Four Tips For Traveling With Toddlers

Your vacation is a time to relax, see the sites and spend quality time together. The hotel stay should amp up the family fun, not detract from it. Before you hit the road, take to the skies or board a boat, consider what your toddler needs when it comes to overnight accommodations. Choosing the "just right" place to stay can make your holiday away into a dream retreat, even with a tot in tow.

1. Childproofed Spaces

Electric sockets, tangled phones lines and doors that can pinch little hands all pose safety risks in a hotel room. That said, some hotels will childproof the room for you, according to Parents magazine. When you book your room, ask if it's possible to have the staff do a safety sweep prior to your arrival. While not every hotel offers this convenience, a truly family-friendly one will supply the outlet covers, door latches and other similar risk-minimizers for your family.

2. Connecting Rooms

If your toddler doesn't sleep in the same room as you and your spouse at home, why should he do so in a hotel? Suites and connecting rooms provide a way for your family to stay together, without everyone having to bunk in the same space. An open door between connecting rooms offers an easy way to have some privacy while still keeping a watchful eye on your tot.

3. Room Service for Kids

Whether you want to stay in after an action-packed vacation day or your little one simply needs a snack, ordering room service with a toddler often requires child-friendly options. A hotel that has a specialized kids' menu provides your child with choices that will interest him and come in pint-sized portions. Look for a hotel that has child-friendly foods for all three meals as well as mid-meal snacks. As a bonus, most kids' menus include lower priced meals than the adult versions. Instead of eating half of a pricey grown-up dinner, you can order your toddler a lower-cost option that he'll actually enjoy.

4. Toddler-Friendly Amenities

While your pre-parenting vacation stay may have included trips to the hotel's gym and late nights at the first floor bar, traveling with a toddler means finding a place to stay with amenities fit for a tiny tot. If you don't want to spend the extra money on room service or eating out, look for a hotel that has kitchenettes or a microwave-refrigerator option. This allows you to prepare and serve simple snacks and meals on demand, without leaving your room.

Other amenities that you may need when traveling with your toddler include a hotel play or activity room and babysitting services. Some hotels have communal play spaces that they stock with toys and games. Depending on the hotel, you may have the option to drop your toddler off with a supervising staff member or you may have to stay and play. If you're looking for a way to have  "grown-ups only" time, some hotels have their own baby sitting services. For an extra fee, they provide a sitter in your room to care for your child while you hit the town or take a spa break.

From the peace of mind that you'll get from a child-proofed space to the peace and quiet you'll get from a multi-room suite, toddler-friendly hotels can make your family vacation much more manageable. Prior to booking your stay at a place such as Hampton Inn Suites, ask the hotel staff what services they have for families with young kids. When you get to your destination take a breath, take a break and take advantage of the amenities you asked for.