For the last three years, I've spent the majority of my summers in hotel rooms due to all of the traveling. During these past few years, I've realized a few important things about myself and my current lifestyle:
Less is more- I couldn't count how many times in my life I have heard this expression. It wasn't until recently that I truly understood and agreed with this statement full heartedly. The longer my stay at the hotel, the more I realized that I can live (happily) with just the basic accommodation- a bathroom, a bed (room), a sitting area and eating space. No need for that fancy craft room I've always dreamed of, that enormous walk-in closet that only celebrities seem to have, the 3+ bedrooms, the 2 1/2 bathrooms...you get the point.
I realized that it really is all about simple life. The less "stuff" there is in a room or home, the more space there is to enjoy. The less clutter you own, the more you're able to focus on experiencing the surroundings, i.e. the outside view from porch/patio, the sunrise that shines through the window every morning, the cleared out space in the living room that allows for home workouts, and the empty areas that hardly require any tidying up.
• Core clothing pieces go a long way- When traveling, we all know how stressful it can be when it comes to picking out all the outfits. We think about what to wear if it's too cold, too hot, too windy, too rainy. After working on my capsule wardrobe for sometime now, I can say that picking out key pieces for trips are a lot easier these days. All I really need are 2 pairs of good jeans (which can easily get two days worth of wear), a pair of black or denim shorts, a pair of black pants, a black dress (that can be dressed up for a nice dinner and dressed down for casual outings), and 7 neutral colored shirts that can go with any one of these bottom pieces.
One trick I always use is to bring two or three different scarves- one silk/satin material, one cotton material, and one linen material. (With scarves, you can switch up your look each time!) And these staple pieces can easily get 7-8 days of wear (without washing) and fit comfortably in any hotel closet. It's all about picking out those versatile pieces. Oh, and packing cubes make life so much easier when it comes to organizing the clothes, believe me! Once you've used these, you'll never go back to your old suitcase packing ways, I guarantee it. (Before buying the expensive name brand ones, though, try finding some at TJ Maxx, Ross, Marshalls, etc., first.)
Location is everything- During travels, I try to pick hotels that are near a somewhat popular area, but not right smack in the middle of downtown due to all of the noise. (I'm a light sleeper.) This makes it easier to get around without having to rent a car or spend most of the vacation time driving. I google the distances between the hotel I'm staying at and all of the attractions I plan on visiting ahead of time as this makes it a lot easier to figure out where I can go on foot, and what may require transportation.
True Story- During my trip to Washington D.C., I took a taxi from my hotel to the Union Station, which was only about a mile away, and I had to fork out close to $15 bucks after tip. It was that trip and experience that led me to what I now use as my reliable and affordable travel transportation- Uber. With Uber, that ride would have cost me $3-5 total. Now, every time I leave for the airport, instead of finding a cheap bus or subway route, it's all about the Uber, baby! I just punch in my location with the app, a driver is always nearby, and the cost is literally half the price of a taxi, with better service, and minus the stale cigarette smell.
Who needs cable?- When you're busy out enjoying life and the wonderful surroundings, you realize that the day is too short sitting around watching other people's life through a television screen. It's a time waster. Make the most out of the day by going out and exploring!