When you travel as a family, it can be a fun and exciting experience. But it can also be hard being away from the comforts of your own home. Since our family travels a lot, we like to stay in Airbnb homes because it is the most comfortable, cost effective, and normal-feeling. Some of those homes are warm and inviting and some aren’t so much. A home should be a place where you feel peace and safety, a place where you feel comfort from the rush of the outside world. But what we’ve learned along our travels is that you can take some simple steps to make any place feel like home. Here are some ways you can make it feel like home when you’re traveling.
It can be easy to keep all of your clothes and belongings in your suitcase for convenience. But if you take the time to unpack your things, put your clothes in drawers, hang your coats, line up your shoes, and tuck away the suitcases, you will feel it’s more like home.
At home, our kids all have chores. This helps our home run smoothly. Everyone has responsibilities and tries to take pride in their spaces. We try to do the same thing as we travel the world. Our kids take turns doing dishes, putting dishes away, setting and clearing the table, sweeping, taking out the rubbish, and making our own beds. When our space is orderly, it feels more like a home.
Make Favorite Family Recipes
Food is a major part of our family culture. We love making and eating good food! We have some very favorite family recipes that bring us joy. Not every Airbnb place allows us to make our favorite dishes and treats, but when we have the ingredients and the cookware to accommodate, we try to make some of our favorite family recipes…our comfort food.
Maintain Family Traditions
Every family has their traditions, and it’s important to maintain those traditions even when you’re traveling. Some of our family traditions are:
- Friday Pizza & Movie Night: We have a Friday night tradition of always eating pizza and watching a movie together. Always. Sometimes the pizza is much better than other times, but we have surprisingly been able to find pizza in every country we’ve visited! It’s comforting being able to hold onto that tradition no matter where we are in the world.
- Family Home Evening: Our church encourages us to set aside a night a week devoted to spending time as a family learning and growing together. We have tried to keep this tradition up and take the time to have a weekly lesson about a scripture story or principle to work on as a family. It strengthens our family and keeps us focused on what matters most.
- Daily Family Scriptures: After dinner every night, we read scriptures together as a family. We aren’t perfect and miss some evenings when we’re out and about, but it’s a great tradition and habit that makes it feel like home.
- Birthday Traditions: When we have a birthday in the family, we let that person feel like a king or queen for the day! They get to pick the meals we’re going to eat and the activities we’re going to do. We’ve kept that tradition up as we travel. The food and activities are a lot different from when we were in the states and that just makes it even better!
Bring Something from Home
There’s nothing that makes a strange place feel more like home than bringing something from home that you love. Our kids all adore their stuffed animals! So, they have their favorite buddies that tag along with us wherever we travel. That helps them feel more at home. Do you have a favorite blanket, slippers, robe, clothes, or a book? Bring it along your travels to feel right at home.
As you travel, try to put into action some of these tips to make your strange place feel more like home. Because no matter where you are in the world, home really is where your heart is. And ours is with our family!
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JoEllen is a wife, mom to 4, aesthetician, model, minimalist, and world traveler! After selling ¾ of their belongings and moving their family to New Zealand for 2 years, they then decided to sell all of their stuff and travel the world! They have visited 18 countries as a family and they’re not stopping any time soon! Selling all of their stuff has made JoEllen realize what really matters. It’s made her change her focus on creating memories instead of collecting stuff. She loves teaching women how to simplify their lives by decluttering their closets and build smart wardrobes and how to learn to travel with their families, no matter what stage of life they’re in.