There's a notion behind staying in a hotel that the experience should be luxurious, comfortable, and basically a home away from home. While this is true for some, for others, it doesn't even compare to their actual home. Hotel rooms can be accommodating but they can also be cold and unfriendly, with little comfort save for the TV and a bed with fresh sheets.

For those who don't feel the same about the hotel experience, fear not; there are some great hacks when it comes to booking a stay that will actually feel comforting. From cozying up when it's time for bed to hacking the TV programming, here's the hotel room hack guide you've been looking for.


What You Can Pack Beforehand To Hack The Hotel Experience

The good thing about a hotel stay is that guests are permitted to bring the items that they want (within reason) to make a stay as comfortable as possible. For some, this might be their own pillows, a throw blanket, slippers, and basically anything that would provide comfort in a new place. However, there are some things on this belonging on this list that some might not even consider bringing.

Turn The Hotel Bathroom Into A Spa

Essential oils, bath salts, and bath bombs are all part of many people's self-care routine. A hotel bathroom can easily be turned into a DIY spot with a little help from products one might have at home and some steam. By turning the water all the way up to its hottest (or almost) temperature and letting it run before filling the bath, closing the door will keep a decent amount of steam in. Thus, a sauna! To pump up the experience, utilize bath salts or oils to create an aromatherapeutic atmosphere - just make sure none of these things will stain the tub or cause it to be slippery. 

Afterward, throw on a face mask or pore strips and call it a night!

Watching Your Favorite Shows Or Movies On The Hotel TV

Many people skip this step altogether and opt to watch their favorite TV shows and movies on a laptop. While this is one way to do it, it's also somewhat inconvenient when it comes to placement and screen size. One thing to consider is purchasing a Roku. This handy device plugs into the TV's HDMI port - which most modern TVs have multiples of - in order to allow the viewer to connect to their streaming accounts. It only costs about $25 and provides access to Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, Sling, and a bunch of other streaming apps (including Peloton for those who want to get a workout in while on vacation!).

How To Get Restful Sleep During A Hotel Stay

For starters, those curtains are pretty pesky. They weigh about as much as a small suitcase yet, for some reason, they never remain closed! To avoid that small sliver of streetlight from streaming in, be sure to pack a couple of binder clips. These are small, inexpensive, and can be used to hold the curtains closed so that they function as blackout curtains should.

Additionally, consider bringing a travel oil diffuser! These are small and some can even be plugged into outlets for small spaces like hotel rooms. Filling them with lavender or some other calming scent can soothe the anxieties of being in a new place or can make it smell a little more like home. No time for a diffuser? Don't worry, aromatherapy roll-on oils are just as effective when it's time to shut off the lights.

Related: 10 Tips For Using Airbnb To Save On Travel Costs

How To Be Comfortable During Your Hotel Stay

Luckily, there are also plenty of things that can be done during a stay to even further improve a hotel stay. For those who maybe didn't anticipate being so uncomfortable in their hotel room, here are some ways to make it feel a little less awkward.

  • Toothbrush hack: Rather than laying one's toothbrush on the counter or leaving it in a plastic back, grab a paper or plastic cup (they're usually by the coffee machine) and punch some holes in it. Then, use it as a DIY toothbrush holder!
  • DIY speaker: Not in the mood to watch TV? No problem - find a coffee cup or another ceramic or metal container to sit a phone in. Hit 'play' on that podcast and enjoy your new DIY speaker.
  • Block out hallway noise: Those door rolls aren't just useful for pesky winter drafts, they can also be used to buffer noise that might be coming from under the door. They're easy enough to pack in the side of a suitcase and can be helpful in providing that buffer between loud neighbors.
  • No table, no problem: Bring out that ironing board (or request one to the room) to function as a makeshift desk. If it's a little unstable, brace it against the wall!

Next: Hotel Points: How Rewards Programs Work & If They're Worth It