5 Simple Ways to Make a Hotel Feel Like Home

Leon Rbibo, president of Los Angeles-based The Pearl Source, travels three to four times a month between Los Angeles, Southeast Asia, and French Polynesia. That's a lot of travel, but it's to be expected when you import pearls for a living.

See also: Best Credit Cards That Offer Free Hotel Upgrades

Being on the road so much can be difficult. It's easy to overeat. It's easier to neglect your normal exercise routine. But Rbibo, and other frequent travelers, say that you can help avoid these pitfalls with some personal touches to your hotel accommodations.

Here are five tips, from Rbibo and others, for sticking to your routine and making your hotel room feel more like home.

1. Unpack

Stacy Royal, a travel publicist in New York City and managing director of public relations firm Decker Royal Agency, always unpacks her suitcases as soon as she arrives in her hotel room. Living from a suitcase makes you feel like you're on the road. Packing your clothes away in closets and dressers feels like home.

"Dressers are one of the most underrated pieces of furniture in the room, and often go unused," Royal said. "Create a place for everything the same way you would in your own bedroom. I even go so far as to bring a few extra very-thin hangers because hotels never have enough."

2. Bring Your Own Pillow

Megan MacNee, founder and editor of the travel website Traveling Nine to Fiver, never goes on an extended trip without her pillow. Having the comfort of a familiar pillow makes it easier to sleep each night, MacNee explained. And regular sleep is key to eating well and maintaining an exercise routine while on a long trip.

"I know it sounds like a lot of work to bring along, but if you're driving or good at packing light, it's a life saver," MacNee said. "If your head and neck are off from what you are used to, it can make a world of difference."

3. Don't Forget the Family Photos

Ideally, you'd bring your family along on long trips, but that's not always possible. Rbibo, though, always brings framed family photos with him on his long hotel stays. He keeps one family photo on his hotel room nightstand, and a couple more on the room's dresser. If there's a desk in his room, he'll load that up with family photos, too.

"It gives you the sense that you're not too far away from home, even if you're thousands of miles away," Rbibo said.

4. Don't Overindulge

Manu Lail, managing partner with Dallas-based hotel management company RMG Hospitality, said that travelers on long trips should eat like they would at home. It's easy to overeat on the road, with pizzas, burgers, and breakfast buffets making you feel sluggish and tired.

Travelers who avoid this temptation will feel better physically and mentally. Being on the road is no reason to abandon the healthier eating habits you follow at home, Lail said.

"I've seen the guests who pile their plates full of bacon and eggs, all in the name of vacation," Lail said. "While you're more than welcome to help yourself at the breakfast buffet, keep in mind that your body is tuned to your routine. Drink and eat moderately as you would at home."

5. Fix the Furniture

Gigi Griffis, a travel writer who now travels full time, says that guests shouldn't be afraid to rearrange the hotel furniture to better suit their needs. Doing so can make a room feel more comfortable and personal.

"Feng shui your space," Griffis said. "Most hotels won't complain if you rearrange the furniture a little bit, especially if you move it back when you leave. Make the space feel comfortable to you."

What steps do you take to make travel more homey?

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Guest's picture

I like the idea about bring your family photos to personalize the hotel room, but I wonder if it's enough. Sure, for the infrequent traveler, the sparsely decorated hotel room may be more enjoyable but for frequent business travelers, I'm sure it gets pretty dull. Other things you can do to improve the feeling of homeliness is bring your own music library on your phone and a book you've been meaning to read for a while, or were in the middle of before you left for the trip.

Guest's picture
Shanti Kala

Excellent tips to make a hotel feel like home. I liked the tip - "Drink and eat moderately as you would at home". Travelers who follow this will feel better physically and mentally. Nice read!! Keep sharing such tips :)