Even the most luxurious hotel suite won’t feel like home, but the contents of your suitcase can make your hotel stay as comfortable as possible. You’ll need some basics, of course, but tucking a few personal touches into your luggage can make your stay more pleasant. Once you’ve counted all the flowers on the comforter and flipped through every TV channel, you’ll be glad to have packed some entertainment options.
Some hotels have laundry services, but if your trip is a week or shorter, it’s most affordable for you to just bring enough clothing to last for the whole trip. Think ahead to what types of events you’re going to be attending during your stay; if you’re on business, you’ll likely need two suits with a variety of shirts, plus two casual outfits to change into for walking around the hotel at night and shoes for each outfit. Bring at least one set of pajamas and enough underwear and socks to last for your entire stay. If you’re on a one-night trip, bring pajamas but plan to wear your pants again the next day; bring a clean shirt to pair with it. Bring a light sweater or sweatshirt in case your hotel is chilly. If your hotel has a pool or gym, you may also want to bring a bathing suit, exercise gear and sneakers.
If you have the room to spare in your suitcase, a bathrobe and slippers will help you feel cozy after a long day of travel or work. Although it’s safe to assume that your hotel bed will always have clean linens when you check in, bringing your own pillowcase gives you peace of mind about what you’re resting your head upon. Set up a framed photo of loved ones next to your bed. If you have a stuffed animal that brings you comfort, tuck it into your suitcase; no one will see you snuggle up to your childhood teddy bear in the privacy of your room.
Many hotels offer miniature versions of toiletries in their bathrooms, so you can save room in your luggage by leaving basics like soap at home. Do check that your hotel offers these items first, though, so you’re not stranded without any shampoo, and bring your own hair-styling products, deodorant, toothpaste, toothbrush and contact lens solution. Pack your own facial products and body wash if you have sensitive skin, since the provided toiletries may not be right for your skin type. Your hotel may have complimentary aspirin at the front desk, but bring any prescription medications you need.
If you have one, a laptop will save you from boredom on a long night in a hotel. Even if your hotel doesn’t offer free Internet access, packing a few DVDs will provide you with hours of entertainment. Don’t forget your power cord. If your hotel stay is a rare break from a stressful life, take advantage of your bathroom and turn it into a spa. Bring bubble bath, a paperback or magazine and a bottle of wine. Pack a glass and corkscrew too. Chill the wine in the ice bucket, then sink into the tub for some peace and relaxation.