laatste update: 08-2021
Most people have to travel during the holidays to visit family and friends. It’s nice to catch up with loved ones and exchange gifts, especially if you live far from home.
Before you head out of town for the holidays, you’ll need to think about where you’ll stay. People might offer for you to stay with them for various reasons, but that’s not always the most comfortable choice for travelers to make.
If you’re feeling conflicted about staying at someone’s house, read these six reasons to choose a hotel over staying with family. It’s okay to want your own space for any reason you see fit, but these might help you justify booking a hotel room for the holiday season.
1. You Get Into Town Late
Some people like to pretend they have traveling down to a science. If they leave at six minutes past five o’clock, make an eleven-minute stop for lunch and only pause for bathroom breaks twice, they’ll get to their destination on time. In reality, many factors change travel plans unexpectedly.
One reason to stay in a hotel is because you might get into town late. When your flight lands at midnight, you could feel bad waking your host up to let you into their house.
Delayed flights and traffic aren’t an issue when you book a hotel, where there’s always someone ready to check you in at any time.
2. There’s No Guest Room
A loved one with good intentions may ask for you to stay with them while you’re in town. The unspoken issue they don’t mention is that they don’t have a guest room. If you stay with them, you’ll get the couch in the living room.
It isn’t fun to sleep on a couch or wait for everyone to go to bed at night to finally get alone time. No one wants to wake up to the sounds of an early bird making coffee on their day off.
It’s more comfortable to get a hotel bed to yourself and it’s okay for that to be the reason you book a room in town.
3. You Need “Me” Time
Hotels offer much-needed privacy if you need some “me” time. Depending on your destination, you might stay in a resort with an on-site spa or gym instructor.
You could also use the privacy to enjoy DIY facial treatments, where you know you won’t be disturbed. After a day of hanging out with family, you might prefer to unwind with a book by the indoor pool. It all makes traveling a bit easier, especially if you prefer to be on your own.
4. You Want Reliable Internet
Most people have different internet service providers, which means your family might not have the same reliable internet you have where you live. If you don’t have the luxury of leaving your work at the office, you might need constant internet access for any emergency emails. Book a hotel so you always have access to WiFi, but tell your family sooner than later to avoid hurting their feelings. If they know it’s related to work, they’re less likely to get upset about you staying at a hotel.
5. There Are No Expectations
Even if no one says anything, there are underlying expectations when you stay with friends or family. You need to keep your room clean and your dirty laundry tucked away. If you make a mess, it comes across as being an ungrateful or unthoughtful guest. At a hotel, you have room service to restock towels and clean during the day. Fewer expectations create less tension between family members, which can easily build over close quarters.
6. You Need an Escape
Family and friends are great, but there comes a time at the end of every party when you’re tired and want to leave. It’s hard to excuse yourself from the party when everyone knows you’ll be in the next room over. Sometimes people take it personally and feel like you’re avoiding them.
Saying goodbye and heading back to your hotel is something everyone understands. It’s an easy way to excuse yourself from a family gathering without coming across as rude. You can say you don’t want to drive back too late or be on the road when it starts snowing, which everyone can relate to.
Do What Feels Right
Remember that you’re an adult who can make their own decisions. You don’t need to make a case for why you booked a hotel room. If that’s what you’re comfortable with, then go for it. Everyone else will adjust to the plans whether you give them one of these reasons or not.
The decision to stay in a hotel versus crashing on a relative’s couch? Easy. Breaking the news to your folks without hurting their feelings might be harder. Here’s how it’s done.
Better sleep. Your own space. The pool. When it comes to booking a hotel instead of staying at a relative’s house, the reasons can be pretty obvious. Still, your decision might not be as readily accepted by your family, so you might need a bit of diplomacy if you want to get off of the sofa bed and into the comfort of a hotel room.
Here are more reasons you may want to stay in a hotel, accompanied by some tactful ready-made responses to help avoid family drama and counter the persistence (or resistance) of your well-meaning would-be hosts.
7. You don’t want to put anyone out
You’ve hosted before, so you know the prep work—and stress—that’s involved: cleaning, laundry, meal planning, grocery shopping, more cleaning. Regardless of a relative’s insistence that your presence is no trouble, it almost always is, even if you are an exemplary houseguest.
What to say: “After hosting my fair share of house guests, I’ve made it my own rule that I don’t inflict that kind of stress on other people.”
8. You need personal space
Staying with family means merging different routines, preferences and idiosyncrasies. People will try their best to be polite, but after a few days of awkward run-ins and clashing schedules, even a large house can start to feel small.
Having your own hotel room as a home base to decompress, relax and enjoy some alone time can go a long way toward helping you stay on good terms with the fam.
What to say: “I’m a night owl (or a really early riser). I’d hate to interfere with your routine.”
