Monday 18 September 2017

The Unconventional Guide to Sharing a Hotel Room with Young Kids

Next up in my unconventional travel guide series is the horror or sharing a hotel room with young kids. I'm not gonna lie, we've had some good overnight stays and we've had some super shitty ones. 

When you're all in the same room there is no downtime, no escape, you are all in together. I would personally recommend booking two interconnecting rooms but let's face it, that can be very pricey and it's very rare that we are able to do it. The majority of the time it's the 4 of us piled into one room which can feel like a jail. Think of it as a 24 hour prison sentence. You'll probably leave wondering what you'd done to deserve such an experience. 

Anyway, it's not all doom and gloom and if you accept the following things then you may (just may) get a good night's sleep and a happy experience after all.

Here is my unconventional guide to sharing a hotel room with young kids:

1) Become an Expert at Escape Room Games
If your children are anything like mine then they love to explore. Every cupboard, door, drawer etc gets opened. Nothing is left untouched. 
In order to prevent any tearaway kiddies running out of the door, anything getting broken or anyone getting injured then I strongly suggest you treat your hotel room like one of those Escape Room games. You know the ones that have become popular and you get locked in a room and it is impossible to get out without solving millions of ridiculously hard tasks, well that's what you need to make the room like. Block cupboards, latch the locks, put barriers in-front of exits. Make that room child proof and impossible to escape. 

2) Leave Your Usual Routines at Home
Travel comes with inevitable chaos, you just have to embrace it. Don't even try and attempt any usual routines because they won't happen. The kids are far too interested in exploring their new surroundings. Sleeping is for losers after all. Leave usual bedtime routines at home and go with the flow.

3) Don't Book a Box Room
Have you ever tried to share a hotel room with kids when there is literally the beds, furniture and no floor space at all? It is hell. You will suddenly become incredibly claustrophobic. 
Try and book the biggest room you can afford. You will be eternally grateful for the extra space. 
Also engage in some feng shui. By that I mean, make yourselves at home and move the furniture. Make the room suitable for your family's needs and get enough floor space for the kids to run around in as possible.

4) Embrace Mary Poppins and get Singing 'A spoonful of Sugar"
By this I mean make sure you embark on tidying that room before you attempt bedtime. All of those toys and busy bags etc you've packed will no doubt be in every empty space of the room. There is nothing worse than standing on some lego (come on we've all done it), in the pitch black in the middle of the night and you cannot let out a squeal for fear of waking up not just your kids but the whole hotel up. 

5) The Bathtub will be your New Best Friend
You might think i'm joking here but if you're all sleeping in a room together then you'll know that it takes what seems like a lifetime to get the kiddies to fall asleep. The last thing you want to happen is for them to wake up. Find yourself a space (aka the bathtub) where you can relax and have some adult time. 
Take a pillow in there, sit in it and get comfortable. You may be in there a while as I strongly suggest hibernating there until you know the kids are in a deep sleep.
P.S make your partner take the toilet. Believe you and me the tub is way more comfortable. 

Image credit: What the Redhead Said

6) Take Wine
This is a running theme with all my unconventional travel guides. Take wine with you and drink it. You will inevitably become stressed at some point. You will need the drink! In fact you'll probably be sat in the bathtub drinking the wine.

7) Be Prepared to Share Your Bed
You know that lovely big, comfy bed you were planning on sharing with daddy (or having to yourself) well guess what. The kids are eyeing it up too. Not content with their own bed (which is exactly the same), they've got their sights set on yours. If you're children are anything like mine then you'll find yourself playing an unwanted game of 'Ten in the Bed'. Come on repeat after me...there were 3 in the bed and the little one said roll over, roll over. 

8) Throw the Pillows Around
Doesn't that bed look so pretty with all those lovely cushions? You've been dreaming about this hotel bed for so long and it's everything you imagined. By the time the kids have jumped on it and thrown said cushions on the floor you'll have forgotten what it ever originally looked like.
It's inevitable that the kids will trash it so you might as-well join in the fun. Get throwing those cushions on the floor. The kids will either look at you gone off and think you're nuts or they'll either be in awe of you and your spontaneous outburst. Either way they will love it.

9) Be Prepared for Deep Conversation
Now I don't know what it is but whenever we go away, our eldest decides that 10pm is the perfect time to talk about life, the universe and everything. Quick chats are a forgotten form of communication and she engages in what can only be described as a deep, meaningful conversation. Be prepared for the Spanish inquisition as they will ask you a million and one questions about anything and everything.

10) Eat Lots of Carrots
Make sure you eat lots of carrots before you stay. Why I hear you ask? To see in the dark of course. Once the kids are asleep you will have all of the lights off for fear of waking them up,  making it impossible to see anything.
If you're not into carrots then take a nightlight or some sort of blackout shade for cots etc.

11) Ring Ring - Toddler Calling
The hotel phone can provide hours of entertainment. Ok i'm exaggerating slightly but it is like a homing beacon to kids so use it to your advantage. Instead of getting stressed out at the thought of them dialling reception 2000 times, simply unplug it and let them dial as many  numbers as they like.

12) Throw Adult Time Out of the Window
If you're anything like us then you'll have imagined this wonderful time away when you and your partner will be able to have some quality adult time once the kids are in bed. You'll chat, laugh, have a drink, maybe watch a film. Wrong!! Unless you book a room with a balcony then any alone time is going out the window. Refer back to point 5 - say hello to the bathroom.

