5 Top Tips for staying in a hotel with Children

5 Top Tips for staying in a hotel with Children

Holidays and mini breaks with the kids should always be a memory making experience yet sometimes the overwhelming feeling of being somewhere new, busy-day fatigue and stress at trying to keep them quiet at night can overshadow any fun which you SHOULD be having! But with a little careful planning and a back up plan, staying in a hotel with children should be childs play! Here’s a few tips to get you started;

5 top tips


This is probably paramount in ensuring a stress-free break. Even if your intention is for quality family time packing the iPad or Nintendo DS just incase can be the make or break your stay. Maybe download a game they can play on your phone or even pack a surprise goody bag with a magazine, little toy and treat to make the occasion extra special. We’ve always done this and now my children look forward to their goody bags as much as the holiday it’s self!

Retrain your parenting style

Relax the rules a little, it’ll cut your stress levels which only feed negative emotions in your child. If you’re going as a couple, agree what stance you’ll take before you leave. It’s the kiddies break as well and it won’t be fun for anyone if you’re shouting orders constantly, not to mention a prime tension feeder between the adults.

A little prep team-talk between the family so everyone knows what’s expected of them will help too. If your children are older, a reminder of manners and how to behave with the staff never goes a miss, don’t always presume they’ll know what to do. If you’re nervous about their behaviour, they’ll be nervous (remember that negative emotion thing I mentioned?) most children clam up and don’t speak when unsure about how to react which can come across as rude.

Child Friendly Hotels

Try and find a hotel which welcomes children. It goes without saying that if you and your family feel welcome, you’ll enjoy your break so much more. Trying to hide the kids away in the restaurant, whizzing through reception and sitting in silence in your room is no fun for anyone. A good one will make you feel welcome the minute you book in and will set the mood for the rest of your break.

Explore and familiarise yourself with the local area

When the baby or toddler does have a moment, find a spot in the hotel which you can escape to for distraction maneuverers. Maybe the reception has an aquarium or there’s a nice garden. Also, never underestimate the power of fresh air when the baby’s crying and if the toddler chooses this break to display their epic tantrums, by remaining calm, spotting the signs and diverting with a distraction, you should be able to nip it in the bud. And remember, now is not the time to try any new rules or boundary setting, the change of location will only confuse them even more.

Research what’s in the area before you go, even use Google Earth to find a local open space you can escape to let off steam. As much as you’re yearning for a relaxing break, it’s not realistic to expect your kids to want to sit and read quietly for long periods of time! Plan to visit the local area which will give them an opportunity to run free. Hyde Park and Kensington gardens, for example, ensure a city break has the opportunity for a break from the crowds and traffic.

5 top tips for staying in a hotel with kids, to ensure a stress free break

Take your own toddler equipment

Meal times can bring their own stresses whether home or away, so by taking familiar things such as child sized cutlery, bowls and cups should help with breakfast time in the hotel. Your little ones will be able to continue feeding themselves rather than trying to use adult ones. Chances are they’ll give up if it’s difficult or the novelty of new equipment prove too distracting and you’ll pay the price later with a hungry toddler. You’ll also avoid the embarrassment of any crockery being flung around. Always go armed with baby wipes too. Doing the walk of shame out of the restaurant covered in ketchup/weetabix/orange juice isn’t the best way to start the day, and most importantly, take some emergency distraction toys.

5 top tips for staying in a hotel with kids

So now you’re armed and ready to face anything and hopefully you’ll be making happy memories for you all to look back on.

Have a great time!



  1. 29th September 2015 / 8:31 am

    This is a great list. I love traveling with the kids and totally agree that lots of research and preparation will pay off with a great stay. I also relax the rules… allot… when we are traveling. I try to have minimal expectations for the kids. I know we can’t keep the same bedtime routine so we roll with the punches. I hope this encourages more families to travel with their kids. So many of my mom friends say they feel overwhelmed. Also, I’m going to check out your London hotel reccomendation. So glad I found you! #TwinklyTuesday

    • 29th September 2015 / 8:31 pm

      Thanks Elizabeth, great minds think alike! I’m so glad you agree.

  2. 29th September 2015 / 2:00 pm

    Great tips! I tend to take my kids to hotels a lot just for the fun of it, so these tips are helpful. Thanks!

