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?