Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Vacationing with Kids

When we travel with our kids (aged 8 and 2 1/2), we really try to get some type of accomodations other than the standard hotel room: a two-room suite, a two-room condo, or even a house (especially if we go with another family). This way, it really is a relaxing vacation for all. We certainly don't want to go to bed by 8:30pm each night (well, maybe that would be nice), and if the kids don't get some kind of regular sleep, then being around them isn't exactly a picnic. With more than one sleeping area, the kids can go to sleep, and we can stay up. The same goes for arising in the morning.

Although it may seem to be an unwarranted extra expense, we have found it to be worth it. We will select a slightly less luxiourous hotel, and trade it in for extra space, and end up paying only slightly more. Also, if you pay more for a condo or upgraded room and have a kitchenette, you will inevitably save some money on meals. If you really can't afford the extra splurge, you can get creative. Last summer, the hotel had a balcony with chairs set up outside. We had only the one room, but we would put the toddler in his pack and play and sit right outside the room until we knew he was sleeping (that place also had WIFI, so we could bring the laptop out). Once he was out for the night, we could turn on the bedside lamp and read. When our daughter was a preschooler, she slept in a few closets on our travels. We would bring her little sleeping bag and tuck her in. She loved it! Incidentally, we had a very large walk in closet in one home, and when we had visitors, they would use her room, and she would sleep in our closet at home, too.

Want more tips? Click over to Rocks in my Dryer each Wednesday.

14 comments:

Joyful Days said...

Great ideas! But it had never occurred to me that a closet would work on the road like that. It seems children really like cubbies to crawl in. They sure want to play in them at home!

Thanks!

Joyful Days/Julie

Becky said...

Great tip! Thanks for sharing. I'm sure it is well worth the added cost. We usually vacation in FL and are fortunate enough to stay with my brother or at my in-laws place. I will definitely keep this in mind, though, for when we aren't staying somewhere for free!!!

Katrina said...

Great idea. We always tried to do the same thing with Camden, and now that we have 2, we'll definitely make this a priority. Camden's slept in his share of closets too, by the way -- they come in handy. :)

Karen said...

Great idea about the closet! My best friend as a freshman in high school slept in a closet under the stairs...(it was in an apartment when they first moved to our town and was only for about 3 months)...and she actually loved it.

We have three and an extra room is not only a luxury, but in many cases, we have found it to be a necessity!

Heidi said...

Great idea! We personally haven't taken a "real" vacation since my son was born because I can't figure out where would be fun to go with a toddler. However, we have had to find accommodations for family events and my mom found a great alternative to hotels. She found a apartment complex that rented the "showcase" apartments by the night. We got a two bedroom apartment for $75 a night and the 3 bedroom one was only $100 a night. That was a lot cheaper than any hotel plus we could use the apartment swimming pool. It's worth looking into!

L.L. Barkat said...

Hmmm... what a novel use of closet space.

Nikki said...

I love the kids sleeping in closets plan! My mom thought I was a nut at first and that my son would get claustrophobia. My son thought it was the greatest! Great way to preserve space in hotels and with guests over.

Stephanie said...

Sleeping in the closet? Funny! Our oldest (also 8) used to sleep in the bathroom, but that is a story too long for comments.

Great travel trips. Extra cost for space is really worth your sanity!

Jane said...

This is the kind of thing I hadn't thought about. We don't have kids yet. Sure changes things! I need to file this tip away for the future!

Anonymous said...

I now insist on having some kind of a suite when we travel. We have 3 children (3 years, 2 years, 6 months). Last year we got a hotel suite that was 2 separate regular rooms with the adjoining door removed. One side had a sofa and table, refrigerator, microwave and FULL bathroom. It was fantastic! We don't even have 2 full bathrooms at home. = )

Definitely worth the extra money!

Stephanie in RI

Chris said...

These are great suggestions! We also look for places with two rooms or extra space for the kids. Now that are kids are getting older (and bigger) we almost need two complete bedrooms anymore.

Kristen said...

This is a suggestion that we follow all the time and it really does make all the difference in the world!

Heather said...

Sticking your daughter in the closet - that'll provide fodder for future therapy. Just kidding.
I stuck my husband in a closet once. Before we were married, a group of us rented a cabin on a lake. They assigned Chris and I the same bedroom. We found a cot and set it up in the closet. I lucked out and spent the two nights with the queen bed all to myself.

Rachelle said...

Great tips! We always do the same thing in hotels. Our kids are only 9 & 7 but now they always ask us if they can have their OWN hotel room separate from ours. As if!