H for Hints for Surviving Hotels with the Heathens
Once again I am blogging my way from A to Z as part of the 2015 April A to Z Challenge! Come blog through the alphabet with me!
Hotels can be horrifying.
The Bates hotel is an iconic house of horror (ok, I know it was a motel, but I am taking some creative license here). Hitchcock ruined showers for me. Thanks to him, I insisted on using a see-through shower curtain (at least at the top) for a long time into my adulthood.
But there is a hotel experience that is even more horrifying than spending the night with Norman and his mother:
Spending the night in a tiny hotel room with 5 young children!
I still shudder at the thought.
They say vacations bring families together, I beg to differ.
Let me see if I can give you an idea of what it is like:
- Cram 7 people into a room meant for 1.5 people; each person having their own distinct and opposing personality, despite the genetic improbability of this occurring.
- Intermix 49 sets of clothes and pajamas, 7 semi-wet bathing suits, and the blankies and toys they had to bring with them.
- Only provide them with 4 towels, 5 sets of sheets, 3 blankets, 2 “good” pillows and 4 “bad” pillows.
- Add in dashes of “I won’t sleep with anybody,” “I need the light on,” “I need the light off,” “It’s too hot,” “It’s too cold,” “he’s pooping in the bathroom and stinking up the room,” and “I hate this family.”
- And don’t forget to add poor vacation nutrition (i.e. high sugar load).
- Let it stew for 5-7 days.
It’s the perfect storm of vacation volatility.
I haven’t lived through these mind-numbing experiences without picking up a few tricks. So here they are, my pearls of wisdom.
Hints for Surviving a Hotel with the Heathens
- The minute you get in the room, ask for extra towels and linens. Even if you think you have enough. Believe me, you won’t.
- Bring food and drinks that you can throw at the kids when the hotel restaurant is closed.
- Use all available space for sleeping so most kids can sleep alone. Use the cushions off a chair for an extra bed. Bring air mattresses. Whatever it takes to get them to sleep without fighting.
- Unplug the phone and put the remotes in a place only accessible by you (but don’t forget where you put them).
- Even if no one has wet the bed in 2 years, prepare for a bed-wetting incident.
- Make use of the hotel public bathroom as your extra bathroom.
- Designate a shoe spot and insist that all shoes go in it as soon as they go into the room. When we moved from Alabama to Oregon, Number 3 had only mismatched shoes by the end of the trip. At least he still had a left one and a right one.
- If Spouse says he will take over getting them to sleep, grab your book and go buy yourself a glass of wine at the bar. Don’t go back until midnight.
- Run them ragged during the day so they will drop off to sleep quickly at night, but don’t go past the danger point where they fall apart and become hysterical.
- When all else fails, let them watch tv until they fall asleep. It’s vacation, right?