8 Ways to Feel at Home in a Hotel Room

Traveling is a blast, but sometimes being away from home in a sterile, cold hotel room can throw you for a loop and make getting a good night’s sleep difficult.

For as long as I can remember, I’ve had trouble sleeping, especially when I’m in a new environment. And for a frequent traveler and hotel hopper, this can be a recipe for disaster.

More often than not, I’ve learned lessons the hard way. Which is why I’m sharing some of my favorite tips for making your hotel room in any corner of the world feel like home.

1.) Stick to Your Normal Schedule

There’s a reason why this is the first tip I’m sharing — the best way to make a hotel room feel like home? Is to act like you’re at home! I’ve learned the hard way that traveling can easily throw you off of your normal routine and make adjusting to life once you’re back home even harder.

Go to bed at your normal time. Shower at the same time of day. Wake up at the same time. If you have a 17 step skin care routine every single day, do it! The main point is to replicate a sense of normalcy as much as you can. Your circadian rhythm will thank you later.

2.) Light a Candle

Hi, my name is Alyssa, and I’m a candle hoarder. Seriously, though, can you blame me? Lighting a candle in the evenings is a signal to my mind that it’s time to wind down and relax. It instantly sets the mood and is a major anxiety reliever.

Bringing a candle with you to a hotel room might sound odd, but is there anything better than the scent of warm vanilla birch? Not only will it make your room infinitely more cozy, but it’ll also get rid of that sterile hotel room smell that’s all too common.

3.) Brew Your Own Coffee

This is a tip that someone recommended to me recently, and it’s travel tip gold! When I’m staying somewhere new, one of the primary stressors to my mornings is figuring out how in the world I’m going to get my hands on decent coffee. 9 times out of 10, the coffee in the room is horrible, whatever the hotel serves is disgusting, and I don’t have time to try to get my hands on a Starbucks Americano.

The answer? Bring your own coffee and make it yourself! Most hotels include a small coffee maker with their rooms, so bringing your favorite blend to brew in the mornings is the perfect answer for anyone who needs coffee to function.

4.) Take Advantage of the Closet and Dresser

The very first thing I do when I get to my hotel room is unpacked my suitcase. It doesn’t matter if I’m staying for two days or two weeks — all of my stuff is coming out of my bag and getting organized. It tends to set the tone for my stay and is a simple way to feel like I’m in control.

I take advantage of the closet for hanging up any pieces of clothing that might wrinkle, neatly put my under things in a dresser drawer, arrange my laptop and work supplies on the desk, and set up all of my beauty and care products in the bathroom. This makes everything easily accessible — just like it would be at home.

5.) Bring a Portable Speaker

I love music. Hotel rooms can sometimes be a bit sterile and cold, but familiar music can instantly bring warmth and comfort. Throw on some Ray LaMontagne or the Hamilton soundtrack, and I’m instantly at home. (Any other Hamilton lovers out there?) I started traveling with a portable Bluetooth speaker to make sure I have access to my favorite tunes wherever I go.

Pro tip? Listening to a bit of music is usually a great alternative to watching hours of Swamp People when it’s the only thing on the hotel’s cable channels. Unless that’s your thing — then that’s cool, too.

6.) Pack Your Own Pillow

A large portion of my travel schedule includes business trips for my day job as a brand strategist. Early morning client meetings, and late night working sessions on these trips makes good sleep essential. The easiest way to make sure I’m sleeping well at night? Bringing my own pillow.

If I find a hotel that actually has comfortable pillows, it’s almost definitely a miracle. But, because I’m insanely picky about my pillows, the best option is usually to pack my own comfortable one.

7.) Stock up on Healthy Snacks

I’m notorious for binging on junk food and getting thrown off my usual diet when I’m traveling. And let’s face it, those little marketplace shops in the lobbies of hotels are both a blessing and a curse. Yeah, they might carry Tylenol for when you have a headache, but they also usually have an assortment of candy bars.

So, to avoid the 10 pm binge on a family-size pack of M&M’s, head to the local grocery store and stock up on some healthy snacks to keep in your room. In the long run, you’re helping both your wallet and your waistline.

8.) Bring Your Lounging Clothes

I basically live in sweatpants. The minute I walk in the front door, my bra comes off and the sweatpants go on. It also helps that I work from home and can basically wear whatever I want. You just can’t beat comfortable clothing in the comfort of your own home. Which is why this tip might just be my favorite.

No one wants to come back to their hotel room and sit in their sweaty clothes from walking around in the heat or an uncomfortable, fancy blouse. So pack your comfiest clothes, dress down, and chill.

Have you tried any of these? What are your best hotel hacks?



Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


  1. Kavita wrote:

    I always take my neck pillow, helps me sleep better. I sometimes take a candle or scents too. I always unpack for anything more than a one night stay, I feel more settled in the room that way!

