Most hotel rooms are reasonably comfortable, but sleeping in a hotel is not the same as sleeping in your own bed. You can make your hotel room more comfortable by planning ahead and bringing a few items with you.
Choose Your Hotel Room Before You Arrive
Some hotels offer online check-in. As you complete the check-in process, you will probably have the opportunity to select your room. If electronic check-in is not available, you can call your hotel in advance or discuss room choices when you arrive. In general, rooms on higher floors tend to be quieter, and rooms near elevator shafts and ice machines tend to be noisier. If you are not familiar with a particular hotel, take a look at Room 77. This helpful website offers hotel-specific room information, hotel floor plans, lists of hotel amenities, room rates and hotel contact information.
Bring Your Own Pillow and Bed Linens
If you want to get a great night's sleep and you have plenty of room in your suitcase, consider bringing your pillow and bed linens with you on your trip. You won't have to worry about square hotel pillows, down allergies or pillows that are too plump or too flat. The familiar scent of your own laundry detergent will help you get to sleep more quickly, too. If space is at a premium, pack your pillowcase and put it on a hotel pillow.
Skip the Rollaway and Pack an Air Bed
Air beds come with their own electrically-powered pumps, and, when deflated, do not take up much space. If you are traveling with grandchildren or need an extra bed in your hotel room, buy or borrow an air bed and bring it with you. That way, if your hotel runs out of rollaways or does not offer them, a grandchild can sleep on the air bed, leaving the king bed or one of the double beds in the room for you. Ask Housekeeping to bring extra sheets, blankets, and pillows for the air bed if you do not see extra bedding in your room. (Tip: Be sure to choose an air bed with a built-in electric pump.)
Carry Some Small Luxuries
Nothing makes a hotel room cozier than the little luxuries you bring from home. Comfy bedroom slippers are a good choice and are perfect for Italian terrazzo floors and cold Canadian nights. A soft throw can help keep you warm in your hotel room and on an airplane, and a throw does not take up much suitcase space. Another way to indulge yourself is to pack your own shampoo, soap and other toiletries in 100-milliliter, TSA-friendly containers so that you will be surrounded by familiar scents as you travel.
Stock the Pantry
Tuck snacks and convenience foods into your suitcase so you can eat on your regular schedule. Protein bars, "just add hot water" soup cups, individual servings of cereal and oatmeal all travel well. Use the coffee maker in your hotel room to heat water. Apples and bananas travel well in carry-on bags, provided you pack them near the top. Consider bringing your favorite tea or coffee from home, too; package ground coffee in small zip-top plastic bags and carry a few coffee filters with you. Remember to pack plastic spoons and forks so you can enjoy your treats.
Plug-In for Comfort
Some hotel rooms offer plenty of electrical outlets, but others have only two or three. Some rooms have lamp base outlets, which might not be installed at the best angle for some of your chargers. Bring a small power strip, or, better yet, an extension cord with a three-outlet power strip at the end, to make charging your electronic devices easier. (Tip: If you are staying in a historic hotel, call the front desk before you pack to be sure extension cords are permitted.)
Secure Your Door and Light Your Room
Pack some small safety devices, such as a nightlight, door alarm and a doorstop, to give yourself peace of mind. The nightlight will help you find your way around your hotel room, and the door stop and door alarm add an extra level of protection against intruders. You will sleep better if you feel safe.