Visiting Adult Kids? Five reasons to stay at a hotel

Sticky note on the headboard of our comfy bed
Visiting Andrew at Google Take Your Parents to Work Day
Visiting Andrew at Google Take Your Parents to Work Day

In a previous post, I mentioned that I was invited to be part of Hampton by Hilton’s Ultimate Seekender Team. Our experience caused me to reflect on the distinct advantages of a hotel stay when visiting adult kids.

With the holiday season approaching, many empty nesters may have plans to visit out-of-town adult “kids” who have grown up and flown the nest.

Of course, waking up together under one roof on Christmas morning invokes a hefty dose of nostalgia and good cheer. But staying with relatives—even priceless children and/or grandchildren—for any extended length of time (let’s say more than three days) can get dicey.

Ben Franklin’s old adage still remains relevant today:

Guests, like fish, begin to smell after three days. 

When we visited our son who had recently moved to the Silicon Valley from Manhattan, we took the pressure off him (and us) by breaking up our weeklong visit with a weekend stay at a nearby Hampton by Hilton.

Here are five reasons why you might consider a hotel stay when visiting adult kids:

1) You’ll have a retreat of your own

Yes, there can be too much of a good thing.

If you are used to the solitude and quiet of an empty nest and like to stick to your own wake/sleep schedule instead of someone else’s, your hotel room will be an oasis: a place to recharge for the next family get-together or outing.

Our king-bedded room at the end of the second floor at the Hampton by Hilton Milpitas was extremely quiet and peaceful. In fact, we never heard another guest during our three-night stay and were only woken up by our cell phone alarms.

A nice bonus: There was an indoor gym and outdoor pool to work off the extra calories we consumed, and to soak in a bit of early morning California sunshine.

2) It’s all about the bed 

When it comes to a hotel stay, isn’t it really all about the bed and getting a good night’s sleep?

If you are staying with relatives, depending whether they live in an apartment or larger home, you may be offered the option of sleeping in a guest room with an old mattress, or resting your head on a pullout daybed or sofa in the living room. Some adult kids even offer to move out of their rooms so their parents can enjoy the “comfortable bed.”

Why face the choice of either displacing someone or worrying about enduring a night of interrupted sleep? Our Hampton bed® was white, fluffy and uber-comfortable. On our headboard, a sticky note let us know that the coverlets were washed for every guest.

Sticky note on the headboard of our comfy bed
Sticky note on the headboard of our comfy bed

3) It’s convenient 

With a portfolio of more than 2000 properties, you’re likely to find a Hampton by Hilton that’s conveniently close to wherever you visit. In the Silicon Valley area alone, we actually had a choice of several properties, all within 20 minutes of our son’s apartment. Of course, we liked the reliability of knowing exactly what to expect in terms of the guest room standards at any of these properties.

As Hilton Honors members, we took advantage of digital check-in and room selection (available across the entire family of Hilton properties) so we could pick the room we wanted from a floor plan on the day before check-in. 

4) A respite from stress 

Any change in routine can be stressful. Adult kids have lives of their own, which don’t necessarily stop just because you are visiting. Although they may not admit it to you, it can be just as nice for them to get you out of their hair as it is for you to have an exit strategy. In fact, it will make the time you do spend together all the more rewarding.

Murphy Avenue in downtown Sunnyvale
Exploring historic Murphy Avenue in downtown Sunnyvale

5) An affordable luxury

Travelers want value and we never felt nickel-and-dimed at the Hampton property—all the properties are moderately priced and eminently affordable, especially on weekends when the business crowd is gone. The Wi-Fi was free to Hilton Honors members (which is free to join) so we were always connected. Breakfast, snacks and water bottles were also complimentary.

We had gotten so comfy in our “home away from home” that it was sad when we realized our stay was over and it was time to say goodbye, pack our bags and head back East.

Our sendoff Hampton-on-the-Run Breakfast to Go
Our sendoff Hampton-on-the-Run Breakfast to Go

But since we didn’t overstay our welcome, we have no doubt that we will be invited back real soon.:-)

Loved this! An empty-nester chuckle elsewhere on the Web:

TimeOut New York25 Things Your Parents Will Say When They Visit You in NYC

Also on More Time To Travel:

Disclosure: As a member of the Ultimate Seekender team (the only empty nester Seekender), our weekend getaway to the Silicon Valley was sponsored by Hampton by Hilton but all opinions expressed in this post are our own.

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  1. That Ben Franklin adage is a good one to remember :-). And if your adult child doesn’t have an extra bedroom (and most wouldn’t if they have an apartment), staying with them would get a little cramped, to say the least. When we visit our son in eastern Canada, we stay in a hotel. The Hampton brand looks like a good, affordable option to consider :-). (And it’s great they let you know the bed coverlet was washed! Hate those fancy comforter things or bedspreads; we always have to get an extra sheet to put on top of it, or stash it under the bed.)

  2. I’m with you. While it is nice to be all together, there is such a thing as too much togetherness. It’s very hard to be a guest in someone else’s home, even if that “someone else” is your very own child. Sounds like you found a great place to stay!

  3. We tried staying with the kids once when they first got a house- and they’ve tried staying with us. We all agree that it’s a better visit in separate quarters. And if we vacation together, we get separate places as well and get two cars.

  4. I agree with the Ben Franklin adage too, although living so far away from my Mum (Australia to England) I tend to go for long chunks of time, and poor Mum, just has to put up with me πŸ˜‰ I think as we get older, it becomes more important to be under one roof, but you’re right with our children who have recently flown the nest, a healthy dose of aloneness is a good idea.

  5. I LOVE the Happy Kits! Totally forgot about the benefits of sleeping in a hotel bed…can be MUCH better than a relative’s pull-out couch! Sometimes I wish I could stay in a hotel rather than a friend’s place, but that would insult them!

  6. We currently live just 1 hour from our son and daughter-in-law but when we lived on opposite coasts, and we’d fly east to visit, we always stayed in a hotel. Adult kids need their space – so do their parents! I like the concept of take your parents to work day.

  7. When we don’t stay with our adult children it is better for everyone! We all need our space and so do they! Hampton by Hilton seems to very thoughtful and goes beyond what is customary. I love know that my bed is so CLEAN! I was also very impressed with your bag to go. How thoughtful and helpful!

  8. I don’t have kids, but I do visit my 92 year old Dad when I go home to Canada. I also stay with him, and as much as I enjoy spending time with him I do have to make sure that I break up the visit. I think it’s good for both of us! πŸ™‚

  9. Our travel blogger son is somewhat annoyed that we have purchased a downsizing condo without a dedicated guest room like he has now for visits home. I suspect we’ll end up springing for a hotel room for him as he’s not a futon kind of guy anymore or so he tells us.

  10. Hmmm…is there a tactful way to send this to my parents πŸ™‚ I downsized to 800 square feet last year, and somehow my couch is still acceptable….

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