Kids were jumping back and forth between the beds. We had met my sister’s family for spring break, and I was alone with three energetic kids in a small hotel room, with no car to take them anywhere. It was time to pull out my tricks for surviving a hotel trip with kids.
Whether it’s spring break with the kids or a trip to visit family across the country, if you’re staying in a hotel with kids, these tips will help you keep your sanity.
- Set up Stations One of the first things I like to do when we get to a hotel room is set up stations. Find a place for everyone to put their shoes. No more hunting under the beds for that lost shoe when you’re trying to get the kids out the door for breakfast. If you have a baby, set aside a spot for diaper changing. A coffee table is a great place to set up an area for kids to color, look at books, and play with their toys. Having those little toys on the table also means you won’t be stepping on Hot Wheels in the middle of the night.
- Free Breakfast We always find a hotel with a free breakfast included. This means not having to get everyone up and dressed and out the door first thing in the morning just to eat. When fruit is offered I try to bring a piece or two back to our hotel room as a healthy snack option for the kids later.
- Hotel Swimming Pool When booking your hotel try to find one with an indoor swimming pool. Swimming is a great way to get some energy out of the kids. And having an indoor pool means your child can swim no matter what the weather is like.
- Explore the Hotel This is another simple way to get some energy out of the kids. Have them put on their shoes and take a walk all around the hotel. Go up the stairs. Travel down all the hallways. Check out what’s in the vending machine. How many ice dispensers can you find?
- Travel Games Hotel stays are perfect for family game time. Tuck a couple travel games into your suitcase and have game hour. We love our travel versions of Connect 4 and Battleship.
- Play Dough Play dough is great for sensory input after a long car trip. Plus, it can be used on its own or it can be used to give a new dimension to some favorite toys.
- Build a Fort Everything you need for a great fort is in your hotel room. Stretch a blanket between two beds and put some pillows underneath on the floor. Or drape a sheet over a table.
- Take a Bath This is a great one for toddlers. Run some water in the tub, give them a couple of the plastic cups from the hotel room, and let them spend some time splashing in the water.
- DVD’s Sometimes you just need a few minutes to reset yourself. Letting the kids watch a bit of t.v. can give you that time. Unfortunately there aren’t always the best shows on the hotel television channels. If you’re bringing a laptop with you, or if you have a travel DVD player, bringing a couple DVD’s from home means you always have something your child can watch.
- Book Light Having the whole family in one room often means the adults have to go to sleep when the kids do. A book light allows you to read once the kids are asleep without waking them up. You can also use that book light to see enough to play a game of cards if you’re traveling with your spouse.
*To make the trip to the hotel go smoothly, be sure to check out our tips for screen free traveling with kids.*
With a little planning and these helpful tips, staying in a hotel room with the kids doesn’t have to be stressful.
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Ginny Marie says
We have found that book light is essential when traveling with our kids! We like to stick as close to our bedtime routine as we can. We also try to get a room with a balcony or outdoor seating area in the summer, so my hubby and I can sit outside and relax when the kids are in bed, but that’s not always available or affordable.
I wish I had thought of the book light sooner. 🙂 We also try to stick to that bedtime routine, but I am not always ready to fall asleep at 9:00 with the kids. I love the balcony idea!
Heather H says
GREAT ideas!! I’d never thought of packing play dough or letting them build a fort. Those would keep them occupied for a good while. I appreciate your sharing this with the Everything Kids pin & link party 🙂
I never thought of the fort idea until our latest trip a couple weeks ago. My husband had to stay home for work and it was just me and the kids, plus I had my nephew. The kids just sort of began piling up pillows and when the fort idea was introduced, it kept them busy a very, very long time. 🙂
I always set up stations for shoes, clothes, hygiene and toys as well. It’s just easier than having it all crammed into one corner of the hotel room. I didn’t think about having a fort or playdough in the room. Good ideas!
Tiffany @ A Touch of Grace says
We are big on the hotel pools for sure. We try to wear our daughter out as much as possible before bed, haha!
Wearing them out so they go to bed quickly is always a good plan! I should have added that heated pools are better — my kids will swim in them a lot longer and then get way more tired. 😉