Please note this site has financial relationships with American Express and this post may contain affiliate links. Read my Advertiser Disclosure policy here to learn more about my partners.
One of the most important things to me whether we are at home or on the road is sleep. I don’t know if it is because I never really recovered from having two very poorly sleeping infants where I almost lost my mind from sleep deprivation, or whether I was just born this way, but a good chunk of my decisions revolves around getting enough sleep. I’ve missed out on numerous fun nighttime outings that were passed my bedtime, left before things really got rolling, and even passed on entire trips, because if mama is too tired, ain’t nobody happy, or something like that. I seriously just function especially poorly without enough sleep, and I’m usually running on a borderline sufficient amount of rest to begin with, even when prioritizing it so highly.
This importance of sleep spills over to the kids too, because nothing ruins a good time faster than a tired and grumpy kid. I basically will do whatever is necessary for everyone to get enough sleep, and that has led to some non-traditional sleeping arrangements at home because I don’t care where everyone is sleeping, as long as they are sleeping, which brings me to sleeping arrangements on our trips…
We are on a trip right now, and after posting a picture of our standard room on social media, I received a few questions about how we manage sleeping arrangements in hotels. The general consensus from those asking was that it is a challenge for adults to share one space with kids because what do you do after the kids pass out around 8PM or so? I don’t have all those answers, but now that you understand a bit about my relationship with sleep, I am happy to share a few thoughts on sleeping arrangements in hotels.
Back when we only had one kiddo, I vastly preferred suites to standard rooms for all of the obvious reasons, but also because there were two rooms so that those that needed sleep at the moment didn’t have to be in the same space as those that didn’t. Often it was that when C needed a nap, Josh and I didn’t necessarily have to play the quiet game, but it also worked as a second retreat if someone was snoring too loudly, or if someone was up early and didn’t want to just lay down anymore, needed to work, or whatever. It was great for the most part, especially on trips when we spent several waking hours a day in the hotel, which absolutely happens with little kids along for the ride. This trend of trying to get a suite continued when we had our second child and she was still young enough that we tried to have her in a crib. Sometimes we could even convert a bathroom to a nursery and still have plenty of room for everyone.
However, now we have two children instead of one child and a baby, we have long since said goodbye to cribs, and we legitimately need (at least) two real beds on our travels. Sadly, this means that even if we can somehow secure a suite, that it isn’t always actually the best set-up for us since 99% of the time a suite only has one real bed and rollaways and pullout beds typically range from horrible to only mildly terrible. At this point even if one person was on a rollaway, that still leaves three others to arrange, and three in a bed is one over my preferred maximum occupancy limit of two.
With a toddler and second grader, most of the time we simply book a standard room with two queen beds and that will work out well enough. With four people in a few hundred square feet our sleep is usually not stellar since at least someone will have a snoring or coughing fit, wake up crying, need to get up to go to the bathroom, or simply fall out of a strange bed, but with a sound machine app on my phone at the ready, we just cross our fingers that we all get enough sleep to call it good. It isn’t perfect, but there isn’t another better practical solution since I’m not going to shell out for two connecting hotel rooms most of the time when we don’t really need it.
When I was recently asked on social media about how we manage family sleeping arrangements in hotel rooms, the concern was largely centered around what do the adults do in a little room after the kids need to go to sleep at 8PM or so. These adults are clearly more fun than me because I am plenty happy to go to sleep when my kids do, though on a trip it is usually at closer to 10PM than 8PM. I’m also more than happy to lay down at naptime with my kiddos on vacation, and if I really can’t or don’t want to sleep for some reason then I just wait until they are passed out and fire up the laptop to start working, which is exactly how this post came to life.
I know that around this phase of life some folks start transitioning to obtaining larger lodging through Airbnb or similar, and while that can be a solid strategy, a standard hotel room still works well enough for our family of four that I’d rather use/earn points and stay somewhere with full amenities than rent an apartment or condo. When traveling with extended family or friends we have loved renting a whole house, but it just isn’t really necessary when it is just the four of us or even just the girls, Grandma, and me as it is this week. I think if you have three kids or more then what does and does not work shifts.
I’d love to hear how other families manage sleeping arrangements on the road!
Editorial Note: The opinions expressed here are mine and not provided, reviewed, by any bank, card issuer, or other company unless otherwise stated.