Family Travel: Tips for a Successful Hotel Experience
If you are planning a family friendly vacation it can be very helpful to seek tips from other families that have gone on vacation. This is especially true if you have a child with special needs. Advice from parents who have been there and done that can help you avoid issues and can improve the quality of your vacation experience. Here are some tips for a successful family hotel experience especially for families with special needs.
Request the Best Room for Your Situation
When booking the hotel, contact the front desk directly and request they book you in the best room. The hotel employees will know which room is the best and can guide you. This is a good opportunity to verify the room you will have meets your specific needs. For example, you may need a wheelchair accessible room. Or it may be desirable to have a room that is out of the way and won't have a lot of foot traffic. In this case you should request a room that is not near elevators or on the way to the pool. If it is difficult to eat all meals at restaurants a room with a refrigerator and microwave may be desirable so you can prepare some meals in the room. Request the hotel provides you a room that will be best for the needs of your family members.
Bring Special Items from Home
It can be difficult to sleep in a strange place. This is not just true for children with special needs but often adults as well. Consider bringing a few special items from home that will make the hotel stay feel more like home. A special pillow or blanket can make it easier to fall asleep. Maybe specific music is soothing so it would be nice to bring a CD player and a CD. Keep in mind that hotel rooms are dark so a nightlight should be packed.
Eating out three meals a day can be difficult on anyone. Eating at a restaurant often requires a considerable wait for food and the ability to sit still for an extended period of time. All children often struggle with these things. In addition to requesting a room with a microwave and a refrigerator, you may find it worthwhie to look for hotel that offers a complimentary breakfast buffet so you have one less meal to eat out. Or bring your own simple breakfast food such as fruit, bagels, cereal, or muffins with you. Some hotels offer a full kitchen which may be needed if a family member has dietary restrictions. If this is not possible you can bring your own hot plate or crockpot to prepare meals.
A hotel room will not be safety proofed like your home. In advance of your trip consider which safety devices you frequently utilize at home and consider bringing them with you. When you first arrive check for hazards such as outlets that need outlet covers or toilet lid locks. In addition, elevate any miscellaneous hazards you find in the room so they are out of reach. This includes curtain strings which should always be out of reach.
Attempt to Maintain Your Routine
Kids thrive on routine and a hotel stay is likely to disrupt the routine. If possible maintain as much routine as you can. For example, try to follow the same bedtime process (bath, books, bed). The goal is to provide as little disruption to your child as possible.
Following the above tips will help ensure your family vacation is enjoyable for every family member. Contact us for more information about special needs family travel.
From Parents, Travel Writers,