Understand the Risks of Hotel Travel a Little Better (read on or watch the video).
People can spend a lot of time in Hotels. It can be normal to travel from Shanghai to London in a month with several stop-offs in-between, and then begin the loop all over again: Athens, Dubai, Kuala Lumpur.
These people can travel alone to these cities and when they get there they are required to stand on stages, sit on panels and talk endlessly. At the end of each jet-lagged and tiresome day, a guest will go back to their Hotel.
Guests climb out of a taxi on their way towards their Hotel and drag their suitcase towards the Hotel front door. Away from family and friends they will attempt to relax on their oversized bed, listening to the TV or to strangers whispering around the corridors.
Always the same rooms, the mirrors, doors, locks, balconies and bathrooms. Life is on a loop, searching for the new, but in-reality going around in circles. The novelty of having a collection of hotel-headed notepaper soon wears off – likewise the big collection of free toiletries.
I lived in a hotel for 3 months. I stayed in a compact three-star room, as part of my job. It was fun, for a few weeks, until suddenly it wasn’t. All of a sudden I wanted to sleep in my regular home every night – another novelty had worn off.
For a long time, I tried to swim and use the steam room to wash away the trauma of staying in the Hotel and for a short while the swimming ritual was helpful. I soon became fed up of the smell of chemicals.
Many travellers suffer from loneliness. Where am I? Whom do I know here? Nobody, really. Many Business Tourists develop insomnia as they cross time-zones. They read all night and catch up on sleep during the afternoon. Difficult nights in alien cities which are too full of people. Many suffer breakdowns.
I agree with those that have compared hotel existence in many respects to prison life: there are the corridors, the standard rooms, the large group of people with different purposes. Like a prison, the Hotel experience always boils down to this confinement in the space of the bedroom.
People try and bring things from home to make them feel more comfortable. But travellers quickly realize that they did not own anything other than books that had any personal meaning.
The generic lobby, the vast reception desk. Even the dining spaces and stairwells of hotels can cause anxiety when walked through them. An acute feeling of being lost? When travellers think back at the time they spent in Hotels, they say “I barely survived”.
Key cards, long corridors, the ting of a service bell – keep on growing stronger. Surely a person is not supposed to be in a Hotel for long periods of time; is it damaging to who you are?
Next time you see that guest on their own in your Hotel make that extra effort now that you understand the Life of Hotel Travel a Little Better.