Getaway Essentials

Mini Getaway Packing Essentials + Hotel Tipping Etiquette


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Last weekend my husband and I escaped for a 24 hour staycation at a fabulous hotel right outside of Dallas. As you can imagine, it was heavenly.

My husband and I traveled often before we had children. We were those naive people who said that our traveling would continue once we had children. Ha!

After my first was born, I had such a deep fear of leaving her that we never did. After my second child was born very premature and very sick, we couldn’t leave her even if we wanted to. After all, who wants to care of a baby that is attached to oxygen and heart monitors 24/7??!

Soon our vision of traveling and keeping up with our fun, pre-children lifestyle was replaced by medical and therapy bills. (Not to be a “Debbie Downer” as my husband would say!). Then our third baby came along and, before we knew, it had been eight years since we had been on a trip. I know we are not alone in this, but after all we have been through, we were due for a little respite from reality.

So a few years ago we started getting a sitter for one night and staying at a local hotel where we wouldn’t have any travel time. Since we don’t do this often (or for very long) we justify (sometimes) splurging on a fancy hotel.

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Long story, short: if you are like us and a weeklong vacation with your husband is not in the cards anytime soon, consider treating yourselves to a night away if that might be more manageable. When you have young children, I think it is so important to spend some uninterrupted time together. (Even if it’s in your own home while your in laws take the children for the weekend!) You wouldn’t think 24 hours alone together would make that much of a difference, but it really does!

So you want to know what I brought with me? Here are the links to my getaway essentials.  (Note: a few I added for my next staycation!):



And while we are talking about hotels, here’s a few “what to do”about  tipping when staying at a hotel:

  • Tip the bell hop/doorman $1-2 per bag; $4 for hailing a taxi.
  • Tip the valet $2-3 per handoff.
  • Tip the room service attendant 15% of the bill (20% if exceptional).
  • Tip the housekeeping staff $1-2 per day for budget hotel; $3-5 per day for deluxe hotel. (Ideally tip each day so the right person receives the tip!)
  • No need to tip the concierge for answering basic questions, but if he/she goes above and beyond (i.e. books a hard-to-get-reservation, then a $10 tip shows proper appreciation).
  • You do not need to tip the front desk agent (although I did sometimes when I worked the front desk and it was much appreciated!)

And if you want to learn more about the Four Seasons Dallas, click here.

Happy travels!



More Packing Essentials:




* Source: Peggy Post

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