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No room at the inn: why it sucks to travel with a party of five

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Fairly Odd Mother

Frantically waving my magic wand to make wishes come true.

Monday, January 25, 2010

No room at the inn: why it sucks to travel with a party of five

In my neighborhood, most of the younger families have three kids. Many of my kids' friends have two siblings. I've joked that "five is the new four".

But, as my fellow families of five have no doubt discovered, finding a hotel room when you have three kids sucks.

On our last trip to Disney, we rented a house for part of our vacation but decided to stay “on campus” for the second half. Our options, like our budget, were limited. Within our price range, we could purchase two rooms in the Pop Century hotels, but they couldn’t guarantee they would be adjoining rooms which wasn’t something I could risk with a 4, 5 and 7 year old. (“If you need mommy and daddy, just open your door, walk down the hallway five doors, and knock.”)

The other affordable option we had was to book a room at Port Orleans Riverside whose rooms have a trundle bed tucked under one of the doubles. We went this route as the price was right. Our 7 year old slept on the trundle, but within a couple of years, all of my kids will be too big to sleep on that little mattress.

On other trips, we’ve stayed at Staybridge Suites or Marriott Courtyards which have two bedrooms, a kitchenette and sitting area. I heard from Kristen at Motherhood Uncensored that her family of five stayed at the Embassy Suites in Puerto Rico.

In both our cases, we’ve been very happy with the layout, space and facilities, but it makes me wonder how “regular” hotels are going to accommodate the families who are outgrowing their standard two-bed rooms.

Oh well, there's always camping. Our giant two-room tent sleeps five no problem.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Most of the places we've stayed (NH-- Storyland area, PA-- Sesame PL, DC-- visiting) are happy to provide us with a cot or have a fold out sofa... but since I do have little ones I usually get a Suite with at least a Kitchenette. I suppose that will be different when we take our first trip to Disney. I have heard that they don't do the roll away beds or sleeper sofa's because the rooms are too small. Plus, who wants to pay for 2 rooms? What should one parent sleep in each room? Ridiculous!

3:38 PM  
Blogger Sarah @ Ordinary Days said...

We've been going to the same hotel for our vacation for the past 3 years. All they have are 2 double beds which has worked out for us but now with baby #4 it's getting tight.

But the hotel is awesome: poolside movies, a little water park, nightly hula performances, excellent staff...

This year we'll have the Mr. and I with the 3yo between us in one bed, the two oldest in the other and the baby in a crib.

I wish they'd renovate and make it a little more big family friendly though.

9:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm the third of four kids, and growing up my parents ALWAYS lied about how many kids they had when we stayed at motels. Maximum occupancy in most regular motel rooms (at least in the 1980's and early 90's) was 5. We would have to stay in the car while my dad would check in, then we would be careful not to all walk past the desk at the same time. I think that my brother would get the roll-away bed and my two sisters and I would share a big bed. There are 10 years between big bro and little sister, so by the time she got big, our brother was out of the house.

10:12 PM  
Blogger Mrs. Q. said...

We have booked adjoining hotel rooms on our last few trips with the kids and it works well but NO HOTEL will guarantee it in advance! We had to BEG the Boston Marriott over and over and promise we'd get side-by-side rooms even though they couldn't technically make the guarantee. Then what's the point of having them?

Suites with more than one bedroom will be the best option when the kids get older, especially if you ever want to have vacation sex.

Time to get the winebego!

12:14 PM  
Blogger Gray Matter Matters said...

Frankly anything more than a party of two sucks. I mean, sure we're only three people, but when one of those people has an 8:45 bedtime the two other people end up sitting on the floor of the bathroom reading (comfy!) or crowding around the portable DVD player sharing headsets watching Big Bang from Netflix.

I'm just saying...

1:49 PM  
Anonymous Julie said...

Well we haven't traveled as a party of 5 yet (other than to NH where we like to rent a condo). I know Disney is going to be a whole other story. We'll see what happens when we get there, probably not for another 12-18 mos.

2:35 PM  
Blogger Mother of Chaos said...

It's a challenge, for sure. We're a family of six, which makes just about everybody keel over in a dead faint. We're all about the adjoining rooms, Embassy Suites and Homewood Suites.

...on those rare occasions we go anywhere...

3:36 PM  
Blogger said...

Most places we stay have 2 queens and a pull-out couch for our 3 kids. It works pretty good for us...

5:14 PM  
Blogger Kellee said...

Hmmmmm, do they no longer have roll-away beds??? :)

11:16 PM  
Anonymous said...

I hear you about three kids and hotels. Ours are bigger now, almost 16, 13, and 11. 16 and 11 are boys, and won't share a bed. 13 is a girl, and won't sleep with her brothers. she used to fit perfectly in two hotel chairs smashed together, but she's too big now. "Who's gonna sleep on the floor?" Is the vacation question.
Though we'll soon be down to two, and the problem will be gone with the big guy off at college, that doesn't make me happy, either.

8:37 PM  

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