- Request a Kitchen Efficiency
If your hotel of choice offers a Kitchen Efficiency, take it! Well, I mean make a reservation. If not, at least request a mini refrigerator and / or microwave. Baby Lo still takes a bottle at bed and a refrigerator and microwave are necessary for overnight trips. Plus, the convenience of these two appliances are great for storing snacks, juice boxes and even drinks for Mom & Dad, you know what I mean, (oh, wait not about us?) While you are at it, don’t forget to pack a sponge and dish soap. It helps for washing bottles, sippy cups, dropped binkies, you name it.
- Lysol Wipes
Yes. I am that Mom. I Lysol the heck out of a hotel room. “Don’t touch anything!” That is me as a bore ahead of Nathan and Lo, ready to tackle any germs. If you are neurotic like me, I would suggest wiping down the following: light switches, door knobs, remote controls, telephone, heating / cooling controls, and bathroom handles and knobs. I know. I am nuts. Clean, but nuts.
- Be a Safety Officer
I bet it never crossed your mind the safety of your room. You probably unload and unpack and jump right into vacation mode. Although, I suggest taking a moment to get eye-level as it relates to your children. Check for any small items that were left under furniture – safety pins, pills, buttons. Basically, anything that could be hazardous and while you are at it, check the placement of your crib or pack n’ play for cords from curtains. If you have very young children it may be helpful to pack outlet covers and a roll of tape to secure ropes, cords, etc.
- Pack an Extra Sheet
This is a hack for those with super young children who are bound to the floor with their rolling and crawling. You can easily throw a sheet across the room’s floor and place baby and toys on top for safe and clean play.
- Bring Your Own Pillows
Staying in a new space and new room can be hard on young children. Heck! It is sometimes hard for adults. Missing the comforts of home and your own bed is natural. Pack your own pillows for comfort. The smell and familiarity will assist in helping your children fall asleep.
- Pack a Portable Crib
Avoid rollaway and crib rentals when at all possible. They cost you extra money, can be bulky and again if you are a germaphobe like me, you just are not a fan. Bring your own pack n’ play for little kids. It will provide comfort and you, peace of mind.
- Pack Plastic Cups
Don’t use the glassware in your hotel rooms. Just don’t. Instead pack the good ol’ Solo Cups and use, use, use. You will avoid children fighting over that one glass that exists, because we all know a sibling wants the one thing the other sibling has. Plus, I always question the disinfecting and cleaning of glassware in rooms. Yuck! Plastic cups are the away to go. Trust me.
- Bring Extra Trash Bags
Kids are messy individuals. They have this insane ability to generate trash like it is a supernatural power. If you have a little one in diapers then this is a must. You do not want to be stuck in a room with stinky diapers in an overflowing waste can. Plus, have you ever seen hotel trash cans? Super tiny. Just pack some trash bags! Plus, another tip. I throw all dirty clothes in a trash bag and cart out for travel back home. This way, when I walk in the door, I head straight for the washing machine and immediately start a load of laundry.
- Always Lock The Doors
This may seem like a no-brainier, but I doubt you have even thought about this let alone acted upon it. We are conscious that our rooms are not accessible from the outside in. Although, the concern is for the children inside, getting out. Use the latch to lock the door as soon as you enter. That way if your little explorers decide to open the door to peak out the hallway and make a mad break for the oh-so-fun, must run down that hall, the latch will not allow the door to open all the way. Resulting in a child locked out of the room and a panicking parent.
- Leave the Expectations at the Door
Or, in the hallway for that matter. I suggest going into a travel situation with children with an open mind. Setting goals and preconceived ideas on what your vacation should or must be, just places unnecessary pressure. It is too hard to live up to the expectation. Plus, with children, anything can happen. Our last vacation, I forced myself to go-with-the-flow. It was the best thing I ever did. Lo was great and our vacation was better than I expected.
What hotel hacks when traveling with kids would you suggest?
For more Parenting Hacks, check out the following articles:
- Surviving The Beach With Kids
- Choosing The Perfect Diaper Bag
- Summertime Parenting Hacks
- The Ultimate Baby Registry