    Posted 9.2.17 Reply
    • Yes, I totally hear you! I’m willing to do just about anything to make sure I feel settled wherever I am 🙂

      Posted 10.5.17 Reply
  2. Marie Eloise Enriquez wrote:

    I love the tips. I always have this hesitation whenever I’m in a hotel room so I tend to not feel at home. HAHA! I need some of these tips to make me feel at ease easily. Thanks!

    Posted 9.2.17 Reply
    • I dealt with the same thing for so long until I learned to hack the system 😉 Glad you found some of these helpful!

      Posted 10.5.17 Reply
  3. Chloe Gibson wrote:

    I always unpack my suitcase when I arrive at a hotel, it makes it feel more homely for sure. I wouldn’t travel with a candle though haha, maybe on a shorter trip! I’m going to try the sticking to my routine point though, great post!

    Posted 9.2.17 Reply
    • Thanks, Chloe! Unpacking is seriously my number one priority the moment I get into a room. Sticking to a routine is probably the hardest one for me, but it’s so worth it!

      Posted 10.5.17 Reply
  4. Perri wrote:

    OK! So I am definitely going to have to steal some of these tips because they are really great.. especially the candle one! Never thought of that.. p.s. I see that you have a black cat!? Me too!!!!

    Posted 9.2.17 Reply
    • Do it! 🙂 And yes, she’s such a little princess. Black cats are the BEST!

      Posted 10.5.17 Reply
  5. These are fantastic tips – I always bring a portable speaker. I love getting ready while listening to music. Ohhh and I love your candle tip – what a great tip!

    Posted 9.2.17 Reply
    • I’m the same way! My portable Bose speaker has become my favorite travel companion 🙂

      Posted 10.5.17 Reply
  6. Bernie wrote:

    Lovely advice for when home seems a very long way away. I’m definitely with the comfy clothes. My other priority is to have something familiar and absorbing lined up on my Kindle. Give me a well-loved read, and I feel right at home.

    Posted 9.2.17 Reply
    • That’s such a great tip! I always try to make sure I have playlists downloaded directly to my phone from Spotify and have a good book queued up on my Kindle, too. It definitely helps me feel more at home!

      Posted 10.5.17 Reply
  7. Stella Marie Encina wrote:

    this is such a beautiful post. i always try my best to feel at home on hotels! i love it when the hotel makes it hard for me to go not because i’m lazy but because it’s become attached to me 😀 sticking to normal routine really helps but sometimes it is hard when the comfy bed is calling for ya!

    Posted 9.2.17 Reply
    • Right?! I do a lot of traveling, and have a few “home base” hotels in the cities I’m in often, and they really do make it SO hard to leave!

      Posted 10.5.17 Reply
  8. Pinelopi Kyriazi wrote:

    Great post! I thought about the candle before but I am alergic to any aroma. I would be too lazy though to bring my own pillow 🙂

    Posted 9.2.17 Reply
    • Ha! I’ve also learned to not be shy to ask the hotel staff for a particular kind of pillow if I forget to bring my own 😉

      Posted 10.5.17 Reply
  9. Elisa P. wrote:

    I just found your blog and let me say that I love it! Your photos are absolutely stunning! I started following you on Bloglovin’ and Pinterest 🙂
    Have a great day!
    xx Elisa

    Posted 9.4.17 Reply

  • Work hard, play hard ✨🍸 Happy Saturday, babes! The countdown is on ‘til Christmas, and I may or may not already be celebrating — I just can’t help myself! 🎄❤️ http://liketk.it/2yQuP #liketkit @liketoknow.it
  • DBL TAP if you needed this reminder to step out and have some faith today ✨💗
I’ve got big plans as we count down to the start of 2019 — and I know that with a little faith and a lot of hard work, anything is possible 💖
  • Something you might not know about me...
I share a ton about my health and wellness journey, but I also am a HUGE home decor lover!
I’m obsessed with pinning gorgeous homes, browsing the aisles of Home Goods, and tweaking the decor in my home!
Now it’s your turn — what’s one thing Instagram might not know about you? ❤️
  • This Christmas is going to be a warm one! @CraigBirchfield and I are counting down the days ‘til we escape the frigid northeast and journey to Florida for Christmas!
Gorgeous weather and Disney at Christmas time are just some of the perks of having family in Florida!
Where will you be spending Christmas, friend? 🎄
  • Craig and I completed an 8 week lifting program together a few months ago — and it was a stinkin’ blast! ✨
And it’s been fun to do our own thing, but I’m so ready to get back to the LIIFT HIIT REST REPEAT basics with my favorite person and my favorite program! ❤️
Because after all, couples that lift together stick together 💪🏻😘
  • It’s been a long week, but there’s nothing that a little coffee and relaxation can’t fix, right? ☕️❤️
Happy weekend, friends! ✨