Let’s be honest. You ask any mom what their ideal vacation would be and it usually will NOT include their children. Because as a dear friend once said to me: vacation with your children is usually like being at home, only in a different location. You still have to feed them/bathe them/entertain them and in a location where none of those usual things are available. And so you come home from that “vacation” exhausted and ready for another one… But guys – it really doesn’t have to be so hard! Because the best family vacations can be low-stress, and even stress-free!
We are a family of travelers, it’s true. So when faced with the option to put my children onto an airplane or in a car and schlep them somewhere, I don’t balk at the chance. But even I get a tremor of fear when it comes to staying in a hotel with my kids, because kids, in hotels… *shudder* But when we were offered a night at the Embassy Suites by Hilton™ Waterfront San Francisco for a weekend staycation in the City by the Bay, I thought, what the heck. Because with Embassy Suites by Hilton™, I don’t even have to pull out all the tricks that I usually use when I travel. Tricks like…
PLAN PLAN PLAN PLAN PLAN
I’m sorry, but as much as we loved flying by the seat of our pants when we were younger, doing it with young children can be challenging. And while I don’t believe in planning every last detail out, it does help to have an idea of what you’re doing so that you can plan accordingly. Because when the kids are small, you’ll need to factor in nap time, meals, bedtime, etc. But I will say this: never underestimate the power of pushing your kids! They can handle it, so go a little crazy. But just remember that if Junior gives you the screaming signal that the party is over? Get your butts back to the hotel, STAT.
SNACKS and MEALS
As in make sure you bring some, or know where you can get them. Luckily Embassy Suites is really good about their evening snack time for the kiddos and alcoholic beverage time for Mommy… because it may have been a long first day, despite all the best planning. And the next morning, make sure to head downstairs for an AMAZING hot breakfast, made to order, and FREE. Your kids won’t know what to do with themselves and the fact that they can have one of everything. Not like we know from experience or anything.
This is paramount for EVERYONE. Please don’t assume that just because you’ve had a long day of hanging out in the city that suddenly your precious little snowflakes will comfortably sleep with you, or go to sleep in some strange place. They may be WIRED(!), EXCITED(!) and READY TO PARTY(!). So the best plan of attack is starting off the trip right with a suite. Thank goodness that Embassy Suites has two-room suites, with a separate bedroom and living area. So at least if they are wild and crazy, you can just shut the door to that room. Ok, I kid slightly. But never underestimate the power of your cell phone. Use it as a sound machine to get everyone in their own beds and their own rooms, calm and drifting off in a cloud of tranquil music.
So you think this comes under plan? Kind of. We found that when we were in San Francisco, there were only so many things that we could drag the kids to before they started asking for ice cream and a playground. So guess what, ice cream and a playground it was. While we didn’t really want to sit in Chinatown at a playground, it gave the kids a chance to unwind and us a chance to really look around. And guess what, that playground in Chinatown was GREAT for people-watching. And then of course we got ice cream. And THEN we went back to Embassy Suites and kicked it at the pool. So make sure to find things that are fun for the kids to do, like playing at an epic playground, splashing in a cool water feature or getting a sweet treat. Don’t take yourself too seriously and remember it’s more about connecting with your family than checking off a must-see list. Because the best family vacations are the ones where EVERYONE has fun.
We had an amazing staycation at the Embassy Suites by Hilton™ Waterfront San Francisco. We saw the sights, got ice cream, rode the SF trolley, played at the Ferry Building and best of all: spent a great weekend together. Because traveling with your family?
Yeah, it’s Pretty Great.
Looking for more travel hacks to help with your family travel this summer? Check out these #PrettyGreat family travel tips to help get the most out of your vacation, and visit www.embassysuites.hilton.com for special travel offers. Traveling for the first time on a plane? You can check out a few of my family travel hacks as well.