We spent the first half of July traveling, and by the 2nd week, I was tired of living out of a suitcase. The kids were getting cranky with their routine out of whack, too. We wanted to enjoy our beach vacation, so I made an effort to create home away from home.
And, the week went beautifully! The girls were well rested, our daily routine went smoothly, and vacation quickly began to feel like home. Which may have contributed to the shock of returning to our actual home. (What do you mean we can’t go whale watching in Indiana?!)
Still, I’m convinced creating a home atmosphere at our hotel helped the whole family feel more relaxed (well, that, and that fact that it was the cleanest hotel I’ve ever stayed in). By the end of the 1st day, we were going “home” to the Sea Lion Motel. And, we miss it already!
Here are 5 ways to create a home away from home when you travel:
Rent a Motel or Cottage 1 of 5The difference between a hotel and a motel is basically the entrance. With a motel, you get your own front door to the outside. (Plus, it's usually less costly since they don't have the added expense of maintaining a separate lobby). For the ultimate in home away from home, consider renting cottage or house. Of course, while you'll have the full features of home, but you may also have to do your own cleaning.
Photo: 2-bedroom cottage at the Sea Lion Motel
Unpack Your Suitcase 2 of 5With our short family trips last month, we lived out of our suitcases, but that wears on your after awhile. The first thing I did when we arrived at our hotel in Gloucester was unpack. Each of us had our own drawer, then I tucked the suitcases and shoes away in the closet, where I also hung up our nicer clothes. It kept the room tidy and helped us feel more at home.
Photo Credit: Flickr user foam
Setup Your Nightstand 3 of 5Keeping your bedside stand the same as home helps the night and morning go smoothly. Our youngest likes a glass of water by her bed, so filling a paper cup before bed calms her when traveling. For me, it's all about getting the iPhone charging so I can turn to it first thing in the morning for weather, news, and social media.
Photo Credit: Flickr user maya83
Eat Meals In 4 of 5Dining out is fun, but it can get exhausting and expensive. Save money and keep your vacation relaxed by eating a few meals at "home." We usually grab breakfast in our hotel room, but with an in-room kitchen you can cook dinner too. The Sea Lion even has a poolside grill available for guests. I wish we'd planned for a hotel barbecue one night — that would have been a fun memory.
Photo Credit: Flickr user andrewmalone
Maintain Routine 5 of 5Keep things as similar to home as you can. Bring the lovey (the amazing housekeeping staff at the Sea Lion displayed the girls pillow pets & loveys in the most adorable ways possible), stay on schedule, and continue naps & bedtime whenever possible. My girls thrive on routine, so this is the most important part of travel. Plus, it makes for an easier transition when you return home, if everything has been the same all along.
Photo Credit: Flickr user lincolnlog
Having a great place to call home was key to our enjoyment of Gloucester, Massachusetts. Huge thanks to the Sea Lion Motel & Cottages for hosting my family during our vacation. All opinions are, as always, 100% mine.