For many children, staying in a hotel is the highlight of any vacation. Even little things like riding in the elevator, swimming in the pool, or partaking in the continental breakfast can be thrilling to a kid. For parents, however, hotel stays come with an extra set of considerations. Luckily, there are some simple hotel hacks to make a parent’s job much easier. You’ve just got to know what to look for…
1. Request a corner room
If you’re travelling with a small child who tends to cry at night, let the hotel staff know when you book your room. Oftentimes, they’ll be able to place your family in a room that shares only one wall, reducing disruption for the surrounding guests and easing your own anxiety when the baby wails at 3 a.m. When you check in, remind the front desk about your request. If the hotel isn’t at capacity, staff may be able to surround you with unoccupied rooms—ensuring there’s a sound buffer in case of a midnight meltdown.
2. Look for these amenities during longer stays
If you’ll be spending only one night in a hotel room, you probably won’t care if the ensuite bathroom only has a shower stall. But after a week of bathing a toddler sans bathtub, you may begin to lose your mind. There’s no denying it: certain amenities simply make longer hotel stays with children much easier. In addition to a bathtub, it’s also helpful to have an in-room refrigerator, especially if you have bottles to keep cold or snacks that require refrigeration for your always-hungry toddler. Other helpful amenities include a swimming pool (hours of entertainment for children) and laundry facilities. Just make sure to bring your own detergent, especially if your child has sensitive skin.
3. Baby-Proof the Room
Pack a few tools to baby-proof the room if you’re travelling with a crawling infant or waddling walker. You’ll have a much more enjoyable hotel stay if baby can explore the new space without your constant vigilance. Socket protectors and corner guards are helpful and small enough to fit in any suitcase. A roll of painter’s tape will help you keep hazardous blind cords out of reach without leaving a lasting mark. Make sure room and balcony doors stay locked at all times, and if your room has operable windows, make sure that those are locked too.
4. Use the Do Not Disturb Sign
If your child takes morning or afternoon naps, place the Do Not Disturb sign on your door before they fall asleep. Otherwise, hotel staff may knock on the door while performing their daily duties and wake up your child.
5. Ask Your Hotel if They Have Perks for Kids
Most hotels welcome families, and many go out of their way to make sure the youngest amongst us enjoy their stay. Some hotels offer everything from freshly baked cookies each afternoon to crayons and coloring books to movie and board game rentals. If your kids are excited about the pool, enquire about the availability of kickboards and other pool toys. Your hotel may offer unadvertised perks for kids, and, as we know, perks for kids are perks for parents too.
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