Choosing a hotel for an upcoming vacation SOUNDS pretty easy, right?
You've got maid service. Often there is free breakfast. A pool, Cable TV... what more could you want?
Well, once you've stayed at a hotel that didn't fit your needs -- you find that out pretty quickly, and I am sure a lot of you know what I mean.
Today I want to share 3 things that you should watch for before you book a hotel room for your family. A lot of these tips are also in my post about booking a Disneyland family package -- as that is a bit of a microcosm of family hotels in general. I hope you find this post helpful!
#1 tip for picking a hotel for your family: Walls & Needs
When my kids were small, they often couldn't sleep in the same room as me. They'd just stand up in their playpen and cry for me.
Note: We are the complete opposite of co-sleepers. My kids slept in their own cribs and often in their own rooms from day one. SO, to have me so close at bedtime was just too hard.
Often we'd find ourselves out in the hallway with the baby monitor waiting for them to go to sleep so we could tiptoe in and slip into bed ourselves.
BUT, even if we got a half wall we were able to put the kid in their own "zone" and do alright.
The good news is that toddlers are pretty small, so you don't need a full wall. Sometimes a closet even worked as well!
Now that my kids are older we have different needs, but that was a big one -- and by calling around to a few hotels or looking at room images online -- I was able to meet our needs much more than just choosing the cheapest hotel room.
If you're going to a location for ONE thing, or if you're just pulling off the freeway for a nap -- get a room close to that thing! I hate driving to a destination, and then being SO far from the thing we are going to.
It is worth it to pay for a more expensive hotel if we have to travel less.
It gives kids more time to stretch out and swim, etc.
Man oh man, I have really started reading reviews for how the beds are.
I think I'm just old -- but hotels need to replace beds frequently, and many don't make that a priority. We often are sleeping with a child next to us. To have a poor mattress AND a kicking child is one of my least favorite parts of a hotel.
Whereas, once you find a hotel that has great mattresses.... it's just bliss.
Oh, and pillows too!
Thing that doesn't matter: BRAND
I used to think that all Marriotts would be great, but it seems like there are getting to be 2-5 hotel chains out there and they are all seeming more and more alike.
I'd much rather look at reviews on places like Trip Advisor, or other places online than believe that all XYZ brand hotels will be great.
Anyway -- those are my tips for picking a hotel for YOUR next family vacation. Hopefully it gives you some ideas to find the perfect spot for your family!