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How We Mastered The Art Of Sleeping When Traveling Away From Home

Your bags are packed and you’re ready to go! But trying to catch some ZZZ’s in a car, boat, train, or plane can be difficult. In this blog post, we’re unpacking our sleep suitcases to help you get the best rest away from home.

How We Mastered The Art Of Sleeping When Traveling Away From Home


It can be difficult to get truly restful sleep when you’re on a plane, road tripping, or even staying in a fancy hotel.

From non-stop hotel sounds, time differences, and uncomfortable pillows to general travel anxiety, it’s not uncommon to come home from a vacation feeling you need a holiday.

Using a sleep mask, earplugs, or a travel weighted blanket are a few ways you can sleep better while traveling. Read on for more tips!

Did you know?
Some hotels now offer sleep programs, an upgrade from the standard turn-down service.

Have you ever come back from a trip or vacation and thought “I need a vacation from vacationing!”? Often after travel, even when it’s restful, we may feel we need rest again. Even the idea of travel may cause anxiety and restlessness for some. Here are a few sleep tips for traveling, so you’ll be rested and ready for many more travel adventures.

Why Can’t I Sleep When I Travel?

From keeping track of luggage or your littles, tickets, maps, and whatever else you need to get to your temporary home away from home it’s no wonder your brain doesn’t have a minute to turn off. Add time zone differences, jet lag, and the excitement (or angst!) of staying in a foreign place into the mix and you’re likely to be tossing and turning most of the night. So how can you rest on the road? Let’s explore!

Tips for sleep on planes

  • Make sure to get a proper night’s rest before you fly
  • If you’re flying into a new time zone, try taking the red-eye flight. There's a better chance you’ll get some sleep on the way there. When you land, you can throw yourself into the fun of a new place. You may want go to bed a little earlier but your body will have an easier time syncing up its circadian rhythm with day/night.
  • When you’re on the flight, be sure to bring an eye mask to block reading lights, earplugs to block out the jingle jangle of the drink cart, and a travel weighted blanket to help you relax and keep you cozy.
  • Avoid that in-flight cocktail. Alcohol can actually make sleep worse for some. Additionally, the altitude in airplanes can make the effects of alcohol more pronounced, making it harder to overcome travel fatigue or jet lag.
travel blanket airplane

Resting on the road

Road trips give you the freedom to make your own schedule – start when you’re ready; stop when you’re ready. But sleeping in the car presents its own challenges. Here are a few tips for passengers to get better sleep while traveling by road:

  • Riding shotgun? Use earplugs to block out the driver’s music picks and cocoon yourself in a portable weighted blanket to snooze all the way to your destination
  • Use an eye mask to block out light (not while driving, of course!)
  • Keep your children calm by preparing some car activities like crossword puzzles or coloring, and don’t forget to take a long a calming weighted blanket suitable for kids.

At the hotel

Whether you’re staying at a roadside motel or a beachside resort, a couple of small changes can make your hotel sleep even better.

  • Bring your own pillow, if possible.
  • Request a room far from the elevator. This helps reduce the number of people you hear walking by, chattiness by the elevator at late night hours, and general disruptions. You can even ask if there is a quiet floor.
  • Bring earplugs to block out the occasional door slams, baby cries, and whatever it is your next-door neighbor is doing.
  • Use the light-blocking drapes that are standard in most hotel rooms. They can help you sleep longer in the morning or take a more restful midday nap.
  • Keep the room cool. A cooler room will help you sleep more soundly, just like at home. If your feet get chilly in the AC, put on some cozy cotton socks.
  • Pack a weighted blanket: weighted blankets are proven to help you fall asleep easier and stay asleep for longer.
travel bag cycle

Getting The Best Rest While You’re Away

Wherever you end up sleeping when you’re away from home, you need sleep to be restful. These sleep tips while traveling are all beneficial but they still rely on good sleep hygiene. To get better sleep, wherever you rest your head, try to keep up with your sleep routine. This is especially important if you’re traveling with kids. Even if there are disruptions in daily routine and activity, try to maintain a regular sleep schedule.

It’s also easy to get full into loaf mode on vacation but exercising daily for at least minutes per day can also help you sleep better. So take on that sunrise yoga class and hydrate well before your poolside morning mimosa! It certainly is part of travel to indulge in the local fare, but continuing to eat a balanced diet, rich in fruit and vegetables can also help your body maintain regularity, prevent heartburn, and upset stomach, all of which can interrupt sleep.

Lastly, when you’ve done all the tips and tricks to create a sleep routine away from home but you just can’t relax, try some guided meditation, calming sleep music, white noise, or sleep stories to help you switch off and find rest.