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Tips on Hotel Stay with Toddler and Infant

Hi! I am looking for tips or advice on staying in a hotel with a 28 month old and 11 month old. We will be traveling by plane and there are lots of previous requests and great advice I got but I wanted to see if anyone had any tips on what to take as far as making a hotel stay more comfortable. Thanks so much for any help you can give!

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I have called the hotel about a month or so before we left and told them that I was traveling with children and ask if they could upgrade us to a larger room. In Chicago the room was PERFECT! The kids had plenty of room to run around and play. My sister did the same thing once and got a room with two bathrooms!

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If you are making reservations ahead of time, ask if they have cribs available and request one (or two, if your older son is still in a crib also) if they do. That makes things SO much easier. If you are able to take a playpen along with you if cribs are unavailable, that would also be helpful. If they have a fridge or microwave available in the rooms, get snacks and drinks to keep there with you. Think of what goes on at your house each night, any routines you have and whatnot, and try to plan accordingly as far as what is a necessity. Then find out what the hotel offers and get from them what you can. Many hotels have an onsite laundry facility, so that helps keep dirty clothes from piling up. You may also want to get one of the travel containers at WalMart that you buy empty (made for liquid soap or shampoo) and fill it up with dish soap to keep any bottles or sippy cups clean. Find out what kind of places will be nearby the hotel (within walking distance) so you'll know ahead of time if there are convenience stores in case you forget something. (You can go to Mapquest and type in where you'll be staying, and find nearby things that way. I hope you have a great trip and things go smoothly for you!!!

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Clorox "anywhere hard surface" sanitizer! & a favorite blanket & cuddly. a collapsible thermal cooler pack, which will keep your drinks much longer...if there's no frig in the room. some favorite (small) toys OR surprise them with a few new ones...either route has worked for me.
We have also used a goody bag containing wrapped, inexpensive prizes to help span out the trip. This works great with older ages, too.

Take some things that they like to use at home that's not so bulky & uncomfortable to you. I don't know how long your going to be gone but TRY to get some things's that remind them of home.....favorite blanky, toys & etc. Good luck to you, pray & be BLESSED!

Take some of their favorite smaller toys. Color Wonder coloring books and markers are great as they don't stain and only work on the color wonder paper or my kids loved the magna-doodle at age 2. Take plenty of snacks. Most hotels have cribs available but if you have room you may want to bring your own pack and play especially if your baby is used to using it that would be something with familiar surroundings. We went on many trips and stayed in hotels when our kids were young. They always did well and they always loved the hotel experience. It's something new and a place to explore. We went exploring all over and let them walk down the halls, get the ice and most of the time we stayed where there was a pool so would spend as much time at the pool as we could. Most of our trips were so busy that we didn't have much time at the hotel to get bored. We were there to sleep and up early the next morning for the events we went on the trip for.

We have stayed at many hotels with our children in traveling ages 6, 3 and 2. Most places do have porta cribs you can use which helps, but they also might cost about $5-$10. We have found that it is so nice to stay at hotels that serve breakfast. (not just cheap junk like doughnuts and coffee) We love Holiday Inn Express. They will have belgian waffle makers and fruits and juices and milk. some even do buiscuits and gravy and fresh warm cinnamon rolls yogurts and more. They always have high chairs in the dining areas. We have stayed at many of their hotels in about 6 different states and they have all been a great experience. A few weeks ago we stayed at a Ramada and they had a very nice breakfast buffet that was included with the stay also. it just makes it so much easier to not have to get them in the car to find food somewhere else. A lot of places have a pool which is nice. I know a few years back we checked the regular rates then checked on a rate for a suite and were able to get a good deal because it was slower... but that was good because the oversized tub was just as fun for the kids as the pool and it was easier to contain them. One more thing I do is to pack just a hotel bag. If you aren't staying at the hotel the whole time and are going to stay other places... I mine and the three kids clothes in one bag for the night we would be in the hotel and carried just that and my toiletry bag in(which had everything else possible in it) That makes it easier than a bunch of bags. We also "kid proof" the room as soon as we get there... unplug phones move furniture if needed..... to get my kids to sleep we would sometimes cover the crib with a heavy blanket so it would be darker and block out a little noise, it helped some. I hope some of this helped... good luck! travelling is hard with kids to begin with but I know even harder at those ages.

