7 Things to Help Sick Kids on Vacation

It's the middle of the night and I feel that tap tap of the kids is awake. Our middle child, R, is crazy stealthy. I rarely hear her when she wakes up in the middle of the night and sometimes I've woken up to find her laying asleep on the floor next to our bed.

Our first night in Vegas was a similar situation but this time, she had a tummy ache. I was fully unprepared. We didn't have any crackers or Sprite like we would at home so I did what I could and then sent her back to bed.

A few hours later she was awake again. This time, she had managed to throw up all over her little travel bed. Once again, we were totally unprepared. We got her into the shower and started to do what we could to clean up.

Luckily, I put a disposable pads down on each of the older kids beds under the sheet. It generally acts as a barrier in case of potty accidents in the middle of the night but I've never been happier to be able to throw something away and almost instantly fix my problem.

Vegas wasn't the first time I've dealt with sick kids in a hotel room. We all caught something nasty our second week in Santiago. Once again, it was R waking in the middle of the night having thrown up on the floor on her way in to me. I cleaned up what I could in that situation and then called down to housekeeping to see if there was anything else I should do.

What I have learned is that there aren't many housekeeping staff on the schedule overnight. It makes sense but unfortunately, in Chile they didn't really have any real options for me other than bringing more towels and waiting until morning.

After having a couple of these horrible experiences, I thought I would share a few things that I suggest you tuck away in your luggage to help just in case you find yourself where I was standing.

1. Laundry Detergent - I often toss a little bit of detergent into my bag just in case someone wets their pants or spills something all over themselves and we don't have a way to get to a laundromat. Laundry prices at hotels are usually crazy so save yourself some money and grab a travel pack of laundry detergent at the store before you go!

2. Extra Sheets - If R would have been sleeping in a hotel bed, I would have stripped the bed myself and then called down to Housekeeping. The faster you can get soiled sheets off of the bed, the faster you can keep the mess from getting into the mattress. I've been surprised by how few hotels use waterproof mattress pads or really protect the mattress in any way. Since R was sleeping in her travel bed, I brought sheets from home and I was super glad that I remembered to pack a few extra sets.
Left to Right: Febreze To Go, Honest Company Hand Sanitizer Spray, Lysol Disinfecting Spray
3. Air Freshener - This is often something you can request from Housekeeping but sometimes it is nice to have something on hand. After searching through the travel section at Target, I've added a little bottle of Febreze into our travel kit. I've also picked up a small bottle of room freshener spray made by ______ that is perfect for travel since it isn't in an aerosol can.

4. Hand Sanitizer - I never know just how clean that hotel soap will get my hands so if I'm dealing with something extra nasty, I always like to give my hands a little squirt of sanitizer.
Left to Right: Cottonelle Fresh Care Wipes, Clorox Disinfecting Wipes, Wet Ones Antibacterial Hand Wipes
5. Clorox Wipes - I usually travel with a little pack of Clorox wipes anyway (they are great to clean off the tray table on the airplane or the phone and remote at the hotel) but it can be especially helpful when cleaning up after someone who didn't quite make it to the bathroom.

6. Wet Ones - These are great for things as simple as cleaning up hands before a meal and I've even used them in a pinch to clean up a car seat during a road trip.
Crackers we picked up to have on hand while in Costa Rica.
7. Crackers - I usually don't bring these with me since they end up being crumbs by the time I arrive to the hotel but if we are stopping by a grocery store on our way to the hotel, I try to remember to pick a few up. There wasn't much worse than being sick in Chile and having to haul all three kids to the store by myself so I could grab some crackers. It's worth the dollar or two to have a package on hand and I can also feed them to the kids as a snack.

Finally, if someone from Housekeeping is extra helpful in dealing with soiled sheets, towels, etc., I feel it is always appropriate to give them a tip. It also wouldn't be a bad idea to get their name and send in a compliment to the hotel.


Hi, my name is Erica! After having three kids in three years you can usually find me in yoga pants with dark circles under my eyes and a Diet Dr. Pepper in hand. If you ever see me at the airport, I'm probably running around with a kid on my back in the Ergo while pushing another in the stroller. At times our house feels crazy and chaotic and I often struggle to keep dirty dishes out of the sink.

My friends all know that I'm the one they can turn to if they have any questions about traveling with their kids and I LOVE being that person!

There are a lot of things I want to do with my life but one of my favorite things is to help people find the courage and resources to make their travel dreams come true. I am super excited to have you along for our adventures and I hope you will come to think of me as your travel savvy friend because there is nothing I would love more!

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