Should Fathers Share Hotel Rooms with their Daughters?

Happy father and daughter hiking in forest
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Many fathers have great relationships with their daughters. They spend hours together on outings and sometimes go on vacations together. It is a great bonding experience that both can benefit from.

A concern for some parents is whether it is appropriate for a father and daughter to travel alone together. Further complicating the issue is the question of how to handle the sleeping arrangements. Is it appropriate for a dad to share a hotel room with his teenage daughter?

A Real-Life Question from One Dad

In 2010, one father was faced with this dilemma and here is his story...

"My 12-year-old and I enjoy vacationing together, at least up to now. We have been to the UK and to a dude ranch in Colorado and we are soon off to Australia for a couple of weeks.

I have tried, within the constraints of budget and availability, to book rooms that have separate spaces (e.g. Embassy Suites), in order to give my daughter some space and privacy. Her mother brings up a concern I had not considered, which is that as my daughter gets older, and changes, it may be inappropriate to continue to share a hotel room (but not a bed, ever).

We always have a bathroom and neither of us comes out of the bathroom except fully clothed or in pajamas, and she is not concerned about appearances, just about what is healthy for a young lady. What do people think?"

Consider Your Daughters Safety and Respect Her Privacy

An Expert's Opinion

"I feel there is no reason for a father and daughter not to share a room in a hotel with separate beds. I think that there could be problems if she were in her own room - safety and teen risk behaviors. Respect her privacy and expect her to respect yours."

- Denise Witmer, the former Teen Expert for Verywell

More Considerations to Take Into Account

A healthy father-daughter relationship can do wonders for a young woman and build her confidence as she enters her adult life. If you have already established this sort of bond, there is no need to concern yourself further as long as the two of you enjoy each other's company and continue a healthy relationship.

Also, some teenage girls feel more comfortable talking to their father than their mother. Every family will be different and as long as your daughter is okay with the arrangements, there is no reason to stop. However, you may have to make adjustments as she grows older.

The Single Father

There are many single fathers today who are raising teenage daughters on their own. Should they refrain from family vacations simply because the accommodations may be deemed inappropriate? Most people would say no.

Many single-parent households do not have the budget for separate hotel rooms. Booking two rooms for a 5-night vacation could prohibit some small families from enjoying that quality time together.

Turn the Question Around

In today's society, it is difficult to disassociate male predators from any man who spends time with a teenage girl, even if he is her father. It is a legitimate concern. While people should be on the lookout for signs of abuse, assuming that every father who enjoys time with his daughter has bad intentions is not healthy.

If a mother and her son enjoyed family vacations together and the only way they could afford them was to share a hotel room, would people look down on that situation? It is not likely.

Tips for Dad and Daughter Travel

  • Always book hotel rooms with separate beds and an enclosed bathroom.
  • When possible, book a suite with connected bedrooms.
  • Respect each other's privacy.
  • Stay fully clothed and set boundaries.
  • If either of you becomes uncomfortable, talk about it.
  • Know where your daughter is and who she is talking to.
  • Have fun and enjoy your time together!

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