Sometimes, traveling can be difficult. Whether you’re on vacation or traveling for business – it’s no secret that being away from home can be stressful.
You might be staying in the best hotel in the world, or (perhaps more likely) staying somewhere that fits a regular budget. But even with all the modern amenities that hotels and motels provide, it can be difficult to relax because, let’s face it, there’s no place like home.
To help combat the stresses that come with traveling or staying away from home for long periods of time, why not do something a little different the next time you travel? Try any one of these simple, easy hacks to turn your hotel room into a rejuvenating space while you are traveling, and start to feel less like you’re homesick, and more like you’re staying in a home away from home.
#1 – Keep Your Creature Comforts Close
There are a number of things that can hinder your ability to relax and get a good night’s sleep when you travel; unfamiliar surroundings, scratchy sheets, pillows that are too hard (or too soft). We quickly grow accustomed to all the comforts of home, so when our environment changes it becomes difficult to relax and unwind.
Before you leave on your travels, consider what you find the most comforting when you’re relaxing at home. Obviously taking your favorite armchair on your travels is out of the question, but something simple like packing your own pillows or even bedsheets can work wonders, helping you to acclimatize to your new surroundings much more quickly.
#2 – Personalize Your Space
It’s been proven that people feel more relaxed and positive when surrounded by items of sentimental value. So why not take advantage of this cool piece of science?
Consider packing sentimental items, such as family photos or keepsakes, and position them in your hotel room on the nightstand or dressing table where you can see them easily. You’ll feel much more able to relax and restore your energy if you surround yourself with familiar objects that are close to your heart.
#3 – Let Music Lift Your Mood
Portable speakers for your phone, iPod or mp3 player are relatively inexpensive nowadays, so it’s a great idea to get your hands on a pair for when you are traveling. Music plays a huge part in creating ambience and relaxation in any setting, but it has also been proven to have a positive effect on our mood.
So, before you leave on your travels, why not create a playlist of your favorite music. This could be a soothing playlist to help you to relax and unwind, or simply a mixture of your favorite songs to help you feel upbeat and positive.
#4 – Little Decorations Go a Long Way
Sometimes it’s those little touches that can make all the difference. If you’re staying away or traveling for an extended period of time, take a little piece of your home with you. If you have a favorite ornament on your dresser, take it. Enjoy snuggling up under that brightly colored blanket at home? Pack that as well.
The key to creating a rejuvenating space within your hotel room while you’re traveling is to try and create that familiar, comforting surroundings of home in any way you can. So, if you have room in your case to pack a few decorative items, then go right ahead.
#5 – Prepare for A Better Night’s Sleep
Unfamiliar noises are one of the main factors that can interfere with sleep and relaxation when you’re traveling. To combat this, make sure you pack a pair of ear plugs (or two, just to be safe) to wear while you sleep.
It’s also a good idea to take an eye mask or eye shades if you’re able to sleep comfortably in them. Thin curtains or city lights outside your window might interfere with your sleep, so if you’re used to sleeping in the dark, then it’s definitely worth investing in something to shut out the light to ensure you get some quality shut-eye.
#6 – Don’t Forget Your Other Senses
The art of turning your hotel room into a rejuvenating space while you travel doesn’t stop with the things you can see and touch. What about your sense of smell?
To many people, a scent isn’t just a fragrance – it’s a memory. Certain scents can remind us of different times in our life, different people, or different locations. So ask yourself; what smells like home? If you have a particular air freshener, scented candle or even perfume or aftershave that you use regularly, take that along with you. You’ll be instantly relaxed when you smell the comforting scents of home.
It has been proven that certain smells can have also a positive effect on our moods, so if you want to feel uplifted and rejuvenated while you travel, consider taking a couple of essential oils with you, and sprinkling a couple of drops on your pillow. The scent of lavender has a relaxing effect, while citrus scents are purported to elevate your mood.
#7 – Set the Mood With Portable Lighting
Another great way to transform your hotel room into a luxury space is by using mood lighting. While candles or any sort of naked flame are surely going to be a fire hazard, you could opt for something more hotel-friendly in the form of battery-operated flameless candles.
Flameless candles are often relatively inexpensive, and are small enough to pack in your suitcase without taking up precious extra room. They can instantly transform a space from unfamiliar and uninviting to relaxed and welcoming.
#8 – Snuggle Up and Get Cozy
Depending on the destination (or the time of year), coziness might not be high on your agenda. But if you’re the sort of person that feels the cold – especially at night time – consider packing a couple of extra bits and pieces to keep snug and cozy.
We’ve already suggested bringing a blanket from home, but you could opt for something less bulky, like your favorite bed socks or even a small hot water bottle to fill up at night, provided your hotel room has a kettle.
#9 – Remember to Treat Yourself
Traveling can be stressful, dull, and a pain in the backside. But it doesn’t have to feel this way. Consider packing an extra bag filled with goodies to help brighten up your experience and allow you to feel like traveling is more of a treat than a time-suck.
Pack your favorite snacks and drinks, a bottle of bubble bath, some essential oils, your favorite book – anything to brighten the mood and make you feel more comfortable and open to the experience. Do this to change your mind-set about staying away from home; treat your travels as an opportunity for some peace, quiet and relaxation, all on your own terms.
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Rick Kaselj, MS