As a travel writer, my work allows and necessitates frequent trips. The constant change in scenery highlights the importance of creating a consistent sense of home wherever I lay my head. But creating an atmosphere of comfort doesn’t need to be complicated. Simple, intentional preparations can make the difference between a sterile hotel room and a cozy temporary living space. Here are my favourite rituals to make anywhere feel like home.
Buy fresh flowers
From a private hostel room in London to an Airbnb in San Antonio, fresh blooms have brightened my desks and nightstands across the globe. If you’re settled in for more than a couple days, fresh flowers offer an instant and lasting facelift. Display the whole vase on the desk or break the bouquet into mini arrangements for your bathroom, bedside, and work area. Either way, blooms help a space feel beautifully lived-in.
Bring along your favourite scent
Essential oils can calm, energize, or ground you. Incorporating a scent into your morning or evening habits tethers your body to a consistent schedule, no matter how many time zones you’ve crossed. Cedarwood is a particularly warm, cozy scent in an otherwise unfamiliar place; Lavender and Spruce, or a mix of the two, also help make any room feel soothing. Try putting a few drops of your oil of choice into the palm of your hands, rubbing them together, and breathing in deeply—or adding a few drops to your shower for an aromatic energizer.
Feeling anchored and comfortable is difficult when everything is out of place. Morning routines take longer when you’re shuffling through a suitcase for toothpaste or eye cream. Turn unpacking into a relaxing ritual when you check in to a new accommodation: arrange toiletries on the bathroom counter; hang shirts and dresses; stack your reading material on the nightstand or work notes on the desk.
Stay consistent in your skincare routine
There is nothing that wreaks havoc on skin like changing climates. The air quality and water in hotels often differ from our homes, too (not to mention the plane). And of course changes in diet and schedule affect our complexions. A simple, relaxing skincare routine does wonders for both face and mental wellness. Whenever you can, maintain a simple, packable kit of skincare and treatments that you can use wherever you are in the world.
Create your own travel routine
Familiar rituals comfort us. In some ways, everyday habits are what make our permanent residences feel most like home. To nurture this on the road, why not start your own travel tradition? Buy a new book for each journey, knowing the story will always take your mind back to a specific time and place. Or commit to buying local chocolate or coffee in each destination. Travel rituals soothe us because they offer familiarity in the midst of change.
Seeing the world is all about getting out of your comfort zone, but there is also nothing wrong with adding a little familiarity to the experience.