For families on a multi-day vacation, forgoing the hotel for a home rental is a no-brainer. There’s access to a full-sized kitchen, everyone has room to spread out (aka get away from one another for a few minutes) and it often comes at a considerable savings over a hotel stay. The downside: kids often think hotels are way cooler.
We get it—we all remember the lure of the ice machine. So we reached out to our friends at HomeAway to ask them to cull through their over one million vacation rentals to find rentals that pack the most wow factor for families. Room service, you’ve just met your match.
First up, a converted airplane and train car, plus a pool that will put the cherry on top of any afternoon swim…
Top 11 Family Friendly Getaways
1. It’s a Plane! – Aviation fans will get a kick of spending the night in this converted 727 aircraft tucked away in the Costa Rican jungle, just a short walk from the beautiful beaches of Manuel Antonio. (Prices start at $250 nightly).
2. All Aboard – Climb aboard this fully restored 1920s C&O caboose located near Virginia’s beautiful Natural Bridge and the historic town of Lexington. (Prices start at $179 nightly).
3. Ice Cream Pool (with a Cherry on Top) – Cool off in the world’s only ice cream shaped swimming pool with a “hot tub” cherry on top. This private water park is a child’s wildest dream come true, complete with a whip cream waterslide and Hershey syrup water fountain. (Prices start at $955 nightly).
4. Try a Tipi – Connect with nature by spending the night in one of these Geronimo Creek Tipis in Seguin, TX, while taking advantage of its modern conveniences: private bathroom, air conditioning, satellite TV, kitchenette with sink, under-counter refrigerator and stove top. Both parents and kids win with this stay! (Prices start at $195 nightly).
5. Check Mate – This life size chess set (with a view) is just one amenity this Maui resort family estate has to offer. From full basketball to sand volleyball court on site you can keep everyone in your group entertained. (Prices start at $2,500 nightly).
6. Mini Golf Paradise – This year, skip Disney World and instead spend the week at your very own theme park! Voted by HGTV as one of America’s “Top Ten Most Outrageous Homes” this Orlando-based property boasts its own pro mini golf course, carousel, movie theatre and more, all situated on a private island bigger than the Magic Kingdom itself. (Prices start at $2,000 nightly).
7. Bowled Away– No need to go on a family outing to the bowling alley when there is one in your vacation rental. Keep the fun rolling in this Orlando, Fla. property’s indoor basketball court, private movie theatre, arcade room, workout room, hot tub and more. (Prices start at $2,142 per night).
8. Treehouse Party – Indulge your inner child and spend a night in this decked out Long Prairie, Minn. treehouse. The main room features a queen bed, wrap around porch and dining area. This primitive treehouse takes you back to nature and a bygone era of lanterns and outhouses. (Prices start at $150 per night).
9. Ultimate Playhouse – This Disney-themed property features a miniature playhouse modeled after Mickey Mouse’ house. Even better, this vacation rental property is only a drive away from Mickey original home in Disneyland, based in Anaheim, Calif. (Prices start at $525 per night).
10. Slip-and-Slide – Into Lake Anna, Va.! This large yellow slide will be the highlight of this vacation rental in your child’s eyes. Make memories that last a lifetime and spend the days cooling down in the hot summer heat. (Prices start at $567 per night).
11. Super Sleepover – Gather up all the kids for a night in this decked out bedroom with bunkbeds galore! This charming bunkroom sleeps 8 in this beautiful mountain lodge in Park City, Utah. (Prices start at $3,571 per night).
Image credits: All images courtesy HomeAway.com