11 Easy Ways to Make Your Hotel Room Feel Like Home

© Shawnee Wilborn/ Unsplash
© Shawnee Wilborn/ Unsplash
Photo of Amber C. Snider
Home & Design Editor4 April 2018

Sometimes living out of a suitcase for too long can wear you down and leave you feeling a little homesick, even if you’re in the most exotic place in the world. If you’re on the road for long stretches or just love globe trotting on holidays, it’s easy to bring a piece of home with you wherever you go. Here are some easy tips for how to turn your less-than-glamorous hotel room into a personalized, mini haven.

Sanitize your surroundings

Unless you’re staying in a 5-star hotel, it’s never a bad idea to sanitize your surroundings before getting cozy. First, turn down the corners of the bedsheets to check for any pesky bed bugs (better to be safe than sorry).

Bring a travel-sized can of Lysol spray in your luggage and go through the living room, bathroom areas, and closet areas with a light mist. Don’t over-douse the place though, or you’ll feel suffocated by the chemical smell. For a natural alternative to Lysol, you can bring a homemade recipe in a travel spray bottle (using a recipe of lemon peels, vodka, and water).

Bring along a handy little package of sanitizing wipes and go over the door knobs, night stand area, TV remote control, and bathroom fixtures for good measure.

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Fill the space with your personal vibes

Now that you’ve gotten rid of the germs, it’s time to fill the space with something that brings you peace of mind and reminds you of home. Try using a smudge wand, your favorite incense, essential oil sprays, or a small oil diffuser. After you sanitize any space, it’s important to fill it up with something positive to ‘ground’ the room with your personalized energy.

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Bring an iPad with previously downloaded shows & movies

Rather than get stuck with movie rental bills at the end of your stay, bring along your iPad or a small electronic device pre-loaded with a few episodes of your favorite shows. If you can’t seem to fall asleep, you can always binge watch reruns from “Stranger Things,” “The Office,” or “The Bachelor,” like you would any other sleepless Tuesday night, right?

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Pack your favorite loungewear

It doesn’t have to be new, it doesn’t have to be designer, and it definitely doesn’t have to be sexy. Just be sure to pack something that makes you feel ultra-cozy (think oversized sweatshirt, super soft pants, or plain cotton pajamas).

Invest in a hammam towel

One of my favorite travel items to date is a lightweight cotton oversized towel that also doubles as a small blanket. Also known as Turkish bath towels, or hammam towels, these versatile travel gems are perfect for the beach as a throw blanket or scarf, or when you get out of shower.

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Bring your favorite beverage (for morning or evening)

In case the mini bar isn’t packed to perfection with your favorite goods, bring along a few mini bottles to make a delicious night cap. Or, if cocktails aren’t your style, pack your favorite teas in a plastic bag to start the morning with your preferred unique flavor.

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Travel candles

Next time you pop into a Bath & Body Works or Yankee Candle store, pick up a few travel-sized scented candles and pack them on your next trip to create the ideal ambiance. Plain old tea light candles with a few drops of essential oils will also do the trick. Remember that citrus scents have an energizing effect, while lavender may help you relax and sleep.

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Spend a few dollars on ear plugs

You never know what the noise pollution may be like at your hotel. Even if you’re staying at ultra-luxe digs, there’s still the chance for unwanted outdoor noise like neighboring parties, sirens, or an especially excited couple next door.

Hang up your clothes right away

Something about the idea of “living out of a suitcase” doesn’t evoke homefront vibes. Put your clothes away in the closet after you go through the cleansing/purifying rituals, and then set out your night clothes on the bed so they’re waiting for you when you return.

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Same goes for the toiletries

Don’t leave your travel toiletries lingering in your luggage, either. Set them up in the bathroom in their proper place, so you’re not scrounging for shampoo or toothpaste come the morning. Pro tip: while indulging in the hotel-provided toiletries is always fun, there’s nothing quite like using your own facial products and shampoo. You don’t know if the soap will dry out your skin or if the conditioner is strong enough for your curls, so bring your own goods, too.

Add some white noise at night

It doesn’t matter if you’re used to the stray sounds of the city or the ambient chirp of crickets in the countryside, chances are, your hotel room won’t mirror the sounds of home. Pull up the Baby Sleep Aid: White Noise playlist on Spotify to block out the silence or reduce any outside noise.