Hotel staycation is a vacation spent close to your home. If you need a break but can’t afford to leave town, may be due to having limited budget or time, this is no doubt the perfect choice. Planning a hotel staycation with children though is quite not easy because of the number of things to consider. As parents, our goal of relaxing probably just falls second on the list because what we want the most is to let our kids have fun. Let’s admit it, children can be stressful but you can’t fully enjoy the moment without them anyway. Besides, it’s one way to strengthen family bonds and to help kids make good childhood memories. So if you’re planning for a staycation, below are the tips to help you choose the perfect hotel and a sample list of what to pack for the whole family.
Things to Look For When Choosing a Hotel
1. Having a Swimming Pool, Water Parks or Beach Access
Swimming is fun for all ages, especially children. Together with splashing, jumping or sliding in the water, the fact that they’re great stress relievers, one should consider a hotel that offers fun water activities for the whole family. Always remember to let your child enjoy in the area where he or she is comfortable to avoid unexpected tantrums. We made a mistake on this one before where we forced Louise to go near the giant water bucket. It scared the hell out of her which left us no choice but to leave the place asap.
If your check-in date falls during the rainy season or stormy weather, search for hotels that have indoor pools or have bathtub in their rooms. Not all hotels have bathtubs so during booking, don’t forget to double check and ask.
2. With Playroom or Playground
If ever you get tired of guarding your kids in the water but they still want to have fun, these hotel amenities can be such a relief.
3. Offering Impressive Overlooking Views or Garden
Staying in hotels is not just about having fun, sleeping on the luxurious bed and taking a day off from all our daily responsibilities. Sometimes, we need it for a place to think and reflect, even with children around. So when booking, try to research the views you can see in the hotel, would it be an overlooking city view or a greeny garden, take your pick.
4. Carpeted room or Availability of a Baby Crib
If you have a very active infant or toddler, trust me, you better choose a carpeted room to avoid serious bumps in case of falls, etc. Your time inside the hotel room should be a relaxing moment for you and your husband/partner. You certainly can’t enjoy your short break if you’re always on the lookout for your adventurous child. If the room is not carpeted, then ask if there’s a baby crib available.
5. Satisfying Breakfast Meals
Restaurants in hotels are quite expensive and for some of us, we don’t eat there unless there’s a special occasion or we got an invite. So whenever you book a hotel, I highly suggest to include your breakfast so you’ll get the chance to taste their food and experience the ambiance at a cheaper price. Besides, younger children can eat for free, it’s one of the many advantages of vacationing while they’re still young.
6. Instagrammable Interiors
Not all hotels have the amenities that children are looking forward to, like pools and playrooms, but there are several out there which offer very nice interiors, perfect for that family photos in your Instagram feed.
Things to Bring
When you finally booked a hotel room, it’s time to do the packing. In my case, I don’t have a long list but for a family of four, I still end up bringing several bags. Below is my usual list:
- Milk/snacks for kids
- Gadgets and charger
- Bathroom essentials. I know hotels provide these but I just bring them home without using, they’re part of what we paid for anyway.
- Basic Make-up Kit and Lotion (mosquito repellant and sunscreen for outdoor activities).
- Good smelling clothing including swimwear. I don’t bring perfumes in the hotel because we stay for a short period only. Besides, I’m already satisfied with the smell of our clothes. I’ve been using Downy Antibac for years and just recently, I switch to Downy Sweetheart.
Here’s a photo from our recent staycation. I made sure our packed clothes smelled fresh with Downy Sweetheart in preparation for all our activities in the hotel.