After years of helping my kids with their homework I figured it was about time they returned the favor, so last night I sat down with Libby, Maya, and Felix (ages 12, 9, and 5, respectively) and asked them what they thought hotels, restaurants, and airlines ought to be doing differently to satisfy vacationing kids.
What follows is perhaps some food for thought for the travel industry (Bathrobes and omelet chefs just for kids? Pink airplanes?), or, at the very least, inspiration for parents to occasionally ask their kids what they think.
What Hotels Should Do Differently
Felix: More hotels should have their own diners. With crayons. And in the rooms there should always be bathrobes for kids.
Maya: Definitely a soda bar in the room. A free one.
Libby: Yeah, no more $6 waters.
M: There should be more choices on the room service menu, like mozzarella sticks. Also, seats in the elevator; what if you just went hiking and you’re really tired and you just want to sit?
L: I’d like to see changing rooms in the pool area, and more than 15 channels on the TV. More hotels should have solar panels, so we can save energy and pay less. And no more weird art pieces.
Hotel Amenities and Activities
L: Hotels should have music lounges with headphones so you can listen to whatever music you want. They should be connected to computers so you can watch movies and TV shows, too.
M: And there should be an electronics lounge with iPads and iPod touches.
F: And video games. Star Wars, Star Trek.
L: Hotels should have gyms, like big indoor multi-sports rooms, so kids can be active when it’s raining.
M: And why don’t hotels have swimming classes?
What Restaurants Should Do Differently
M: There should be more things on kids’ menus. Carrots with ranch dressing, more healthy things.
L: It’s always too dark in restaurants.
M: Remember that time at the hotel when I ordered a cheese omelet and a guy pushed ahead of me? There should be a special omelet maker for kids. And waiters on skates.
L: Live music at dinner. And restaurants should pre-cut some of the food so small kids can eat it easier.
F: Keep cookies with peanuts separate from the ones without.
M: Restaurants should fry their french fries in separate oil from their seafood. And maybe have some high chairs built into the booths.
F: I don’t like it when you’re starving and it takes so long to make the food. So they should bring free appetizers and samples. Like blueberry muffins.
What Airlines Should Do Differently
M: I want airplanes to be pink. Because they’re too gray.
L: Make all food and add-ons free.
F: Healthier food.
M: There shouldn’t be different classes, everything should be first class.
F: There should be free books to read at the airport and on the airplane.
L: And coloring books.
M: And entertainment on the airplane, like the harmonica guys on the subway.
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