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What to Do if You’re Stuck in a Hotel

Get creative and kill boredom with these 3 tips

Whether you travel for business or pleasure, sometimes the end of a long travel day can land you alone and in a hotel in a strange city – unable to get out and explore. Your captivity might be because of illness, weather or an early flight or business meeting the next morning but regardless of the reason, you’re all you’ve got for the night.

Rather than lamenting your bad luck, there’s lots to do in a hotel that can keep you entertained for an evening while you wait for the tide to turn.

enjoy lifes small treasures

If you’re lonely…

As an active solo business traveler, loneliness can be an unwelcome (and hard to shed) travel companion. But it doesn’t have to be. On a Veteran’s Day trip to a small beach town in Baltimore, I checked into my hotel. No restaurant onsite but an Appleby’s beside it. The restaurant offered free meals to veterans that night and it was packed with families and friends enjoying time together – while I stood at the entrance alone.  

The only seat left was at the overcrowded bar. I chose a seat beside a guy eating by himself and pulled out my laptop to work – both to ward off unwelcome advances and to get caught up on what I’d missed during the day. The guy immediately started chatting. I volleyed his queries with one-word answers, praying he’d take the hint. No dice, this guy wanted to chat. I closed my laptop and spent the next hour swapping solo travel horror stories. He left before me but it turned out to be one of the nicest lonely evenings on the road. Ever.

If you’re bored

be your own cure for boredomMy father used to tell me that if you’re bored, it’s your fault. That man can’t sit for 5 minutes without getting itchy feet (I get my wanderlust from him, clearly) and I don’t think he ever does nothing. Ever. With Netflix at your fingertips, the worst you can do for yourself is spend the evening binge-watching your favorite shows.

But consider a visit to the front desk and ask for the local tourist brochures – and then research those places. While you’re in lobby, chat up the staff and find out where they like to hang out. Chances are you’ll discover a least a few hidden gems.

Other ideas to cure boredom in your room:

  • Write a new bucket list – If you’re like me, you’re too busy living life to spend time dreaming about your future. Dream your night away.
  • Plan a new hobby – Find something new to spend time on: coloring, knitting, etc. Let your imagination run wild.
  • Find new apps – I love how apps simplify my life but I rarely have time to research and test them.
  • Learn how to use your phone/camera properly – My iPhone is like my brain: powerful and sorely underused.
  • Do some yoga – A hot bath followed by a soothing yoga session is the perfect way to quiet your monkey mind and prepare yourself for a great night’s sleep.

If you’re tired

stop wishing, start travelingA long day of travel can leave your nerves frazzled and the best medicine is always a good night’s sleep. Always. Worried you won’t sleep well because of your frustration? Try these tips to ensure a good night’s sleep.

  • Pamper yourself – Eye shades, meditation CD, aromatherapy sprays (lavender or chamomile) and a long snuggle with a good book is the perfect end to a long day.
  • Try a bedtime shower or bath – Studies prove that raising your body temperature (with hot water) and lowering it quickly (with room temperature air) an hour before bed relaxes your muscles and prepares you for sleep.
  • Clip the drapes shut – Furnace and air vents are usually directly below the curtains. Clipping them prevents them from separating during the night and letting the early morning sun in.
  • Check the thermostat – Sleep can be disrupted if the room is warmer than 65° F or colder than 54° F.
  • Check the clock – The alarm may still be set from the last guest.

Being stuck in a hotel by yourself isn’t something most of us wish for (unless you need a mental escape from life) but it doesn’t have to be a lonely, dark night either. Get creative and enjoy the alone-time with no one to answer to. Chances are you aren’t going to have this opportunity very often.

Do you love to travel as much as we do? We’d love to hear your solo travel stories. Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter and let’s talk!

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