We have been living the hotel life for nearly two weeks now, and while it seems like longer, we haven’t gone crazy yet. So, I’ve decided to write up some tips on how we’ve accomplished this, in case you find yourself in a similar situation.
The main thing I think you should do, is consider your room your HOUSE. This means that you might arrange things differently than you would if you were staying the night. This room is basically your studio apartment for the next X days. Designate spaces.
Obviously, the room is going to be dominated by beds. If you can get a room with a couch area in it, DO IT. We had that in St. Louis, and I miss it so. That room also had a desk/table that seated two. I miss that as well. I’m so sick of sitting on the bed. Speaking of the bed…every day, I make the beds after breakfast. Not only does this get me in the mood to clean the rest of the room, but it makes SUCH a difference. Even if the rest of the room is a mess, just seeing those two neat beds brightens me up. You’d also be surprised how much crap your kids can hide in a bed in one night…
We were lucky enough to have a random open area that fit The Bean’s pack and play and then some, so I set up the “playroom” area in the remaining space. This gives the boys a little space to play with the train set or their cars, and is out of the way from the main walking area. Twilight, for whatever reason, also likes to lay in the middle of the train track when it’s not in use. So…I guess this is also a cat area as well?
John has dominated the desk area, but that isn’t the main reason for this photo. I wanted to show you this view because I’m utilizing all of the nooks in the room. Hiding things in nooks makes the room seem more open, which will help your sanity as the walls start closing in later on in your stay. The space between the desk and the TV holds Twilight’s travel crate, and the space between the desk and the wall has our suitcases and backpacks. That’s right, I said suitcaseS. They’re stacked within each other to save space, which brings me to my next tip:
Utilize the fridge and buy groceries. I love dining out, but after the first week of restaurant for every meal I’m like “OMG over this!” The portions are so huge, and even if you eat at healthier places, they’re not really that healthy. It gets old. Early on in our stay, we make it a point to go to a grocery store and stock up on bread, peanut butter, jelly, fruit, carrot sticks, salad, salad dressing, vegetable sushi, Monster energy drinks, Crystal Light water bottle flavor packs, lunch meat, sliced cheese, juice boxes, cookies, etc.
You’ll still go out to eat sometimes. When you do, I suggest you get a drink in a cup that you can take home*, fill it up with lemonade or something that will keep (not go flat, etc.) in your travel cup, and put that in the fridge along with your leftovers. If you do that, then you won’t have to buy more drinks at the store!
*Make sure that you don’t leave the drink on any table/entertainment centers near your toddler’s bed though… They might grab it, and dump the whole thing out in the pack and play. Just saying. Not that I have any experience with that…
Another way you need to view your room as a studio apartment more than a hotel room is in how you use the closet. Your first instinct will be to hang up your clothes in there, but I suggest you use it more as a coat closet and storage space. I put our shoes and coats in there, as well as the boys’ suitcase, the pets’ food, and other things we had laying around. I managed to fit all of the clothes in the drawers, so this keeps the room looking neat.
We keep a “Do Not Disturb” sign up the whole time we’re at the hotel, because we don’t want Kipp bugging the housekeeper as she cleans the room. This means that we have to clean up ourselves. (Or, we could take Kipp somewhere while they clean but naaaaah.) John put a wicker basket into his car** while the movers were packing up our stuff, so I put all of the toiletries in it, and pushed it to the side of the vanity. This makes it really easy to move all of our toiletries if I want to wipe off the counter, and as an added bonus, the cat stays out of our stuff!
**The movers broke our wicker baskets during the last move.
Hotel life doesn’t have to drive you crazy. Use it as an excuse to explore your new home. So far, we’ve gone to a museum, the zoo, checked out the base a few times, visited friends, gone swimming, run a bunch, and gone shopping in a neighboring city. Take advantage of your “free time” all day before you’re back home and in a world of boxes!
In closing, I’ll leave you with one more tip: Be nice to the staff. They’re the ones that will get your child orange juice even though they woke up after breakfast hours.