Hotel rooms and little kids often don’t mix well. There’s the glass coffee tables, the cramped quarters, the mini bar, the ridiculously high balcony… Aghhhh doesn’t sound very relaxing does it? Here’s my top ten tips to keep your sanity (and enjoy your break!): 

  1. Plan ahead and do your research. It’s such a simple thing but many families book accommodation without first checking to see if it fits their needs. Check with the hotel if their rooms have balconies and if it worries you (or you have a climber like me!) book somewhere else. We once checked into a beautiful resort in Bali only to discover our 5th floor suite had a balcony with slats wide enough for our kids to fit through! The resort were marvellous and put a barrier in place but it didn’t stop me from hovering nervously over the kids when we were on the balcony. Lesson learnt!  
  2. Take a nightlight. I’ve found that hotel rooms are great for retina burning type bright lamps but these are hopeless for when you need a soft lighting option to get your little one off to sleep. I found this portable one at Woolworths and I love it because it turns off after about half an hour so everyone is happy. 
  3. Once you’ve checked in, scope out the room. If there’s a glass coffee table or massive pottery vase or super-expensive-fragile-looking-thingy, whatever it is, just call the front desk and politely ask them to remove it from your room. Don’t feel silly, in my experience the hotel have appreciated my concern and were more than happy to assist. 
  4. Throw a pack of balloons in your bag for the kids to play with at the hotel. They take up next to no space and if your kids are anything like mine they’ll love chasing them around. Cost effective and easy! 
  5. Take the Grow anywhere Blind. I’ve written about this awesome product before (take a look HERE) and I’m still raving about them. So versatile and allows us to section off part of the room if we need to so our toddler can sleep.   
  6. As soon as you walk into the hotel room, flip the latch on the door. Its so simple but its unbelievable the amount of times hotel staff have walked straight into our hotel room at all times of day. I especially make sure I’ve flipped the latch when we have the kids in an interconnecting room. This seemed to happen quite often in the US where the kids were happily playing and hotel staff just wander in the room without warning.
  7. I learnt the hard way in the US about automated mini bars. You touch, move, take out anything from the mini bar and you are automatically charged for that item. Soooo, what did I do? I emptied the entire mini bar to fit in our breakie supplies and snacks and got hit with a whopping bill at the end of it. Usually these type of mini bars come with a warning (clearly I wasn’t paying attention!) and the hotel are happy to remove the items for you – all you have to do is ask! 
  8. Pack a pop up laundry basket. This makes life in the hotel room just a little easier. No messy piles of laundry building up in the corners of the room and it easily fits into your luggage.   
  9.  Save precious packing space and take toys that can double as pool or bath toys. I have found that cars, trains, plastic dolls and plastic animals work best for us. 
  10. Unpack your bags and set up stations. Generally we set up an area for nappy changes and an area for food supplies. That way you aren’t digging through a suitcase trying to find what you need with a screaming baby on your hip.

Do you have any tips for surviving hotel rooms with kids? 

*please note that this post is part of my entry into the Virgin Australia ProBlogger Competition