Make Your Hotel Room More Child Friendly With the Right Gear

By: Caroline Miller

A hotel room can seem like a strange and uncomfortable place especially to younger kids who like routine, and might not share their older siblings' enthusiasm for new places and surroundings. Try to make the room seem as much like home as possible to get kids to settle in.

A favorite blanket or a stuffed toy that she sleeps with every night is an absolute must.

See if you can take a couple of small things from her bedroom to place in the hotel room - family pictures, perhaps.

While making reservations, ask if you can have a room that's away from the noise and the streets. Flashing headlights, vehicle noises and street conversations can make getting your child to sleep a nightmare. A room at the back of the hotel that's quieter and darker might not have a great view, but if it helps your child sleep soundly, it's worth it.

Once you get to the room, check if the nightlights work. They absolutely should, and if they don't let the staff know immediately, so they can fix or replace it before your bedtime. Keep the light on to help your child find his way to the bathroom in the middle of the night. Keep the bathroom light on too, so he's spared the trouble of looking for the switch.

Alternatively, you can take along two flashlights. Leave them by your bedside table, so your child can use it to make his way around the room, while you can use the other one as an emergency spare.

If you're uncomfortable about having two lights on at night, buy a couple of chemical light sticks; these are easily available at camping supply stores. All you have to do is shake them, and they give off a bright light. Leave one in the bathroom.

Don't experiment with electrical devices especially if you're traveling abroad where voltage requirements might be different from in the States. If in doubt, ask staff to guide you. They'll let you know if what you're planning to use is compatible with their electrical circuitry.

Depending on the duration of your trip, bring along a rope or a clothesline, some laundry detergent powder and clothespins. The clothesline can be used to hang clothes after a quick wash in the bathroom. This way you don't have to cart along luggage loads of clothes for your kids. By doing a couple of quick wash cycles in the bathroom, you can get away with packing fewer changes of clothes for your kids.

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