There truly is no place like home for the holidays, but sharing your childhood bedroom with four other people may not be the homey comfort you bargained for. Although waking up in a hotel room on Christmas morning isn’t quite the same as rising at a family member’s cozy abode, the important part is spending time with family regardless of where you stay. So, if you’ve opted to skip the poor sleep and make your holiday home a hotel room, there are small ways to turn even the most generic rooms into a festive and comfortable space to stay.
1. Settle In
How is it possible to make a hotel room feel like home when you’re quite literally, living out of a suitcase? Well, the first step is to unpack your suitcase. As soon as you get into your room start settling in by hanging your clothing and unpacking any belongings you plan to use frequently. If you get organized right away, there’s less of a chance that your room will end up looking like it’s been hit by a hurricane and you’ll be much more comfortable overall.
2. Bring the Scent of Home
Our sense of smell is intrinsically linked to times and places, so if there’s a particular candle or scented oil that you always use at home, bring it along. Scents and the warmth of a flame are also great ways to conjure up the holiday spirit; consider using a scent like cinnamon or evergreen to make you feel like you’re cozying up in front of a fire on Christmas Eve.
3. Pack Your Own Bath Products
While hotels typically provide a few bath products, having your own on hand can help you feel more like you’re going about your normal routine. Give yourself easy access to your products by arranging them on the sink or vanity rather than keeping them in a toiletry bag. If you’re staying in a cold climate, warm up with a soothing candlelit bubble bath — suddenly you’ll be so relaxed you won’t even realize you’re not in your own home.
4. Blanket Yourself in Comfort
Have a throw blanket that you like to curl up in after a long day? If you have the space, bring it with. While spending long days with family will give you that warm, fuzzy feeling, it can also be exhausting and keeping a snug element from home in your hotel room will make you feel much more comfortable. If you have kids, make sure they have all their cozy sleeping necessities as well, such as stuffed animals or favorite blankets.
5. Get in a Musical Mood
Just like scents, sounds have a way of evoking emotions. If music is part of your daily routine, you can easily transport your music collection to your hotel room with a small portable speaker or an iPod dock. Before heading to your family’s house on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day, try getting into the holiday spirit by dancing around your hotel room to your favorite holiday songs.
6. Wake Up & End the Night with Your Favorite Beverage
If the only chance you have at making it to grandma’s in the morning is through the power of a strong cup of coffee, bring a baggie of your favorite blend rather than relying on the generic hotel brew. Since the holidays are the perfect time to let loose and have some fun, celebrate with a nice bottle of champagne or beverage of your choosing. Instead of sipping out of plastic hotel cups, buy a few cheap glasses when you land, and cheers to the upcoming new year — just as you would in the comfort of your own home.
7. Create a Festive Feel
Your hotel room probably won’t come with a Christmas tree or stockings, but that doesn’t mean you can’t bring a piece of festive holiday decor with you. If you have kids (or even if you don’t), make Christmas morning magical with easy, traditional add-ons, like stockings stuffed to their brims, a mini tree, a simple set of lights, or at the very least, place a seasonal bouquet of poinsettias somewhere in the room to aid in creating a festive atmosphere.
8. Keep Cozy
With the chill December air and a stomach full of delicious food, the holidays are the ultimate time to feel your most comfortable. Take advantage of your hotel’s cozier amenities that are too bulky to bring, such as bathrobes and slippers. Also, make sure to pack your most lived in loungewear because nothing beats spending Christmas or New Year’s Day relaxing with loved ones in your favorite pair of PJ’s.
Staying at a hotel in your hometown may feel strange, but by implementing a few of these tips, there will be no shortage of comfort and holiday cheer. Happy Holidays!