9. You want a comfortable bed to sleep in, and just the idea of crashing on a futon makes your back hurt
A hotel mattress is almost always preferable to a basement pullout or your old twin bed. This is the perfect opportunity to reap one of the few benefits of getting older: the effects of aging are readily accepted as a perfectly legitimate reason not to do things.
What to say: “You know, I’ve been having back problems lately, and my mattress needs are very specific.”
10. You’re seriously overdue for some “me” time
Image of a woman reading a book by the pool – just another reason to book a hotel stay.
Me time can be hard to find on vacation, so take advantage of hotel amenities and slip away to the pool or gym.
Hoping for some kid-free time to nap or read a book at the pool? If you’re traveling with tykes in tow, see if your family will take the kids for a few hours. Then hit the hotel pool with that novel you haven’t been able to finish—or hang the “Do Not Disturb” sign on your door and get in some quality time with your significant other.
What to say: “The kids would love some one-on-one time with you! Could we drop them off for a few hours?”
11. You need a reliable internet connection
Putting the finishing touches on a business report? Checking social media to see what friends are up to back home? Either way, you’re going to need a dependable internet connection. At a hotel, you don’t have to endure maddeningly spotty Wi-Fi, and the peace and quiet offered by your own room can help you meet that deadline.
What to say: “I have an important presentation coming up at work, so I’m going to need a quiet place to burn the midnight oil.”
12. Your hotel is a no-judgment zone
You wouldn’t dare leave your bed unmade or pile damp towels on the bathroom floor at a relative’s house. Staying with family means you’ll want to be on your best behavior—for the duration of your stay.
Hotels, on the other hand, are a bit more come-as-you-are—a definite plus if you tend to leave a bit of a mess in your wake.
What to say: “I’d hate for you to feel obligated to pick up after me.”
13. Your hotel can give you an out
By booking a hotel room, you create a definite end time. Once your days are up, it’s time to go—unlike a relative’s house, where you might be coerced into staying an extra day or two. What’s more, a hotel can offer an escape route for uncomfortable situations. Dinner conversation getting a bit tense?
Perhaps your allergies are acting up, and you need to get back to the hotel to pop a pill. Maybe it’s past the kids’ bedtime. Or maybe you need to email an important file and you left your laptop at the hotel. (Conversely, if you’re having a wonderful time, you can always extend your stay without feeling it’s an imposition.)
What to say: “Shoot, look at the time! We have to get back to the hotel for checkout.”
It’s OK to stay at a hotel when you’re visiting family for the holidays
There are several reasons to opt for a hotel stay when visiting your family for the holidays.
While the holidays are a cheerful time for twinkle lights and spiked eggnog, not everything is merry and bright.
The holiday season also involves long stints with family, which can be exhausting – especially if you’re staying over. Although spending quality time with the relatives is important, multiple nights in their home can be overwhelming. Even if you enjoy your in-laws’ company, nobody is thrilled to sleep on a pullout couch or share a bathroom with eight other people.
In order to avoid some of these exasperating issues, find a way to give yourself some personal space – which is a great way to ensure the holidays remain cheerful. By staying at a hotel, you can have the freedom to do as you please.
From increased personal space to spacious accommodations, here are the top three reasons to book a hotel room instead of your relatives’ scary crafting room over the holidays.
1. You’ll have more freedom
During the holiday season, you’ll appreciate the privacy and personal space that comes with staying in a hotel. You won’t need to worry about carrying your Dopp kit back and forth every day or about the hot water inevitably running out when it’s your turn to shower.
You can go about your day at your leisure — without waking up at 5 am to grandpa letting the dogs out or being cornered by your technologically-challenged mother-in-law asking you how to fix her latest smart phone challenge. Being able to come and go on your own schedule will make for a relaxing holiday experience.
2. A two-bedroom suite is better than the basement
Nobody wants to be stuck sleeping in the basement. It’s dark, cold and uncomfortable down there – need we say more? At Staybridge Suites, you have the option of booking a two-bedroom suite.
Here, you can put the kids to sleep in one room and tune in to your favorite Christmas movie in the other room. You’ll also be able to spread out, since the 775-square-foot suite features two separate bedrooms, two bathrooms and a large living area ideal for families.
Additionally, you’ll be happy to know that the suites are furnished with cozy beds and fluffy pillows – a luxury you may not get when staying with the relatives.
3. You’ll benefit from the amenities
The only thing worse than tossing and turning on an air mattress all night is waking up to weak coffee. Thankfully, some hotels has a fully equipped kitchen, so you can brew your own coffee as strong as you’d like.
Not in the mood to cook? Enjoy a complimentary hot breakfast buffet that serves your morning favorites before heading off for another dose of family fun. Plus, there’s an evening social hour where you can unwind over a complimentary glass of wine, which might be very necessary after spending all afternoon prepping for tomorrow’s big feast. Finally, a hotel has a 24/7 fitness center, perfect for blowing off steam and burning off that holiday ham, too.