As you’ve probably gathered from everything on this blog, my site and my social profiles, I love to travel. If you’re reading this, chances are you do too. And, if you’re anything like me, you’re probably no stranger to hotel rooms both large and small, expensive and cheap, homey and not-so-homey.
The lattermost aspect of traveling, feeling like your room is just that–a room–, instead of a home is one of the most disappointing parts of being a world traveler. There is a reason that we as human beings enjoy the comforts of home–the sights, sounds, smells and everything else between relax us. We’ve got special pillows, comforters and a particular arrangement to our furniture that makes our room and our home unique, special and, of course, homey.
You get very little of that from a hotel, but thankfully, you can help turn your hotel room from a room into a home by using your five senses: sight, sound, smell, touch and taste.
Sight: A Photo or Wall Tapestry
If you’ve got a significant other or children who aren’t traveling with you, there’s little debate that you’ll miss having them around. If you’ll be away from home for a week or more, consider snagging that picture frame from your bedside table and bringing it along. Having something as a small as a photo of your loved ones can bring the comfort of home with you across the country. If this doesn’t apply to you, consider bringing a small decoration from your room to the hotel, something like a wall tapestry can make your hotel room feel like home.
Nowadays most people have the ability to bring almost unlimited music with them wherever they’re going thanks to MP3 players and cloud storage. This is all the more reason to pack away your iPod dock or bluetooth speakers, neither of which take up considerable room in luggage. At the end of the day when it comes time to unwind, just plug your music in and play. Listen to the same tracks you’re accustomed to listening to around the house–including playing the same music you regularly do during the evening to help lull you to sleep.
Smell: Candle or Air Freshener
They say that sound is one of the senses that is most closely linked to memory. That’s why the smell of cookies could bring back childhood memories right when it enters your nostrils. Similarly, the smell of your house could immediately elicit memories of, well, your house. If there are candles you typically keep lit around the house or air fresheners you use, bring them! Simply having a lit candle in your hotel room could make you feel more at home than just about anything else. 0
Touch: Pillow (or Pillow Case)
The one you select will likely be dictated by how much room you’ve got in your luggage. If you’ve got the space for your favorite pillow, by all means bring it. There’s something about that one pillow that we all have on our beds that allows us to rest more easily than any other. When it’s switched up, our sleep schedule can suffer. If you don’t have the pillow, try bringing just the pillow case. After repeated washings, hotel pillow cases aren’t always the softest things around, so your silk one from home might be a good substitute.
Taste: Beer, Wine, Coffee or Snacks
We all have a favorite beer or favorite wine. Some of us balk at the idea of drinking a different brand of coffee than the one we’re used to every morning. The simple solution to these problems: bring your own.