By VGP Blogger, Kate
Traveling with Tots:
Any parent to a young child knows that traveling and staying in a single hotel room can be a new form of a travel torture. Our nightmare scenario involved a very small hotel room, sitting in the hallway with the baby monitor while our daughter fell asleep and then sitting in a dark room in an effort not to wake her up…but every time she stirred in the night she would see us and inevitably want to be held. I don’t think any of us slept. Yay vacation.
We try to avoid hotels, but after a few horror stories of our own…I think we’ve picked up a few tricks along the way.
A suite is sweet: The best hotel stay we had was when we swung for a suite. We put the baby down in the living space and we hung out on the patio until we turned in for the night. Everyone had their own sleeping area which means everyone slept great…and good sleep means a good vacation. Many hotel chains offer suites at a reasonable cost. I’ve learned that I would prefer to spend a bit more on the hotel room and skimp on other areas of the trip cost for a good night’s rest.
A little rearranging won’t hurt anyone: When we haven’t been able to find a two room suite, we have done a little rearranging to make a separate sleeping area for our daughter. We’ve been able to move the couch and “hide” her pack and play behind the couch. This arrangement means that she doesn’t see us when she stirs in the night and likely falls back asleep just like she would in her own room. When we’ve done this we usually put the do not disturb sign on the door, because we don’t want to inconvenience the housekeeping. We will put everything back in its original place before we check out.
Call ahead: When you’re traveling with an infant or baby, you likely need a few extra amenities. If you call ahead you can ensure that your room has a mini-fridge and/or a microwave. If these do not come standard in the rooms, the hotel often has a few units that they can bring into rooms for these situations. You can also request a crib or cot for an older child.
When all is said and done you want your family vacations to be enjoyable. I’ve learned that the most enjoyable vacations we have are the ones where our accommodations are well suited to our family and allow ample rest.
What are your tips for hotel stays with babies or toddlers?