We just got back from a few weeks of travel in the U.S., and there’s one tool, so to speak, that really helped us feel comfortable when we stayed at hotels: a French press.
If you love strong coffee first thing in the morning, bringing a French press along when you travel is a small luxury that makes a big difference. You won’t have to rely on hotel coffee, which I find to be typically on the weak side, and you’ll avoid having to leave your room to get the complimentary coffee in the lobby if you don’t want to be bothered to do so upon waking.
We travel with both a French press and a water-heating device (also small), but you can use the in-room coffee maker to get hot water to pour into the French press (not ideal, but it does the trick).
We like to buy a bag of local coffee where ever we’re traveling–I highly recommend buying a bag of freshly ground Blue Bottle coffee if you’re in San Francisco–for us to brew in our hotel room. You can zone out with your cup of joe and feel right at home when you wake up. The ritual helps prepare me for a day of exploring.
So, if you’re traveling this holiday season, try packing a French press (and cushion it with clothes in your luggage).