How to survive a month long hotel stay (and with 2 dogs)

August 27, 2014

Staying in a hotel for a month while waiting to move into our house was like a mental test of my sanity. And I think I failed that test. Thankfully, we broke up the stay with 2 mini vacations so that helped a lot. But here’s some of the other things that helped me.

1. Bring touches of home to your hotel room
I brought a quilt, my pillows, plants, my beta fish, and my crochet (the movers wouldn’t take our plants anyway). Our room colors totally clashed like crazy with my teal quilt and the ugly maroon walls, but it was as close to home as we were gonna get for a while and it made me happy to have my things around.

2. If possible, get a suite and alternate between the rooms inside
(or at the very least, get a room with a kitchen)
We were lucky that we didn’t have to pay for this stay since it was included in Brian’s relocation package, so we chose a 2 bedroom suite with a kitchen. This gave the illusion of living in an apartment and helped prevent me from going completely stir-crazy. I’d spend time in the living room at the desk when I wanted to play on the computer and then I’d change it up and move to one of the bedrooms to crochet or watch movies on the bed. The hotel couch was stiff as a board.

3. Take advantage of the free food, but still buy your own
If you have at least a refrigerator in your room, buy your favorite foods and snacks. Believe me, as easy as it is to grab free breakfast everyday, my belly was hating me for eating powdered eggs.

4. Get out
This is obvious. Go for a walk, run on the treadmill, find a nearby park and just get out of the hotel. It will do a world of good for your outlook. We also took 2 mini trips, one to DC and one to the beach, in between which helped a ton.

5. Bring your Roku or device for streaming movies
We brought an HDMI cable and watched streaming movies from my tablet on the main tv. We originally were going to use our Roku but we couldn’t get past the internet authentication page with it because Roku doesn’t have a browser to click ‘connect’ or ‘accept.’

6. You don’t need housekeeping to come everyday
We basically arranged for housekeeping to come clean our suite on the weekends when we were gone doing things with the dogs. I kept the place clean enough during the week anyway as if it were my apartment. I made the beds, ran the dishwasher, and reused towels. They provided little magnets to put on the doors saying, ‘do not disturb’ and ‘four legged guests inside’ so they never bothered me during the week.

7. Open a window
I wish so bad we had a little deck attached to our room for fresh air but the only area to sit outside at our hotel was at the pool and there were tons of game camp kids playing in that area on breaks between their camp classes. So I’d open the bedroom windows which helped a bit.

8. Enjoy running the AC and taking hot showers while you still can
I know this is not a very eco-friendly thing to do, but it was so nice to run the AC unit on low all night and take long hot showers without having to pay the bill. We were happy to not have to pay a mortgage payment for a month either.

With dogs

1. Set up a routine
Having a routine helped the dogs find some sort of normalcy. I made a dedicated area for their dinner, kept their crate arrangement the same as at home, took them on regular pee breaks and in the same spot unless we were going for a longer walk.

1a. They may stop eating
This new change in routine will probably affect their appetites. My dogs would look at me after setting down their dishes like I just gave them a bowl of shit to eat. Monty, who normally eats his entire meal in 5 seconds, took way longer to finish or didn’t finish at all. Even with wet food put on top. Eventually he got hungry enough to choke it down but it made me feel terrible.

2. If possible, book them a day at daycare or run them ragged
A tired dog is a carefree dog. After we took our dogs to daycare for the weekend we went on one of our mini trips, they were dead on their feet for the next 2 days recuperating. This made them not give a damn about hearing strange noises or other dogs barking. They didn’t even pull on their leashes during walks. It was so nice!

3. Beware of careless dog owners
Just expect people to not leash their dogs or pick up their dog’s shit. My dogs are leash reactive so I’d take them for a walk with my heart in my throat the entire time in anticipation of a loose dog running up to us. Finding a far away grassy area way out of the normal walking range helped prevent my wolf pack from getting surprised by an off-leash dog.

4. Don’t forget to bring your dog’s toys
We brought our dogs favorite toys to the hotel and stored them in an empty Chinese food delivery box like their toy box. Having them scattered about the floor all day helped it feel like home too ha!

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