Top Five Travel Necessities: Hotel Edition

a package of tea with a bag of black teaFirst of all, I have to say that I am super impressed with my readers. Based on the poll yesterday, about half of you unpack only for longer trips. But so many of you unpack all the time! That’s amazing, and I bow to you for being so organized and dedicated.

After the poll, and thinking about all of the responses from last week’s Top Five Travel Necessities: Airplane Edition, I decided to write this week’s travel necessities post about the hotel. What are the most important things to me while I’m in a hotel? It’s a little different than being on a plane. You spend more time in a hotel, even though a lot of it is sleeping. Your time spent in a hotel is more about getting ready for work, and less about entertaining yourself. With that being said, here are my five most important items to have in the hotel:

  1. Kindle. Again. I know, I included it in the airplane list too. But part of my bedtime routine is reading for twenty minutes or so before I turn off the light. Magazines work for this, but a book is best.
  2. Mighty Leaf tea. I carry Mighty Leaf tea with me everywhere I go–it is seriously the best tasting tea ever, IMO. There is a little Ziploc in my purse with teabags and Splenda, just in case I need it. I love the Vanilla Bean for perking up, and the Chamomile Citrus for winding down. (Bonus: in case something smells bad at any point on my trip, but mostly on the airplane, I can smell one of these teabags and it will make it much better.)
  3. iPhone. Again, I know. But it helps me keep in touch with the Home Warrior, and I can listen to my home public radio station on the road. (I have friends who watch TV constantly in their hotel room, but I prefer the radio.)
  4. Bag of electronics. I have yet another Ziploc with a mini surge protector and extend-able ethernet cable, just in case.
  5. Travel yoga mat. Even if I can’t make it to a studio, I like to do yoga on the road. The Manduka travel mat is light and thin, so is perfect for layering over the carpet of a hotel room.
  6. Honorary Mention: My own toiletries. No offense to the sometimes really lovely toiletries that hotels offer. I just really like to have my own. I have refillable bottles from Aveda, all holding the same products I use at home. This keeps my skin and hair from freaking out even more than is necessary from travel, and makes me feel like I’m home.

So Readers, what are your necessities when you’re in a hotel?


  1. I heard that some hotels package really cheap (like bottom of the barrel) shampoo, conditioner, etc in their super nice branded bottles. So hotel toiletry users beware!

  2. Comfy clothes that aren’t pj’s and a robe. Usually I pack a nice, loose t-shirt and yoga pants. So as not to scare the room service guy. 🙂

  3. 1) yoga towel – i try to stay at kimpton hotels that provide a yoga mat, but i still like the towel as a “protective layer”. can also be used on carpet.

    2) my own facewash/moisturizer – the other toiletries they provide at hotels are fine, but i just need to have my own facewash and moisturizer to feel clean at the end of the day.

    3) bottle of water – for some reason, i’m always parched when i stay at a hotel.

    4) related to that, plastic neti pot & salt packets – this has saved me many times, especially going to drier climates or suddenly dealing with allergies

  4. A slightly different take is how I operate in a hotel room. At night, I always have my purse next to the bed, including my hotel room key. If there is a fire alarm during the night (which does happen), I can grab the purse, knowing I can get back into the room after the all clear.

  5. • Small Eagle Creek Sac filled with my “road emergencies”. It includes Shout wipes, crystal lemon packets for bad-tasting hotel water, small lint remover sheets, hand-washable Tide packet, first aid items, and pills from Midol to Alka Seltzer.

    • Kindle. I take it everywhere.

    • Shampoo/Conditioner. I need sulfate-free and I like it to be moisturizing. Most hotel stuff feels harsh and waxy to me. 

    • Slippers. I have some little booties that take up little space. 

    • iPhone. I have more time to do the things I find hard to fit in at home. Talk to friends, pay my bills, make more travel arrangements, research items I want to buy, etc.

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