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Hotel Hacks for Families

by Barbara Rogers

Jun 3, 2022

© Darya Petrenko | Dreamstime.com


Staying in a hotel during family travel is a lot different from a weekend getaway for couples. For one thing, it requires a lot more advance planning. The easiest hack of all is to come prepared. Assemble a hotel tool kit to keep in your luggage so you don’t have to remember everything each time. Our tool kit includes binder clips (clothespins will do, although they are bulkier), outlet covers (when the kids were little), a small roll of adhesive tape (painter’s tape is better, but takes up more room), a rolled length of heavy string or cord and both small and large zip-closing bags (keeping that uneaten half sandwich in the refrigerator and for wet bathing suits and baby clothes).


Armed with that pack, you’re ready for most hotel room needs, while others you can solve with a little ingenuity and materials already in the room:


  • Kids can’t sleep because the shades don’t meet? Attach them with binder clips — or in a pinch, use a clip hanger from the closet.
  • Noise or light from the corridor keeping them awake? Roll a bath towel to block the under-door space.
  • Bed in that air-conditioned room too cold for the baby? Warm it with the hair dryer.
  • Need a bottle warmer or to dry baby clothes quickly? The hair dryer to the rescue again.
  • Worried kids will roll out of a high bed? Put spare pillows or rolled bath towels under the fitted sheet to make bumpers. Not enough spare bath towels? Call for more as soon as you check-in.
  • Need a changing table? Put a towel over the desk — you can keep all the supplies right there.
  • No refrigerator and need to keep milk cold for an in-room breakfast? Use the ice bucket or fill the sink with free ice.
  • No shower rod for hanging wet laundry? Use the clothes hangers and hook them over doors, or make a clothesline out of the cord and fasten it with tape or binder clips.
  • Muddy shoes from a hike? Cover them with the plastic shower cap when you pack.
  • More wet clothes that can fit in those zip bags you brought? Use the hotel laundry bag.


The best answer to sweaty sportswear or soiled baby clothes whose smell might permeate your luggage is a set of Smelly Proof reusable storage bags. They pack perfectly flat and, once sealed, the dual-track zipper and strong plastic material seals in oxygen, moisture and odors.


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