If I tell you this travel hack, you have to promise not to tell my kids.
We are a family currently backpacking around the world for a year. We’ve been going for ten months and so far have been to twenty-one countries and fifty-eight cities. We are on a very tight budget so I’m always things of different travel hacks with kids that I can use.
A goody two shoes travel friend of mine – whose name I will refrain from mentioning – once told me “when my kids got over the ages of 12 and 14 I had to start booking two rooms whenever we travelled as a family.”
This travel hack concerns paying for only one hotel room. And then cramming the whole family into it. It also requires you to tell a white lie.
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Travel Hacks For Kids. A Good One That Will Save You Some Dosh.
When we first started travelling around the world as a family – before my kids realised that their mother was a pathological money-grabbing liar, they would walk into a hotel room, look at the double bed and the pull out sofa and say:
“Why can’t we be like our friends? When they go on holiday with their parents they have adjoining rooms, why can’t we do that?”
Phhff to that, I say.
Here’s what we do. Actually, that’s a lie. Here’s what I do. My husband has no part in this scam. He is an honest and kind man. I am the one who will do anything to save money and prolong going back home to New Zealand.
First, let me say we love to couchsurf. Couchsurfing as a family has to be the number one hack that anyone travelling with kids needs to know about. It’s amazing and I love it. My kids hate it, but I love it, so we do it. Simple as that. But for those family travellers who just can’t face knocking on a strangers door and sleeping on their couch read on.
Family Travel. The Hotel Room Hack
I have booked tons of hotel rooms all over the world including America, Southeast Asia, Japan, Europe and the UK. I almost always use booking.com
Here’s what I do.
I type in the family room that I want. The computer gets suspicious and nosy at this point and asks: ‘number of kids?’. God help you if you have three kids, there is only ever two columns.
‘Two’, I say. No fibbing here. All honest and upfront so far.
‘Kids ages at time of stay’ the computer demands to know. Desperate to get more money out of me. Here, I use the little drag and click the bar to pull up the kid’s ages.
My kids are 17 and 14. And they’re pretty big for their ages. In fact, my son’s feet grow at approximately one inch an hour. Especially when I feed him.
So I put their ages at 10 and 12. What’re a few numbers between birthdays I say.
When the day comes to check into the hotel, off we go. Me, my husband and our two humungous teenagers who are supposed to be 10 and 12. Looking like something out of Jack and the Beanstalk.
If it looks as though the receptionist on duty is a jobsworth kind of person or maybe even the owner, I tell the kids to either hide in the toilet or else to crouch down in front of the reception desk. Bringing their noses level to the counter.
Seriously. I’m not kidding here. I do.
How The Kids React To This Deceptive Travel Hack (and yours might too)
At first, my son thought it was a good laugh, but now, ten months later he refuses to play the crouch down and walk like a small adult with broken legs game; instead he stands in the corner of the reception area and hides behind his phone, shaking his head and twitching his foot aggressively. Threatening to explode with embarrassment.
I have to say, I think this travel hack may be nearing its end.
But what would you do? Come on people. Be honest. If you’re travelling on a budget what would you do?
If I say the kids are only 10 and 12 it means we can all go in the same room, no questions asked. Yes, it means we have to share, yes it means we have to live with the insults that my daughter throws at us for snoring in perfect orchestration, but I don’t care.
We only have to pay for one room.
Let’s look at the choices.
Two rooms. The kids get to lay spread eagle in the luxury of there own space, wet towels thrown carelessly on the floor, plasma tv screen burnt out within twenty-four hours of continuous use, happy in their own big fat mess.
But. Double the money.
One room. Kids scrunched up in the corner arguing, me marching around the tiny space collecting wet towels and throwing them into a heap in the corner, Brian complaining that there aren’t enough plug sockets to charge the millions of devices we travel with and everyone continuously arguing about who gets to sleep under the fan.
Yet. Half the cost.
Exactly. I knew you’d agree with me once I’d explained it so nicely.
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I hope you liked that secret travel hack with kids! Let me know your favourite money-saving hack – I’m always open to ideas?! Happy travels X