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When my second daughter was an infant, choosing a hotel room was actually really simple. When possible, we wanted a room that offered a place to put her crib/pack-and-play that was away from the rest of us in order to maximize every second of sleep that was possible. That could mean a suite, or a second bathroom, or a large bathroom, or even a nice walk-in closet. Now, she is almost three years old, and we are thankfully well passed the crib and pack-and-play situation, but choosing which hotel room is best is actually getting tougher as the girls get older.
Rollaway beds vs. double beds
The household hotel sleeping debate was recently reignited because we have an upcoming return trip to the fantastic Andaz Costa Rica resort to kick off the summer. Last year, Josh and I went to this resort without the kids, so of course, the Andaz Suite was a fantastic spot for us to spread out and enjoy living the kid-free life of luxury for a couple nights.
This 1,173 square foot suite has a bright and airy living room, an oversized main bathroom with a soaking tub and walk-in rain shower, as well as an additional half bathroom. Despite all of that, it is blessedly still considered a standard suite in the World of Hyatt program. This means you can use a confirmed Globalist Upgrade, potentially score an upgrade at check-in, or even book it outright with just 24,000 points per night, though I don’t frequently see that option available at this specific property.
This time around we originally passed over on the suite and booked the standard room with two double beds using 15,000 World of Hyatt points per night for our family of four. We booked this return trip many, many months ago, but as the travel date approached, I’ve started doubting that sleeping strategy. I don’t have a photo of the standard room with two double beds, but I did see a standard room with one king bed as shown below. The room was beautiful and spacious for a standard room, but the idea of spending several nights of the four of us sharing double beds when we could spread out in a suite has me doubting my decision-making capabilities. This is especially true because we are going during the start of the rainy season, so we may be indoors more during the rainy parts of the day.
Family travel musical beds
The heart of the issue is that when we booked the trip, our newly two-year-old was simply at a different phase than she is now almost a year later. The only real option then was all being right together in two (small) beds as we had just graduated from the crib. Now, I think that booking the larger suite and playing musical beds with the rollaways may make more sense than putting all four of us right next to each other in beds much smaller than we are used to at home. But let’s be real, I’m under no illusions that my two kids are going to happily crawl in two rollaway beds in the living room and stay there for the duration of the trip. Maybe that will happen a few years down the road, but not today.
This is clearly a ‘first class’ sort of problem, but the risk of going for the suite over the room with two real beds is that it is the adult(s) who end up on the rollaway beds while the kids cozy up in the real bed. Most likely it is one adult who ends up in the rollaway while the other adult + kids take over the massive bed. It probably isn’t a surprise that 6’3″ Josh isn’t going to be thrilled when he draws the rollaway-bed-straw.
Family travel requires constant adjustments
If I’ve learned anything after over eight years of family travel, it is that there is no such thing as getting your family travel routine down pat, because every time you think that you do, someone hits a new developmental phase and the whole situation shifts. The secret is continuing to be flexible and re-evaluating your strategies to adjust for the current situation. Something you book a year in advance may not look the same as the travel date approaches. I know as families with multiple children shift into the teenage years, the discussion often turns to a second bedroom, or even to an Airbnb type of property. We aren’t quite there yet, but with our 8 and almost 3-year-olds, I think we will be trading our standard room with two double beds for the suite with some rollaways and just see what happens.
Regardless of what our sleeping arrangements ultimately look like, here’s where you will be able to find us most of the time…at least when it isn’t raining too hard.
I’ll share some of how the musical bed adventures go in Stories on Instagram while we are in Costa Rica, and of course, write up the ‘lessons learned’ from this next phase of family travel once the dust, er pillows, settle. How has your family managed each sleeping transition while on the road? When did you make the jump from real beds to spreading out in rollaways?
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