As a mom of three boys, I must prepare for everything. This is especially true when it comes to traveling that will require us to stay overnight somewhere (whether it be a relative’s house or a hotel).
This weekend we’ll be staying at Great Wolf Lodge and as with anything else, it is something that I had to prepare for in advance to make sure that the trip is actually fun and not stressful for me and frustrating for them.
Therefore, today I thought it would be good to share with you guys exactly how I prepare for a hotel stay with multiple kids.
See Also: How to Take a Road Trip with Kids Like a Boss
Lay Out the Ground Rules Before Leaving Home
With my kids, it’s important that I lay out ground rules for any type of trip before we even step foot out the door. I like to think this helps them prepare their minds for appropriate out of the home behavior.
Now, don’t get me wrong, everyone compliments me on how well behaved the boys are when we go places. But, there have been times when they have showed their true colors as well when something didn’t go their way or one of the siblings got under their skin. Therefore, I let them know upfront what to expect before we leave so they can decide if they are going to be happy with what we’re going to do or if they’d rather just not go at all.
This may sound cruel, but I’m the mom who would rather just stay at home and be stressed versus travel somewhere to maybe have an hour of fun and then spend the rest of the trip being stressed – I can be stressed in my own home.
Give a Reminder of the Rules Once Near Your Destination
Once I’m closer to my destination it’s time to give them a gentle reminder of the ground rules that were set and agreed upon before leaving home. Now before you write me off as just being the mean mom I’m far from that.
They just know that they all need to be linked up by hand when we’re out and about with the youngest usually linked to my hand. Plus, there’s no fighting, teasing, or falling out on the ground if something doesn’t go their way or a sibling is working their nerves – there are other more positive ways to deal with that.
When it comes to the actual hotel room rules they know I expect them not to be jumping, running, or yelling. The last thing I want to be is the guest from hell.
Make Sure Sleeping Arrangements Will Work
Speaking of the actual hotel room, when booking your room make sure the sleeping arrangements will work. In my case, my kids are still young (under 9) so we all must be in the same hotel room. You would think this shouldn’t be a big deal right since when you’re on a trip you probably only plan to be in the hotel room to shower and sleep… Wrong!
Well, with multiple kids, especially boys, there’s always seems to be someone who doesn’t want to sleep with the other. In my case it’s neither of my boys want to sleep with my middle son.
Therefore, when booking rooms, I must make sure that there’s a sofa couch and at least two beds available in the room.
Trust me, the last thing you want to happen is to have tired kids arguing late at night after everyone is already tired from a day that would have otherwise been perfect.
Make Sure the Hotel Has Activities for The Kids
Weather won’t always be on your side when it comes to your trip. Some days your plans may be rained out and you’ll have to hang around the hotel. This is where staying at a kid-friendly hotel such as Great Wolf Lodge comes into play. If your plans get spoiled, you can still have a fun day right at your hotel.
Make Sure the Hotel is in a Good Location
I don’t know about you, but it seems like whenever I take a trip with the kid’s something always seems to get left behind. Whether it’s something small like a toothbrush or something big like my youngest’s favorite pillow.
Making sure the hotel is in a good location is so important because if you find out you have forgotten something or need to go to the store for something unexpected you want to make sure you have a store close by to go grab it. From my experience usually forgotten items aren’t noticed until shower time has already begun so being close to a store is a must.
Final Thoughts on Preparing for a Hotel Stay with Multiple Kids
Having multiple kids does make it tricky for hotel stays. However, they can be managed and not be as frustrating and stressful as you may have imagined with a little bit of planning.
Do you have any tips for preparing for a hotel stay with multiple kids?
These are great! I have stayed with only two kids so, I would definitely need these tips for more!
We also have three kids in our family and have to do one room. These are some really great tips!
These are great tips. I always hear so much grumbling from my kids about what I thought were thoughtful sleeping arrangements.
Travelling with kids is always a challenge. But as you suggest drawing boundary lines and setting expectations is very necessary. Children need to enjoy but at the same time they need to be aware of what is expected of them.
This brings back such memories of childhood. My parents used to swish all five of us in one hotel room, especially when we were little. Then my dad would keep us up with his snoring, lol. At least now you can find bigger rooms or suites so that everyone can share a room without being too crowded.
Excellent tips! Our daughters are three and nine years old and it’s tough to travel with them together in the same room. We always appreciate the extra space but keeping them out of sharing beds is a priority because they sleep better for adventures during the day.
These are great tips. A couple kids really changes the way you have to do things!
This is some life saving advice. Someone somewhere is praising this!
I only have one kid but laying out the ground rules before leaving home and reminding him about the rules once we’re close to our destination are a must too. Great tips!
I love all of your tips. We are a family of 6. Now that they are bigger (10 – 17) we have to get two rooms or a full pull out bed. Lots of planning
We have five kids and do the a LOT! These are great tips for a happy hotel stay with kids.
This is great for parents of multiples. I always wonder how they do it, it sounds like a lot of chaos to me. lol
Linking up by hand is such a smart idea. We live Great Wolf Lodge and haven’t been in FAR too long.
These are some great ideas! I always make sure to have snacks or activities on hand, as well as making sure the sleeping arrangements work.
We have a Great Wolf Lodge about an hour from us but I have never been. Although my kids are grown I still would love to take them. You gave some great tips for families with smaller kids and I wish I had them in my arsenal when mine were little!
You know I’ve traveled with multiple little ones. I think all of these rules are excellent. The best way to travel with children is to be prepared!
I’m like you, I always stress politeness and what is expected out of them.
Good to know! We’re staying in a hotel room with 2 kids next week. I think it’ll go okay. I hope!
Excellent advice, especially since we leave on our summer trip in just a few days. My kids typically argue about sleeping arrangements, but I opted for a larger suite this time and I am already thankful I did.
You really covered all the bases here. Sleeping arrangements are key unless you enjoy hearing, “He’s touching me!” and, “No I’m not! He’s poking me!” LOL