Here are my five essentials for the hotel:
1. A noise machine. Now we use noise machines for both of our boys, but even if you don’t I recommend one for a hotel. It helps to drown out outside hotel noises and it helps to drown out the noise of those of you in the hotel room (aka…muffles crying baby sounds a bit. Your adjoining hotel room guests will thank you). You can get a noise app for your iWhatever device, but we generally take this one:
It is more expensive, but you can find them at Bed, Bath, and Beyond as well…and with a 20% off coupon, it’s not quite as bad. And it is well worth it.
2. A picnic blanket. I am going to be really specific here and recommend the Skip Hop picnic blanket. I mulled over this for quite a while about four years ago with A. I finally gave in and bought it and since then my sister has bought one as well. I LOVE this blanket, for so many reasons. It washes off easily, and I spread it out on the floor in the hotel (if there is room…sometimes I also put it on the bed), for the boys to play on.
3. A suction cup bath mat. So many hotels have ridiculously slippery bath tubs that I invest for each trip in a 8-9 dollar bath mat (like the one I have linked from Wal Mart). At our last stop on the trip I leave it. Some hotels may have these, but a lot of them don’t. Another option is to get some of the smaller suction no slip bath decals. They store a bit easier (you can toss them in a ziploc), however I like a larger bath mat for the amount that the boys move around in the tub.
4. Kleenex and Clorox Wipes. Now you may think I am crazy (almost every hotel at least has tissues right?), but my troupe is super picky about their tissues…no pun intended. I always bring a box of our own 3 ply Kleenex for the car and for the hotel…cause that’s what you do when everyone in your family has allergies and goes through a box of tissues a week. I also bring Clorox Wipes (or the generic version) and I wipe down things in the hotel room that may not always be wiped. Remotes, phone, lamps, the front of an air conditioning unit and so on.
5. Group toys. This will be specific to your family, but I always bring a set or two of toys for the hotel that any age can play with (because obviously A at age four can have things that J can’t). Our favorites are duplo legos, a ball (one like this to roll), and a larger truck or two. I avoid things with really small pieces that can get lost, or that we can’t round up knowing what we have out.
And a few extra tips (also known as other ideas and because I am germ a phobic):
– I always remove comforters, bed runners, and throw pillows as soon as we get in the room. I fold them and place them out of the way, or in the closet. These things are not washed as often, and many hotels are now getting rid of them, but some still have them.
– Don’t be afraid to move stuff around (unless they have some specific policy). I always move things that the boys would have a chance of hurting themselves on, against walls, stacked in a corner, etc. We put it back before we leave.
– If you can, always bring your own pack and play, and if you can’t bring your own crib sheets and wipe the whole thing down as soon as you get it.
– Be as neat as possible. I try to set things up and put things in a place where it doesn’t look like the room exploded after a day. Usually when you are on trips you are trying to get in and out of the hotel room at a pretty quick pace at times and it makes it easier if you have organized a bit.
– Bring a night light and a flashlight…and find out the emergency exit locations when you get in the room. Kind of like that episode of Big Bang Theory…I might always have an immediate escape contingency plan for wherever we stay. I do however stop at putting glowing arrow floor lights in the room. HA! Happy Monday!