Q: Anyone attempt vacationing at a hotel with your bunch? Which hotel chains let more than two little ones stay in your room or have great yet affordable family suites? Any other tips or alternative suggestions are so welcome.
A: This answer will differ depending on your budget, the age of your kids, where you're going and who's going with you. If you're able to spring for a suite, great. If you're able to get two rooms, even better! Sometimes bringing an aunt, uncle or grandparents help because then you can spread the kids up a bit and still have a place to hang (with adjoining rooms) after 8 p.m.
Places like an Embassy Suites or Homestead Suites give you a little more wiggle room since you can at least put the kids on the sleeper sofa, pack 'n play or the floor (depending on their age) and you and hubby can escape (into the other room) to actually watch a movie, read or hang out without having to tip toe around too much. Embassy Suites usually throws in free happy hour and breakfast which is a bonus. Even a hotel with a balcony often give some options for after you put your kids to bed.
Unless you're staying at someone's house, and many times that can be even worse, you're going to be crammed it and you're going to have to be flexible and have a sense of humor.
Remember that lodging away from home, in the long run, is a growing experience for everyone. Kids need to learn how to adapt to new situations. If you anticipate it will be a horrible experience for all, stay a brief amount of time and head back. Sometimes being on the road is better than being crammed into a small space with multiple kids....at least until they're older.
Get your gear loaded up because you probably need extra equipment to lodge your Bunch for the night or two. Bring the bed. We're big fans of the pack n' play. But we just saw this inflatable toddler bed featured at Cool Mom Picks. Genius! It might help reduce the number of portable cribs you have to stuff in the car. Sleeping bags are great too. The roll-away beds can be more uncomfortable than you think and kids think sleeping on the floor is an adventure. Then you can get away with sleeping more kids. And don't forget the Noise machine. If you don't have one, get one. It makes sleeping away from home easier if you can drown out the noise.
We'd love to hear from those who travel around which hotel chains you always rely on for your Bunch.