Since we are frequent travelers, we’ve seen our fair share of hotels. Most of the time we travel with our littles in tow, so we’ve also spent a lot of time staying in a hotel with kids. Today I’m sharing some of our favorite strategies to help keep you sane while cooped up in the space together.
1. Size matters, so do extras. Aim for a larger hotel room if you can, not being cramped in tight will make all the difference. For our Alaskan Cruise, we booked a mini-suite because we knew the extra space would help with how much time we might spend in our room. On the flip side, in Copenhagen our room was pretty small but we didn’t spend much time in it so it turned out ok. If you book a room with a balcony you will have a nice place to hang out after they go to sleep.
When I look for a place to stay, I always look for a few main things. The hotel has to have a great location. We like to walk and explore, and if we have an early flight don’t like to be too far from the airport. I also look for Wifi, Room Service, a spa, and a pool.
2. Stay safe, lock the door. If you have a younger one, as soon as you arrive at your room you should inspect it. Look for goodies on the floor, uncovered outlets, or other easily accessible issues. Søren’s big thing was the telephone and remote control for the TV. We almost always had to keep both of them put up very well. Trash cans are a favorite too. Our biggest concern though has always been the hotel door. We latch the top when we’re in room, or during our cruise we had to put a suitcase in front of the door to help deter escapes.
3. Be prepared. We always travel with extra food and water. It sounds crazy, but we bring our regular water bottles and fill them up on the go. We also pack favorite snacks or granola bars in case we need something to hold us over. On the way to our hotel we usually stop off to buy healthy food to keep in the room, sometimes it’s all we need to buy us a little time. In Seattle we got stuck in the rain often and didn’t always want to head out in it to buy snacks or eat meals during our regular times. As a bonus the hotel we stayed at had make-your-own belgian waffles as the continental breakfast. It made it so much easier for us to start our day.
Some hotels provide amenities for kids, others do not. We usually pack a few of their favorite (and easy to pack) toys for the trip anyway, they naturally convert to fun in the hotel room as well. During our trip to Maui we lucked out, our hotel provided tons of toys, stuffed animals, kid’s bath products, and even child-sized bath robes. It also helps to lower the risk of losing any favorites during your travels.
4. Keep It Tidy. There is nothing worse than a dirty hotel room. It’s more frustrating for me than any amount of toys in my own living room. It makes the entire experience more stressful than it should be. When we check in I unload our suitcases into the drawers/closet and store them away. It makes it easy to find items when I need them, and less frustrating overall.
5. Take Turns. Are your kids early risers? Do you have (sometimes, most of the time) noisy toddler? We like to take turns giving each other ‘free time’ to relax or sleep in. Vacation’s aren’t fun if you don’t get any downtime. I love to get a massage after the kids are down for the night, or take the kids for a morning walk while Steve gets a little shut-eye.
I hope these tips help you out a bit, they sure make our travel easier.
Do you have any tips for staying in a hotel with kids? I’d love to hear them in the comments!