If you are taking your small child on his or her first real vacation and sleeping in a hotel, then your child is likely either excited or terrified about sleeping a new place. The truth is that even a child who seems excited about their first real hotel stay may become afraid after all once you leave home and reality sets in. No matter what your child's first reaction is to sleeping away from home, keep these tips in mind to help calm and alleviate fear your child may have about sleeping in a foreign place for the very first time.
1. Interact with the Hotel Staff Upon Arrival
When you travel alone for business or with other adults, you may simply greet the hotel desk staff, obtain your room key, and swiftly go to your room. To ease your child's fears about the strangers who work and are staying in the hotel you are vacationing at, request a mini meet-and-greet with staff upon your arrival.
Greet the desk agent by name if they are wearing a name-tag. If you encounter a room-keeper in the hallway, ask his or her name and introduce your child to them. Follow the same procedure with any staff member you encounter during your stay to remind your child that hotel staff members are friendly people there to help you and not scary strangers.
2. Bring Along Reminders of Home
Depending on whether you are traveling by plane or car, you can take as many items from home that you can reasonably fit in your luggage or vehicle. If your child sleeps with a favorite plush animal toy, then that is a must to take along. If you have room in your luggage, then your child's cozy comforter from home or a small throw blanket your child uses when lounging on the couch can also be great assets to have with you to help your child fall asleep comfortably and sleep well.
3. Consider a Practice Stay Close to Home
If your child is very fearful about staying at hotels, then it is a very good idea to do a "practice" hotel stay at a hotel close to home. Book a night or two at a hotel nearby, so you can truly know how your child will react when on your real vacation. Follow the above tips during this stay, as well. If everything goes well, then it can greatly alleviate your fears about your how your child will react when you're several states away or even in another country.
During this time, you can give your full attention to your child and won't be distracted by vacation fun. If your child cannot make it a full night away from home without having temper tantrums or other outbursts, then it is better to learn about this reaction close to home. You can then decide if it is better to wait until your child is older to take that theme-park vacation or if you should hire a sitter to watch your child while you and other adults go to that exotic destination.
Follow these tips when embarking on your child's first hotel stay at a vacation destination far from home. A happier, more comfortable child can lead to a wonderful, relaxing vacation for everyone.