Tired Travel Troubles: What Would You Do?

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When flying with my four-year-old earlier this week a flight delay made an evening departure even later.  A full day of school, then an evening departure (and no sleeping on the flight), meant that she was exhausted when we landed well after midnight.

After we landed, I successfully relied on her previous travel experience of pushing through airports when tired, but once we were in the dark and quiet Uber car on the way to the hotel, she fell deep asleep.  Like sack of potatoes asleep.

The Uber driver was nice enough to carry our bags into the hotel while I carried the 45 pound sleeping kiddo.  That got us into the hotel, but we still had several steps to go before we could lay down on the bed for the night.

This was obviously going to be a logistical problem.

I had to choose between laying her on a couch in the lobby where I couldn’t see her while I checked in, or put her at my feet on the floor so I could keep tabs on her while checking in.

I choose the probably dirty floor over a couch that I couldn’t see for my sleeping beauty.  It was a situation where there was no perfect choice, but we weren’t going to get to bed until we found a way to check into the hotel.  This is when it would have been great to be at a fancy-pants place like the Park Hyatt Tokyo that completed the check-in process in your room! 


After check-in was complete, we still had to get to our room.  I sort of assumed since I was staying at a full service hotel that a bell person would help with the bags, but since it was around 1AM at this point, one never appeared.  I loaded our bags onto the luggage cart, and then added the ball of sleeping kid.


“Mam, I’d rather you not do that.”

Well, I certainly would rather not be doing this either, but it’s almost 1AM and I’m fresh out of better ideas.  I tried explaining to the check-in agent that I understood the risks and would be careful and yadda yadda, but he wasn’t having it.  I’d rather you not quickly changed to you can’t do that.

Being a rule follower, and just wanting to get to bed as quickly as possible, I tried to wake her up so she could walk and I could push the cart.  Nope, wasn’t going to work.  She was not going to be awake enough to walk anymore that night.

So, I did my best to comply and picked her up and carried her while pushing the cart.  You can imagine how long that work for…until we were on the elevator and out of sight from the front desk.  It just wasn’t a logistical possibility.

Thank goodness I had the cart to ultimately put her back on when we weren’t being watched, because the room ended up being quite a good distance from the check-in area.  There was no way I could have carried her and the bags that far by myself.

If you travel enough with little kids, you will experience some interesting situations on the road.  This was one of those interesting situations that didn’t have a perfect solution.  You now know what we did – what would you have done?


In bed and resting for a fun trip!

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  1. I’m just glad that she actually stayed asleep through all of that. Most of my kids tend to wake up on transition and then are super crabby…

    Definitely would have had some words with the check-in agent if he told me I couldn’t put my kid on the cart…

  2. It’s sad that the desk agent so rigidly interpreted “the rule”. It was probably put in place to prevent using the cart as a toy: racing, etc. but a bit of common sense in the middle of the night would see there should be exceptions.

  3. Maybe I’m missing something here. Wouldn’t you carry her up to the room first, put her in bed, then come back to retrieve the bags? Surely they’d be willing to keep the bags for you for 10 minutes, wouldn’t they?

      • While I would not have liked any of this with my child, I would have done just what you did. Putting her on the sofa where you could not see her, as well as leaving her in the room alone, were not options in my opinion. I also believe that the guy at the front desk should have done something to help if he was going to inforce the rule. I am sure that the “no kid” rule was put in place to keep moving or rowdy kids safe, and to keep them from racing around on the carts.
        I think you should drop the hotel a note about your predicament. I think there should have been a better way for them to accommodate the customer! Just my 2 cents.

  4. Obviously, it’s a huge grey area. The front desk clerk is stuck enforcing a policy they may not even agree with, while you of course just want to get your stuff and your offspring to your room with as little fuss as possible. You seemed to have acted sensibly.

  5. I feel like it is the hotel policy to INFORM but not ENFORCE. I tend to be a rule follower too, but once the desk clerk informs you of the risks, etc, it’ really not up to them to enforce it. It’s just the for you to say thank you, smile, wave, and walk away.

  6. Wow, you were kinder than I would have been. I would’ve snapped back about how if I “can’t” push my kid around in a baggage cart then maybe I “can’t” push around the cart at all, since it’s supposed to be handled by bell boys.

    Perhaps then they’d stop playing the “I’m going to make up rules” game. Anyone have a link to a policy about using luggage carts to push around children?

    At the very least, I’d write a concerned note with feedback for the hotel, and let them know how you feel about staying there in the future.

  7. Wow. I probably would have done exactly what you did. We’ve had many bell boys who have loaded our luggage and then motioned for the kids to hop on too. Our love having a special “ride” in the hotel. I guess every place has their own culture.