Been awhile, but when my son was not quite 3 years old, we spent a month overseas, living out of hotels. The one thing I did NOT pack (looked at it, decided not to, and kicked myself the entire time for dumb last minute decision) was a little cheap inflatable ball (we had gotten one as part of Toy Meal from one of the restaurants in town and it would've been perfect) - was about maybe 4 inches in diameter, like little miniature beach ball, blow it up, push the stem in, when done, pull stem out and deflate it. As it turned out, we found one at a "Everything's A Dinar" store, like our dollar store, so it worked okay - but my son LOVED playing with it - was toddling over to pick it up and we'd throw it to him, and it was soft enough to not damage anything in the hotel room.

Another thing I DID do and was happy I did, was I packed a small bottle of Lavender essential oil - and would put some on my chest before I nursed my son and a little bit on his chest and nose area so he could smell it - helped him calm down and drift off to sleep. This would work with your infant too as I started this with my son in his infancy and still do it sometimes now that he's almost 10!!

You might need two of the balls just so the infant can have something he can look at, especially if it has a variety of colors - can be showing him the colors, shapes, designs, just things to talk about as well as to have the tactile experience holding something.

We went on a trip and stayed in a hotel for a week with my two girls who were 1 and 3 at the time. The BEST thing I took were beach balls - the smaller ones, about 6 inches. They can deflate and pack very small and then when inflated they can be tossed, kicked, rolled and not hurt anyone or anything!!!!! Again, my children are girls but those Mardi Gras beads kept them busy alot - they can wear them, make designs with them.... I also never leave home without my stacking cups - they are a little bulky bet since they nest together..... I actually got two sets because they were so popular. I'm sure there are other versions but mine are Discovery Toys ones - oh, yeah, plus you have a toy to pack that can double as a pool or tub toy:) Depending on where you are going you might want to see if there is a place that (yes, this sounds weird) rents toys. I have seen places in Florida and California that rent baby equipment and age appropriate toys. Linda

We are active duty military so we have had numerous stays in hotels and such with our children. Who are now 9 and 11, which I think is harder now then when they were older because they are always bored no matter how much junk we bring. When they are little you could bring different toys and snacks and they were happy. We traveled with a pack and play and if the airline allowed a double stroller. It made things easier. We would make a pallet on the floor for the older one and the younger one would go in the pack and play. Make sure you have their favorite movies because not all hotels have good channels and now since technology is better use a portable dvd player, we have used these on the plane so they could have something to watch and they could wear headphones so not to bother anyone else. Make sure you get their ears checked and make sure you have a sippy cup or pacifier for take off and landing because of the pressure. We found out the hard way our daughter had a severe ear infection, believe me I wasn't anyones favorite person on a 17hr flight that she cried all but 2 hours. On the plane depending on the time of the flight if you as for the seat where there is a wall infront of you (basically between 1st class and coach) they have these cardboard bassinet things for the babies to sleep in if they don't need a carseat on the flight. But just make sure you have activities like coloring books, crayons, books, stuff that you know they enjoy and is easy to pack around.

Bring your own sheets! Most hotels use bleach to wash their sheets, and my daughter broke out in a rash the first time she slept at one. Plus, having your own sheets will make the foreign environment more familiar to them. Have fun!

reserve a portable crib to set up in the room for a makeship crib for the baby. however wipe it down with disinfect wipes..the one we had at a hotel once was pretty grubby for baby. second, ask for a dark blanket...put slightly over the portable crib when baby is FAST asleep it works as a sort of blackout to the light in the room. wish I knew about this one when we traveled with our first but alas read this tip on a blog somewhere a long time later.

PLEASE READ!!!!!!
I took my daughter to Oregon when she was 9 months old. I stayed at a decent hotel, not sure the name-it's been 8 years ago. Anyway, I ordered a crib to be sent to the room. It was there and looked just fine, so I placed our sheets on the crib and put her in it. A few minutes in to the situation, and the corner of the crib fell to the floor! Causing her to be trapped between the mattress and side rails. After checking her-she was okay-just really scared. I took the mattress board out and inspected the hardware underneath. It was bent, worn, and had least one piece missing! I took pictures and sent them to the management. My only consolation was "we're sorry" and a coupon for a few nights free stay at the hotel only in Oregon!!! (the only reason I went was because my uncle was dying) I didnt' stop there though. I called the corporate offices and told them of the situation in hopes that the crib was thrown away. My advice is to always take the crib apart and check it before using it. Have fun and good luck!

