Cape Town, Mpumalanga or Durban? Choosing the right destination for your upcoming holiday can be a daunting task, especially if you are organising a trip for the entire family, says Sharmila Ragunanan, Group Marketing Manager of Dream Hotels and Resorts.

Just as important as picking the perfect destination – if not more so – is choosing the perfect accommodation option. If you’re travelling with aunties, grannies and children in tow, you’ll need to find somewhere that is child friendly, has enough room, offers activities to suit every age and is within budget. Not an easy task.

Before wading through online travel deals, consider another option that might not have been on the top of your mind for a family holiday: vacation ownership.

Here are five important considerations when choosing whether a hotel stay or vacation ownership is the best option for you:

  1. If space is important

Spending a week in a hotel room – no matter how large and luxurious – with your children can become a bit of a burden for any parent. It can be hard for parents to have a quiet night of TV or have a chat about the experiences of the day over a glass of wine when the children are asleep in the same room.

With a vacation ownership property, your children are likely to have their own bedroom, so you and your partner can relax after a long day of activities in a homely and cosy lounge.  

  1. If you want the comfort of a home-away-from-home

Although a hotel can be a lovely break from routine, when the entire family tags along, a homely environment is often the best choice for spending quality time together.

A vacation ownership property gives you the best combination of home-like cosiness and resort-style amenities. These properties  have all the amenities and luxuries of high-end resorts along with the perks of a private home.

At many vacation clubs, you’ll find on-site restaurants, bars, and activity centres, while still being able to enjoy a full kitchen, a cosy living room and separate bedrooms.

  1. If budget is a factor

Many travellers look for hotel discounts to get the best value on holiday. Although this can indeed offer great value, it’s not always possible to wait for last-minute specials. If your family likes to go on holiday at least once or twice a year, vacation ownership can be one of the most financially beneficial decisions you’ll ever make.

Although the initial purchase price of vacation ownership can be a deterrent, over time, a vacation ownership property will offer you much better value than any hotel room. After a few years, the initial investment starts paying off and you’ll be able to reap the financial benefits as well as having the benefit of always being able to treat your family to a well deserved holiday. What’s more is that you’ll also be able to save money on food and activities as well.

  1. If you value flexibility

Choosing the right hotel can be an exciting exercise: you have free reign to choose any location in the world and limitless flexibility. Consumers  tend to think that this is not true for vacation ownership: they think that ownership will lock them into a holiday for the same week at the same destination every year.  

However, vacation ownership today is very different. Owners have the choice to exchange their holiday for comparably valued weeks at other resorts worldwide. The creation of a points-based system means that owners can enjoy weekend getaways, single night stays or longer getaways in exchange for their points.

Vacation ownership will only ‘force’ you into taking a holiday every year: the when and where is up to you.

The final verdict?

Choosing which one is right for your family is a very personal choice. There is no wrong or right: both hotels and vacation ownership have their perks and benefits.

With the daily pressures facing most of us, the truth is that holidays often get pushed back indefinitely. Always remember that holidays should be an integral part of your life.