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Staying in backpacker dorms with kids ?
Have you / can you stay in backpacker dorms with children. I only ever stayed in one in london years ago and they had a 18-30 years only policy.
Seeing as we will be a traveling party of 6 and sometimes 7 the dorms provide us with a bed each, a separate bathroom etc at a fraction of the cost of 2 hotel rooms.
What do other larger traveling families do ?
I'm happy to be amongst younger travelling, don't think that would worry me. The noise may or may not be a problem at night. Our kids can sleep through anything usually.
I found a great dormed hostel in luang prabang and one in HCMC both off the travelfish website. Total cost per night was going to be $32. Hard to beat that.
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Definitely stay in the dorms! I'm not sure how old your kids are, ours are 10, 15 & 17. Our experience after 3 months in Asia is that the other "roomies" make piles more noise than ours do!!! I was paranoid about not disturbing others while the adults phones rang in the night, they snored, banged doors etc! A big eye opener!! If you go to Hanoi, make sure you check out MaydeVille Backpackers in the old quarter. (not to be confused with the hotel of the same name!!). This place was SUPER clean, great games room and enormous TV and media room where the kids could watch movies and cartoons, breakfast was included - eggs, toast, Danishes, fruit - AMAZING value!! We stayed there end of March 2012 so this is a recent experience. If you use a site like hostelbookers.com or something similar you will on occasion be able to get say, two triple rooms at similar to dorm prices as well. Enjoy your trip!!
We stayed in hostels while in New Zealand with our son. We tried to get a private room ensuite but in reality we got many private rooms with shared bathrooms. This was the most cost effective way. Sounds like you have a big group with you, so make sure to call the hostel ahead of time, they may be able to give you a discount if you take the whole dorm room for 6 and not pay the per bed rates which can be as high as $30+/bed. I wouldn't worry about noise. We had no issues. One time we were told to be quite when our son was jumping on the bed at 9PM...In countries like NZ or Australia the hostels may be a $$$ proposition so you may be better off with something like airbnb.com where you can get the full apartment at a better/person rate. Most hotels will charge for additional people. You may also try couchsurfing, but we didn't have much luck finding accommodations for a family.
Msany of the boutique style guesthouses, especially in places like Bangkok have great dorms that would suit you perfectly and these days they are great places to stay that don't have lots of noisy backpackers, more your flashpacker types. I would certainly suggest looking at places like this for your family.