When we’re shooting episodes for “Family Travel with Colleen Kelly,” we end up staying in A LOT of hotels, and they are surprisingly all very different! I’ve developed a few tricks that I keep up my sleeve to help me find just the right hotel each time I travel. Here are five important things to consider to make sure your needs are met when selecting your home away from home:

  1. Location, location, location: When in a big city, I opt for centrally located hotels whenever I can.
  2. Pools can save the day: For all those times when the weather doesn’t cooperate for sightseeing or outings, an indoor hotel pool can make everyone happy. An added bonus is that the kids will get tuckered out and hopefully be anxious for a decent bedtime!
  1. Concierge level: Many large hotels offer concierge level access for an additional fee. The concierge level amenities may include complimentary breakfast foods, free Wi-Fi, afternoon snacks and drinks, and other access depending on the hotel. Fees vary, but often they are equivalent to taking a family out to breakfast once. So it can be well worth the investment.
  1. Lending libraries: Some hotels let you borrow items such as sports equipment, games, movies and books. You might even find a hotel that lends strollers, wagons and wheelchairs! Before you lug everything with you, call the hotel (the actual hotel, not the 800 number) and find out what is available.
  1. Safety first: Make sure you review where the exits are in your hotel and what your strategy would be in case of an emergency. Hopefully you will never need to use this information, but always be prepared!

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