    • 29th September 2015 / 8:22 pm

      Thanks Ros, I bet you’ve got a few more you could add!

  3. 29th September 2015 / 8:32 pm

    Great list — we’ve always stayed in hotels with the twins since they were very tiny and one of the things I swear by are their travel pods. They are AMAZING!! Little cot-tents that pop up and when they’re snuggled up inside, they feel as though they’re in a familiar environment. No fuss, no bother. Straight to sleep. And daddy and I can raid the mini bar!! Thanks so much for linking up with us at #TwinklyTuesday

    • 1st October 2015 / 10:08 pm

      What a fantastic idea, I always take our own cot bedding for the same reason but I really like the idea of a little pod. My boy’s probably a little too old now though.

  4. 29th September 2015 / 9:13 pm

    This is a great list. I love the goody bag idea and taking your own eating equipment.
    I forgot to take Evie’s spoons and bowls last time and she didn’t like eating out of different bowls and some of the places we went didn’t have kids size cutlery which was a bit of a ball ache. These are great tips!
    I’m definitely going to pack a goody bag treat next time! x #twinklytuesday

    • 29th September 2015 / 10:02 pm

      I’ve learnt all this from experience so can guarantee it’ll help a little if not a lot.

  5. 29th September 2015 / 9:30 pm

    Great tips! We’re going to brave our first holiday as a family of 3 soon…. Once I book somewhere! I’ll definitely take all her cutlery etc., that makes perfect sense thank you #twinklytuesday

    • 29th September 2015 / 10:01 pm

      Have a fab time, the first holiday is always a little nerve wracking!

  6. 30th September 2015 / 12:43 pm

    I must admit I didn’t really do hotels when mine were small as I found them lacking in so many ways, your list is a sensible one and would make necessary hotel stops much easier. #Sharewithme

    • 1st October 2015 / 10:11 pm

      It does take a leap of faith that you’re going to be able to keep the little ones entertained enough, I agree.

  7. 30th September 2015 / 4:13 pm

    Great tips. I always try to remember toddler cutlery when we are eating away from home. It takes the ‘ who’s she going to stab next’ fear out of meal times 🙂

    • 5th October 2015 / 9:12 pm

      Lol, especially when you have other targets within reach!

  8. Jenni @ Chilling with Lucas
    30th September 2015 / 6:58 pm

    Great tip to take our own plates, bowls and cutlery. We did that when we went away last week and I will definitely be buying Lucas a new toy to take on his first holiday abroad to keep him distracted on the plane x

  9. 30th September 2015 / 7:21 pm

    Great list you have there! We haven’t stayed in a hotel with our 2 year old yet but we’ve stayed in a couple of caravans recently and I would definitely agree with taking an iPad or something. We took a portable DVD player for the car which was a godsend as she could watch her favourite films and tv programmes. We also took a couple of her own bowls and cutlery as well as her bed guard and duvet so it was familiar for her. I will definitely do the surprise goody bag next time we go away somewhere! X

    • 1st October 2015 / 1:36 pm

      I really do recommend a goody bag, even cheap little toys or a bottle of bubbles will do, its just the novelty of something new.

  10. Jane Duckworth
    30th September 2015 / 7:25 pm

    What a super useful list for travelling parents and children. I totally agree with relaxing the parenting whilst away from home – a hotel room is no place for tired tantrums!

    • 1st October 2015 / 1:35 pm

      Thanks Jane, trying to deal with a tantrum in a hotel room is no fun for anyone!

  11. Joanna @mumbalance
    30th September 2015 / 9:23 pm

    It sounds like you’ve been on many trips with your kids and know what you are talking about 🙂 I like the idea of goody bags. And yes, agreeing strategy between parents and than sitting everyone down and explaining what is expected of them is a very good point.

    • 1st October 2015 / 1:34 pm

      Not as many as I’d like, it’s more after years of trial and error on what works for us on a mini break!

  12. becca farrelly
    30th September 2015 / 10:34 pm

    This is great! if only I had read this 3 days ago before our 1st family trip to Peppa Pig World! We definitely relaxed our rules with our 2 yr old slightly as well as maintaining our routine and having some games on the ipad certainly helped! You definitely have to be a little more relaxed and then everyone will be happy!! 🙂


    • 1st October 2015 / 1:22 pm

      Thanks Becca, it sounds like you were doing everything I suggested anyway. Hope you had a fab time!

