As a mother of two kids who travels for work, our family has experienced a variety of hotels, motels and resorts over the years. My girls are now young adults and it is a very different world when it comes to choosing a great hotel to enjoy during out travels.
We have gone through phases, starting with the classic small, affordable hotel where amenities were not the most important considerations. The kids were small and we didn’t need much.
As they grew older we needed more activities, restaurants and overall space. And finding a location that provided nearby events and things to do was paramount to keeping kids entertained.
However, a major change happened around the ages of 17. Suddenly the typical resort locations became the least attractive option. Hotels became less of a place to sleep, play and hang out to something totally different.
I noticed my kids had 3 primary requirements they had to have in our accommodations and I was surprised to find these factors actually were not difficult to find. We just had to know where to look.
1. Cleanliness. By far, this was the most important thing to my kids as they grew into adults. They didn’t need pristine, but hotels that didn’t provide clean linens, floors, dishes etc. immediately created a negative feeling and were to be avoided at all costs.
2. Friendly staff. Kids are funny. They know when someone is gracious and kind and are quick to be turned off by rudeness and staff who have no pride in their job. We became more discriminating and now choose accommodations that appeared to truly care about their guests.
3. Character. My kids became very discriminating as they grew up and as a result we gravitated to hotels that offered historic value, character, architecture and other more interesting value over classic resorts or high priced hotels.
I noticed that the more I included my children’s preferences and interests in choosing our accommodations, the more we all truly had a wonderful stay, built powerful memories and truly looked forward to traveling together.
Traveling can be exhausting and being in a strange place can be very unsettling for kids. Utilizing these three standards led us to new choices, adventures and ultimately an ongoing closeness over the years that bond us all into their adult years. Staying in tune with what they find compelling has educated us and brought the true spirit of fun and adventure back into the travel we do, both for work and for fun!
Annie Leedom is the Editor and Founder of Parentingbookmark.com. She contributes to many online publications and writes about travel and family. She is an ongoing reviewer for hotels including The Citizen Hotel in Sacramento and many others throughout the state of California.