Whether you are taking a long vacation or are in-between houses during a big move, an extended hotel stay can be expensive and difficult, especially if you have young children. Here three tips that will help you, your children, and your budget survive and thrive during an extended hotel stay.
While there are many hotels that offer a weekly rate rather than (or in addition to) a daily rate, this isn’t always the cheaper option. Compare the prices of extended stay hotels versus normal hotels, and suites versus regular rooms. Suites, like at Edson Hotel, are a more roomy option and might save your sanity, but a smaller room will save your budget.
Choose a Family-Friendly Location
Obviously, you will look for a hotel in a safe part of town, but there are some other location specifics that you should consider as well. If possible, look for a hotel that is close to a park. Since you will not have a yard, it will be helpful to have a place close by where your kids can run and play outside. No one wants to cooped up in one room all day.
If it is wintertime, you may be able to find a hotel near a large mall with play places, or near a YMCA or recreation center that has places for kids to play, basketball courts, etc.
Unless you want to eat out for every meal, you will also want to choose a hotel near a grocery store. As the next tip explains, it is possible to cook in a hotel room (even without a kitchenette,) but a mini fridge can’t store very much food, so you will probably have to make a trip to the grocery store every day.
Nothing breaks a tight budget faster than eating out three meals a day for several weeks. To save your wallet, find a hotel with a free continental breakfast and a mini fridge (at the very least.) Some rooms might have a kitchenette, but if you have chosen a cheaper option without this feature, you can still eat some home cooked meals.
To make meals without a kitchen, you will need:
- a crockpot
- a rice cooker
- a panini press
- paper plates, cups, and bowls
- crockpot liners
- plastic utensils
- plastic bags or storage containers for leftovers
One easy recipe is to just throw four cups of salsa in the crockpot with four chicken breasts and cook on low for six hours. When the chicken is done, shred the chicken and serve the salsa chicken over rice. This is hearty and filling with only three ingredients. For an even easier option, just use your crockpot to heat canned soup or chili.
If you do want to eat out, try eating out at lunch and then cooking (in the crock pot) or eating leftovers for dinner. Most restaurants have a lunch menu that is less expensive than the dinner menu, and the portions are still plenty big.
Being away from home is always hard (especially on young children,) but following these guidelines will help make your long hotel stay more manageable and more affordable.