10 Hotel Tips for Travel with Young Children

child in a slumberpod over a travel crib in a hotel room

Traveling with young children is always a challenge. We want you to have the best trip possible with your sweet kids so we are divulging all of our best hotel tips for kids to make sure you have the smoothest hotel stay that you can.

1. Book directly with the hotel

If possible, call the hotel property you plan to visit and book directly with an agent. You’ll be able to ask all the questions you have about the amenities at that specific hotel. Calling the corporate hotline to book with a hotel chain is the next best option, but corporate doesn’t always know what’s going on at each property. For example, if you’re planning to use the pool a lot, corporate might not know that it will be under renovation while you’re there, but the booking agents at the hotel will.

Questions you might want to ask:

  • Can I reserve two travel cribs for my twins?
  • Can I get an adjoining room with our family who is also staying at the hotel?
  • Will our room have a bathtub or just a shower?
  • Will your pool, hot tub, game room, restaurant, etc. be open while we are there? What are the hours?
  • Is there a coffee maker in the room? Mini fridge? Microwave?
  • Is there a self-service washer/dryer? Do I need to bring my own quarters?

We highly recommend only booking refundable rooms. When you have kids, you never know what’s going to happen. It may seem like you’re in the all clear, and then the night before your child starts vomiting and you have to cancel the whole trip. Even though discount rates are so tempting, it’s really not worth it for your peace of mind. Especially avoid booking a non-refundable room through a discount travel site; the site may only be able to refund you with a credit for a future stay.

baby and mom in a travel crib with a slumberpod
Photo by John D. Helms www.johndavidhelms.com

2. Pay attention to square footage

Check the square footage of all the rooms before you decide what room to book. Just because a room can hold two double beds doesn’t mean it’s bigger than the room with 1 king bed. Whenever you see the word “suite” that’s going to mean extra room for travel cribs, rollaway beds, toddler cots, luggage, and all the other stuff you need with young children.

3. Location, location, location

Make your room location wishes known and make sure it’s included in your account notes. If your kids are runners, choose a room away from the elevators to avoid any escapes. If your kids will be napping during the day, avoid a room near a noisy area, such as the lobby, pool, and game room (and elevators! Just avoid them altogether.)

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4. Call the property to confirm a few days out

Remember all those notes you mentioned to the agent when you booked the room? Yeah. Call the hotel directly to make sure those notes were actually recorded and the front desk is aware of your needs. Double-check that you’ll be able to get those two travel cribs you need! Ask about any updates to the property that you should be aware of, especially if you booked a long time ago.

car trunk with luggage
Photo by John D. Helms www.johndavidhelms.com

5. Ask if you can ship supplies to the hotel

While you’re on the phone with the front desk, ask if you can receive packages, and if there is a fee to do so. Find out the hotel’s shipping address and order supplies in advance, such as diapers, formula, wipes, snacks, bottled water, cereal, etc. Why bring all this stuff with you if you can have Amazon Prime ship it for free?

6. Try out new travel gear before leaving

Try out any new items that you bought for the trip ahead of time. If you’re using a new item, such as a SlumberPod or a sound machine, try it out a few days ahead to make sure the kids are used to it. Sleeping in a new place will be a big transition for them and you want to make bedtime as familiar as possible. We highly recommend bringing a sound machine (buy on Amazon) to drown out noise from the hallway. The Baby Shusher (buy on Amazon) is another great travel tool.

7. Don’t forget bathtime gear

An often-forgotten travel must-have is bathtime gear, such as non-slip bath mats, bath toys, baby shampoo, and baby wash (buy on Amazon). Your kids are going to want to take baths while you’re away from home and you need to make sure you’re ready.

queen bed in a hotel room with a slumberpod
Photo by John D. Helms www.johndavidhelms.com

8. Ask about upgrades

Upon arrival at the front desk, double-check that your room is in the location you requested. Then, kindly ask if there are upgrades available for a family with twins. If the hotel isn’t busy, you may score a free upgrade to a larger room. Always use the agent’s first name and tell them they’ve “always been your favorite”. A little humor and personal connection can go a long way with the front desk staff.

9. One adult does check-in

Speaking of the check-in process, we highly recommend you have one adult stay in the car with the kids while you take care of check-in. This will avoid the chaos of managing everything while you’re trying to pay attention to the desk agent. Now you can focus on what you’re doing! Even better, have the other adult drive the kids to get lunch or find a local playground to keep the kids occupied while you get into the room and set everything up. You should set up the travel cribs, cots, and SlumberPods now while you have the chance. Don’t wait until bedtime to set everything up because if something’s missing it may be too late to run out and grab it from the car or a local store.

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10. Try to stay on the kids’ schedule

This is a tough one: try to stay on the kids’ schedule. If they normally have two naps a day, but you’re planning to be on the beach by nap #1, bring along what you need to set up naptime at the beach! Or in a stroller, or in the car. You probably won’t be able to keep to your exact schedule to the minute, but with some flexibility and a little creativity you’ll be able to get your kids the rest they need so you can all enjoy your vacation to the fullest.

Travel with young children is not for the faint of heart. But it is totally worth it for the memories, the stories, and the awesome family photos you’ll treasure for a lifetime. Hopefully, our hotel tips will help you avoid the more stressful moments, and you might even have some fun. What a thought! 🙂 Happy trails!

family in a hotel bed with a slumberpod on the side
Photo by John D. Helms www.johndavidhelms.com

Sponsored by SlumberPod

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two slumberpods in a hotel room
Photo by John D. Helms www.johndavidhelms.com

Most parents have been there. You’re sharing a room with a baby or toddler and the sleep situation is anything but restful. For anyone. The baby wakes up and sees you across the room and won’t go back to sleep, or the room isn’t dark enough for the baby to stay asleep at nighttime or during naps. And with twins?? Forget it. It’s rough, to say the least.

SlumberPod is the FIRST portable, privacy sleep nook that allows babies to sleep in their safe and familiar playard or travel crib with room to sit up or stand up inside. Created by a mother-daughter team, patent-pending SlumberPod solves the age-old problem of getting a good night’s sleep while sharing a room with your little one. Babies and toddlers can easily nap in bright or distracting conditions (approved for indoor use only).

slumberpod
Photo by John D. Helms www.johndavidhelms.com

Latest Posts

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  • Recommended for healthy, full-term little ones 4 months and older
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SlumberPod Features:

  • Designed with safety as the #1 priority and complies with CPSC regulations
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