  13. John Adams
    30th September 2015 / 11:05 pm

    Well this made me chuckle. Just two weeks ago we had to stay in a hotel for two night with the kids. On night two, a guest accidentally smashed a fire alarm at 11pm so hard the hotel staff couldn’t turn it off. The kids were fraught. Not fun! #sharewithme

    • 1st October 2015 / 10:32 am

      Nooooo, hope that didn’t put you off? did you check out the local area and escape to it?!

  14. Claire
    2nd October 2015 / 7:10 am

    What a great list, we have had many fun breaks in hotels and preparation is definitely key! We don’t stay in nice hotels with the children very much any more as there are so many of us we need 2 rooms! It gets a bit pricey and not so much fun for the grown ups to be on oposite sides of a coridoor!! #thelist

    • 5th October 2015 / 9:13 pm

      I know what you mean about the opposite rooms, it gets difficult with us too as we have such different age ranges.

  15. Rahela
    3rd October 2015 / 9:20 am

    This is just great. We are proud parents of one-year little girl and still did not go anywhere since I gave a birth. So I am so glad I bumped to your page and got such a great tips. Thanx a mill.


    • 4th October 2015 / 8:33 pm

      Hope it helps, it’s always nice to get away from everything nice in a while.

  16. A t home with ruth
    5th October 2015 / 8:05 am

    Love staying in hotels with my toddler. Every time we pass a premier inn he says: “That’s my hotel”. 🙂

    Just thinking of booking a night so we can visit the Christmas Markets but I’m a bit nervous now we have two children. With the added desire to go to Birmingham instead of Manchester – a new city with a train journey added to the mix! Wish us luck!

  17. Jenny
    5th October 2015 / 6:17 pm

    Great post full of so many good tips. We have spent lots of time in the hotel with our two and I can agree to all of these so very helpful. Thank you so much for linking up to Share With Me #sharewithme

    • 5th October 2015 / 6:54 pm

      Thanks Jenny, i’d love to hear if you’ve any more to add.

  18. 7th October 2015 / 8:01 pm

    So many great tips! We are going to Barcelona on Friday, so am going to have to put these into action! Thanks for linking up to #TheList x

  19. 12th October 2015 / 10:14 pm

    Great tips, we do a lot of travelling with the kids and I would agree with all of this 🙂 We get adjoining rooms if we can now, and then we all get more of a break and the kids love having their own space!

    • 13th October 2015 / 6:26 am

      Thanks Sara, I think our next step is adjoining rooms as theres no way the teenager would want stay with us!

  20. 12th October 2015 / 10:21 pm

    This is a really great list, I love going away with my children and think that relaxing the rules a bit and bringing along some child friendly toys and activities always helps, as well as some cutlery too depending on age. I also think familiarising yourself with the local area is not only lots of fun but enjoyable for the children too . x

    • 13th October 2015 / 6:25 am

      thanks Tanita, we’ve stayed in hotels and noticed fab parks or shops which we didn’t know we’re there on our way home and really missed a trick. definitely worth venturing out if you can.

  21. Mel
    12th October 2015 / 11:46 pm

    i agree with every single point you made there. Relaxing the rules make time away more enjoyable for everyone, and a bit of screen time is not detrimental when it’s not 24/7. It’s always nice having your own baby gear too when you have space to pack it, oh and definitely family friendly hotels!!

    • 13th October 2015 / 6:22 am

      so glad you agree, it’s a formula which has worked for us and I really do think if you lower your expectations then you’ll have a much better time.

  22. 13th October 2015 / 6:31 am

    Some great tips. I have to agree on all accounts. It was something I was so apprehensive about doing but it goes ok now xx

    • 13th October 2015 / 9:52 pm

      the first time is always nerve wracking. we’re yet to take the toddler but I’m hoping it won’t be long!

  23. 13th October 2015 / 9:49 am

    These are great tips. We usually stay in cottages but are about to take the three children away to a hotel next month for the first time so these were really useful tips X #love2blog

    • 14th October 2015 / 8:47 pm

      hope you have a great time, we love cottage breaks too.

  24. Ali
    13th October 2015 / 9:55 pm

    Great tips – we stay quite often in hotels with our little ones and these tips will come in very useful!

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