This post on hotel must haves was written by me through HireInfluence on behalf of Howard Johnson Hotels. Although I received compensation, all thoughts and opinions are my own.
During the winter months, we don't do a lot of traveling. We live in a resort town, so we typically stay put most of the time and enjoy the snow.
When spring and summer roll around, we tend to become traveling fiends. We love a good road trip, and we live in the perfect place for road trips.
We're 3 hours from San Diego, 3 hours from Los Angeles, 3 hours from Las Vegas and 2 hours from Orange County (hello Disneyland and Knott's Berry Farm!). We are truly in a central location.
My kids have stayed in more hotels than I ever dreamed of as a kid. And since I didn't grow up staying in hotels (and neither did my husband), we didn't have any preconceived notions of what a hotel should offer with kids.
Over the past few years and all of our travels, we've come up with a list of hotel must haves that we look for when we plan a trip. Some are absolute hotel must haves. Others are more nice to haves, but they will definitely move a hotel up on our list.
If you're trying to figure out what you need in a hotel when you're traveling with kids, here's a list of hotel must haves you'll want to consider.
There is nothing worse than walking into a hotel room and wondering when the last time it was thoroughly cleaned was. One time I found a receipt (that wasn't mine) in a hotel room that was 6 years old!
We always choose hotels that are known for having clean hotel rooms.
Since we are traveling with kids, we also look for hotels that are in safe areas. While I wouldn't want to stay in a hotel in an unsafe area without kids, I surely wouldn't want to stay in one with kids.
So when we're looking at hotels, we research the neighborhoods the hotels are located in to make sure they are safe.
Since we live in the mountains, very few people have pools. So when we travel, a pool is definitely on our list of hotel must haves.
After a long day of exploring a new area, there's nothing more refreshing than jumping into a pool to cool off. And I love seeing the smiles on my girls' faces as they splash and swim in the water.
Bonus points if there is a hot tub and a pool that's open a bit later since we tend to be night owls when we travel.
I'm very fortunate to be able to work from anywhere in the world as long as I have an internet connection. That means free WiFi is a must.
I don't like to pay for such a simple service, and I'd much rather the hotel bundle the WiFi charge into their nightly rate than have it as an option. So if I see free WiFi, that hotel definitely gets a bump up on the list.
More and more, I have been choosing to stay at hotels that offer free breakfast. Not only is it a great budget saver, but it's a huge time saver too.
We don't have to figure out where in the area we're going to have breakfast, then make it there and hope it's not packed. If the hotel offers free breakfast, we know we can eat at our leisure and it's one less thing to plan.
A nice-to-have feature when I choose a hotel is it being walking distance to necessities. I don't want to have to load the kids in the car just to pick up a bottle of water. It's much easier to walk across the street and get the essentials we'll need.
While we don't always stay at conveniently located hotels, it's definitely something we look for and consider.
I love a luxury hotel as much as the next gal, but that's not always in the budget. Especially if we want to continue traveling as often as we do now.
This point is going to be different for everyone, but we travel a lot so I'm very careful to shop around for the best deals on hotels. Our budget may vary from one trip to the next, but we always have a budget in mind.
Since we do travel so much during the summer, we do choose more budget friendly hotels. This summer Howard Johnson hotels has a great promotion to make staying on vacation longer more affordable.
If you stay 2 or more nights at one of the HoJo properties, you'll save 20%. You can read more about that offer here.
I checked out their website and they meet all of our must have criteria for choosing a hotel room. They have pools, they offer free WiFi and free breakfast. They have affordable rates (kids stay free!) and they have more than 200 hotels around the country. So there's likely one in the area you'll be traveling to.
If you're a family that likes to travel with pets, most of their hotels are pet-friendly as well. Just make sure to confirm with the location you're looking at before bringing your furry friend along.
I'll be checking out the summer special that's being offered by HoJo before planning our next family getaway. It sounds like it would be a great place to make a whole lot of summer memories.