We don’t often stay in hotels, but when we do, I’ve realized that there are certain questions to ask before making a reservation if you want to ensure a stress-free and hassle-free stay. Here are seven questions that are especially important for me to have answered ahead of time (as I’ve since learned).
1. Will the room have a bathtub? For many who have toddlers, this is an important consideration. We recently stayed at an inn that had only a shower stall, which did not go over well at all with my three-year-old. I swear you would have thought I was showering him in blood those nights at the inn.
2. Are the rooms connecting or adjacent? If you’re booking two rooms and want to be able to easily go between rooms, make sure to be clear that you want “connecting” rooms. When we went to Curacao a few years ago with our then four and two year old daughters, as well as our au pair, we got adjacent rooms, so we couldn’t leave their room since it would have meant leaving them behind a locked door.
3. Can I get an early check-in? If you have kids that nap, make sure to request an early check-in when you book your hotel room. We’re in Philadelphia right now and unfortunately the guests staying in our room before us did not check out until 2:30 pm, so we weren’t able to check in until after 3 pm. This was kind of annoying to have to wait with a couple of tired, grumpy kids who like their naps.
4. Is there a pool at the hotel? Ah, the hotel pool. It’s one of the easiest and cheapest ways to entertain kids when you’re traveling. Sometimes when you’re traveling it’s nice to not have to go on a guided tour or walk room-to-room in a museum. It’s nice to just throw on a swimsuit and splash in the pool for a couple of hours. Not every hotel has a pool, so make sure to ask when you book your room.
5. Will my room have a refrigerator? Okay, this was a surprise to me, but not every hotel room comes with a mini fridge. We recently checked into a hotel and after schlepping three blocks with two half-gallons of milk, I discovered that nope, we don’t have a mini refrigerator. After two calls to guest services, we finally got one, but it would have been nice to have already had one in the room.
6. Is the hotel wi-fi free? Similar to the mini fridge, while most hotels have free wi-fi, not every hotel has free wi-fi, so make sure to ask when you book your room. Wi-fi can be expensive too, sometimes as much as $10 or more per day, so if you plan to use a laptop or iPad in your hotel room, make sure that you know whether wi-fi comes with your room.
7. Can I walk to local restaurants or markets? When you’re traveling with kids, you only want to walk so far to pick up a carton of orange juice or to get a bite to eat. When you book your room, call the hotel concierge to find out just how far it is (as in, how many blocks) to a family-friendly restaurant or a grocery store. This is key if you’re staying downtown in a walking city like Boston or Chicago.
When you take your kids to stay in hotels, what are some of the most important questions you like to have answered ahead of time? Just let me know in the comments section below.
Photo Credit: B-Town Mom