Comfort zone or adventure? Tips for work and pleasure travel

In my mind, there are two main reasons most people travel. Travelling for pleasure and travelling for work.

When you travel for pleasure, you are in a different frame of mind than when you travel for work. You might react completely differently to the same events. For instance, when I have to get up super early in order to set off for a work trip, I am a zombie. However, when I have to get up at the same time to set off for holidays, I am energised, curious and happy. Oddly, I am not tired but am waiting for the upcoming adventure. Unlike for a work trip, I actually relish seeing the sun come up knowing it means my holidays are about to begin.

Travelling for work

When I travel for work, I tend to visit the same cities, staying at the same hotels and going to the same handful of restaurants. This works for me as I am not looking for anything new or different. I want to keep my routine as it is because I am there to do a job which at the end of the day has all of my focus. When I want to relax, my decision making fatigue is typically through the roof after a hard day’s work and all I want to revert to is ‘the familiar’ – my comfort zone. But how can we familiarise a hotel stay?

First of all, we need to know what makes our home familiar. In this, we should be looking beyond furniture or other big objects in our house as of course we cannot have those with us when we travel. Instead I’m curious about the rituals we do at home.

We can start looking at examples of our home rituals in the form of a bath. Say we use a specific essential oil, candle, hairband or we read a particular magazine. Can we take these things with us, or have them supplied, while on our travels? What about if we have a ritual of drinking a particular tea in our favourite mug while catching up on news or reading about the daily events? Is it possible to bring our favourite mug and tea blend with us? Or how about if we just simply enjoy watching TV, wrapped up in a robe and thick warm socks. Packing warm socks should not be a problem!

Sometimes even the smallest things like your favourite mug transport us back home and enhance those feelings of homeliness. If you have limited space in your suitcase, make sure you bring some token of home with you, no matter how small it is as it will be worth it!

Travelling for pleasure

Tokens or reminders of your home stop being so crucial when you travel for pleasure. When on holidays, you have a different frame of mind and you welcome that you are going into a new and possibly unique environment. You have the time to explore, to read or simply to relax in a hammock by the beach. Travelling for pleasure ultimately means you are trying to escape the world – and reminders of home – briefly.

Having said that, I find that by having my mundane things organised in a familiar manner helps me to concentrate on the main reason for the holiday – be it exploring a new city, lying on a beach or going on a wine tour. The less I need to worry about in my hotel room, the more I can spend in my new environment.

How can you organise your hotel room to be familiar?

Assuming my stay is more than a couple of nights, I utilise the hangers in the wardrobe for coats and dresses. The rest of my clothes go into the chest of drawers and I use the bathroom space to unpack my cosmetics and make-up. There’s usually a spot or a corner that I can leave my now empty suitcase and not worry about it until it’s time to check-out.

In this way you can “move in” temporarily and function as though you own the space. Imagine having your clothes nicely arranged and accessible so that you can see and select what you want to wear at a moment’s notice. This is in stark contrast to rummaging around your suitcase for that single item that you swear you packed but can’t find because it’s hiding at the bottom. While living out of a suitcase may sound romantic – the practicalities of it turn out to be rather messy!

By organising your hotel room, you no longer feel like you are a guest but instead you feel cosy and act like the space you’re staying in belongs to you. In fact, for the length of your stay, it does, so why not take advantage of that!

Let me know if you are doing any of these things on your travels as well, or if you are willing to implement some of these tips, I would love to hear about it!

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