“Home isn’t a place, it’s a feeling,” said author Cecelia Ahern in her novel, “Love, Rosie.”
Evoking the warm feeling of home couldn’t be more important than when you’re on the road as an IT consultant. The combination of jet lag, a new location and missing personal connections with family and friends all can cause stress, and to do your best, you need to create a tranquil home base in your hotel while keeping the home fires burning.
If you’ve ever felt the four walls of your hotel room closing in, don’t worry; follow our tips below for how to make your hotel feel more like home on your next trip.
Bring mementos from home. Whether you display a framed picture of your family or dog or wear a necklace that belonged to your grandmother, having a reminder of familiar faces and places will bring personalization to your hotel room.
Feel the (familiar) noise. Bring your alarm clock or noise machine from home, and play music that reminds you of the music you listen to when you’re driving around your own home city. Cancel out unfamiliar or annoying sounds with ear plugs.
Unpack your bags. Take advantage of the closet and drawers in the room so you aren’t rifling through an entire bag each time you need something from the bottom of your suitcase. If you unpack your entire bag, you’ll be more organized during your stay and likely won’t forget anything when you leave.
Travel with your favorite products. Instead of using the hotel’s toiletries, bring mini versions of your favorite shampoo, conditioner and more. Order from sites like All Travel Sizes and Sephora to snag travel sizes of your favorite brands, or decant your own into airline-approved travel-sized containers.
Keep in touch. Before you go, ask friends and family which apps or methods they prefer to stay in touch, and have a video call with them to feel like they’re with you. Pick up a small, city-specific souvenir for a loved one to show them you were thinking of them.
Connect with the hotel staff. Make an effort to learn the names of the hotel’s staff, so you see a familiar face when you leave the hotel and when you come back each evening. Healthcare IT Leaders recruiter Matt Kasperzak was recently on a three-month client visit in San Diego, Calif., where he learned the importance of connecting with the hotel staff. “Each afternoon when we came in the door, the staff greeted us by our names, and we knew theirs,” he said. “We were definitely buddies with them, which which really made a difference in making our long-term hotel feel more like home.”
Don’t be afraid to ask. Hotel concierge staff can accommodate a wide range of needs and wants, depending on the hotel. Some will grocery shop for you and stock your mini-fridge with your favorite snacks, greet you with a glass of wine or arrange a vase of fresh flowers in your room. If it makes you feel more like home, ask to see if the front desk can make it happen.