Travelers: How to Get A Good Night's Sleep!
Sleep When You're Dead?
You will read about many different kinds of items that travelers can use: maps, vests, cd's, guidebooks, waterproof clothing, good shoes, and more. Why is it that we forget one of the ultimate experiences while traveling...a good night's sleep?
I can regale you with wild stories about nights in Arizona hotels with strange noises coming from the room next door. Or I could amaze you with stories about the sounds of 6am chanting on the hillsides in Kenya.
Instead, I'd like to suggest you avoid those crazy experiences because you created a traveler's sleep package. Sleep really does matter while traveling. It's not until you are facing the night, without supplies, that you discover how frustrating, even angering, it can be to miss out on a night of sleep. And creating a sleep package is inexpensive but, in the end, priceless!
And I'm not talking about using drugs. For a traveler, the side-effects of sleeping pills do not contribute to satisfying travel days. The drowsy nature of those pills can make a person somewhat zombie-like and it will be hard to remember where you've been! Now, wouldn't that be a waste?
Most photos and all writing are copyright by me - Teapixie! :)
Two photos are copyright wikimedia.
Have You Ever Lost A Night's Sleep While Traveling?
How To Get A Good Night's Sleep?
I know, you can't make anyone go to sleep - not even ourselves. Ever try it with a kid? The closest I came to making a kid sleep was when my daughter was tiny and I could roll her up in a blanket and put my hand on her head to get her over-the-top warm. I have not had any luck in that department with anyone else.
But I do know the ingredients that will contribute to giving a traveler a good night of sleep.
Photo Credit: Wikimedia
How can you find warmth while traveling, short of getting invited into someone's home? My first suggestions are toques, thermal underwear, and bed socks. Have you ever heard of bed socks? I won't travel without them.
It doesn't matter what time of year I am travelling, I don't leave home without bed socks. I discovered them in England. They are soft, warm, and comfy. I have learned that if my feet are cold, I can't sleep. If I don't sleep, I am grumpy and then everyone in my family complains and, well, you can see the direction the day goes. Getting sleep matters.
BED SOCKS TIP!
Do not use the washing machine. Bed socks will transform from fuzzy and soft to thick, lumpy, and sized for dollies in one wash.
The best way to wash bed socks is by hand.
1. Plan to wash in the morning, after waking.
2. Wring them out by rolling them up in a towel and then stomping all over that rolled up towel like you are stomping grapes.
3. Then hang them on the towel rack in the bathroom.
They should be dry by when you return from your day.
Photo Specs: Our tent at Pasco, Washington, KOA with a semi truck boring down the freeway, only feet away from our heads. Will not "tent" there ever again. It was so loud we could not even speak to each other. Sigh. ;)
Silence. It is often difficult to find places to sleep, while travelling, where there isn't noise. Sometimes, even when I'm home, I can't find silence for sleeping. But that's another matter.
I never travel without ear plugs. Those tiny little foamies fit into any bag and are the source of never-ending pleasure. I have used them to block out traffic (see photo above), electrical storms, animal noises, domestic bliss/unbliss in neighbouring rooms and buildings, loud televisions and music, snoring roommates, and even glorious waterfalls.
No one. Not one single person, can ever have too many ear plugs. I pack a multitude of sets in every bag that travels with me.
Have you ever been on vacation and lost a night's sleep just before going on an important, expensive adventure? Were you so tired that you couldn't remember going on the adventure? Here's your chance to vent!
Why Did You Lose A Night's Sleep?
Ever tried to sleep in Alaska in the middle of summer? There's a reason they call it "The Land of the Midnight Sun." Or how about trying to go to sleep very early, like 7pm, when you have a 3am departure? It's not easy with the sun lighting up your room.
Sleeping masks are priceless - I can't travel without a set in each of my bags. You might think one should be enough. The problem is, if I lose my checked bags, in transit, I will always have one bag that I have carried on.
I use sleeping masks at home as well as when I travel. So many times I have appreciated a couple extra hours of sleep because the sun has been blocked out.
Instant shelter: Cocoon sleeping bags and one-person tents. Cocoon sleeping bags create a secure and independent sleeping environment for travellers who are in tents, without tents, in hostels, and in accommodation in developing countries.
One person tents pack well because they are small. Having a space to retreat to at the end of the day is invaluable. I can’t imagine any world traveller who does not have a tent. If you don't have one, get one!
TENT TRAVEL TIP!
Buy sealant for your tent. Plan to re-seal all of the seams of your tent every year.
It will help to insure that you do not float away in the next rain-storm, monsoon, hurricane. (Okay - don't tent in a monsoon or hurricane!)
On the desert plateau surrounding Canyon de Chelly, in the Navajo Nation, Arizona, we discovered how reliable our tent is because we seal it every year. The night-long electrical storm dumped buckets of rain and our tent remained dry.
Have You Ever Tried Getting Sleep Supplies In Other Countries?
Here is a list of the most affordable travel bags for you to choose from. I try to pack one carry on bag and a shoulder. Nothing more. Not having checked baggage is the least complicated way to travel.
Photo Credit: Wikipedia with modfications.
TRAVEL PACKING TIP!
Those little silica bags that you get stuffed into many items that you purchase? Don't throw them out.
Put them into your travel bags and they will help to keep the bags moisture-free while in transit.
Of course, the little bags won't be able to help with traveling by zodiac. ;)
It's okay to love 5 star hotels. I do! But how often do you find yourself short of the very basic essentials? I wrote this article hoping that you might see how you could put together a travelers bag of very useful goodies while sticking to a budget.
Let me know if you find these suggestions useful. Do you have favourite brands of the different items that you want to recommend? Or have I missed an essential item for getting a good night's sleep?
Please feel welcome to write about your travel experiences and your shopping experiences.
Thank you so much for reading my writing. Teapixie :)