The check-in ritual when we travel with kids

Crazy jumpers.

Crazy jumpers.

Forget the minibar. Forget the views out the window. When our wandering pod checks into a new hotel, the big girls have one thing and one thing only on their minds: They must rip off their sneakers and jump on the bed.

This fascination repurposes sacred sleeping spaces into trampoline parks immediately. It usually transforms hospital corners into a mess of wrinkles and kinks, too.

It also often irks Powerwoman, who loves a nicely kept room (and isn’t afraid to fight for one).

Imagine the girls’ excitement, then, today when the three of us checked in for the night at the Hotel Vitale in San Francisco. No mom. A king-sized bed. Sparse décor elsewhere in the room to minimize risk of head injury. It was a perfect storm of bed-jumping awesomeness. And jump these little ladies most certainly did—for 25 consecutive minutes.

The routine was fast, furious, and, obviously exhilarating; these kids enhoy few activities as much as jumping around like Tiggers.

Sadly, I admit the experience also was incredibly nerve-wracking for dad. Would L jump on R’s foot? What about when R decided to “take a rest” by laying down on the bed—would L jump on her head then? To what extent can the peeps in the next room hear the boxspring making all that noise? These were just some of the questions I asked myself while the girls re-enacted a scene from Rebounderz here in the room.

Why do they love hotel-bed jumping so much? Maybe it’s the fact that we don’t really let them jump on beds at home. Maybe it’s because the kids have been pretty spoiled by spending tons of time in fancy hotels over the course of their short lives. Maybe it’s the manifestation of their secret desires for a padded room at home where they can run and jump like maniacs.

Whatever the reason, I’m not about to be the guy to shut down my kids’ bounce routine. They love it. I love that they love it. Sounds like a win to me—especially on a family trip away from home.

What sorts of rituals does your family have for family vacations?

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