13) Avoid Getting the Credit Card Out
Where did that empty can of coke come from? Nuts? I didn't drink that gin?! The mini bar my seem like your saviour at some awful hour when you're still awake entertaining the kids but it can also be the stuff of nightmares and cost you more than your hotel stay. As previously mentioned, kids love exploring and believe you and me they will find the mini bar faster than you can. Be very wary of the ones that have automatic billing as soon as something is moved or you'll pay for it! Literally. Put something unmovable or very heavy in-front of the mini bar and pray the kids don't turn into the hulk whilst you're there.

14) Be Prepared to be Starving
So it's 10:30pm you've given up going to the hotel restaurant for dinner with the kids as they're far too excited/tired. They finally drift off in your bed. Time to check out the room service options and enjoy that club sandwich and glass of well deserved wine. 
However, it arrives only to wake the kids up who devour half of it before returning to their comatose state. Is that thunder? Nope it's the rumbly in your tummy from sheer hunger.

15) Never Ever Forget the Poo Bags
Nappies full of poo that have been left for hours have that smell that reaches the back of your mouth and makes you want to gag. Remember point 3 about staying in a box room?Well imagine being trapped in a small room with the stench of those poonami nappies. Unless you want to spend the night retching, make sure you've packed a supply of scented poo bags.

So there you have it. What tips do you have? If all else fails book interconnecting rooms, such life savers.

If you've missed my previous unconventional travel guides then catch up with them here:
The Unconventional Guide to Flying Long Haul with Young Kids
The Unconventional Guide to Packing a Suitcase with Young Kids



  1. This is such a good post - I've just booked our first trip to a hotel as a family, so will be baring all of these in mind!

  2. haha brilliant! The idea always sounds good but then in the end, we're sat in the bathroom watching the iPad in the dark with headphones on lol. Needs must, though! x

  3. This is so funny and so true! Booking time away somewhere is always interesting! We tend to have to try and find somewhere with seperate bedrooms and living space!

  4. brilliant! Been a long time since I've shared with my crew. I quite miss the late night chats though.

  5. Hahaha...this is brilliant and SO true! We're off on our first family holiday abroad next year and staying in a hotel so i'll definitely be bookmarking this post for future reference. xx

  6. Love this post! We have done so many hotel rooms the four of us since the boys were babies I think we have earned interconnecting rooms now! That is me in the bath with a glass of wine:) x

  7. Some great tips here! Thank you for sharing. I'm definitely going to refer back to this if we are ever sharing a room xx

  8. Haha we have done mamy a hotel stay over the last few years and yep these are so true. Number 2 is spot on, relax and forget what usually happens at bedtime!

  9. We have never been brave enough to stay in a hotel! You might have just put me off for a few more years!

  10. We stay in hotels a lot but I have never resorted to sitting in the bath!!! Great post - so funny. Kaz x

  11. I have done it once!! It was a nightmare, and then the early morning wake up calls were hard going. As soon as they clocked eyes on you!!

  12. Brilliant! Sharing a hotel room is so hard! I looove interconnecting rooms, makes our lives so much easier! X

  13. Great post! Completely agree with you. We have experienced so many nights in hotels creeping around in dark whilst kids are asleep.

  14. Haha! Brilliant. These mini people keep us on our toes don't they?!
    I'm yet to experience this. It's the poor buggers in the next room that i'd feel sorry for :) x

  15. lol great survival tips. I hate the sitting in the dark while waiting for them to get to sleep thing. I'm not sure I could go sit in the bath to escape that though lol. We are glamping for two nights this weekend with no tv etc. Should be interesting!! I think we will be aiming for early nights lol.

  16. Brilliant advice. Interconnecting rooms seem the way forward if you can afford it. And lots of carrots, of course.

  17. All true! I hate hotel rooms now. Our first experience with our son at 8 months old was our first family holiday abroad to Gran Canaria. Every evening we'd sit in the dark until he was asleep and then put earphones on to watch some TV. During the day we were like vampires with the curtains closed for his 2 naps a day. Nightmare. I try avoid hotel rooms now if I possibly can!

  18. I can not even imagine sharing a room with my sister later on children it must be prison of sorts lols. Definitely some lovely tips for us all

  19. Fab tips and so true. I always go to hide in the bathroom at bedtime because they just won't nod off.

  20. It's always entertaining sharing a hotel room with children. Although I have never had to retreat to the bathroom to work etc. We just adjust the bedtimes and all go down at the same time (always lovely to actually manage a somewhat earlier night than usual).

  21. this was so true - we just got back from two nights sharing a family room and it was hard work!

  22. Love these tips! I made the mistake of booking a small caravan when my little guy was about 2 - hell on earth, no space to play and it rained a lot so we couldn't go outside!

  23. Hahahaha you had me in stitches. What a great post and you're hilarious. Especially love the escape room reference, hiding in the bath, toddler phone & wine! :D

  24. Wow you are so funny! Liked your advice about the carrots, the poo bags and of course the wine!! I'll come back to this blog, it's awesome :)

  25. Just spat my tea out at the photo in the bathtub - there's hiding and then there is that LOL

  26. That's the good idea to have kids at the same room that would save getting extra room for kids. Great idea

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  29. Travel comes with inevitable chaos, you just have to embrace it. Don't even try and attempt any usual routines because they won't happen.

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