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Published July 7, 2023
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4 Hidden Hotel Perks Every Parent Should Ask About

Check whether your hotel offers game-changing perks like early check-in, high chairs and cribs or on-site babysitting.

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Between packing the kids’ suitcases and planning a schedule to keep them entertained, travelling with little ones can be a lot of work.

Thankfully, some Canadian hotels offer a variety of kid-friendly perks to help make parents’ lives a little easier on vacation. The only problem? Not all parents know about these perks or how to take advantage of them.

Here are just a few perks that you can ask about while planning your next hotel stay.

Nerdy Tip: You may have better luck accessing free perks and amenities when you book directly with the hotel, rather than through an online platform like Expedia, or It’s also always a good idea to contact the hotel ahead of time to confirm availability of the perk you’d like. You can even ask about any amenities you don’t see mentioned on their website, just in case.

1. Early check-in or late checkout 

Many hotels don’t allow check-in until 2 p.m. or later, which can be challenging if your travel itinerary has you arriving earlier. While this delay can be a nuisance for any traveller, it can be even more frustrating for parents, especially those with children young enough to need a nap.

How to get this perk

Some hotel websites have a place to leave comments during the booking process. Use this field to explain that you’re travelling with young children and would appreciate an early check-in. 

If there isn’t a comment or request box when you book, email or call the hotel in advance to see if you can arrange to check in earlier than usual. While there’s no guarantee, many hotels will try to have your room cleaned and prepared for your planned arrival time. 

If you have a later flight or departure time at the end of your trip, you can also request a late checkout. Again, it will depend on the hotel’s room availability, but with advance notice, they may be able to extend your checkout time by a couple of hours. Note that these options may come with an extra fee, unless you book with a travel rewards credit card that offers free extensions.   

2. Kid-friendly entertainment

Without the comforts and toys they have at home, kids might become bored and restless in a hotel room. To help keep them entertained, some hotels offer ways to keep your children busy, even if it’s just for 10 minutes while you shower.

How to get this perk

Televisions are standard in most hotel rooms, but free on-demand movies or the ability to connect your Netflix account is even better. Ask whether Smart TVs are included when booking.

Other forms of entertainment like books, puzzles, board games, cards, gaming systems, and even colouring pages may be available to borrow or rent from your hotel.  

You can also specifically choose hotels and resorts that have kid-related facilities. While these hotels may be more expensive, kid-specific programs can be both fun and educational, with activities varying by location. For example, some Hyatt resorts offer family-oriented activities based on local history and attractions, like hula lessons in Hawaii, and the Ritz-Carlton’s Ritz Kids program offers in-room “camping” experiences at some locations. Programs and additional activities like these may cost extra to attend, however, so it’s best to plan for these expenses as part of your travel budget. 

3. Cribs, high chairs and more

Many hotels have bigger equipment like cribs, strollers, high chairs and booster seats available for guests with children. Your hotel might also have Pack n’ Play sets or similar playpens that you can use during your stay. 

How to get this perk 

Contact your hotel ahead of time to ask about availability and cost, if applicable. Keep in mind that these items are likely used, so you may want to clean or disinfect them before use.

4. On-site babysitting

In order for it to feel like a true vacation, many parents would agree that it should include some alone time. To help parents get some time to themselves, some hotels offer private babysitting or supervised group activities.

How to get this perk

Check with your hotel to see whether they offer or partner with a babysitting or nanny service that will send someone to watch your children in your room while you go out for a couple of hours. Some resorts also run daycares and keep certified nannies on staff. If your children are old enough, you may be able to sign them up for supervised group activities or leave them in a supervised kids club so they can have fun while you have fun. Depending on the hotel, this might be a paid or free service. 


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