You pack up the kids, make sure no one forgot their toothbrushes, underwear, or favorite toys, one last check for the bathroom, and finally hit the road for a much-needed family vacation. Unfortunately, if there’s one thing vacation can be when traveling with one’s family, it’s too stressful. That’s why when you come to Chicago for your next get-away, it’s essential to choose lodgings that know how to handle your more rambunctious family members.
When we’re talking about family, it can be important to check in advance and make sure the hotel is able to handle the entire family. For instance, some hotels won’t permit pets, or if they do, they require an additional fee be paid in advance. If you’re travelling with a baby, you may wish to see if a crib can be moved into your room in advance. The same theory applies if you need an additional cot or small bed given the size of your family. If there are too many of you in the family, it may be more convenient to split up with adult or mature family members represented in each room.
Since travel with family can be expensive, it’s not a bad idea to make sure there’s a free breakfast, a full breakfast being better than a continental service. Free parking is another way to keep costs down; most parking downtown requires a fee, while parking in the suburbs or in motels are typically free. Motels also offer the benefit of pulling right up to one’s room and immediately unloading family and luggage, if one is on the first floor.
Your youngest may also appreciate a dedicated kid suite, a room that encourages play, coloring, and interacting with video games and dolls. Kid’s suites are available at the Swissotel Chicago, a luxury hotel. Homewood Suites Downtown offer cocoa and cider in the lobby and suites that allow the family to stretch out between kitchen and living room or separate bedrooms. Breakfast is free and there are evening drinks for the adults.
Finally, when seeking a great family-friendly hotel, one may choose to focus more on proximity to major attractions rather than cutting costs and being further afield. Most of the three-, four-, and five-star hotels are located near the Magnificent Mile or Chicago River. There are often hotels with suites in this area as well, an attractive feature for large families.