When I arrive at my hotel the goal is not to rest but to get up and running! Why visit a new city and stay in the room?! If my flight is for example, eight hours long, this is how I split my time: two-hour movie, two-hour e-book reading, two-hours of listening to music then a two-hour nap! If it’s shorter, I break them up in shorter increments.
This helps me to feel energized when I arrive and I’m ready to sight-see. Of course, if you arrive late in the evening this can still be done. If it’s in a nice enough area, take a stroll to the nearest IHOP or convenient store to stock your fridge or get your souvenirs early. Orlando, for example, is a good example of this. Many of the hotels near Disney World are in walking distance to an eatery or store, at least where I stayed the couple times that I have been there. If the restaurant closes at 10pm, take your leftovers with you and find a bench where you can people watch and enjoy the rest of your meal. There are always night crawlers eager to see the city as well. You watching them is your entertainment!
I personally don’t watch too much TV. I either read or get online and do some kind of research. That’s just how my brain works for some reason but I try to stay away from the TV. This one may be hard to do if you start channel surfing and then you discover Forensic Files or HGTV House Hunters International. Believe me, I’ve been there but you just need to work up the energy to get dressed and see what the city has to offer!
Always bring great music with you. Create your own playlists to bring to the pool with you and soak up some sunshine. If you don’t want to leave the hotel, make it out to the pool and go for a swim. Before you know it, you are there for an hour or two and maybe even made a new friend from the pool bar or met a new family visiting from out of town. Your playlist can also drive you to discover the gym amenity that you take for granted at home. You can meet new people there too AND get a great workout. Music might not motivate you like it does me but speaking from my experience, if I do get lazy, I’ll bring it with me and hang out poolside.
Strike a conversation with the front desk. Just to get out of your room and not get plugged into your gadgets or the TV, roam around at your hotel. Years ago before I got married, one of my biggest goals was to buy a house. To make that happen I worked as a night auditor, along with my full-time job, at a boutique hotel outside of Dallas and saved every penny for my down payment. Although I found the job to be quite stressful at times, the one thing I did enjoy was meeting many different and interesting people. Always network, always get to know other travelers and talk to the front desk. They know the city so you can learn a lot from them, just by taking 5-10 minutes of your time to strike a conversation. Same goes for the other travelers you mingle with at the bar. You might discover a new city through them, that you might want to visit one day and they’ll play your host. Locals are the best tour guides!
These are just a few ideas. I know jet lag can settle in but if you utilize more time outdoors and use your room ONLY to sleep, you’ll get the most out of the city you’re visiting.
Haze- Blue Crush Travel
Pic: Intracoastal Waterway West Palm Beach, Florida (Fairfield Inn Marriott)