Should you get your kids their own hotel room?

When is it time to give your growing-up kids a room of their own?
When is it time to give your growing-up kids a room of their own?

It probably wasn't too long ago when the only person you worried about trashing a hotel room was you. All that changed when you had kids (or started using your own credit card to secure rooms).

The joys of traveling can be less joyous once you have children in tow. Raising children is arguably the toughest and most rewarding thing you can do, but few of your most cherished memories will involve ordering one child to stop leaping bed to bed while the other casually looks for the most inappropriate program available on the hotel-provided cable-television offerings.

It wasn't always like this. Your vacations used to be actual vacations. Now, they consist largely of pushing a stroller, chasing a toddler, or yelling "Stop!" nonstop at a grade-schooler.

In fact, vacations can be even more hectic than normal life, because you're away from your support system. A week at the beach likely means no babysitter, no daycare, no school and, unless you take them, no neighborhood friends or fellow parents to rely on. While it may take a village to raise a child, it's unfortunate that you can't leave the village and still have the villagers watch your kid for a few weeks.

Once he or she gets a little older, it won't be long before one of you comes up with the idea of getting separate hotel rooms on family vacations -- adults in one room, kids in the other.

The idea has lots going for it, starting with peace and quiet. But it has its downsides, too: high cost, safety issues and the near certainty that your kids will do something that could damage themselves or the room.

So, how to choose?