Gracious House Guests (with Kids)

Photo by tamakisono

Traveling with kids requires a lot more planning than the spontaneous trips we used to take. Now we have to consider extra packing plus strategies for the car or plane trip. What about where we’ll stay? It’s probably not baby-proof, and what could our child get into? Even when hosted by caring family or friends, it’s not easy to carry on a home routine when you’re away from home.

Jessica from LifeasMOM talks about being a mom and a house guest:

You’re spending the night as guests in someone else’s home. Rather than sleep in, your kids are up with the sun. The rest of the household is asleep, of course. It’s not your home, so you’re just a little bit out of your element.

What do you do now that you’re up with your early birdies?

  • Bring them into bed with you (if they’re not already) and pray that the warmth of the covers and your body heat will coax them back to sleep.
  • Hand them some toys and clean out your purse.
  • Read stories. Hopefully you packed some or Gramma has something more interesting than War and Peace.
  • Watch Bob the Builder or your child’s equivalent favorite on your laptop, ipod, or phone.
  • Load up the stroller and go for a walk.
  • Hop in the car and treat yourselves to coffee (for you) and donuts (for them).
What are the challenges you face when you’re staying in someone else’s home? What are some things that help?

jessica-fisherJessica Fisher is a writer, homemaker, wife and mother of six young children. She regularly writes about fun, frugality, and the pursuit of a clean house at LifeasMOM.

About Rachel

I write about practical tips that will help you simplify at home. Connect with me on Pinterest and Twitter.


  1. Great tips. Pulling our toddler back into bed with us usually works. It’s our squirmy wormy (and loud) baby who wakes up by 6:30 that is the struggle :).

    Shannon´s last post…Food Roots – July 23: where does your food come from?

  2. Hmmm… You make me thankful that I don’t have to deal with this! My parents are VERY early risers, and usually take the kids so we can get a bit of extra sleep! Thanks for the reminder that I need to thank them for this when we go for Christmas…. :-)

    That said, when we visited my grandparents, I just made sure to take my almost-5-year-old son to a playground every morning for at least an hour. Letting him burn the energy early in the day made him much more likely to be quieter and behave at their house for the rest of the day.

    Damsel´s last post…Ready.

  3. Our biggest challenge when we visit is finding food to meet our diet restrictions. Most people don’t realize how many ingredients could make Lane or Doug sick. We often end up bringing a cooler or grocery bag of foods with us.

  4. Good point, Rachel. Even though we don’t have dietary restrictions, I’ve found that it helps to bring a small bag of groceries including cereal and fruit. It takes the awkwardness out of having hungry kids awake at 6 am. I know I’m not “imposing” and my kids can eat something familiar.

    FishMama@LifeasMOM´s last post…Frugal Friday: 10 Things You Can Make Yourself and Save Money

  5. GREAT ideas.

  6. We’re in the midst of being house guests right now. Our kiddos are still young enough to sleep til a normal time, but my husband is great to get up with them so I can sleep a little bit more after being up through the night nursing the baby. However, these are some great ideas we’ll use as they get a little older.

    Annie´s last post…That’s not how I left you…

  7. Luckily, our niece has many toys to play with in a sitting area outside the bedrooms, and when the kids (10 & 7) get up, they just start playing with the toys and actually are very quiet! We’ve learned to bring snacks (ok, they’re not always that healthy…)in the car for the drive to keep them happy.