10 hacks for child proofing holiday accommodation

Raffles takinga breakon the carpet of our Venetian hotel

A recent hotel stay with Raffles and Sugarpuff shocked us into the realisation that just because our kids are no longer toddlers, it doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t still be child proofing holiday accommodation.

You see, Sugarpuff decided to hide under the bed (because hotel room hide-and-seek is one of her all-time favourite pastimes) and what should she find but “a packet of Tic Tacs, Mama.”  Indeed it was a Tic Tac container but we can only assume what the small white pill inside it actually was because it was quickly disposed of.

While we’re lucky that our kids know NEVER to put anything in their mouths unless they have our express permission, imagine if that wasn’t the case. The thought of my three-year old scoffing someone’s left behind recreational pharmaceuticals shakes me to the core. So now it’s back to being hotel room vigilantes.

While a lot of hotels are taking precautions for their younger guests, think about the time, money and effort it took to baby-proof your home.  There is no hotel, motel or holiday apartment that will go to the same effort, and some make no effort at all.

Little kids are curious and keen to explore, and new environments only create temptation, so if your little one is mobile, the first thing a parent should do on arrival at their holiday digs, tired or not, is check and child proof. And just because your kids are getting a bit older, and allegedly wiser, it doesn’t mean that they’re immune to danger. In fact after our little experience I would advise child-proofing holiday accommodation until they’re at least 35, just to be on the safe side.

Whether you are holidaying with tots or tweens, here are our top ten paranoid parenting tips for child proofing holiday accommodation.

1. On the level – Try to book a room on the ground floor. If there is a balcony make sure you keep doors locked and move the furniture away from railings to keep tots from clambering over.
2. Get down, get down –  Get on your hands and knees and scan the floor (including under the bed) to make sure there isn’t anything unsavoury that the cleaners may have missed that could end up in your child’s mouth.
3. A little perspective – Take a look at the accommodation from a child’s perspective as dangers can be overlooked when examined from adult heights.
4. Locked-up – Keep hotel windows shut and use the lock (if there is one) on external doors to avoid your toddler heading off on an adventure without you. Just before his third birthday we stayed in one “family-friendly” resort where the low handle on our apartment door (that had no lock on the inside) saw Raffles wandering straight out onto a busy road while I was cooking his dinner. We ended up having to wedge the door shut with cutlery to keep our errant tot in. We’ve carried a roll of industrial strength duct tape ever since (a few artfully placed strips are just strong enough to keep a door from being opened by a small boy).
5. Socket to ’em – Keep in mind that local socket covers wont fit in international power points, so if you’d rather your kids didn’t end up rocking a ‘do like Albert Einstein, use the aforementioned duct tape to cover sockets.
5. Room renos – If you’re travelling with a very young child be careful of sharp edges on low furniture. Duct tape a cloth or cushion to the corners or just ask the hotel if it can be temporarily relocated.  You should also check that larger and heavier items are well secured to prevent them toppling onto young children, and move anything breakable from low surfaces.
6. I’m with the band Hair elastics and Elastic bands are another on-the-go child-proofers BFF. Use them to tie up blind cords which are a strangulation hazard. Elastic bands are also awesome for shooting at your partner once the kids go to bed. My tip is to aim for bare skin.
7. Running with scissors – Check kitchen drawers in holiday apartments as they are more often than not full of sharp knives, scissors and even matches – all within reach of curious little fingers.
9. Slippery when wet – I’m amazed at how slippery so many hotel bathroom floors can be. Be sure to keep floors dry and use bath mats so your kids don’t slip and fall. In one hotel I had to use a towel on the floor in the actual shower as the floor was too slippery for the kids to shower safely.
10. Shock it to me – While talking bathrooms, be sure to unplug any electrical appliances like hairdryers and store them out of reach.

Kids in a hotel room


20 Comments on 10 hacks for child proofing holiday accommodation

  1. Malinda (@MBPaperPackages)
    March 4, 2015 at 8:07 pm (9 years ago)

    The first thing I tend to do is hide the mini bar basket if there is one and move all the breakables (like vases etc) up high. After that it’s pretty much just staying vigilant with them. Cannot believe the tictac story – scary!

