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In my post, What Makes a Great Hotel, there were many reader comments about what people would like to see in a hotel room. So many requests were simple, like coat hooks or a place to put the soap in the shower. I was thinking about that when I went to the hardware store the other day, and I found some simple hotel room helpers, small things you can bring to make any hotel room better. Any hotel room can be improved easily.

Hotel Room Helpers

I’m not willing to bring a bunch of heavy junk in my bag to slightly improve my life on the road. But a few tiny items that weight little and take up no space are worth it.

Over the door hooks are lightweight and solve problems. Especially in budget hotels, there may not be a coat hook or place to hang your bag. Hang this over the bathroom or closet door for instant storage space. Some types of hooks are strong enough for luggage too.

Simple metal hooks can attach to closet rails or chairs to hang your backpack.

I like to read in bed and really appreciate a small reading light next to the bed. A clip-on LED reading light works on rechargeable batteries and could be clipped onto the nightstand, headboard or the book itself.

This coil is dual voltage, it just needs a plug adapter. Be careful here and only buy one approved for international travel, otherwise it will blow immediately.

If you’re a long-time reader of my blog, you already know of my fondness for my hot water coil and titanium mug. Some hotels include kettles in the room, but not all, especially outside of Europe. This mug is double walled titanium, weighs nothing and doesn’t get hot to the touch when the water is boiling inside. I use this to make coffee, tea, ramen and oatmeal. Yeah, I know I should be out eating the local cuisine, but sometimes a girl just wants Cup o’Noodles and Netflix at the end of a long day.

I have a thing for fresh flowers. Somehow, a fresh bouquet can lift my spirits, so I always get fresh flowers, usually lilies, at the market if I’m staying for more than a couple of days in a hotel. It costs little and adds a nice scent to a room…and there have been plenty of rooms that could have used a scent to mask some funkiness. My mom bought me these funny plastic vases that pack flat and work perfectly.

If you’re a romantic, bring your own mood lighting. Even a plain hotel room looks special with candle flicker. These little LED tea lights last for hours and seem like a real candle.

And while we are on the topic of romantic hotel helpers, many hotel rooms only have thin plastic cups. I bought these cool plastic wine glasses in the Napa Valley years ago which work perfectly for classing-up the joint. Pair that with a TSA-approved corkscrew and you’ve got a party.

Bathroom Helpers

Simple suction hooks are an easy solution for hanging a toiletries kit in a hotel room without a vanity shelf or hooks. I’m shocked by how often there is absolutely no place to hang or set my little bag. This is an easy fix.

Many readers complained about not having a place to set the soap in the shower. Even if this may be a little bulky, this strong suction cup soap tray will work in any shower.

Some hotels have terrible or awkward mirrors. This mirror can be stuck to the wall in the shower and has a spot for hanging your razor. It’s a non-fogging mirror as well, for steamy shower shaves.

There are a variety of silicon bottles for shampoo that have nice suction cups on the back. They work well in hot room showers and at the sink, stuck to the mirror. I loved my GooToobs, but I lost them all. I totally forgot that I left them stuck to the shower wall! Maybe someone should invent tracking tags for toiletries.

Got a quick fix for making a hotel room more comfortable? Comment here or on my Facebook page and share the love!

AWS Staff

This post was published by the Adventures with Sarah team. Click here to find out more about the people that make everything at AWS happen.


  • Andi Cody says:

    What excellent suggestions, Sarah! Thanks for sharing!

  • Kathleene says:

    Love the fold flat vase. It’s always challenging using bathroom glasses for flowers. I’m definitely buying one of these.

  • Kathy Noll says:

    Great post. Another good use for the door hangers is for public bathrooms that have no hook for your bag – and you don’t want to put it on the wet floor YUCK. That collapsible vase is brilliant! I love it even for at home. Unbreakable and takes up no storage space. Inexpensive too. Would make a unique gift idea. Who wouldn’t want to receive that.

  • Kim B. says:

    I admit that I do sometimes take a suction-cup holder for my mini toiletries . . .luckily I decided to leave it behind on my last trip to Tuscany and Rome, as everywhere we stayed had textured tile in the shower and it wouldn’t have stuck up! But there’s many a time I’ve been so happy to have it.I keep thinking about an immersion coil heater . . .

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