If you couldn’t tell by my radio silence, it’s been a rough year for travel. I haven’t had a single attempted trip that wasn’t a complete failure that I’ve had to spend months dealing with. Between airlines cancelling flights left and right, coronavirus restrictions changing from one minute to the next, and the neverending process of credit card disputes, I almost never want to travel again. On the other hand, all this hassle has made me appreciate the simple things about travel, like staying in a hotel.
Before this experience, I used to scoff at people who traveled only to spend the majority of the vacation kicking back in a hotel room. But now I’ll take my little bits of excitement however they come, and I’ve discovered that simply staying in a hotel, even at home, is pretty exciting. Here are some reasons why.
It’s an easy change of scenery
If you’ve been cooped up in your house for the past 18 months, throwing yourself on a big bed in a clean hotel suite is just the thing you need to stop you from ripping your hair out. You don’t have to worry about unreliable flights or getting a negative covid test or vaccine passports, because you can just go a few blocks from where you live and instantly get a new view out your window.
You have access to amenities you don’t normally have
If you’re craving a little luxury, a hotel stay is the perfect thing to give you access to amenities like a pool or a gym that you may not have where you live. So even if you’re not spending your day sightseeing, you can treat yourself to a free breakfast, an hour at the gym, and an afternoon at the hotel spa. Sometimes the most important amenities are the simplest, like air conditioning. Who wants to suffer through 90 degree weather with no air conditioning when you can just spend a weekend “away” in a hotel?
You’re closer to different areas of town
If you live in a big city, spending a couple of days in a hotel can put you in a completely different neighborhood with a totally different set of local spots than you usually frequent. You can try new restaurants or establish a temporary hub close to popular places like the beach or the nightlife. There’s nothing like walking home from the bar instead of your usual expensive Uber ride.
There’s no sleep like hotel bed sleep
I don’t know if it’s the blackout curtains, the big fluffy pillows, or if they just pump melatonin through the vents, but you can get the best night of sleep in a nice hotel. I used to think it was because you’ve spent all day actively sightseeing or drinking, but even if you’ve done nothing but order pizza and spend a couple of hours in a pool, hotel sleep reigns superior. A hotel bed does wonders for sex, too.
You don’t have to worry about check-in or check-out times
One of the slightly aggravating things about travel is matching up your hotel check-in and check-out times with your travel times. What the fuck are you supposed to do with yourself and your luggage if check-out is at noon but your flight isn’t until 9 pm? One of the best things about staying in a hotel at home is that you don’t have to worry about this. You can leave whenever they kick you out because your house is always available for you to return to (even if the bed isn’t made when you arrive).
It’s an escape without escaping
There’s a mental threshold you cross the second you throw your overnight bag on the floor of a hotel room. Suddenly all you care about is how big the tub is and what kind of view you have. You’re not thinking about what you’re making for dinner or that you have to work on Monday or that you have a dentist appointment next week. Changing your environment just changes your perspective. And even if you’re physically less than a mile away from home, you might as well be on another continent.