Let’s be honest, for a vacation, small kids usually only need a hotel with a pool. It doesn’t matter what your destination actually is, because under the age of about 9 or 10, most of the “important” vacation destinations will simply be lost on them. The overwhelming impression will be that of the good time they had at the hotel pool.
When planning this trip, I looked at booking a large room, preferably a suite, in a hotel that had a pool. With 5 of us, we needed the space of a suite, and the Red Lion Inn at Kelso fit the bill. It was perfectly situated along Interstate 5 and had the amenities which were necessary.
First up was a suite, which provided us enough bed space. There was the bed, holding myself and Laura, and a couch that folded out into a bed for August. In a perfect world Déla and August would have shared the pull out bed, but my daughter is a horrible sleeper. She tosses and turns and is a violent sleeper – when she actually finally falls asleep. We had to ask for a rollaway bed for her, and there was space for it, along with space for the Pack & Play portable playpen/crib for Ciaran. What was nice was that all three of the kids cold be in the room, separate from us, and separate from each other, so they would actually fall asleep.
The second most important thing was a fridge and in-room coffee. Our cooler is good, but I think our milk spoiled. It’s an electric cooler, one that we had purchased years and years ago and hadn’t used in a very long time. The stuff inside was cool, but not nearly as cold as it should be Plus, when we turn off the car, the cooler is turned off. In-room coffee … man, I can’t sing the praises of this enough.
Third, and perhaps most importantly, the pool. At the end of a long hot day, the kis are wound up, they won’t be going to bed (or sleep, actually) any time soon. Instead of turning on the television, take them down to the pool. August & Déla are taking swim lessons, so they are comfortable in the shallow end of the pool. Ciaran was loving itt, until he felt just how cold the water was. We didn’t spend a lot of time at the pool, maybe 15 minutes, but the kids had a lot of fun.
Showers, stories, bedtime, it all worked out – a little rougher than it would at home, but this is vacation. The hotel worked out great and was a positive experience. Sure, there are some major destinations that kids can go to and retain a lasting impression throughout their adult lives, but those are few and far between. When you are that young, the extreme basics are really what you care about, not architecture or the difference between 17th and 18th century paintings.
Besides, it would be really expensive to take the kids to another country such as Italy or Egypt where they would be able to see something that would stick with them. Even at the ages they are now Washington D.C. would be lost on them, except August, who is 6, and even then still isn’t able to grasp the significance of most of it. No, for the next few years we’ll most likely be sticking to small vacations like the one we are one now.