One of the benefits of having 1 child is having more disposable income and being able to do what we want when we want. Rather than having to pick and choose what we can and can’t do. If we’d had a second child, I’d have definitely had to cut down to part time working, or maybe even give up work, and that would have meant relying on one self employed wage.
We don’t go on foreign holidays, but we do like to get away in the UK a few times a year. Apart from our annual camping trip, if it’s just me taking N away, hotels are our preference. We’ve done B&Bs before having N which were fine, but I always feel a bit more relaxed hanging around in a hotel room over a B&B or guesthouse during the day if we need to.
We generally stay in quite nice hotels because I usually book last minute, and one of my requirements is having parking onsite so choices are limited. When I say last minute, sometimes that’s midnight the day before we go.
But I do always have a bit of a worry beforehand, wondering what the hotel will be like. Whatever the reviews, there’s usually a little niggle that creeps in during the stay. However amazing a hotel, it’s rarely to have a perfect stay, especially when it’s a child friendly hotel. The hotel itself might be great, but the people in the room next door might not be. I’m always aware and trying to get N to keep his voice or the tv volume down.
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When you’re staying in a hotel with children you want things to be as easy as possible, and you still want to feel like you’re having a break. It’s not always easy when you’re in the same room as them. I’ve never had to resort to sitting in the bathroom in the dark waiting for N to go to sleep, but I know parents who have. But I do have my Kindle Paperwhite to be able to read in low light or darkness while he falls asleep.
Things I don’t want when staying in a hotel with kids
Elderly people watching tv late and loud in the room next door. Our last hotel stay had obviously very deaf people in the next room. There’d be no noise until 10 o’clock at night when they’d turn the tv on for the 10 o’clock news. The alternative can be an unsettled baby who cries all night.
A small double bed. We’ve quite often shared a bed when we’ve booked late and there’s been no twin rooms left. We’d also had rooms where they’ve put out a little temporary bed for children. But because they’re so low to the ground, N has wanted to sleep in the huge double bed, only using his own to chill out on. The older they get the more space they take up, so twin rooms are the way forward (or family rooms if you can get one).
People going ‘ahh’ at your child being cute/annoying in the breakfast room. Of course it’s nice to be told your child is well behaved or delightful, but we never seem to get that. It’s usually just an ‘ahh’ sometimes from other guests, sometimes from staff. N doesn’t always get what they’re saying to him, so then he asks me questions…which are never done quietly so it can be a bit embarrassing. Plus I’m never quite sure whether they’re saying ‘ahh’ but are a bit annoyed that their quiet breakfast is being commented on by a child. Because children aren’t tactful about their observations.
Tourist information leaflets – our room is always full of them. I do love tourist information leaflets. But when they’re freely available and right by the stairs or lift, your child will collect the same ones over and over again unless you spot them and stop them.
Empty cupboards where a fridge/mini bar used to be. Because we all take lots of snacks with us when we have children on holiday, and sometimes you need to keep food cool.
A room fan switch on your child’s side of the room. Within their reach. You will find the air conditioning fiddled with.
Pale or unlined curtains – we need as much help as possible to get children to sleep when they’re excited and away from home. Mine rarely sleeps in past 6.30 even on holiday.
Local joyriders or louts sitting in cars opposite the hotel playing loud music in the middle of the night. Not really what we expected to see for several nights in a nice area of Portsmouth.
Posh restaurants – that don’t really cater for children. N will quite happily eat normal food rather than children’s menus, but some are so fussy, I won’t eat them, let alone him.
Overly quiet restaurants where no-one dares speak. And if you do, everyone can hear everything you (or your very loud child) say.
Thankfully the places we’ve stayed have mostly been very nice, and the odd quirk has provided us some laughs and memories. Which even years later N still brings up.
Have you had any ‘unsuitable’ stays when staying at a child friendly hotel?