We know, we know. Having a grown-ups only getaway is a rarity which takes some serious finagling. Between juggling PTO, finding childcare and scheduling across school and work — sometimes it’s easier not to take a vacation. That doesn’t sit right with us, so we crowd-sourced from fellow parents to pinpoint all the helpful ways you can make the most out of a hotel stay with the kids. It’ll still be a legit vacation, made all the savvier with our insider tips.
- Find hotels with pools or in neighborhoods with ample greenways, playgrounds, parks and museums so there’s plenty of options to keep the crew busy. Call the front desk to ask for their recommendations for kid-friendly activities too. That’s their specialty!
- For the older set, get them involved in the trip ideation too. Ask if there’s somewhere they want to go, what they want to see and what gets them the most excited about the trip. If you want to be the ultimate MVP, see if their BFF can join too. That way it won’t feel like a lame family vacation they’re forced to go on.
- For the littles, pack one or two of their favorite toys (but not the whole nursery) and maybe invest in one new “sanity saving” toy for the flight or ground transport. Packing healthy snacks – fruit, steamed veggies, baby cereal, etc. – is critical, as the last thing you want is a hungry (read: grumpy) baby or toddler in transit. If your kiddo sleeps with a night light or sound machine: bring it. Bring. It.
- When you dine out, consider going family style. This gives kids the opportunity to eat healthy (move over, butter pasta) and try new things. Who knows, maybe they’ll discover their new favorite food!
- If the weather takes a turn for the worse or you want a relaxing night in, ask the front desk for fun games you can check out. The popularity of “The Queen’s Gambit” sent chess sales soaring but fret not, several of our hotels have chess sets and other games you can use during your stay.
- Our “Forgot It? We’ve Got It!” program has saved many a trip and frazzled travelers. Call ahead to see what the hotel has in stock for kids from mini tents to cribs for rent or a library of children’s books. Some items are also available for purchase like pints of Jeni’s Ice Cream at the Kimpton Hotel Monaco Chicago. Starting in July, many Kimpton hotels will have custom Kimpton-designed Micro Kickboard kids’ scooters to borrow for free. It’s the coolest way to explore the nearest park at a pace where everyone can keep up.
- Tack on another generation by inviting the grandparents too. You can book suites or adjoining rooms and take turns on kid duty. You could even ask them to watch the kids for a night while you have a date night or a night to yourself at a restaurant, concert, gallery or bar. Huge!
- Last but not least, loosen up the usual house rules when you’re traveling so it feels like a real treat. Order a little junk food to eat in bed, stay up late, watch silly movies and lounge in your PJs. Trust us, hotel stays are a memory your kids are going to hold onto.