Business travelers can log millions of miles on the road each year- a lifestyle that often requires checking into a hotel instead of walking through their front door. Most hotels diligently strive to replicate the warm, inviting and comfortable environment of “home.” But, let’s face it… You’re not home. And the stress of travel followed by the stress of an unfamiliar environment is an instant and unwelcome negative side effect of traveling- ultimately weakening your road warrior spirit.
So what strategies are frequent business travelers using these days to up the “home factor” of their hotel stays? Here are our top seven:
Unless you normally prefer eating out, opening the fridge for a bite to eat is a bit of a luxury on the road. Check if your hotel has a complimentary grocery-shopping service, for instance. At Residence Inn, Marriott’s extended-stay brand, you can give the front desk your grocery list, and when you get to your room, you’ll have a fully stocked kitchen. Make sure to bring a few staples, like your go-to coffee or tea and favorite snacks.
Why not bring one or two framed pictures of your loved ones to set on your night stand? Staying connected to home is vital to creating a sense of home. The Hotel Solamar in San Diego understands this- if you send a photo of a loved on before you check in, they will have it framed in your room so that you see a familiar face when you walk in.
3. Your Favorite Things:
Your pillowcase, a candle scent, even ordering a bouquet of flowers. You’d be surprised how a few small things can increase your sense of connection and ease your anxiety, allowing you to focus on the bigger picture. Weigh in what will be more beneficial to you: the convenience of using hotel soaps and shampoos, or the luxury of using the very same products you use at home. When you’re packing for your business trip, remember to pack a few things for your heart and soul.
4. Make it Yours:
You paid for the room- don’t hesitate to make it yours. If you’re not feeling the layout, you are welcome to arrange your surroundings in a way that makes you the most comfortable or productive. If you are staying for a few days, nothing can set the “home” tone quicker than taking the time to unpack your suitcase. Get to know the staff and don’t be afraid to request amenities that will improve your stay- it is their job to make you comfortable and they are happy to accommodate you.
5. Anticipate Problems:
If you aren’t used to busy streets, strangers walking by your door, and the sun flooding in your room before you awake, take a few proactive measures to ensure you’re creating the best environment for your stay. Clip the curtains shut. Bring a white noise machine or earplugs to avoid disruptions to sleeping, working, or relaxing. Request a room in a quiet area of the hotel. Find out if your room as an iPod dock so your favorite music is playing rather than the local radio. Record your favorite shows on your tablet so you are not flipping through local channels.
6. Stick to Your Routine:
From meal plans to exercise patterns to sleep times, do your best to stick to a routine that is as close as possible to your at-home lifestyle. Although an allure of travel is the exciting “getaway” feeling, you will feel healthier and more productive if you see your time away from home as an acceptable challenge, not a lifestyle free-for-all. There plenty of tips out there for how to stay healthy while on the road.
7. Keep in Touch:
For long trips, it may become emotionally draining to be away from loved ones, pets, etc. It is easier to use technology to bring you close with the ones you miss. There are plenty of free video calling apps available- get creative. Set aside time to say good morning face to face, or even plan a “Skype date” and watch your favorite TV show at the same time. If you are not used to sleeping alone, Pillow Talk is a recent invention that literally brings the comforting, real-time heartbeat of your loved one to your pillow.
Looking for some other ways to stay stress-free?
Visit our Cadence travel resources page to find the travel industry’s best apps for simplifying the business travel process!