7 Useful Tips for Traveling with Toddlers and Staying in Hotels


It’s time for you to get some great tips on staying in hotels with toddlers, babies, or even older kids. Recently, there’s been buzz about “TikTok hotel hacks,” but let’s be real – those tips seem more suited for solo travelers than families like yours who have been there and done that. It’s just another reminder that TikTok isn’t always the most reliable source of information.

7 Tips for a Smooth-Sailing Stay in Hotels with Toddlers

We really enjoy family vacations and staying in hotels with our kids, so we’ve got some great tips to share with you. Staying in hotels is a big part of making memories with your kids – remember the excitement of hunting down the ice machine or discovering an indoor pool?

However, as parents ourselves, we know firsthand that staying in a hotel room with toddlers can be tough. Bedtime routines get thrown off, everyone feels cramped, and diaper emergencies always seem to strike when you’re least prepared. But don’t worry, with these tips, you can still have a great vacation where your kids sleep in the same room as you.

Make your vacation house feel as cozy and comfortable as your own home.

Trying to get your child to sleep while traveling can be really stressful, especially dealing with long flights! That’s why making their room feel like home is so important. I always bring familiar things like their own crib sheet, pillow, and blanket so they have the same smells and comforts they’re used to. If you can manage it, bringing their own travel crib from home, even though it might be bulky, could be a game-changer. And don’t forget their favorite stuffed animals, toys, and bedtime stories – packing light is nice, but their comfort is worth it!

As soon as you get there, quickly check for safety.

When your kids are as curious as mine, they’ll want to explore every corner of the hotel room, fascinated by everything that’s new (but really quite ordinary). Hotels aren’t exactly child-proof, so it’s important to be cautious.

  • Use painter’s tape to secure any cords that could be tripping hazards or temptations for little ones who like to chew. Ignore advice to use duct tape, as it can damage walls.
  • Keep the swing bar lock on the door closed to prevent toddlers from wandering out while you’re occupied, and make sure balcony doors are secure too.
  • Use painter’s tape to tie up long curtain pulls out of reach, or repurpose hotel hanger clips for a quick fix.
  • If there’s a mini bar or fridge in the room, keep it locked or secured with tape if there’s no key.
  • Check the desk area for heavy or sharp items that could be within reach of curious hands.
  • Consider cleaning or covering items like remote controls and bathroom glasses before using them.

Consider getting rooms next to each other or finding a way to make it seem like you’re together.

If you’re staying in a hotel with toddlers, booking adjoining rooms is a great idea for families. It’s just like having your child sleep in a separate room at home. Bring along a portable baby monitor so you can relax or read quietly after putting your toddler to bed in the next room. Another option is to book a suite or a room with a balcony, giving you space to unwind once your child is asleep. A popular choice among parents is the SlumberPod, which gained fame after a successful Kickstarter campaign and Shark Tank appearance. It’s a smart and affordable alternative to booking an extra room for the night.

Create a place for changing diapers.

Before you go, pack all your diapering stuff in one bag (or a big reusable bag in your suitcase), so you can grab it fast and set it up when you get there. It’s no fun when your kid has a big mess and you can’t find the wipes! Also, remember to pack disposable bags for the dirty diapers to keep your room smelling fresh until room service comes. And to be extra safe, bring some natural room spray in a small spray bottle.

Get ready for feeding your baby with bottles. (And bring plenty of snacks!)

When you’re traveling with a child who still uses a bottle, you don’t have to keep going to the restaurant downstairs for help. Use the coffee maker in your room to warm water for formula or to heat a chilled bottle, but make sure to let it cool down first! If you’re pumping breast milk on your trip, ask for a mini-fridge ahead of time to keep it cool; most hotels have them for guests with medical needs. If not, use the ice bucket to keep your milk cold. Don’t forget to pack plenty of snacks, including toddler-friendly homemade ones, and bring plastic cups for the room to avoid any hangry moments or broken bathroom glasses.

Think ahead for things to do after your child goes to bed.

As I said before, using the TV while your toddler sleeps in the same room won’t be possible. A handy travel book light, which costs less than $10, is a great buy. It lets you read without disturbing your child. Alternatively, share a pair of AirPods so you can both enjoy streaming something quietly on your phone or tablet without waking them up.

Exhaust them.

Here’s a great tip for traveling with toddlers: Before bedtime, spend about an hour at the hotel pool, playground, or any safe place where they can play and move around. This will tire them out, making it easier for them to settle down and sleep well in your hotel room.

Follow Our Tips for a Stress-Free Hotel Stay with Toddlers

Traveling with toddlers can be both challenging and rewarding, but with these practical tips, you can make your hotel stay enjoyable for the whole family. From creating a safe environment in your room to ensuring your child feels at home with familiar comforts, preparation is key. Remember to prioritize safety with quick checks upon arrival and thoughtful arrangements like adjoining rooms or using clever hacks like painter’s tape. Packing essentials like diapering supplies, snacks, and entertainment options for after bedtime ensures smoother evenings. By proactively addressing common concerns like feeding and bedtime routines, you can maximize your family’s comfort and enjoyment during your hotel stay.