Traveling can be stressful even when you're rolling solo. When you add in the whole family, it can become downright chaotic. Picking a hotel room is often an afterthought. It's considered just a place to shower and sleep and move on. However, staying at the wrong hotel or choosing the wrong room can start off a well-planned vacation on a bad note. Follow this advice to gain some valuable tips on how to choose the best room and hotel for your family vacation.
- think about a residence-style hotel
- use an expert service to find the best room options
- get an adjoining room
- consider your neighbors
- enjoy the suite life
- squish everyone into a single room
- stay at hotels that are not kid-friendly
- get a room right next to the elevator
- forget about childproofing
- try to sneak in Fido or Skippy
The extended stay type hotels that are frequented by business travelers offer great perks for families such as more space, a kitchen, and free Wi-Fi for the kids' games. A kitchen with a full-size refrigerator can be very useful, allowing you to eat simple breakfasts in the room, and enjoy a late-night snack while the kids are snoozing.
Find an expert service to help you book your hotel that offers great rates and advice, preferably through a toll-free call center so that you can speak with someone to alleviate your questions.Talk to an expert to get advice on which hotels offer reduced-rate suites or the best adjoining room options.
If your budget allows, then consider an adjoining room that doubles your space and gives older kids some feelings of independence. If your kids are little, then you simply split up to keep an eye on the two groups. For kids in their own room, teach them how to properly lock the door, use the safe, and only open up the door when the adult is present.
If your kids are quite loud, or you have a baby that can't help crying, then ask the hotel to put you in a good spot. Maybe they aren't near capacity and can put you at the end of a hall so you only have one neighbor. Sometimes corner and end rooms can be configured differently, which can give you a little boost in space.
Thoroughly review the different types of rooms that are available to be sure you are getting the most room/beds for the price. A suite can often be a better choice than two adjoining rooms. Suites are especially cost-efficient in Las Vegas, where prices for accommodations are still historically flat. You want suites with pull-out sofas, plenty of room for cots, and fun surprises such as whirlpool baths don’t' hurt either.
If you pack everyone into a room and ask for cots or even have someone sleep on the floor, then it's going to get hectic. If you plan on a very busy round of activities, then everyone needs a good night's sleep. Kids often don't like sleeping in a new setting, so don't make it worse by having them deal with dad's incessant snoring. Give them their own space (if they're old enough).
If you're looking at a hotel and it has certain “no-kids” areas or floors of the hotel, then you likely want to go elsewhere. With these policies, the hotel is trying to discourage families and still stay within the law. They won't likely have any kid-centric activities and you might have to deal with disapproving glances if little junior spills his milk at the fancy brunch buffet.
While this might sound convenient, you don't want to hear noises and voices all night that might keep you up. You can't wear ear plugs because you need to listen for the kids, and if the elevator is loud enough, they might be up all night. Try to get a room away from the elevator or busy street so you can up the odds that everyone will sleep well and be ready to explore the next day.
If you have a two year-old, then the need for kid-proofing never goes away. You have latches on everything at home, so don't forget about safety in the hotel room. Some hotel chains offer childproofing kits for guests, to give you extra peace of mind.
Can your kids not do without the family dog or hamster? There are some hotel chains that allow pets in designated rooms, although you might have to do a lot of searching. Don't try to sneak them in – one loud bark will blow your cover and might mean you forfeit your room.
Despite your desire to get out and explore, you'll still spend a good amount of time in the hotel room when you're traveling with kids. They need a quiet place to sleep, a warm bath, and a little room to burn off some energy before you head out to the next museum or natural attraction.