Sunday, June 6, 2010

The price of sleep

How much does sleep cost? Well, in my house, it runs around three hundred bucks a night.

With two young children, having a good night's sleep usually means something around 6 hours of uninterrupted shut eye. Or if you're really desperate it means going to bed when your kids do, around 7:30 pm so you can get sleep in the double digits!

But no matter what you do, you will be woken up. Whether you've had 3 hours or 12, early morning will come and with it dirty nappies, runny noses, screams, hollers and chants of "I'm hungry" or some other ridiculously loud, barely comprehensible chant. The idea of leisurely waking up and enjoying some quiet time in bed before starting your day? Ha! Breakfast in bed seem like a good idea? Ha! Idea it shall remain. Quietly sipping your morning coffee whilst reading the morning paper? Ha! Another "idea" that will remain just an "idea", or so I thought. Until I had the "idea" of checking out and checking in. That is, checking out of my house and checking in to a hotel. For some, this might seem like an extravagance that's just not worth it. However, for many of you, I'm sure you are thinking "now why didn't I think of that!".

It's really quite simple. A mini-holiday. 24 hours of freedom. 24 hours to do with as you please. I choose to sleep for most of them. 16 of those 24 hours were spent in a glorious king-size bed with my eyes shut and drool escaping from my mouth. You can probably tack on another couple of hours in that bed, as I enjoyed an exquisite breakfast (exquisite in that it was made my someone else) and read a book, a couple of magazines, a newspaper and watched some TV, all in that very comfy bed...the whole time, undisturbed. Can you say, "heaven"?!!

If you are ever stuck for a gift idea to ask for, I suggest ask for a voucher for their favorite hotel. If you want to get a deal check out They offer last minute hotel deals in most large cities. Or just check out the hotel website. I've found very little difference in the price, and in fact, many hotels will match the best price you, especially if you're doing a last minute booking.

A few tips on making it a memorable and worthwhile getaway:

1. cab it - for starters, parking at hotels is expensive, and there's something indulgent about being picked up at your house, suitcase in hand, and getting in the taxi, waving good-bye to your loving (read screaming) family

2. don't plan your time away - that is, don't plan your hubby's time with the kids. He's a big boy, he can figure it out. Part of the joy is being plan free and that includes, not worrying about what the kids and Dad are doing.

3. pretend you really are on holiday. Check out the city. Spend an hour in a coffee shop. Do with your time whatever it is YOU want. DO NOT shop for your kids or husband. It's about you!!

4. indulge - be it an hour in the bath / a facial / massage / something from the mini-bar - just do it. it's your holiday!

5. turn off our phone - and DO NOT call to check in on the family. it's 24 hours. I'm sure they'll be OK!!

6. The brand of hotel doesn't matter. Just make sure they have comfy beds and black out blinds. The Westin boast heavenly beds, The Hilton brag about their pillows. A quick Google search shows that hotels of all stripes offer special "rejuvenate" packages - from special soaps in the rooms to special 'quiet floors' - your very own mini holiday is out there.

7. indulge - (I know I've already used this heading, but it's important...deserves to be used again!) - don't skimp on the food or the wine.

8. ignore the guilt - if you're anything like me, you'll start feeling guilty before you reach the hotel in the cab. Don't. You deserve the break. In fact, you deserve a longer break!!

9. kick back & enjoy!

10. if you can, extend for another night ;-)

Now, I slept my mini-holiday away and am very happy about it. What would you do on a 24 hour mini-holiday?


  1. As someone that has enjoyed the Hilton pillow menu, I have to say that it's the details like that that count! Great idea for a time out, everyone needs one :)

  2. I never did that when I had small kids, and now, I so wish I had!

  3. Sandra, there's always a reason for a night of rest & relaxation! no matter how old the kids, and even if you don't have any!!