I’m just back from Soave Italy via Des Moines, Iowa. (I know.) I’m also just off my most miserable hotel stay in a long time.
To be fair, the problem had nothing to do with the hotel. The problem had to do with a family of four, including a teen boy and a tween girl, trying to exist in a single hotel room.
This trip made me remember why I avoid a single hotel room with a family of four like the plague. The bottom line is that a teen boy and a tween girl aren’t going to sleep in the same bed by choice, and I’m not going to force them to do it. So we ended up with a boys in one bed, girls in the other sleeping situation.
Chaos ensued, as anyone with trying to share a bed with a teenager or tween kid might expect. Choruses of “stop kicking me!”, “turn the TV down!” and “what’s that smell?” rang from the rafters. The result of this was four sleep-deprived, cranky, and all-around miserable people.
I have no idea why families do this to themselves when there are is any other option. The Deal Family has traveled together for over a hundred nights in the last three years. The vast majority of those nights featured a separate bedroom for the kids, and in many cases a bedroom for each kid. I feel so strongly about vacation rentals that I’m speaking on the topic at Chicago Seminars.
The cost between a vacation rental and a hotel room is nominal, and in many cases the vacation rental costs less. For instance: in Colonia del Sacramento, Uruguay last summer I paid about $150/night for our three bedroom historic house. The alternatives were the Radisson at 44,000 points/night or a variety of independent hotels in the $150 price range for a single room.
I’ve argued that hotel status matters less for families and this last stay reinforced why. Sure, we don’t get “free breakfast” and the pool in a resort town might not be as fancy, but I’ll trade both of those for a good night’s sleep with my husband instead of an uncomfortable one with my daughter.
So my question is for those of you who prefer hotel stays with families to vacation rentals: how do you sleep? Not just how well do you sleep, but how do you handle sleeping arrangements? Please share your thoughts in the comments- I really want to know how you make it work.