Part of the beauty of travel is getting far, far away from regular life, where things like laundry and dirty dishes are replaced with 600-count thread sheets and room service.
But if you’re spending a significant chunk of time on the road—which in 2018, more and more people are—there’s something to be said for bringing a little bit of home with you wherever you go. Having your creature comforts around can help make the adjustment to a new place, time zone, or situation more seamless, and keep you feeling your best throughout the trip.
“Traveling is amazing and it can be so rewarding and so fun, but it’s also draining physically and mentally, especially when you’re crossing time zones and going to different countries,” says Ariel Kaye, founder and CEO of Parachute, who just opened a flagship store in NYC. “It’s really easy to get exhausted.”
To stay grounded while she travels, Kaye—whose line of luxurious linens and bath essentials was actually inspired by a trip she took to Italy—makes sure she takes along a few elements that help her feel at home, no matter where she is in the world.
Keep scrolling for the ways that you can make your hotel feel more like home.
Forget airplane blankets (Yes, they actually are as nasty as you think they are), and take one of your favorite cashmere versions along for the ride instead. “I always pack one of my throws with me that I love to use on the plane. It’s nice to have it around, whether I throw it on the bed, or use it in a cold hotel room, it makes me more comfortable.” says Kaye. “In the winter, I’ll wrap it around my shoulders and wear it out as a scarf.” So: Find you security blanket and then travel with it—in fashion.
Utilize packing cubes
Living out of a suitcase can make you feel all kinds of discombobulated, so Kaye makes it a point to unpack as quickly as possible. “I’ve been using packing cubes so I don’t have to fully unpack,” she says of her (brilliant) method. “But I can take a packing cube and put it right in a drawer, or into a closet, which makes me feel like I’m settled.”
Bring a candle with you
Lighting a candle can give your home an immediate luxurious update, and bringing them with you into a hotel room can have the same zen-inducing effect. “It’s nice to have that familiar feel,” says Kaye of why she almost always has one of her favorite scents on hand. “I think, people don’t realize how much those small details can completely transport you to a new place, help boost your mood, or make you feel more relaxed.”
Keep the rituals that make you feel at home
Just because you’re out of your usual element, it doesn’t mean your regular self-care routines should suffer—they just may require a bit of planning ahead. “From time to time, I will bring a robe with me,” says Kaye, “I also love to take a hot shower, that’s something that I do at home every night before bed, and it’s something that I always try to do when I’m on the road because it just brings me back to my routine.” She also packs her own skin hydrating oils and face masks to ensure her skin won’t dry out while she’s on the go.
Play (temporary) interior designer
Why not go the extra mile to make a hotel room feel like it really is your own? “If I’m in a hotel room for more than a week, I’ll go pick up fresh flowers and ask for a glass and I’ll put fresh flowers in my room, just because it brightens up everything and it’s something that I love to have at home,” says Kaye. In other words: The longer you’re in a place, the more it’s important to make it feel like home sweet home.
Create your ideal sleep environment
Sleeping in a hotel bed presents its own set of challenges (FYI: The “first night effect” really is a thing), but bringing along a few extras may help the process. “I always pack an eye mask, even if I don’t end up using it, in case a room is really bright. That can really make or break a good nights sleep,” says Kaye. “And more and more I’ve actually been traveling with a linen mist that we launched from earlier this year, which helps me relax and made with lavender. You spray it on the pillow, and that smell brings me back into home and helps me unwind and fall asleep more easily.”
Staying healthy while you travel is easier than ever — and we confirmed it with the pros. Check out these flight attendant-approved tips for eating healthier when you fly, and how to beat jet lag when you land.
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