Traveling can be an anxiety-driven ordeal for many, but there are ways to make it a much more enjoyable experience. Going on a big trip can be fun, but it can also take a toll on your mental and physical health, especially if you’re on a prolonged trip, or are very far away from home. Even if you’re taking a short vacation, you may want to bring a little bit of home with you to feel like you can really enjoy yourself.
Unfortunately, many of us have been homebound for most of the last year, turning some adventurous souls into creatures of comfort. As the borders open and travel becomes possible again, sooner or later, we may have to say goodbye to our comfy couches and get a move on. The following are a few things that you can do to make yourself feel more at home while traveling this year:
Finding a hotel that feels comfortable and has all the features you need for your stay may help you to feel more at ease. Consider making a list of what you’re after; you might include the sheets that they use, whether they have a TV or not, the bed size, the bathtub or the Wi-Fi access. These small but important details can help you to choose a hotel or an apartment that makes you feel more at home. You can find some great deals online, and most hotels have room information listed on their websites. If you’ve found your hotel, and are looking for some online deals or coupons for more luxurious hotel chains such as Marriot Hotels, Coupon Dad has you covered.
Pack family photos
This might feel somewhat silly, but bringing pictures of your family, friends, or pets to keep you company can be helpful. You can easily keep them in your wallet or store them on your phone. If you’re on a long trip, however, or have moved to a new city for a prolonged period of time, then placing these photos around your room or apartment can help to keep your heart and mind close to home. The idea is to make wherever you’re staying feel like it’s yours.
Bring some tunes
Music is not only extremely enjoyable for people; it also has many alleged therapeutic effects. Music may transport you to where you want to be, take you back to a memory or a feeling, and lift your spirits to bring about a more positive state of mind. Try to put together a playlist to listen to on the bus, taxi, or plane, filled with music that reminds you of home. Play it out loud as you unpack, and allow it to help you cope with any changes. (1)
This is something that some people opt not to do, but it’s actually a very important step to take—even on small trips. Taking your clothes out of your suitcase and hanging them up, or placing them intro drawers, can help to make any room feel like it’s yours. Dr Jean Kim, a psychiatrist and cultural expert, explains it perfectly by stating to the New York Times “unpacking, literally is a way for people to get control of their surroundings.” Unpacking your belongings will surely help to make you feel more at ease and more comfortable in your new surroundings. (2)
Make time to get comfortable. Many hotels have robes and slippers in their rooms, so take off your jeans or business suit, slip into a cozy robe, and just relax. You should make the room your home, and nothing says home quite like feeling comfortable. Once you’re in a warm robe in the homey hotel that you’ve chosen, you’ll find yourself feeling better in no time.
If you’re somewhere new and you’ll be staying at your destination for a while, nothing is going to make you feel further away from home than isolating yourself. If you’re staying in a hotel, get to know the staff there; make friends with the concierge, or the doormen. Get to know your new or even temporary neighbors, and try to immerse yourself in the lifestyle or goings-on of the area in which you’re staying. Making friends can help with feelings of loneliness, and increase your sense of belonging. After all, a place is only as good as the people you know there. (3)
Traveling doesn’t have to be an anxiety-driven ordeal. Even in these uncertain times, there are still ways in which you can ease your homesickness. Taking a piece of home with you can be as simple as carrying a couple of photos, indulging in some nostalgic music, or making friends with those around you. With the 6 simple considerations above, you can enjoy your time away no matter how far you travel or how long you’re gone for; home will never be too far away.