Monday, July 18, 2011

Travel Notes: Staying in hotels with children

Here is a big steaming pile of disconnected thoughts on staying in hotels with children. 

My most important tip:  Have a Hotel Bag.  I have no interest in dragging in 5 suitcases, one for each member of the family.  So we have a large orange duffel that has clothes for the next day for everyone, bottles of water, apples or cereal bars or other quick breakfast, toiletries bag, overnight diapers, etc. 

If you have the option, the 2-room suites are completely awesome for families.  For quick in-and-out hotel stays, we actually prefer something like the Kamping Kabin at the KOA – as simple and streamlined as possible.  But if you want to relax and re-charge, it’s nice having a separate place for kids to run.  La Quinta, Comfort Suites, and Holiday Inn Express have been good 2-room options for us.  After a long day of driving, the kids usually want to run and The Parents usually want quiet. =)

Make sure to note the Confirmation Number for all your hotels.  I write them in my datebook on the blanks for that day, including price of the room and other details.  I’ve had prices change or rooms “not found” – but the writing in my book made them fix it for us.

The sugar packets for coffee are a great exfoliating scrub if you mix it with your regular face soap.  I put a packet in with a bit of Castile – voila. 

If you have children, unplug the phone immediately when you enter the room. Most people use cell phones anyway, and you can always plug it back in to call the front desk.  This way, they don’t phone the front desk or a neighboring room on accident.

If you’re missing a drain-plug, a small Ziploc can be filled with water and dropped into the drain.  My kids love hotel baths.  Important form of recreation when you’re all stuck in a small room with no backyard.

Ask for a first-floor room with Littles.  That way, they can run laps or jump without disturbing anyone.

None of this is related to one my driving passions in life: Finding offbeat places to stay.  :) Or cheap-but-interesting places.  So if you’d like suggestions on that, just holler.