Home vs hotel: Which is better for the holidays?

Travel Tips

Family Holidays: Stay at Home or a Hotel?

‘Tis the season for holiday shopping, baking delicious candies, listening to your favorite holiday chart toppers and spending time with your loved ones. It’s also that time of year for your annual internal debate — whether you should stay with your family you’re visiting or stay in a hotel during the holidays.

Staying with family is usually an event itself. If you’ve ever seen National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, you know how quickly a well-meaning family holiday can quickly turn into disaster. Uninvited guests, embarrassing over-sharing, and desert-dry turkey turn happy holidays into holiday disaster.

Staying at a hotel during the holidays has a bit of a different film reputation than staying with your family. Think of Home Alone 2: Lost in New York, when Kevin enjoys all of the amenities a hotel has to offer.

It’s not an easy decision to make (well, maybe for some it is), but it’s a decision that must be made. There are good and bad things for each option. No choice is a wrong choice, unless you have that one family member who insists every single year you stay with them because staying in a hotel just isn’t an option. But for you, one choice may be the better choice for you to make this holiday season.

To help you see your options in more detail, here are the pros and cons of staying with your family and staying in a hotel so you can decide which option is your best option.

Staying with family


  • You save money.
  • You’re able to spend more time with your family and make holiday memories.
  • Access to a nearby kitchen that’s full of free food and drinks is there whenever you want it.
  • It feels like you’re at home because you’re in a house surrounded by family.


  • You have no alone time with your significant other and/or with your spouse and your children.
  • Your bed is the couch or the floor, which aren’t comfortable options–so you don’t get a good night’s rest.
  • You get woken up when you’re not ready, and it’s usually in a way you don’t want to be woken up.
  • You have to clean up after yourself, and sometimes after other family members.

Staying in a hotel


  • You can have privacy and quiet time when you need it.
  • You share a bathroom with fewer people.
  • There’s always hot water, no matter what time of the day you decide to shower.
  • You get to sleep in a big, comfortable bed and fall asleep when you’re ready
  • Maids take care of your dirty towels, take out your trash and make the bed for you every day.


  • It does cost money to stay in a hotel.
  • You have to drive back and forth from your hotel and your family’s house.
  • Staying in a hotel takes you away from your family, meaning less time you get to spend with them.
  • You sometimes have to buy food and drinks separately/

Whether you decide to stay with your family or stay in an IHG® hotel this holiday season, make sure you choose the option that best suits you and ensures you (and your family) have the happiest, most comfortable and most sane holiday season this year.


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