Travel Sleep Tips: Feeling rested on vacation
How to get the best possible sleep – Travel Sleep Tips
Glorious, peaceful, restorative sleep. We all need it. Parents rarely get it. Travelers need to try!
Travel Sleep Tips: Sleep is really important for your brain!
If you want to feel good during your vacation and remember all that you learn, you’ll need a good night’s sleep! More and more scientists are learning about the value of a good night’s sleep.
Take the NFL! When the New York Jet’s went to London for an important game, nothing was left to chance. Read the details on how the New York Jet’s prepared for getting the right amount of rest on that trip!
Travel Sleep Tips: Remove noise.
Some hotels are noisy! Every traveler has a story about a really loud night at a hotel. I have several! LOL!
Once, in Verona, Italy, we were all fast asleep in our hotel. It was so quaint, the windows were open and the curtains blew in the breeze…ah, Italy. And then……BUZZ…..BUZZZ. BUZZ, we heard Vespas…lots and lots of Vespas.
No sooner than the buzzing died down then, we heard a garbage truck! It rumbled down the streets and made that LOUD beeping noise to indicate it was backing up. Then the sound of pounding and slamming noises from garbage bins being lifted over the top of the truck and emptied had us staring at the ceiling.
In hindsight, it sounds like a Saturday Night Live skit. But at o’dark thirty after a long day of traveling, believe me, it was not funny.
And THAT was the last time I have ever traveled without earplugs. 😉
Most recently, we were staying at a hotel in Medellin, Colombia when I heard screeching from down the hall. I opened the door and saw a security guard going into a room. I figured that the noise was about to end, but boy was I wrong! A little later the screeching and singing and carrying on got louder and louder and louder. I went out into the hall on my way to get our laundry and I saw a stream of young, drunk ladies wearing blinking lights on their heads parading down the hall. Wonderful – a bachelorette party. It went into the early morning hours.
Whether you are serenaded by drunken partiers, blasted by dogs baying at the moon, Vespas buzzing or garbage trucks at ungodly hours..noise at a hotel can really interfere with your rest. Sleepy travelers are cranky travelers.
Ask for a quiet room.
Read Trip Advisor hotel reviews and find out which rooms are the quietest? Inner courtyard? Away from the street? Away from the bar on the west side of the building? Know the quietest rooms and ask for one when you check in.
A good set of earplugs can mean the difference between being rested and feeling like a zombie. It is a little weird at first to sleep with earplugs. Try them at home first.
Be prepared for stuffy noses and snoring.
Sometimes people snore on vacation when they usually don’t. Perhaps they are sleeping more soundly because they are more relaxed or tired. Sometimes new smells and new things blooming can set off allergies and have noses stuffy. Consider Afrin or breath right strips. Read more about traveling with allergies.
Travel Sleep Tips: Add some noise.
At first glance, it might sound crazy to get a better night’s sleep by adding noise, but hear me out! (pun intended)
With the right addition of noise, you can block out all the unwanted noise!
We swear by these wonderful inventions that add just the right amount of background noise! We use them at home and whenever we travel.
Use a white noise machine.
I swear by this so much we use them at home. This is the cutesy small travel one we use that is worth its weight in gold!! It lives in the suitcase so it is never forgotten.
Don’t have time to get the machine? No worries, there is an app for that! Check them out before you leave to find the one that suits your family the best. There are a lot of them and it will take a few minutes to choose. You don’t want to be exhausted having to sort through them while you are on vacation!
Travel Sleep Tips: Is it too dark?
If you frequent the restroom in the middle of the night or have little ones that do, a night light is a great idea. If anyone is afraid of the dark a nightlight can be very welcome!
Light up stuffed animal:
Animals who light up when you squeeze them are perfect for the little travelers.
Travel Sleep Tips: Is it not dark enough?
Try a sleep mask.
They come in lots of fabrics and with many different designs on the outside. Try them at home first! I find them weirdly restrictive and can’t get used to them as I feel like my eyeballs are squished!
Try a hand towel.
I fall into the ‘it is too light’ category. I just can not sleep if it isn’t really dark. I don’t like the way a sleep mask mashes on my eyes so I came up with the fancy hand towel trick out of necessity in college.
It was SO bright you could read inside at midnight from the toxic glow! I swear it was actually darker during the day! So, in an exhausted stroke of brilliance, I discovered the…….hand towel. Yes, for 2 years I slept with it draped over my eyes and it still works in a pinch! I endured years of teasing from roommates but I was well rested enough to laugh it off!
Try painter’s tape.
If you aren’t carrying painter’s tape in your suitcase you are missing out on the duct tape of travels. This little handy dandy tape can solve so many of those crazy unexpected problems. We never leave home without it.
In my humble opinion, the all-time awesome, can’t live without it tool for dark sleeping is… painter’s tape.
It can tape curtains together…hold towels over weird spaces in window shades and keep at bay those annoying rays of sunshine until you are ready to wake up! It is lightweight and Won’t hurt anything like curtains or walls.
Travel Sleep Tips: The first night effect
It is hard to sleep away from your own bed. So much so, that sleep specialists always toss out the information from the first night a patient is studied. Specialists call it the ‘first night effect‘.
You don’t sleep as well the first night in a new place because part of your brain remains ‘on alert’. Your brain recognizes the differences in atmosphere. Some animals like dolphins have evolved to only use 1/2 of the brain while the other 1/2 sleeps. We don’t have that ability so while we are partially ‘on alert’ during the night we awaken in the morning a little more zombie like than we would like.
Why wouldn’t children experience this?
Travel Sleep Tips: Kids need help sleeping away from home.
The more similar you can make the sleeping situation, the better for young travelers.
1) Comfy pjs are a must. Don’t be afraid to have kiddos wear them on a flight.
2) Bring the favorite lovey.
3) Plan on extra snuggles. Extra cuddles and extra story time.
4) Stick to the usual routine if you can like, story time and bath time which helps. But do whatever you need to do to get some sleep for everyone.
“If things just don’t work out as you’d planned, then don’t worry. Do what works as long as it doesn’t compromise your baby’s safety. Once you get home you can start with a clean slate and guide your baby to better sleep.”
5) When all else fails, bring the kids to bed with you. They are young for only a short time. Before you know it they’ll be grown and wanting to sleep in the next room. So snuggle, get some rest, and enjoy the adventure.
Travel Sleep Tips: And when all else fails…
Caffeine can help! Try the local coffee and tea. You can sleep when you get home!!
Grab your hat and get your hat….Leave your worries on the doorstep. The Educational Tourist can help plan the trip of a lifetime!
Happy and rested travels,
Natalie, The Educational Tourist