There has been a lot of good advice so far but I just wanted to second a few items. Definitely call the hotel in advance and let them know that you have two small children and ask for a larger size room if available at the same price. Some rooms are different size due to placement in the hotel. Also pre-request the crib/pack-n-play. If you wait until you get there, they may be all taken. Bring your own linens and blanket for the crib from home. The hotels use harsh chemicals and your detergent will smell familiar to your kids. Use a blanket or hotel towel to wrap around side of crib. This keeps the kiddo from waking up and seeing you. Also, ask for a fridge and or microwave. Sometimes it costs $5/day but it is worth it for keeping the kids milk snacks etc. We often go to the grocery store after checking in and buy cereal and a small jug of milk and fruit. I pack paper bowls and spoons in my suitcase (doesn't take up much room). The kids can have something for breakfast or snack if the hotel doesn't provide or you don't want to spend the money on costly restaurants for them. I also second the idea of bringing dish soap in a small travel size container for washing bottles.
Sorry for the long post but thought these tips were valuable.

My husband and I moved from Honolulu to here in August and lived in a hotel for 2 months until our stuff arrived. Most of the cribs in hotels now are the little playpens so you might want to bring your own crib sheet and maybe a favorite toy/blanket to help them sleep. My daughter had a favorite toy she liked to keep in her crib with her and a blanket just in case she got cold.

I have called the hotel about a month or so before we left and told them that I was traveling with children and ask if they could upgrade us to a larger room. In Chicago the room was PERFECT! The kids had plenty of room to run around and play. My sister did the same thing once and got a room with two bathrooms!

The first time we tried it, we ended up with a problem that we have learned to avoid on other trips since. Our problem was that we arrived at the hotel pretty late at night, expecting to just carry our sleeping daughter in and put her in the portable crib. Well she woke up, and had kind of a fit because of the unfamiliar surroundings. Since then, we have made sure to arrive at the hotel well before bedtime, so that she gets a chance to see where we are, and explore the room a little, play a little, and have our regular bedtime routine. Sometimes we even arrive early enough to play in the swimming pool. Staying in a hotel works out much better now. Good luck, and I hope you have a great trip!

I know a pack'n'play is really a pain to travel with but I found a great alternative! It's called a PeaPod Plus made by Kidco. We camp alot and don't have the room to set up a large portable crib. The PeaPod folds flat to the size of a steering wheel and has a blow up mattress w/ pump. It also zips closed so you won't have a wandering child. Hope this helps. Good Luck!

It has been my experience that trips in general are stressful for the kids. My daughter is now 5 yrs old and by now she seems to enjoy trips. I have always packed "her" stuff to make sure that the stay at the hotel had some of her familiar things. Favorite pajamas-treats-blanket-favorite toy and a movie. If you have a portable dvd thats excellent to bring, if not ask the hotel if they have one in your room. Pack stuff that help you occupy thier "in the meantime" at the hotel. You will need it when its time to get yourself ready. I also over do it by identifying an area just for her to put her stuff in. Hope I helped...

Make sure you take their favorite blanket and pillow. That will help them sleep. If there will be a pool, take your floaties and take them to the pool to help burn some energy. I used to travel with my daughter all the time. Those were the easiest ways to tire her out. It also made the trip much more enjoyable.

I bring a night light from home ( if they use one) and our own crib sheet and blanky. I request a crib ( or 2!) and I try to stay in a suite. We love Embassy Suites- they are 2 room units with a fridge and have free made to order breakfast. I can put my 2 down to sleep and go to the bedroom and not have to be lights out at 8 pm. Works out well for us! Good luck.

I have stayed in hotels a few times with my daughter who is now 4. We started staying in hotels with her at an early age. I would pack is the outlet covers and a night light if they use one. As well as the normal favorite blankies and toys to sleep with. I just found that child profing a room for a crawling child is best done before the child hits the floor. Check under the beds for anything that the maids might have missed. after all they are timed to get a room clean in so many min. depending the size of the room. Also I worked for a hotel and like many said most have cribs. The one I worked at only had 2 but we had a sister property right next door and could barrow one of their 5. Cribs are a first come (or request) first serve. If you arive late in the week and the hotel is full of families there might not be any cribs left. I would call the day before you are do to arrive and ask to speak to someone in housekeeping. Ask them if they can tell you how many cribs they have available right then. If they say only one, then if at all possible I would pack your pack n play. Sorry for the lenghthy reply but wanted to hit on some areas that no one else had.
L., SAHM of a 4 year old girl and a 16 month old boy.

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