A new holiday accommodation website gives mum, dad and kids some much-needed extra room to breathe.
Bronwyn Barker is my kind of woman.
She has four kids under the age of nine.
Frankly, she deserves a medal for that alone.
Now, she’s given birth to her fifth baby – a website to help large families find holiday accommodation.
Rooms Plus 5 covers all budgets, listing B&Bs, farm stays, caravan and camping, cabins and cottages, resorts, self-contained apartments and holiday homes.
Bronwyn decided she wanted to make a difference, once her family grew beyond the 2+2 model, which is the standard for most accommodation.
“You could sneak one more child into a ‘fits 4’ room, but unfortunately they grow up, and you no longer want that extra kid lying between you and your husband,” she says. “When the little one in the middle is longer than the adults, it can be quite uncomfortable!”
Her website is also aimed at multi-generational travellers.
“Remember inviting your grandparents to come along for that memorable trip, but having to say, ‘Sorry, you’ll need to sort your own accommodation’?” Bronwyn writes on her website.
She hopes to make this a thing of the past.
So, too, the syndrome of “rollaway resentment”: that nagging annoyance when you’re the one stuck with the uncomfortable bed.
While an increasing number of websites, such as AirBnB, cater for those seeking holiday homes, rather than hotel rooms, many websites make questionable claims about being able to accommodate larger families.
Often, Bronwyn would put 5+ guests into the search engine of a site, only to discover, upon further research, that the rooms were better suited to a couple or family of four.
Rooms Plus 5 is not a booking site: it’s all about robust and specific suggestions.
Mum even has the kids in on the act: eight-year-old Finn, seven-year-old Riley, five-year-old Imogen and two-year-old Nate have become bloggers.
“There will be no sugar coating on their reviews as they have no preconceived notions and are not yet tainted by experience,” Bronwyn says. “Might even learn a few things through their innocence and honesty.”
I love the idea of families taking matters into their own hands.
It’s an issue close to my heart. My brother- and sister-in-law, David and Vanessa, have four kids under the age of 14. They never go on family holidays.
“It’s just too hard,” Vanessa says. “Difficult to organise, and expensive. It’s easier just to stay at home.”
My sister, with three kids under 11, is in a similar situation. She and her husband tend to go on camping trips, which are cheaper.
Bronwyn’s dream is to end what she sees as discrimination against families who are not the norm.
Her next mission: theme parks, and their ubiquitous family passes.
“I would like to see family passes change from two adults and two kids to either accommodating the whole family, instead of leaving a child or two out, or having a fixed value price,” she says.
More power to her.