Where you stay can make or break your vacation. We once stayed in a hotel in NYC that came with earplugs on the nightstand because it was in such a loud neighborhood. The first decision is should you stay at a hotel, all-inclusive, or rent a place. Let’s start by breaking down the reasons why you should or should not stay in a hotel:
NO COOKING: YES!!! Cheers break out from moms everywhere!! Even on vacation moms do not get a vacation from being a mom. The advantage of having a hotel room is you can’t cook…not even if you wanted to! Don’t get tricked into getting a room with a kitchenette or you may as well put your apron on.
HOUSEKEEPING: A week of not making beds or vacuuming sounds like heaven to me. Leave those housekeepers a big fat tip because they deserve it.
CONSIERGE: I love to plan my trips in advance but there are always problems that can pop up that the concierge can solve. If you have a sick kid he can find you a doctor, if a rainy day means you can’t go to the zoo he can find you an indoor activity, and if you need a restaurant recommendation he can point you towards the best one. In London, at the Waldorf, the concierge walked to the restaurant to make sure we had the best table and waiter. When we got there they knew our names without asking and gave us an appetizer on the house.
SAFETY: Some rentals can be in residential areas and may not have good security.
AMMENITIES: Some hotels have gyms, spas, restaurants, bars, golf courses, libraries, or indoor pools. Don’t just use a hotel for a place to sleep, make sure you make it an experience.
PACKAGES: Some hotels can get you a good deal on rental cars, airfare, and discounts to local attractions.
REWARDS PROGRAM: The more nights you stay at certain hotels, the more points you can accumulate. You can turn those points in for free hotel rooms. Also, depending on the status of your membership you can get free perks such as room upgrades, gift cards, and travel packages.
ROOM SERVICE: Don’t feel like getting out of your PJ’s to get breakfast? No need…you’re on vacation…let the food come to you!
TINY SPACE=LOTS OF BICKERING: My family likes to have our space…actually we NEED to have it. When we are confined to a small area we become caged animals. Make sure you check the square footage of your room.
NUMBER OF KIDS: My friends that have 3 or 4 kids sometimes have a hard time finding a reasonably priced room because they need a suite. In Europe they would not allow any cots in standard rooms and were extremely strict about the number of people in rooms. I read many reviews where people were turned away for trying to sneak in a toddler.
OUTDOOR SPACE: If you want to let your kids run around to get some fresh air, you’ll need to search for a hotel that has a courtyard or some sort of grassed area. This can often be hard to find.
CLEANLINESS: You expect your room will be perfectly clean but that’s not always the case. You sometimes find a little more than a mint on your pillow…ugh. I hate thinking about the amount of people that have slept in the bed and what has gone on in them…no amount of bleach is enough.