10 easy ways to decorate your hotel room for the holidays

The Pit Stops for Kids crew will be spending the holidays in a Tahoe vacation home this year, so I’m making plans now to make our stay as festive as we’d enjoy at home. If you, too, will be spending your winter holidays away from home, we have 10 easy ways to decorate your hotel room for the holidays…or any condo or vacation home!


  1. Decorate condo or hotel room windows or porch with a string of battery-operated Christmas lights. Find these at your local dollar store! Tip: you can wrap them around the handle of strollers or even around ski helmets to be festive on-the-go!
  2. Buy a local wreath or garland. Once you’ve arrived at your destination, explore your immediate area by looking up a farmer’s market or holiday bazaar, where you can buy a locally-sourced wreath for your condo or vacation home door.
  3. Check condo and vacation home storage closets for decorations. Most will have a stash of holiday decorations stored in a utility closet or pantry. Ask the home owner or lodging association if it’s ok to put these up (and take them down). I’ve never been told no!
  4. Bring a holiday-themed tablecloth and candles for the table. It’s a small touch, but it goes a long way!
  5. Buy a permit and cut down your own tree upon arrival. Going somewhere rural? Look up where to buy a Christmas tree permit before you leave home, and stop by for it en route to your condo or vacation home. Your first vacation activity can be a hike through the snowy woods for your own tree!
  6. Decorate your cruise ship cabin door. Buy or make your own holiday magnets for cruise ship cabin doors, which are magnetic. The practice can get quite competitive, so bring your A game!
  7. Play holiday tunes. Don’t underestimate the power of music to set a holiday mood. Bring a portable speaker and sync it with your smart phone or an iPod set on a holiday radio station.
  8. Have a small tree delivered. Don’t have time or space for a regular-sized tree? Buy a small, live potted tree to use as a table-top centerpiece. Purchase at a local nursery, and decorate with a select few of your favorite ornaments from home, or order one.
  9. Bring holiday bedding. Kids love curling up in their very own holiday-themed sheets and blankets, and these decorate the room, too. Bring your own bedding from home, or make a gift of new holiday bedding, which is easy to bring to a condo or vacation home.
  10. Decorate yourselves! Buy the family holiday-themed pajamas to wear, or a matching set of Santa hats. When you’re all dressed up for the holidays, the feeling of celebration will live in your vacation home, hotel room, or condo with or without the decorations.

Remember: in addition to decorating your temporary living space, you’ll want to safeguard your actual home while you’re away. During our absences, we ask a friend to check on our house regularly, leave porch and holidays lights lit, lower heat and unplug appliances, and let ask multiple neighbors to watch our home.