Traveling is a beautiful adventure, and if you have the time and the means to experience it, relish in it. Strive to become a local. Step outside of your comfort zone and embrace the culture and your surroundings.
But, with travel often comes limited and small spaces, and you’re restricted on what you can pack, travel with and live off of. This can be a shock to many new travelers, but don’t let it scare you off. If you’ve done this before, you know it’s possible to make anywhere feel like home with the right preparation and expectations.
With that said, it can still become a challenge to acclimate to such a thought, especially if you’re a homebody at heart but still want to experience the beauty of the world.
Turn your home-away-from-home into something of familiarity and comfort by taking advantage of the five tips below:
1. Create a Cozy Lounge With Your Favorite Things
At home, you probably have a go-to lounge area where you can eat your favorite flavor of Ben and Jerry’s right out of the carton and binge on Netflix. This is a place where you can kick back, wear a face mask and bask in the glory of your yoga pants and ridiculous fuzzy socks. The best part about this area is that you can replicate it wherever you go.
Make sure to pack the must-haves so your lounge area can come with you wherever you go, such as your phone, tablet or laptop for watching your favorite movies and TV shows. Pack up your favorite sweats and a comfortable oversized T-shirt, then proceed to enjoy the comforts of home in the corner of your hotel room or snuggled up in bed with your favorite throw.
2. Bring Your Favorite Pictures
It can be hard to leave behind your pets, friends and family, especially if you’re going on an extended trip far away from home. Print some of your favorite photos to bring with you wherever you go. You can put them up around your sitting area or bedroom for a cute decoration that doesn’t take up much room. To save even more space, download the photos to an album on your phone or tablet.
3. Ditch Any Extras
When you travel, extra pairs of shoes, jackets and accessories aren’t necessary. Eliminate any repeat items that crowd your luggage. You only need a couple of pairs of pants, a few shirt options, one or two pairs of shoes and a bag to carry around while you explore.
When you choose clothing items, opt for neutral colors that match one another, that way you’ll still have an array of outfits to choose from. Don’t bring two if one will do — you’ll thank yourself later.
If you’re packing for colder weather, save packing space by wearing your bulkiest shoes and sweaters on the plane and carrying your winter jacket.
4. Make the Most of Your Closet Space
Closet space is essential to everyone, but it’s often limited when you’re on the road. Every bit of space matters much more – from top to bottom — so utilize the space you do have. If you’re staying in one place for a long time you might want to invest in double hangers, extra portable storage drawers or drawer dividers to separate your clothes into sections.
There are many ways to get good use out of a small closet, so incorporate these simple solutions to make the most of it.
5. Cook Your Favorite Home-Cooked Meal
They call it comfort food for a reason. Food really does have the power to comfort us during those times when you may feel homesick. If you can cook where you’re staying, bring the taste of home and familiar aromas with you by preparing your favorite home-cooked dish.
You can even venture out of your comfort zone and attempt to create a local recipe. Try to choose something that doesn’t require lots of pots and pans, then watch as your small space turns into an excellent substitute for home.
Start by taking a stroll to the local market to pull together your ingredients, then enjoy a night in with a nice bottle of wine, relaxing music and the aromas of home. If you’re open to company, invite some of your new neighbors or friends over to try your favorite cuisine. Cooking for yourself will also save you money on eating out, giving you more time and money to focus on other things around you.
Getting Comfortable in a New Place
Don’t be intimidated by small spaces when you travel. After all, you’ll learn to acclimate to your new surroundings and eventually adjust. The key is to pack smartly and lightly. Do your homework, and you can easily make any space your own.