Traveling on vacations with a toddler can be stressful. Most tiny humans only like to sleep in their own beds and find new places scary and strange. We’ve been on a lot of vacations to hotels with our daughters and most recently we spent a night at The Whaler’s Inn in Mystic, CT. They’re super family friendly and a perfect place to stay with toddlers. Read all of my Tips for Staying Overnight in a Hotel with Toddlers.
Bring Bedding from Home
Our oldest always brings her Bunny on trips because Bun is comforting and smells like home. We always bring our own pillow and sometimes a blanket too. Annabelle sleeps great on overnight vacations, but her little sister hasn’t always had the best luck.
One of our favorite items for babies and toddlers has been the DockATot. We didn’t buy one until Ailey was a little older, but once we did, we discovered why we all need a DockATot. We now bring our DockATot everywhere because Ailey likes to feel comfy, cozy, and safe when she’s going to bed at night. Staying overnight in a hotel has never been easier.
Ailey loves sleeping in her DockATot so much because it smells like home. We bring her favorite blanket and all of her little stuffed animal friends too.
Keep Toddlers Busy and Active During the Day
The best way to ensure your toddler sleeps at night is to tire them out during the day. Swimming is an activity that makes everyone a little bit sleepy, so if there is a hotel with a pool, make sure you book there! Look for public parks or attractions that involve movement – taking a vacation that consists of a lot of sitting is never fun for active toddlers.
We recently visited Mystic, CT and spent the day exploring the Seaport and Aquarium. There were plenty of opportunities for running, walking, and playing, so the girls slept amazing that night at the hotel.
Be Flexible, but Stick to a Routine
In the past, every vacation we would go on with our oldest daughter pushed the limits of bedtime. We would be having too much fun to go to bed on time, and end up with a series of unpleasant nights. Plus, I’m sure the neighbors in our hotel weren’t too fond of all the noise coming from our room.
We learned by our second daughter that we can be flexible with bedtime as long as we stick to a routine. Pajamas, brush teeth, storybook, and cuddle is what we do every night before bed (and sometimes there is room for a movie). The girls appreciate routine and consistency, and as a result do better overnight.
Share a Bed
If your toddler is frightened in their new surroundings, you can always share a bed. The Whaler’s Inn in Mystic has child sized bunk beds that our girls will really love when they’re a bit older. But for now, cuddling with Mom and Dad is most fun.
We know that someday the sisters will want to sleep together instead of with Mom and Dad, but for now we enjoy our time together. Most hotels can set up a Pack N Play or a cot for extra sleeping space too!
**Thank you to The Whaler’s Inn in Mystic for an amazing stay!**
Kristen Martin says
This could not be more timely! We leave for Virginia Beach tomorrow with our 2 and 3 year olds! Thanks for the great tips!!
Too cute!! 🙂
I can’t imagine it’s easy to travel with the kiddos, but it’s always good when you’ve found a place to stay which is very accommodating.
Thanks for sharing these tips!
Mary Beth says
I have never seen this Dock a Tot thing before! I need one! Might have saved me many a sleepless hotel stays!
So cute!! Every picture in the bed looks so snuggly and cozy!!
We would always spend a lot of time at the pool as kids -a sure way to tire them out!!