and tumble dryers. But they also mentioned special features such as “ball pool in the room”, “nice breastfeeding room with daybed, chains of lights etc.”, “playpen by the pool”, “family beds” or “diaper service”. What is also relatively easy to implement: stool in the bathroom, bibs and wet wipes in the restaurant, children’s cutlery or a child seat for the toilet.

No-go’s for parents in family-friendly accommodations – no French fries on the childrensĀ“ buffet, please!

In another open question, we asked our readers: What have you ever found in an accomodation that, in your opinion, is not acceptable? Boring, bad children’s food – consisting of mainly French fries and chicken nuggets – is no longer acceptable for most parents. Poorly soundproofed rooms, an unsecured pool, a lack of stair protection and window-darkening, a dirty playroom, late mealtimes (there they are again, the mealtimes!) and “the feeling that the children are a nuisance to others” are also absolute no-goes for German families.

By the way, if you want to know in more detail what our readers answered, here is the link to all the survey results.