Monday, July 29, 2013

How to Handle Hotels - A Kids' Guide

Editor's Note: Guest-writing this piece are our children, who are the industry leaders in how to make themselves at home in hotel rooms. If they had a Web site, it would probably be called But they don't.

Hotels are AWE-SOME! They are mini-houses that you can stay in when you are on vacation, and they always smell good, and somebody else cleans them. You should go to one sometime, because usually they have refrigerators and even swimming pools! And you can sometimes get breakfast there, if Dad can figure out how to cook waffles in the waffle iron (use that spray stuff first.) If not, Mom can always do it. So here is our list of ways we make hotel rooms awesome:
We didn't stay here, but if we did, the bed wouldn't be big enough.

1. Sign in. Immediately upon your arrival, take the notepad and pen sitting on the dresser and write your names and room number on all the pages. This lets housekeeping know you've arrived. If nothing else.

2. Turn on the TV and immediately ask to watch the Sprout channel. Hotels never have Sprout, but we ask our parents for it anyway, then we whine and cry so loud that they'll turn on anything even remotely age appropriate to keep us quiet...God, maybe even Cartoon Network. We may have seen an episode of Assy McGee for all I know. (Side note: All hotel TVs are programmed to start at Channel 1, which is either an infomercial for the place you're staying or a channel previewing a movie where a woman is murdered in her hotel room. When it's the latter, your parents will literally fly across the room and rip the remote out of your hands as if you're carrying an open canister of flesh-eating acid. Then they'll turn on Assy McGee. Trust us.)

3. Locate the $4 bottles of water and $8 bag of peanuts and ask if you can have some while trying to open them. Again your parents, who have just set down the beach bag full of 99-cent boxes of dry cereal and Capri Suns, will leap across the room to keep it out of your hands. Then, locate the vending machines and ask for something out of those. Be persistent. Never take "We'll see" for an answer.

4. Hotels always want you to feel as if you're home, so feel free to kick off your shoes and immediately lose them. It might sound hard in a smaller space, but the balcony is a good place to start, or under the beds, or in the microwave..

5. Also on the "at home" theme, it's perfectly fine to run up and down the halls yelling and screaming. Those are some big halls, and why wouldn't everyone want to know "I have a belly button" and "My brother just pooped his pants?"

6. Force your parents to let you unlock the front door. Hotel doors are cool because they don't use keys, but rather "credit cards." Wait until both parents are loaded down like pack mules, then, in your highest voice, screech out your desire to open the door. If your parents are nice, they'll patiently yet wearily watch you fail to open the door three or four times before, once again, ripping it out of your hands and grumbling, "Here. I'll do it." But hotel room doors are awesome.

7. Use the secret code on the radiator to irreversibly turn on the heat. Make sure to set it for some ungodly temperature that starts with an 8, then pretend not to notice as your parents get more irritable looking for your shoes while wiping sweat off their brow. We could have put the tooth fairy out of business if we had trademarked the phrase, "Why is it so God-damned hot in this room?" Also, petition the Grand Hotel Authority of the Universe to remain steadfast in their refusal to put such knobs out of the reach of 18-month-olds.

8. Maintain an irrational fear of the bathtub. Yes, it's just a bathtub, and, yes, Mr. Rogers' time-honored maxim of You Can Never Go Down the Drain holds as true as ever, but, by God, we just saw a lady get murdered in her hotel, and we're reasonably sure it happened in the bathtub. Trust no bathtub, even those in the Taj Mahal or your grandparents' house, because they are just not your bathtub. Also, scream at the top of your lungs when your parents rinse out your hair.

9. Point out how weird the hangers are. Ask your parents why hotels always have weird hangers. We have 22,000 hangers at home, so I don't know why they'd think we'd steal theirs.

10. Screw around with the bedding arrangements. Our parents, such stodgy traditionalists, usually try to sleep sister and brother in one bed and mother and father in the other, with little brother in the cage pack -n- play. By 1:15 AM, we have ourselves in perfect sister-mother-brother-father formation in one bed, with Dad sleeping between in the crack between the bed and the wall, even though the bed is at least 50% larger than any bed we have ever owned. The other bed then goes unused.

These should get you started. If you have any others, please relay to us through our parents because we don't have e-mail addresses or Web sites. Remember, staying in hotels is F-U-N fun fun fun!!

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