One of the challenges of life on the road is making a series of temporary apartments a familiar home to return to after a long day at your new placement, so you can relax and recover. Here are a few things you can do to love your short-term housing situation as much as any home.

    1. Keep a small, separate container for lightweight, easily transportable items from home that you can place around your lodging. Family photos, familiar trinkets that remind you of pleasant events, and even small plants like succulents that don’t need a lot of care and water make good traveling companions. Then, when you pack for each new placement, just pop the container in your luggage and you’re on your way. (Don’t forget to water the little cactusy thing between assignments!)
    2. Sleeping well is a must, so your bed needs to be your haven. Hopefully the provided mattress will be comfortable, but one comfort you can guarantee is your pillow. Yes, a pillow is a bit bulky to pack but your own, familiar pillow can help assure pleasant dreams.
    3. Cozy, comfortable, and colorful items like throws and scarves from home can brighten up a bland room and remind you of home at the same time. If you’re a candle lover, tea lights in your favorite scents can transport you to a sunny beach or quiet forest. Or home.
    4. If your temporary abode is sparsely furnished, consider renting a needed piece or two to fill in the gaps. A really comfortable chair, good reading lamp, a few pictures on the wall, and decorative artificial plant might be just what you need to make the place more welcoming to yourself and your guests. The cost can be surprisingly affordable.
    5. Your apartment or room is likely to be bland, with beige or off white-walls and neutral furniture — and it’s not realistic to repaint! Consider buying swaths of colorful, inexpensive fabric and staple them to wooden frames from a craft store. You can hang them with removable adhesive strips so you won’t damage the wall surface. Instant conversation piece!

    With a little ingenuity, you can use some of your free time to create a cozy nest that will feel like a true home away from home.

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