Planning For Spontaneous Travel: Pick a Hotel, Pick a Theme

Sitting in a Chick-Fil-A nursing a diet lemonade with my phone plugged in I make the 18th phone call of the evening. “All sold out,” the hotel clerk chirped in my ear. I combed through Kayak, went to individual hotel sites, and tried Priceline but there wasn’t a hotel to be found that was under $399 a night from Houston stretching all the way up past Huntsville. Even the fleabag motels showing prices at $175/night were sold out when I called. Luckily that night I walked into the hotel next door to the Chick-Fil-A looking pitiful and the desk clerk took pity on me. They had one room that someone hadn’t shown up for that they gave me. This was me on the road by myself on a business trip, I can’t even imagine trying to entertain 3 kids while trying to find a hotel room. Which brings me to the most important point of spontaneous travel with kids pick a hotel first.

“That doesn’t sound very spontaneous” you say but trust me you don’t want to kill a good last minute weekend away by sleeping in the car at a rest stop because all the hotels are full. Your lodging is usually the biggest expense on a trip so lock it down. Don’t let your wallet take the hit on last minute travel.

After you’ve picked a great hotel (preferably with a pool and free breakfast) it’s fun to pick a theme for last minute travel. Some of my family’s favorites are:

Stopping at all historical markers along a certain route.

This was how I found out that my 11 year old thinks you have to hold your breath in cemeteries so that you don't bring in a ghost and take it home with you.

Trying all of a certain type of food. (We’ve done BBQ treks, coffee treks, donut treks.)
The kids develop a rating system and rate each location.

Visiting strange roadside attractions and museums.

We loved the Mustard Museum and Spam Museum. 

Hiking. Our family is always happy with a good hike in a pretty place.

Win a Weekend at Staybridge Suites
Staybridge Suites (an all suite hotel with free WiFi and free breakfast) is running a  Family Weekend Getaway contest to help families escape for a weekend of fun. Three winners will receive:
  • 3-night stay at a Staybridge Suites hotel
  • $250 MasterCard prepaid card
  • Kindle Fire HD7 8GB Tablet
  • $50 Amazon gift card

There will also be a Twitter party on Monday, July 20th at 8PM CST. Join us to chat spontaneous travel! #TMOM #StaybridgeSuitesWeekends.

This post was sponsored by Staybridge Suites and but opinions are my own.