Hi guys! So, many of you have asked me how we are surviving or enjoying staying in hotels with our small children, for an extended period of time. Well, it’s been really great and also challenging too! Here’s a few quick points on how to survive hotel life while ‘on the road’:
1. Do your research
Make sure you understand what you will have access to when booking your stay – do you have an oven, stove, fridge, microwave, kettle in your room, and do you have access to laundry services? This goes a long way and helps you plan meals and snacks, what to pack clothing-wise etc in advance. With kids, food and snacks are everything, so if we can tick this one off early on we will all be a much happier family. Make sure you also check if there is a bath – it’s so much easier having a bath in your hotel room when traveling with small kiddos.
2. Get organized
Really obvious right? Well, I find that if we don’t unpack and put everything in it’s proper place on the first day, it’s never going to happen and you will keep living in chaos. This will make you frustrated and you will want to go home to your own space. Unpack your bags into the cupboards people! It does wonders.
Here are some quick points of advice that has made my life easier:
- Bring along Ziploc bags to use for packing snacks when out and about (most hotels don’t have Tupperware that you can use).
- Pack small bin bags to use for dirty diapers.
- Do a Walmart run on day one and get some supplies to last for the trip – water bottles, fruit and veg platters, cereal, milk, easy snacks for the kids.
- Make an Activity/ Toy area – I use the living room table or the storage space under the tv unit.
3. Plan activities
We get out and explore a lot but sometimes you just want to be ‘home’ for a bit. With small children, down time is often needed. So I make sure I arrange easy to pack and play activities for the hotel rooms.
Ideas: Stickers and sticker books, coloring in books and markers/ crayons, activity ‘learning type’ books, small puzzle games, magic marker paper pads, a doll, some small toy favorites, the iPad is an obvious winner ‘activity’ go to for games and my preschooler’s favorite shows.
4. Make your hotel suite or room homely
We are spoilt and are able to book suites which always means we have at least one (sometimes two) bedroom/s which has more of a house feel. There is usually a separate living area and kitchen so it’s possible to make ‘home’ for a while. Open the curtains at the start of the day, do a little clean up (children are messy guys!) and have things in order for the day. Chaos in the hotel room will lead to chaos and major freak out in your mind. Trust me, it’s happening right now and I need to do a little clean and sort in our hotel room!
Life may seem busy at first when ‘on the road’ but actually life is slowing down for a moment. Take the time to breathe and connect with your family. Chances are you are in a much more confined space and are ‘forced’ into each other’s faces a bit more than normal. Use it for the good! 😉
6. Keep to routine and remember the rules
Of course when you are away, you tend to go out more late afternoon or evening and sometimes bedtime is later and routine is all jumbled on occasion, and that’s totally fine and fun. But when you are ‘home’ in the hotel room, try keep the routine (especially bedtime) the same or constant. My kids thrive on routine and this is the thing that I will always try keep and protect for them while ‘on the road’. Rules, manners and good behavior always needs to be enforced and it’s best not to get too relaxed and casual with these things because kids pick up on it and you will have to reteach everything when you are home again. Not fun! We are stricter parents I think and I don’t mind that – this works for us and my kids will always know their boundaries.
7. Utilize the hotel offerings and amenities
This is a given right? Who doesn’t enjoy being on holiday for a while?! I am sure going to miss waking up and heading downstairs for a real full hearty breakfast every morning; without having to lift a finger in the preparation 😉 But I may need to start some serious fitness and training to get rid of the weight gain haha. Swimming pools, fitness centers, grilling outdoor on the patio offerings, high teas and free social drink functions, laundry services, house keeping, room service etc – I am taking advantage now because soon i will be home on my hands and knees cleaning behind our toilet and wishing for simpler days 🙂
8. Try stay active
The hotels we’ve stayed at have had great swimming pools and fitness centers. Getting active is great for yourself as a mom (even just for your mind) but also for the kids. I find swimming with the littles to be a great bonding time but it also burns that energy so that they are not as hyper and sleep well. With all the delicious food we’ve been consuming (cookie pancakes, full buffet breakfast; so much speciality coffee); exercise is needed! 😉
9. Stay away germs
Me and little Hudson have both been sick recently. Take your vitamins, get crazy with hand washing and hand sanitizer. Try to eat good meals with lots of greens, and drink that water! Traveling and staying in a place where many people have stayed before (ew) means there is a larger chance that you will be exposed to many more germs. I’ve learnt a lot on this trip and will be more vigilant going forward. Go away germs!
10. When in doubt, get out
We sometimes get to a point where my preschooler keeps whining and is seriously getting on my nerves, my baby is fussy, and I’m in a bad mood. The when in doubt just get out rule works super well here – get some fresh air or try explore something new or simply take a walk around the hotel! My three year old loves making friends with the hotel staff so we can spend ages walking around chatting to everyone! Or we take a swim or even just walk to check on the laundry.
We have been super spoilt and are really looked after at these amazing hotels. I am enjoying having a break from cleaning our home, cooking dinner every night and general house and life admin. I’ve got to connect with our kids more during the day without having as many distractions or things on the to do list. Yes, I miss home and having our own space and our amazing basement or garden that Summer can run around in, but what a great change in atmosphere for a while. And what an adventure – making memories with my gorgeous family. Isn’t that great? How can I complain?
Until next time.
Much love from the traveling Bergs 🙂