Motel confessions

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The temptation is strong. You know that many motels have an occupancy limit of four persons to a room, assuming there's two beds. And you know that it's typically against the rules to sneak your children into your room—especially if your children are under the age of 12.

So why not sneak your kids in? After all, the worst that can happen is that the neighboring guests will snitch on you and the front desk will ask you to leave.

The trick is as simple to pull off as it sounds: You park your car out-of-sight, drop by the front desk, and then check-in without mentioning your children. Next, you sneak your children into your room.

You may be tempted to pull this trick because, otherwise, you'll have to pay for a second room. And that presents its own problems, as Matthew Franck points out in the St. Louis Dispatch:

Unless a hotel can offer connecting rooms, my wife and I are faced with the prospect of splitting up and dividing the kids, like picking teams on a playground. And deciding who gets the fussy baby can ruin not just a vacation, but a marriage.

Sure, there are a few downsides to this approach.

Most melodramatically, will firefighters know to look for your kids if they haven't been mentioned at the front desk?

Then there's an ethical issue. You don't want to feel like a cheater.

Maybe it would be better to own up to the kids at the front desk, and see if the front desk manager will let the matter slide, allowing you to stay as a family in only one room while remaining on the up-and-up.

Then again, you may feel like a sucker if the clerk at the front desk is a stickler for the rules and insists that you book another room.

Yet another option is to go to an extended-stay hotel instead. These properties, originally aimed at business travelers, now offer large suites and amenities for parents and kids, as Budget Travel recently reported.

If you have thoughts, feel free to post a comment below.

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