There are tons of options available to family travelers from campsites to luxury resorts. You may not plan on spending a ton of time indoors while you travel with the kids, but that doesn’t mean that the accommodations you choose won’t have any effect on your experience. Quite the contrary, actually—where you stay will greatly impact the success of your family vacation. It’s not necessarily about where you go, as there are tons of great options in most popular destinations, but rather more about being prepared. Here are some tips to help you make the most out of your hotel stay.
It always pays to call ahead or do some thorough research on the website to know what you are getting yourself into. After all, how can you plan properly if you don’t know what the hotel has available to you? Check to see if the hotel you are staying at:
- Charges for parking
- Offers some kind breakfast
- Includes free wifi
- Has a spa
- Has an indoor/outdoor pool
- Has a kid’s club
- Has a restaurant/room service
Really, the list goes on and on. You will maximize your experience by finding and booking a hotel that has all of the amenities and services that you think you might like on your trip. Once you’re there, not much can be done about the lack of pool.
Something as simple as an in-room coffee maker can make or break your trip. If the kids are scared to approach you before the breakfast buffet opens at 7 or 8, it might be in everyone’s best interest to call ahead and ensure your room has the “essentials.”
Join The Loyalty Programs
One way to make the most out of your hotel stay is not to pay for it. Sounds great doesn’t it? You can earn free nights when you join a hotel or hotel chain’s loyalty program—but that’s not the only way to get rewards.
When you sign up for a loyalty program, the hotel recognizes you as a special guest, and as such, they are more likely to treat you as one. This means that you have the chance to get special welcome amenities and even upgrades when they are available. Again, this is one of those situations where you need to do some research and make sure the program perks match up with your wants and needs.
Now that you know all about the hotel and your special membership perks, use them! Instead of getting the little ones out of bed and going through a crazy morning routine, get breakfast sent up to your room. (Who doesn’t love room service?) If you get hit with a rainy day on your beach vacation, rest easy knowing the indoor pool is a safe bet.
Next, leave the toiletries at home. No one does this and I have no idea why. You know you’re going to pack your toothbrush and then leave it on the sink at the hotel. Why bother? Hotels have all of this stuff available for you. Toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo, conditioner, body wash, soap, lotion, razors, shaving cream, and even deodorant. No it’s not going to be the most high quality stuff you’ve ever used, but it’ll save you some time trying to figure out what the 3-1-1 rule of liquids is for airport travel.
When you get to the hotel, call down and inform guest services that you need a few things. At a recent stay at the Wallhouse Hotel in Walnut Creek, Ohio, they brought me two of each item I requested (you know, just in case my legs were super hairy that day and required two razors instead of one) and even left a box of refills outside my door the next day. Boy, I love not having to ask for extra towels!
Hotels Are Truly The Best
Every kiddo wants something different, and there’s no reason that you can’t have it all. You have no shortage of options when it comes to choosing a place to stay, so it’s important to take the necessary time to find just the right hotel for your family vacation. You’ll be able to set yourself up for success and make your hotel stay the best it can be when you plan well, join the right loyalty program, and utilize the hotel amenities to make packing and staying easier than you could have imagined.