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Spending More on Hotels when Traveling with Kids?

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For the third time in three years my husband and I are planning a trip that involves a lengthy flight and a four night, five day hotel stay. The first two trips were cancelled. The first due to my husband’s business. The second due to flight restrictions during my pregnancy.

This time we plan to fly with two children in tow. We don’t plan to buy a ticket for our youngest, but I am a bit concerned about holding a squirmy baby on my lap for a four hour flight. I’d love advice on this particular topic. (My son will be almost one when the plane takes off.)

I’m also completely torn about our hotel accommodations.  My husband wants to stay in a particular location and the rooms vary in price from $249 to $519. While I know the four of us can pack ourselves into a tiny studio, every part of me thinks we should pay more for a larger place.

My thoughts are as follows:

  • The kids have never shared a room. Choosing to share while on vacation doesn’t seem like a great idea.
  • The baby will most likely take at least one and possibly two naps per day. He is a very light sleeper so keeping him in the main room with the rest of us would not be ideal.
  • I’d prefer a variety of sleeping options. I plan to rent a crib for the little guy, but if he has trouble sleeping I want to bring him into bed with me. My husband, son and I can sleep in a King bed together, but there simply isn’t enough room for the three of us in a queen. We’re not tiny people.
  • I have trouble sleeping near noise and would prefer a bedroom that is not right next to the main living space especially if my husband might be up watching TV.

For all of these reasons I’m leaning towards a place with at least two bedrooms. Of course, the two bedroom condo ranges from $419 to $439. Is the peace of mind of this configuration worth the money? In my head and in my heart most definitely yes.

All told the larger location will cost us at least $120 more a night than a one bedroom and considerably more than a studio, but if that means everyone sleeps peacefully then it seems more than worth the money.

Since we never travel, (other than to the beach), it seems reasonable to spend a little more for comfort. On the other hand, I know a lot of people who can get by in tiny little cramped in places and make the experience a lot of fun.

So what would you do? In my situation would you spend the money to rent a larger place?

Lauren

Friday 20th of November 2015

My kids are 2 and 4, and, other than quick one night hotel stays or cruises, we always get at least a 2 bedroom place on vacation. I really don't sleep well with my kids in the room, and having at least one extra bedroom means that the adults dont have to go to bed at 8 pm too!

OFG

Friday 20th of November 2015

Thanks for your comment. That is a big factor in making our decision. I thought about getting one room and then realized it would be impossible to make noise after the kids have gone to bed. The older guy would sleep through a hurricane, but the little guy is a really light sleeper! We were thinking about a one bedroom, with a pull out bed in the main living space, but I'm leaning towards two bedrooms too. That way my husband can still stay up if I'm tired or vice versa.

Anna

Saturday 14th of November 2015

We also were evaluating if the additional cost was worth it for our vacation in December. Given that our daughter does not sleep well with us in the same room and it would've a nightmare for us, we figure why spend all this money on flight, rental car etc. and then be exhausted from the lack of sleep. We ended getting separate rooms and I can't wait for our vacation.

One Frugal Girl

Thursday 19th of November 2015

I have thought about the overall bill and wondered if I am wrestling with a decision that shouldn't be that tough to make. We are going to spend so much money on this trip and having a place with a little extra space is only going to be a drop in the bucket. I think I'll book the bigger place and hope we all sleep soundly in it.

Thanks for the comment!

K

Wednesday 11th of November 2015

If you think this configuration works best for your family and it is in budget than go for it!

We have stayed in various hotels and guest rooms with our almost 3 year old and it is usually great. We have always room-shared and sometimes bed-shared. I have noticed that my son wakes up if the room is too dark so we try to open a window or get a night light so he sleeps through. I like having him in the room so I can talk to him or comfort him right away but that's just what works for us. Although I don't sleep as well if he is in the same room or bed so maybe I should reconsider!

One Frugal Girl

Thursday 19th of November 2015

Interesting point I hadn't considered in a strange environment I would probably be more comfortable having my son nearby, but I suppose I would like the option of sleeping in the same room with him, but maybe not the same bed. He always seems to wiggle around too much in his sleep. Having the option to leave the room all together would also be good. I might have to go back to the drawing board.

Little Miss Moneybags

Tuesday 10th of November 2015

I've taken two flights with my little guy on my lap (close to 3 hours, and close to two hours) and both times it was fine. The reality is he was going to be in my lap whether or not I paid for a seat for him, so I decided to save the cash. The first flight, I had the window, Pickle had the middle and Peanut had the aisle, so we had enough elbow room and all that. The second time it was just me and the baby (he was about 9 months), and it was a little tighter, but totally manageable.

We did all share a hotel room for one night, which was the first time we'd all been in the room together, and nobody got any sleep and it was awful. I'd pay more for a larger place for sure (or, if you have the time, practice having them sleep in the same room now - it only took a few nights before my kiddos got used to each other's noises and don't wake each other up anymore).

One Frugal Girl

Thursday 19th of November 2015

Thanks for the comment. I have worried that we'll take the cheaper route, still end up paying an arm and a leg for this vacation and be miserable and sleep deprived ;)