When you spend a significant amount of time each year on the road it is easy to become burned out living out of a suitcase and repeatedly checking in and out of different hotels. One way to keep the experience fresh and still not lose sight of your life back home is to bring a little bit of your life back home with you. So we talked to a number of seasoned travelers to come up with an insider’s guide on how to make your hotel room a home away from home.
Margaret who is a VC and spends over 100 nights a year in hotels has a simple solution for making her hotel room feel like a home away from home. She brings a couple of small framed pictures of her husband and kids and puts them on her bedside and by her make up mirror. “This is a great way to feel like I am connected and still a part of their lives, even if I’m on the road for 2 weeks at a time.”
Smells Like Home
Tony, who is a self-confessed Shangri-la Hotels fanatic spends about 130 nights a year travelling, mainly at Shangri-la properties. “As soon as I walk into a hotel their signature scent hits me and I feel like I’m home.” he says. Many hotels spend quite a bit time, money and energy to create a relaxing and memorable environment across their chain and our sense of smell is a powerful trigger for memories, so we understand how Tony feels.
“I love the smell of a Shangri-la property as it always conjures up good memories for me and I wanted to bring that home.” Fortunately the Essence of Shangri-la is available at their properties and online. “Having the scent at home actually makes me feel more comfortable when I am away. Now home and hotels smell the same.”
You can use this trick as well. If you have a potpourri or favourite scent at home, bring it with you and spray a little in your room to make you feel more at home.
Scarves Solve Everything
Sam is a Fashion Buyer for a large multinational clothing chain and as such spends nearly 200 nights away from home, often traveling to Asia, Africa and Latin America to visit factories. “My best tip is to always pack scarves and wraps.” she says. “Not only do they look good and can be used to dress up an outfit or to keep you warm, but they’re great to drape over lights in your hotel room. They give you a calm feeling of familiarity.” Natural fabrics like wool and silk are best as they adjust to your body and adapt better to changing climates.
As simple as this sounds, it’s a really good idea. Derrick who works for a large NGO explains, “I used to only live out of my suitcase, thinking that was easier than packing and unpacking when I would visit multiple destinations on a trip. But I was wrong, that’s just depressing.” Many road warriors agree, if you’re staying more than a single night it’s best to unpack your suitcase, hang your clothes and feel like you’re in the hotel to stay, not to just pass the time until your next flight.
Music Soothes the Savage Beast
Constant travel can make us all feel beastly at one time or another and like our sense of smell, our sense of hearing can help soothe and relax us. Nigel, a UK-based chef consultant who helps restaurants design menus and train cooks spends about 80 nights a year abroad. His go to strategy to make him feel at home is music. “Most nice hotels have a bluetooth speaker, or I bring my own. The telly never goes on in my room. I walk in after a long day in the kitchen or training the local team and instantly fire up Spotify. It makes me feel connected to listen to the same tunes at home and on the road.”
These tips are all tried, tested and true. The best way to make your hotel room feel like a home away from home is to bring some of your favourite elements of home with you. It may sound simple but using these tips will help you feel more connected to love ones and more comfortable in your hotel room. Trust us, you’ll have a better, more enjoyable trip.