Oh, the joys of travelling! Or, at least…the idea of it. The weeks spent planning the trip: scrolling through Airbnb and Trip Advisor, arranging the perfect itinerary.
It’s always a pleasure to be somewhere else, immerse yourself in different activities, try some food you’ve never had before (escargot, anyone?), enjoy new experiences, visit friends or family around the world.
Whether it’s work or leisure, travelling never loses its charm.
But the day comes when it’s finalllly time to say Bon Voyage, and nothing goes according to plan…
Imagine lugging your suitcase through the crowds and speeding to the gate right before closing time, only to find you’re in… *sigh* the middle seat.
Between the crying babies, less-than-appetising menu, and constant turbulence, it’s no surprise that so many of us struggle to get our snooze on.
Travelling isn’t all fun and sightseeing, and it does come with some inconveniences — for many people, it’s sleeping.
There are many reasons why sleep can become a burden during travel; there’s jet lag, adjusting to a new time zone, sleeping in a new environment, the inability to do home bedtime routines, and so many other distractions.
So, how do you get some shut-eye when you’re far away from home? Follow these travel tips, and they might just be your tour guide for the duration of your stay.
#1 Avoid jet lag
We know… it’s easier said than done, and jet lag is an inevitable part of air travel to a different timezone. But, there are things you can do before you get to your hotel room to prevent sleep disorders from occurring.
The first thing you need to know is how much time difference there is between your local time and your destination point. That way, you can adjust your sleep schedule an hour earlier or later every day until your internal clock adjusts to the different time zone.
Getting plenty of rest before your trip can be vital for that extra energy boost to prevent jet lag from happening once you land.
#2 Stick to your sleep schedule
Whether travelling or not, one of the best sleep tips is to set a sleep schedule and follow it religiously. It gives your circadian rhythm (or your body’s internal clock) a regulated pattern crucial for catching those zzzs. 😴
Even when you’re in a new place, or even a different time zone, if your usual bedtime is 9 PM, then make an effort to still sleep at 9 PM.
It takes multiple nights of good sleep to form a proper sleep schedule, and it can take just a few nights of sleeping at different times to break that habit!
#3 Nap wisely
Unless you’re on the road and the one driving, there’s not much to do in the car but snooze; even on a plane, napping is one of the easiest ways to let time fly (pun intended).
On the flip side, too much napping can affect your sleep cycle and make it difficult for you to sleep at night.
In other words, good sleep the whole way there = poor sleep quality upon arrival.
Your best bet is to try power napping instead: limit your naps to a maximum of 20 minutes and try to avoid sleeping throughout your flight.
There are exceptions, of course; if you’re on a long-haul flight and it’s nighttime at your destination, then, by all means, go and enjoy your sleep.
#3 Bring your sleep rituals with you
Suppose you follow specific sleep routines or bedtime rituals. In that case, it’s encouraged that you continue to practice them when away from home: whether it’s sipping on herbal tea, reading a book, lighting a candle (can we all agree that lavender is the best scent?), listening to music or white noise — you can still do all of this during your travels!
Maybe not burning the candle while mid-air, though. Wait until you’ve checked in for that one.
Sleeping in an unfamiliar hotel room or a new environment can be difficult, especially on the first night. So, the best way to ease you into the change of scenery is to bring your sleep routines with you.
If there are items that make it easier for you to fall asleep, like a favourite pillow, a Snuggie, or a teddy bear, pack them before you go. There’s no reason to leave your comforts and normal routine at home (unless they can’t fit in your suitcase, then maybe your life-size plushie can stay at home). 🧸
#4 Pack your sleep accessories
One of the best ways for you to get a good night’s sleep during your travels is by packing all your sleep accessories.
Bring your eye-masks, your earplugs or some earphones, sleep aids or sleep medicine, and other must-have items. Ensure you have everything you need in a small carry-on bag that you can easily access during your trip.
Sleep masks are handy on the plane, as they can reduce light exposure, which can trick your brain into thinking you need to sleep already.
On the other hand, earplugs are beneficial to block out the noise of people stomping through the aisles, a loud snorer on the plane, or even (god forbid) a screaming child. It might give you a weird feeling at the end of your sleep because of the cabin’s pressure, but that’s totally normal.
Using these sleep accessories, whether on the plane or at your destination, makes it easier for you to sleep, even when away from the comforts of your own bedroom.
#5 Bring sleep aids
If you regularly take some sleep aids or sleep medicine, make sure to bring them with you during your travels, especially when they require prescriptions from your doctor.
Going to a different place without your sleeping meds can make it super hard for you to fall asleep, and it could also be a nightmare to ask for a prescription when you can barely speak the language.
When it gets really difficult for you to fall asleep, or you find yourself experiencing insomnia, you may want to visit your local pharmacy and opt for an over-the-counter supplement like melatonin.
#6 Carry a pillow
Whether it’s one of those U-shaped pillows for your neck or a regular shaped pillow, bringing a cushion with you on your flight is not only an added comfort but a convenient way to get better sleep while on a cramped aeroplane.
And when we talk about pillows, it doesn’t always have to be a tiny travel pillow. You can bring your bedroom ones with you during your trip to make your home-away-from-home more comfortable and familiar.
We love bringing the Ecosa Memory Foam Pillow on our trips as they come with compression bags that allow them to fit even inside your carry-on!
With the a decent memory foam pillow, it’s easier to get better sleep, plus: the head and neck support you need, wherever you are in the world.