12 Easy Ways to Make Your Hotel Room Feel Like Home
Sometimes living out of a suitcase for too long can wear you down and leave you feeling a little homesick, even if you’re in the most exotic place in the world. If you’re on the road for long stretches or preparing for holiday travel, it’s easy to bring a piece of home with you wherever you go. Here are some easy tips for how to turn your less-than-glamorous hotel room into a personalized, mini haven.
1. Hang Up Your Clothes Right Away
Something about the idea of “living out of a suitcase” doesn’t evoke homefront vibes. Put your clothes away in the closet after you go through sanitizing your room, and then set out your night clothes on the bed so they’re waiting for you when you return.
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2. Bring Essential Oils
Hotel stays just wouldn’t be the same without essential oils. Make yourself feel at home and fill it with your favorite blend. If you didn’t bring a diffuser with, don’t fret. You can either apply a few drops on a tissue (and just lay it on a dish) or add it to a glass of water. Remember to keep your essential oils in a secure quart-size Ziplock bag when going through airport security. This will ensure you don’t have them taken away (we all know that pain) but also keep then from leaking through to other parts of your bag.
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Jet Lag & Travel Anxiety – Lavender Essential Oil
Energy Booster – Peppermint Essential Oil
Room Freshener – Citrus Essential Oil
Sanitizer – Tea Tree Essential Oil
Immunity Guard – Thieves Essential Oil
Motion Sickness – Ginger Essential Oil
3. Pack a Pillow
With about 7 in 10 Americans rating pillows as having a "big impact" on their ability to get a good night’s sleep, you may consider becoming a pillow-packer. Bringing your personal pillow, whether for comfort or sentimental reasons, is a sure way to add a piece of home to any unwelcoming hotel room.
(The pillow menu at the Intercontinental Resort, Danang, Vietnam)
4. Light a Candle
It's hard to get comfortable in a place that still smells like the last people who slept there. Consider picking up a scented candle that reminds you of home to personalize your otherwise bland room. Just make sure to check with the front desk before lighting it, and be careful not to set off any smoke alarms when blowing it out!
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5. Wear Your Favorite Loungewear
It doesn’t have to be new, it doesn’t have to be designer, and it definitely doesn’t have to be sexy. Just be sure to pack something that makes you feel ultra-cozy (think oversized sweatshirt, super soft pants, onesie or plain cotton pajamas).
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6. Pack Cozy Slippers
Hotel bathrobes are a famously wonderful amenity, but hotel slippers? Not so much. Instead of clomping around your room in the size 12 slippers inevitably provided, bring your own cute and cozy slides from home to ensure relaxed lounge time.
7. Keep Yourself Entertained
Ever found yourself in a foreign country where there’s only one English-language TV channel? In these situations, it’s important to bring your own entertainment, whether that’s a Kindle stocked with bestsellers, an iPad with your favorite tunes or a laptop you can use to stream movies. An HDMI cable is useful if you want to hook your laptop up to the TV and watch a flick on a big screen.
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8. Add Flowers
One way to put your own stamp on your home-away-from-home is to treat yourself to something that brightens the space. I occasionally buy myself fresh flowers at home, but have never thought to do so at a hotel before. But if you’ll be away for longer than a couple of nights, it makes perfect sense: they’re relatively inexpensive, not something you have to bring from home, and they’ll be dying by the time you leave, anyway. Most hotels will gladly provide you with a vase, or just use one of the water glasses in your room.
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9. Make a DIY Body Scrub
When traveling, especially on long flights, our skin gets so dehydrated. A body scrub will quite literally scrub away all the dead skin cells and leave you with smooth, hydrated skin. To make a quick and invigorating coffee body scrub, mix a hotel pouch of coffee with 1-2 tablespoons honey and add a splash of water until it comes together. Do this in the shower, as it can get messy. Take a warm shower and scrub this all over your legs, arms, chest…it will not only soothe your skin, but the aroma of coffee will perk you right up. Perfect for those mornings when you don’t want to leave that comfy hotel bed.
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10. Pack Your Own Coffee (or Tea)
Even hotels with bare-bones amenities understand that caffeine is a basic human right. Instead of brewing the generic, individually packaged stuff provided by the hotel, pack your favorite blend in a plastic baggie. The familiar scent of your go-to coffee will make waking up in a strange place a little more tolerable. Or, if cocktails aren’t your style, pack your favorite teas in a plastic bag to start the morning with your preferred unique flavor.
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11. Ask for Dishes
Most hotels are more than willing to provide dishes to guests who ask for them. If for some reason you don't feel like going out to dinner, you won't have to resort to eating your favorite chow out of a foam food container. It might even trick you into feeling like you're eating a home-cooked meal.
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12. Bring Fido
We know this isn’t feasible on every trip, but if you’re used to sleeping with your dog curled up at the foot of your bed, it might feel wrong to leave home without him or her. Many hotels accept pets, even boutique properties —and nothing will make a room feel more comfortable than cuddling up with your furry best friend.
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