A Mom’s Perspective: The One Item Every Hotel Needs #traveltuesday

by Carrie with Children with 21 comments

Dear family-friendly hotels and resorts –

Between work trips and fun trips, my family and I are fortunate to travel at least once a month.  Traveling with toddlers is always an adventure, especially when it’s time to settle in for bedtime. And throughout all of our travels there is ONE amenity that we immediately look for when booking our hotel.

Bed Rails.  

Swan and Dolphin Resort Room

The Swan and Dolphin Resort Wins My Award

Bed Rail Success Stories

In our four years of traveling as a family of four, we’ve only stayed at TWO places that even had them. Ever.  (Kudos to you Walt Disney World Resorts and also the Swan/Dolphin Hotels.)

The Swan and Dolphin Resort, adjacent to Disney World wins my love and affection.  When I inquired about bed rails prior to our stay, then went above and beyond and had them installed before we even got in our room.  And even more kudos to them because they had  a rail for each side of the bed.  Heaven sent!

Upon checking out, when I offered my thanks to the hotel representatives at the Swan and Dolphin, they were thrilled to know that something so small made such a huge impact on my family.  Bed time for my entire family was easier!

Make Shift Bed Rails

Make Your Own Bed Rails 

I’ll never forget the day I had to explain to a front desk clerk what bed rails even were, she couldn’t understand why I didn’t just want a crib instead. My girls are two and four-years old, a baby crib is not for us.  As a parent to toddlers –  I sleep better knowing my child isn’t going to fall out of the bed.  And don’t we all just want mom to sleep better? Especially on vacation?

One of the most recent places we stayed at claimed to “cater to traveling families”, they even had bunk beds for kids –  yet they didn’t own a set of bed rails.  NONE.  That’s when we decided to take matters into our own hands and used the room’s ironing board to make a bed rail. Worked perfectly.

At another resort on a recent trip, I moved the desk chair, the chaise lounge and an ottoman next to the bed to serve as a makeshift bed rail.  Usually,  we push a bed up against the wall, but not all beds can be moved which just adds to the dilemma.

Bed Rails and Toddlers

My Plea to Hotels and Resorts

So, dearest hotels and resorts ….  please take my plea to heart.   Bed rails let toddlers sleep better, parents sleep better and it makes traveling feel a little more like being at home.  Not to mention, that I don’t have to rearrange my hotel room just to get my kids to sleep.

Please. Please. PLEASE…  buy a set of bed rails for your property. Even if it’s just one set – it could mean the world to a family that has been traveling all day.

And when you need a family to give your bed rails a try, shoot me an e-mail.  We’d be happy to come visit you!


A mom that loves traveling with her toddlers and getting a good night’s sleep


Do You Have Bed Rail Tales?  Share Your Stories…


  • Jackie

    I can’t believe that you had to explain what a bed rail was to one of the employees at the hotel! Obviously they haven’t been around kids.

    • Carrie with Children

      Isn’t that crazy, Jackie?! I feel like bed rails should just be an automatic amenity!

  • Tesa @ 2 Wired 2 Tired

    You are so right! I was always amazed at the hotels we stayed that didn’t have bed rails. I would think it would be a liability to not have them. We stayed at a vacation rental once and were able to rent them from an outside service, which is nice but they really should be provided in hotels.

    I like your creative thinking. I remember doing similar things when our two were little.

    • Carrie with Children

      Thanks for reading, Tesa! That’s a great point about *not* having them being a liability!

  • Mel Outnumbered

    It would be convenient if all hotels at least offered them!

  • Jen

    I LOVE the ironing board!!!!

    I hear you loud and clear. We have moved chairs next to the bed, requested 6+ additional pillows to create a high cushion next to the bed, etc. All to make sure big girl didn’t fall out. Syd will soon be out of a crib and we will have to go through it all over all.

    • Carrie with Children

      My husband came up with the ironing board idea. Such a smart guy 🙂 I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve had to move chairs, etc. So frustrating!

  • Liz @ A Nut in a Nutshell

    I used to bring those along with me when we traveled by car. Yes, those rails make a HUGE difference! I’m really glad they improved things for you and your little girlies!

  • kelly thompson

    I am soooo with you on this- we just came back from Big Cedar and I had to take all the blankets and spare pillows and prop them between the nightstand and the bed because their night table had the most jagged edges you have ever witnessed! It kinda helped but my son still nearly fell and had his head hanging off twice! It really impedes my sleep at night!

    • Carrie with Children

      Oh Kelly, I’m so glad he didn’t hurt himself. I wouldn’t have slept well either!

  • Cinny

    I never even knew they offered bed rails before this. That’s so cool to know.

  • Jennifer Medeiros

    I’ve always thought that hotels should have these for kids. Glad to know I’m not alone!

  • Amber Edwards

    I didn’t even know some hotels even offer bed rails. But it is brilliant! Seriously I could always use Bed rails for my toddler! She’s too big for a crib. But still needs that extra protection to not fall out of the bed. This is brilliant! yes! Please hotels provide bed rails!!!

  • Emily @FamilyNLifeLV

    You know, I never even thought to ask because I just assumed they wouldn’t have them! I will start asking now for sure! I am always trying to move the bed to the wall and make my own! This is a really smart thing for many hotels to offer – I know I’d be more likely to stay and recommend!

  • Kristin Barclay

    I’ve never thought to ask either, and in the past when we traveled my son was still in a pack and play, but now that he’s older this will definitely be an issue for us.

  • Jessica @FoundtheMarbles

    Bed rails are such a great option for a kid-friendly hotel. The one time we stayed with our son we pulled the desk chairs out and put them on each time of the bed.

  • Hanan

    I couldn’t agree with you more!!

  • Jenny J.

    In lieu of a bedrail, try putting a pool noodle under the fitted sheet. If you’re flying, this is a hard thing to travel with, but blankets/towels/sheets rolled into a long noodle-like shape and tucked under the fitted sheet really helps kids from rolling off.

    Perhaps this won’t work for some kids, but mine have never rolled off the bed with this. I often find them with one arm over it like a body pillow!

    • Carrie with Children

      That is a great idea, Jenny! A pool noodle would be perfect! I’ll have to keep that in mind! Thanks for reading