      March 6, 2015 at 4:18 pm (9 years ago)

      It was terrifying to find and we reported it to the hotel management immediately. I can’t stress enough how important it is to do a reccie under beds, couches and cupboards when you have little ones around..

      • Malinda (@MBPaperPackages)
        March 11, 2015 at 9:26 pm (9 years ago)

        Will be doing it from now on!
        Thanks for joining in my #wednesdaywanderlust link party

  2. Lizzing Lightly
    March 6, 2015 at 4:06 pm (9 years ago)

    The tic tac story is very scary! That is lucky your kids were quick to show you. Great post – we recently stayed at a cabin with our 1 yo and had to get the knives and chemicals out of reach but I can see why you would become more relaxed as they grow up. child proof your accommodation until they are 35! lol

      March 6, 2015 at 4:21 pm (9 years ago)

      As we’ve travelled to some fairly unusual places we’ve had to teach them never to eat anything they find without consulting us – no matter how inviting or normal it looks – just in case. When I was a kid I probably would have just stuck it it straight in my gob.

  3. yinyangmother
    March 8, 2015 at 12:29 pm (9 years ago)

    Good tips Aleney – what a huge fright that must have been with Raffles running onto the road and scary too finding that pill under the bed. We’ve had our share of travel stories, especially trying to manage with newly adopted babies in hotel rooms in China and we had Little Yang in New York when he was 18 months old – well that was fun.

      March 9, 2015 at 2:17 pm (9 years ago)

      YIkes. I can imagine. SO many hotels aren’t equipped to cope with bubs and toddlers. x

  4. Sally@Toddlers on Tour
    March 9, 2015 at 12:47 am (9 years ago)

    My son was never one to explore the world by taste, so it never occurred to me check under furniture for unsavoury items – great tip!

      March 9, 2015 at 2:16 pm (9 years ago)

      1st place I check now. That and the cupboards my little girl insists on hiding in.

      • Sally@Toddlers on Tour
        March 12, 2015 at 10:50 am (9 years ago)

        It really does come down to knowing our own children and what they will get up to.

  5. Denise
    March 9, 2015 at 2:10 pm (9 years ago)

    Great tips Aleney. Those stories gave me a scare – some hotels really aren’t set up for kids and you don’t find that out until you arrive. Running out into the road. OMG!

      March 9, 2015 at 2:15 pm (9 years ago)

      And that was at a resort that’s advertised specifically to families. When we asked they said they’d never thought of kids just opening the door – so stupid!

  6. aparentinglife
    March 12, 2015 at 12:53 pm (9 years ago)

    Great tips thanks for sharing. There is so much to think about all the time as a parent.

      April 2, 2015 at 8:17 pm (9 years ago)

      It’s non stop!

  7. Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella
    March 13, 2015 at 6:11 pm (9 years ago)

    Oh that is lucky that you caught the pill in the Tic Tac box in time! I can only imagine what else is under a bed! 😮

      April 2, 2015 at 8:19 pm (9 years ago)

      Very, I can only imagine what it was and it’s a scary though that the kids of eaten what they thought was a harmless tic tac..

  8. Jim Butcher @ MrAndMrsRomance.com
    March 14, 2015 at 9:03 pm (9 years ago)

    Great tips, Aleney! Amazing how much you have to think about when you’re travelling with tiddlers. I do have an image in my mind though of a customs officer opening your bag and finding rolls of industrial strength duct tape and being a little worried! Lol!

      March 14, 2015 at 9:10 pm (9 years ago)

      So fr so good at customs, Jim, though it may raise a few eyebrows. 🙂

  9. Dilvin (wanderluxekids.com)
    March 18, 2015 at 9:32 pm (9 years ago)

    Elastic bands! Brilliant tip lady. What is mum’s handbag without hundreds of elastic bands and squashed sultanas?

      April 2, 2015 at 8:18 pm (9 years ago)

      It’s the squashed sultanas that make the magic happen Dilvin… or the sticky mess. One of those.


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Hey, I’m Aleney! A mum, award-winning travel writer, magazine editor and gallivanting glutton. He’s Raff, the “boy” in boyeatsworld, and a fearless foodie, adventurer and eco-warrior. Along with his all-singing, all-dancing, all-adventurous sister, Sugarpuff, we’re exploring the world’s colour, culture and cuisine on a food safari for the junior set.

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