I’m not a huge fan of staying in hotels. I’d prefer to rent an AirBnB, but sometimes it’s cheaper or more convenient to stay in a hotel, like when we visit my husband’s family in Gulfport, Mississippi. We do what we can to make our stay more enjoyable, so I’m passing my tips on to you!
1. Buy Toiletries You Like
After years of hating the way my hair felt using crappy, cheap hotel shampoo, I started buying my own. I (not to mention my hair) am so much happier. This trip I even bought hand soap for the bathroom, since those little slivers of hotel soap just don’t cut it.
2. Stay in an Extended Stay Hotel
If you have kids, you know how little privacy you have sharing a room with them. We stay in Residence Inns across the country, and love having a separate room for us, as well as a kitchen. Even if we don’t cook, we have plenty of fridge space for snacks and can reheat leftovers.
3. Take Advantage of Free Food…When It’s Good
We always hit the free continental breakfast, but I’ve cooled my jets on making a waffle each day. Instead, I opt for yogurt and fruit, though I’ll occasionally brave a biscuit or muffin (which usually disappoints). Some places have free snacky food in the evening, but if it’s fried crap, I skip it. We’re lucky enough to be Platinum members of some hotels, thanks to my husband’s frequent travel, and can usually put together a decent meal from the Concierge lounge, including adult beverages.
4. Make Yourself at Home
I confess: I don’t do this unless we’re staying in a hotel 3 nights or longer, but I always feel better when I can completely unpack from my suitcase and put things in drawers and closets. It’s nice to get suitcases out of the way, though my husband and son don’t have the same clean-room ethic that I do, as you can see in the photo.
5. Buy What You Forgot
My husband is notorious for saying, “If we forgot anything, we can buy it.” It used to stress me out, because I didn’t want to buy extra items when we traveled, but how many times has one of us forgotten a toothbrush, lotion, or even underwear? Rather than trying to make do without it, we head to the nearest Wal-Mart or Rite-aid and get what we need.
6. Keep a Bag at Your Mom’s
We started doing this a few years ago: because we travel to Mississippi a couple of times a year, we bought a suitcase to leave at his mom’s house. In it are toiletries (see #1), extra socks and underwear, and yes, beer and rum. You can believe I was excited to discover that gem this time around, since I’d forgotten!
While a hotel can be a bit impersonal, I find the experience to be a lot better when we use these tips in our travels. What tips do you have to make a hotel stay more enjoyable?