Strange Beds & Public Transport: How To Sleep Better When Travelling

I’m actually REALLY good at sleeping pretty much anywhere nowadays. I’ll snooze through entire flights, bed down on bus rides and kip like a trooper in a hostel bed. New beds, no problem. Lumpy sofa…okay, still not there on that one yet. But chances are, if there’s somewhere I can sleep, I’ll be doing it.

Yep. I’m THAT smug person you probably hate a fair bit right now. But actually, it hasn’t always been that way. 12 hours awake on an overnight Megabus to Aberdeen with a stinky toilet and overactive heating? Not the one. Over the years though, I’ve managed to optimise my snoozing time when I’m going places. And exploring new places with even a few extra hours of shuteye behind you is pretty priceless.

It might be partly down to experience, but there are also some simple ways you can try and help yourself sleep better when travelling. Here are some things I’ve picked up on my travels that work for me…

Strange Beds: Sleeping in Hotels and Hostels

Bedroom in Villa at Aphrodite Hills, Cyprus

If you struggle to sleep in strange beds, you’re not alone. It usually takes me longer to nod off when I’m somewhere new, but there are definitely some small things you can do to help you sleep better in hostels and hotels.

Getting your hotel room right

If you’re staying in a hotel, it’s worth ringing ahead and asking if it’s possible to be given a higher-up room, on the end of a corridor.

Before heading to bed, make sure your room’s dark and cool, conditions that promote better sleep. Spend some time without your electronics to wind down, and I also find having a bath (if the room’s got one), making up a warm drink and reading a few chapters of a book helps me wind down.

Sleeping better in hostel dorm rooms

Usually when you stay in a hostel, good old bunk beds are the order of the day. Many hostels will assign beds upon your arrival – although it’s less likely to be accommodated than in a hotel, it’s worth an ask anyway if you really sleep better in a top bunk. And if you can, opt for the smaller dorm rooms – three to five other people is much easier to deal with than in a room with up to 20 or more people coming and going.

Ear plugs for noise and an eye mask for light are also must-pack items for a better night’s sleep in a hostel!

Public Transport: Sleeping on Planes, Trains and Buses

Sleeping on a plane

I’m an annoyingly lucky person, because I can usually sleep pretty well on planes, buses and trains. Even though they’re generally pretty tough conditions to get a proper kip in, there are a few things you can do that’ll make getting at least some sleep possible.

Choose your seat wisely

If I’m gonna be sleeping, you know I’m gonna be fighting for that window seat. No chance of falling into the aisle. Only one person next to me. And on planes, that fraction of extra space is golden. I always try and pick my seat for long-haul flights as soon as possible, and even on budget flights, I’ve been known to pay extra just to get that coveted window seat. If you’re travelling by bus? Get to the stop early so you’re one of the first to get on.

Get your sleep kit together

Public transport is usually noisy, bright, vaguely uncomfortable and definitely not conducive to a decent kip. Grabbing a few affordable essentials before you go will be the best travel purchases you’ve made: get yourself a travel pillow (like this), eye mask (like this), and some good quality ear plugs (like this). A blanket to put over yourself if you get cold and to increase your cosiness is also a great idea.

Some Handy Sleep Aids for Travelling

Film sleeping puns

Pillow Spray

When I first heard about the ThisWorks Deep Sleep Pillow Spray, I thought it was a bit of a ‘blogger fad’, with plenty of internet folk praising the spray that claimed to help you sleep deeper and wake up fresher. So I bought myself a bottle, sprayed it on my pillow and…okay, it REALLY DOES WORK. It still takes me a while to drop off, but over the past two weeks of usage, I’ve been waking up feeling much fresher than usual! They even have a 75ml travel size, which is perfect for popping in your hand luggage.

Sleep Supplement

Although I never take sleeping tablets, I do like to get a vitamin fix – Benenox Overnight Recharge is my current go-to, containing Vitamin B6, honey and Sustamine. I won a couple of bottles in a competition, and I’m almost out – so they’re on my payday shopping list!

 

What are your key tips for sleeping better when you’re travelling?

 

*Post contains a sponsored link from HappyBeds

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