Like many parents, my wife and I are beginning to prepare my two young twin-boys for school. From supplies to clothes, the relaxation that comes with summer is quickly disappearing with the thought of a ringing school bell counting down the days in my head.
However, as I know how stressed she is making sure everything is perfect for their first-day of pre-school and how my boys are already beginning to say how they will miss their summer camp activities like swimming and crafts when school starts, I am thinking about planning a last-minute getaway. Gas prices this year are the lowest they have been in a dozen years, so this means now is a great time for a quick road trip.
As fathers, it is our role to know when to give our significant other a break and take the reins to plan some much needed R&R for the family. Whether taking to the skies or hitting the road, one of the most important components of any trip is selecting the right hotel. As a 40-year hotel industry vet and father of three, these are my tips to share with like-minded dads to maximize their hotel stay and make sure they earn a passing grade on their family vacation planning skills.
1. Fuel Up
While something we have been told for years, it’s important to never forget that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. When on vacation this is especially true since sometimes we are running on less sleep and have a million things we want to see and do. To ensure everyone is set to enjoy the day, choosing a hotel that offers a free breakfast is not only a great way to start the day and convenient, but a money saver too.
2. Spending Wisely = Richer Vacations
Traveling with your family is all about making memories. Often this is focused on activities, whether taking in a ball game, going to a theme park or exploring a new city. However, while many free activities are available, sometimes those that are most desirable have a less than budget-friendly price tag. Selecting a hotel that offers great automatic freebies, (think free breakfast, Wi-Fi, etc.) such as Homewood Suites or Home2 Suites by Hilton, means that you have more money to invest in your itinerary.
3. Bringing Your Home Routine on the Road
Moms are often thought of as planners and detail-oriented. Surprise your fellow parent by thinking about what your kids normally do and choosing a hotel that maintains these routines. For instance, if one child requires a nap every day and the other likes to play games, selecting an all-suite hotel that has a separate living and sleeping area replicates the home environment. Not only will your children be on their best behavior, but your significant other will be impressed by the decision.
4. Choose Wisely
Every family is different. Some kids are light sleepers, others are easily distracted and some just fascinated with an elevator and pushing the buttons. When thinking about the actual hotel room you stay in, the location can actually be a key part of enjoying this experience. To maximize control of your room assignment, I like telling dad’s I meet about the power of the Hilton HHonors app. By being a HHonors member, you can check-in to your hotel online and then select the actual room you will stay in. This means complete control of the planning process and a family that has a better hotel stay.
5. Stay-In at Night
After a long day of sightseeing, sometimes a long dinner at a restaurant can be the straw that breaks the camel’s back. Another advantage to an all-suite hotel is they offer on-property meal prep facilities. Whether an in-room kitchen (complimented by a free grocery shopping service) or outdoor grill area, you can make an easy dinner your kids love, and everyone can go to bed happy.