Happy Friday morning! I hope you are all having a wonderful day, and planning some kind of fun day trip or something for this weekend.
Today I want to talk about staying in a Hostel with children. It is not ideal, but if you have to do it, this is the best approach.
Make sure you get a recommendation from someone you find trustworthy. Workers in hotels are very helpful, even if you are not staying in one. You could also find another mother out with her kids (that hopefully speaks English) and ask her where she would recommend. The best situation is that you have friends in the area and they know which hostels are nice, and which ones are questionable. Stay as close to the touristy part of the city center as possible, that way you avoid ending up in a bad neighborhood.
Now that you’ve found a suitable hostel to stay in, here are a few things about staying in a Hostel you may not know.
-When you check in for the night they usually require you to hand over your passports so you can’t leave and skip your bill. Don’t worry, they will hand it back to you in the morning.
-Hostels have a close down time every night. Someone will usually still be in the office, but this means that all but one entrance will be locked up. Make sure you either call it a night before that time, or find out which entrance will be left unlocked. Trudging up four flights of stairs while carrying an infant and holding a 2 year old’s hand to find a locked door is a serious bummer. Yes, I’m speaking from personal experience.
-There will not be a crib or pack ‘n’ play you can use. Arrange to bring your own. There are portable tents you can purchase that have inflatable mattresses in them that are extremely safe for infants, and they are light.
-Hostels are not hotels. They do not look like hotels, and they are not as accommodating as hotels. You will usually find some bunk beds, a small table, and a bathroom. Don’t be surprised if the bathroom does not contain a tub, most don’t. But there are creative ways to give your baby a shower. I have done it countless times, and I promise a walk through is coming in another post soon.
-There will be noise. This is true especially if you are staying in a student hostel. You might hear loud music until 3am, and generally there is nothing you can do about it. Hopefully your kids will be so exhausted from traveling they will zonk out. My kids are used to sleeping through noise (you should start getting them used to this early by continuing regular activities during their naps as infants… it really pays off in the long run!). As for you, I would recommend ear plugs for any other adult, but as you know, parents of infants and small children don’t have that luxury.
I hope you found this information helpful. Do your research, and everything will be fine. There is no shame in scoping out a place and leaving. Being a parent is 50% instinct, so follow your gut. And remember, the whole purpose of staying at a Hostel is to save money. If you have extra money in your budget and you don’t mind using it, spring for a hotel if it makes you more comfortable.
Have any of you stayed in hostels with your kids? What was your experience like? Any questions? Comment away!