Your choice of hotel can make a huge difference in how much you enjoy your vacation — and that’s doubly true when you’re traveling with kids. Children get hungry, tired, bored, and overstimulated much more quickly than adults, and if their needs aren’t met, they can ruin everyone’s day. If you want the whole family to enjoy your next adventure together, look for these features in your next hotel.
Unless you have a pool at home or live near the beach, this is probably the feature your kids will be most excited about. If your kids are super excited about the pool, call or email the hotel just before you leave home to confirm it’s in working order and avoid disappointments. An indoor pool is a blessing on rainy or cold days.
Most children are delighted by even the simplest of breakfast buffets. They love the independence of choosing their own foods and the novelty of using juice and cereal dispensers or cooking their own waffles. Eating breakfast in the hotel means everyone can move at their own pace in the morning and have an agreeable start to the day.
Kids have big eyes, tiny tummies, and huge energy needs. That means they’ll whine that they’re starving, eat two bites, wiggle away from the table, and be starving again an hour later. Having a kitchenette means you can save leftovers, prepare snacks, and feed your kids on their own schedule instead of having to spend on a restaurant for the whole family every time one child is hungry.
A minifridge and microwave will be useful, but if you can scrimp on your restaurant budget to afford a suite with a real kitchen, do it. Fill the fridge with yogurt, fruit, sandwich ingredients, and leftovers. If you have a kitchen, the free breakfast becomes much less important.
If your kids are used to taking a long leisurely bath at bedtime, switching to a shower isn’t going to go over well. Unless your children are already used to taking showers, email the hotel ahead of your arrival to make sure your room will have a tub.
This may not be something you think about when you travel alone, but if you want your kids to nap while traveling, you’ll need to be able to turn down the stimulation and provide a suitable napping space. This is important whether you’re staying in a hotel in Ocean City booked with Hotel Planner or abroad in France. Even kids who’ve outgrown naps will benefit from a little quiet time lying down between activities. Mom and Dad may need that too.
Traveling successfully with kids demands much more patience and planning than adult travel usually requires. Outlining their schedules ahead of time and anticipating their special needs will go a long way toward ensuring a peaceful and happy vacation for the whole family. The hotel you choose will be a big part of that planning.