Monday 17 September 2018

Summer Break in Bournemouth 2018: Accommodation For a Big Family

During the summer holidays, Fashionista Sister asked us if we would like to go to Bournemouth with her.  She had booked a hotel near the beach and suggested we take a look.  We last visited Dorset including Bournemouth in 2011 when my kids were not yet cynical teenagers and have lovely memories of that trip.

Unfortunately, we checked out the hotel and it worked out £1,000 for two nights for two room.  One of the perks of being a big family, the cost of everything seems to shoot up considerably.  I looked at other hotels in the area, cottages, accommodation a short drive away and longer drives away, all pretty much the same cost.  It being the holiday season and Bournemouth being one of the nicest beaches in the country, nowhere was going to be cheap.

As a last resort, I thought I would try Airbnb, I didn’t expect it to be suitable for a big family (us, five kids and their grandfather), associating it with backpacking students.  I was pleasantly surprised to find a five-bedroom house a 15-minute drive from the beach for £300 for two nights.  It had good reviews (basically that it was clean), so I booked, and our holiday was on.

We left mid-week, so we missed the bank holiday rush that came the week after and got to Bournemouth in just over two hours.  The house turned out to be clean with all of the basics including a fully working kitchen and to the kids delight a TV.  The kids happily nabbed their rooms and wasted no time in unpacking.  Dad-in-law tried to evict the boys from their room and give him theirs, but they weren’t having it.  The babies wanted a room each but eventually settled on sharing one.  Little Lady grabbed the one room with a big mirror and dressing table and promptly laid out all of her toiletries and makeup.

For some reason, the boys thought this was holiday packing (swimming trunks and junk food)

We had packed enough food to keep everyone happy for breakfast, lunch, and picnics allowing us to eat out in the evening.  Bournemouth turned out to be quite good for halal food, with lots of options.

Left over lamb curry from Eid and pitta bread we took with us

An interesting dish called tava chicken and cheese we tried at one of the local restaurants

In all we had a nice break, the weather held and we had lots of sun, the teens still moaned, but the babies made happy memories of their own.  We probably could not have afforded a break, even in the UK during school holidays, I am finding more and more that the cost of “staycations” is becoming quite ridiculous for working families with children.  Airbnb gave us an alternative and with a bit of research, we managed to see the best bits for pretty much free or at minimum cost.


  1. We used airbnb when we were in Germany this summer, and it worked out great. There were 7 of us, and hotels get very expensive for us. Ours was a smaller apartment, but it was close to public transport and had a lot of stores nearby. I was even able to wash clothes. We would stay there again.

    1. I would definitely use this as an option for our family in the future.
      Funnily enough, we ended up washing everyone's clothes after a day at the beach and I washed the towels in the house before I left too. after my daughter and I managed to get makeup on them.