  8. I guess I would assume the hotel is trying to prevent accidents and lawsuits – like the signs at the grocery store asking that your kid not stand in a shopping basket. I would have simply asked for assistance from the front desk. If that failed, I would do as you did. But snapping at the clerk like like jamesb2147 suggested seems like an overreaction.

  9. Having children means dealing with extra challenges. If people aren’t up for it, there are modern things to aid with that. Thank goodness for modern society! I’m with @Denise L.

    Choosing to disrupt sleep schedules is something that is par for the course when planning travel with children, and heck adults too. I moved abroad a long time ago and my sister and I had practice runs on whether I could handle my suitcases on and off trains. When I arrived, a man 6’8 jumped up and grabbed my stuff and I never carried it, but I planned for the worst. Also, I really don’t care about my kid’s ego I used strollers until after 5 years old. They carry your child and/or your stuff and are available on demand.

  10. I think you were probably nicer than I would have been. The desk agent should have offered a solution seeing that you had your hands full. I agree with the other folks– you should send an email to the hotel so that this won’t happen to other guests in the future. I am sure they would appreciate it.

  11. We, too, used our awesome lightweight Maclaren stroller while traveling. Our princesses slept in there A LOT. LOL! I would have kept my child with me while checking in and not on a sofa out of my sight. What I would have done differently was asked to speak with the manager on duty and when the MOD appeared, I would have asked her/him to help me get my child and my luggage to my room. In my mind, MODs are there to help in every situation and that is what I would have expected and insisted upon. I have no problem asking for what I need when I need it, especially in the middle of the night. YOU needed help with your luggage and shame on them for not helping you.

  12. As the mom of a two year old who still doesn’t sleep through the night, and is VERY crabby when she hasn’t had enough sleep and can scream loud enough to wake everyone up in the hotel, I would do EXACTLY as you did. I would never dream of waking her up if she had fallen into a deep sleep. I would do everything possible to make sure she did not wake up! Kudos for being ingenious with the cart. I would have done the same, and screw whatever anyone else thinks! 🙂

  13. Lots of support for Summer here. I would go the other direction. Traveling with your family is great, but aren’t you over doing it a bit? Looks like you are hauling your daughter all over the place. I get the feeling that you must live in the most boring place in the world, as you are constantly traveling. Don’t get me wrong, as I love traveling with my family, but I’m not about to take a flight after my kids get out of school, as there is just no margin for error.

    • Todd, well home vs away will forever be a balancing act in progress for us, but not because we don’t love home. One of the reasons this trip was so short was because I wanted to miss as little as possible at home. So, we do a good amount of travel no doubt, but not because home is boring. We flew after school to minimize time away for C, as well as me needing a full work day. I knew she would be tired, but getting her to the room did require a little more creativity than I expected. No doubt the trip was well worth it for us without missing too much on the homefront.

  14. I don’t recall what hotel you were staying at but from the pictures (and your past travels) I imagine it was a reasonably swanky full service hotel. Could you not simply have picked up C and carried her to the room, asking to have the luggage delivered? That is a service that full service hotels are expected to provide, isn’t it?
    (In general, my experience is that full service hotels should really be called “no service included” hotels since they generally charge high fees for services — parking, internet, breakfast — that most chain motels provide for free).

    • Larry, I expected that to work given that it was a full service hotel, but the bag service didn’t seem readily available at that hour. I believe someone could have done that if I had asked, but I don’t know what the time-frame would have been. The last time I did that at a late hour, the bags took about 30-40 minutes to get there which isn’t much during the day, but it is a LOOONG time when you are just waiting for them to get ready for bed. Still, I imagine they would have found a way to do it if I asked.

      • That’s what I would’ve done. Brought the child upstairs and asked for my luggage to be delivered. if that wasn’t possible, I would’ve considered bringing the child up and them coming back for the luggage. Depends upon how long I think it would take though. I’m probably not concerned about her safety for such a short time in a place that I image has lots of security cameras and such, but I’d be very concerned that I’d she woke up shed be quite frightened alone in a strange room.
        Certainly sounds like you made the right decision for yourself, given your comfort level with the other options, but I would’ve been much more comfortable waiting 30 min for my bags.

  15. Similar thing happened to me in August when the last connecting leg of our journey home was cancelled and we were stuck in Tokyo overnight. The flight was supposed to be at 5; the airline put us up in a hotel (an hour away from NRT) -so we didn’t arrive until 11p. I was traveling alone with my 2 young kids (then 4yo and 1.5yo). Needless to say, with jet lag, long day, & a trans-Pacific flight, both kids were out. Thankfully I had my stroller and baby carrier with me, and the Sheraton Tokyo Bay staff were super with dealing with a bus-full of delayed passengers. It took me awhile to flag down someone, but I’m glad I insisted on getting extra help when I needed it.

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