Getting a Good Night’s Sleep While Travelling
It has happened to all travelers at least once, we arrive at that once in a lifetime destination and we are too exhausted from the journey to enjoy it.
Our friends and family at home may think we are living the easy life relaxing in posh hotels in Mussoorie, but anyone who has been on the road for a little while knows that travel is often exhausting.
Different foods, new languages, confusing currencies, hectic transport, and stifling heat can all combine and overwhelm even the most seasoned of global wanderers.
What’s worse, despite being completely wiped out from a day’s adventures, quite often unfamiliar sleeping arrangements then mean we are unable to sleep well.
And getting a decent night’s kip is so important for our health and happiness, whether we’re at home or abroad.
If all this sounds familiar, don’t despair and don’t let traveler’s fatigue spoil your trip. Fortunately, there are a number of simple steps that travelers can take to ensure they sleep better and are more relaxed.
Read on below and send me a postcard to say thank you…
Nail your pre-trip prep
There is a whole host of things to sort out before you leave home.
Heading off on any big trip deserves a goodbye party. It would be a tragedy not to say goodbye to your family and friends in style. Plus, everyone loves a party!
However, don’t make the rookie mistake of having your goodbye party the night before you jet off. This is a classic mistake. It will be your big night which means your devious friends will likely be quite generous when it comes to getting the rounds in.
Airport check-ins with a hangover are a complete nightmare. Please trust me on this one!
Do yourself a favour and bring your big farewell shindig back a week. Then in the days before you set off try to eat and sleep as healthily as you can. You want to be in tip-top condition when you set foot on that plane.
Think of yourself as an athlete preparing for the big event.
Leave jet-lag at the gate
Jet-lag is the absolute worst. It can leave you wandering around your new destination like a zombie for days.
It can’t always be avoided but there are one or two tricks to minimize its dastardly impact.
Firstly, in the week before you get on the plane try adjusting your own bedtime by 15-30 mins each night to line up to nighttime in your intended destination. This will take some off the edge of the time difference when you arrive.
Secondly, as soon as you step foot on the plane adjust your watch to the time at your destination. Then quickly calculate if it makes more sense for you to stay awake as much as possible or sleep as much as you can. Sorry, this may mean skipping the in-flight movies!
Thirdly and finally – and you’re not going to like this one – skip the in-flight drinks. Yes, I do know they are free! But alcohol, in tandem with the air-pressure in plane cabins, combine to leave travelers quite dehydrated. This leaves you tired and susceptible to catching colds, both of which will make any jet-lag ten times worse.
Read more about avoiding jet lag.
Sleep smartly on arrival
The first few days at your new destination are very important. Everything is going to be weird and wonderful. It will take time for your body and mind to acclimatize. Do yourself a favour and ensure your initial accommodation choices are smart ones.
This doesn’t mean booking a five-star resort but it does mean maybe not checking into the bad-ass 24-hour party-hostel straight away. Do a little research online, check out some reviews and book yourself into a place that seems a little bit more mellow.
A little hint, look out for places with curfews and/or places that don’t serve alcohol, they tend to be a little bit more relaxed in the eve.
Then when you have found your feet, feel free to hunt out whatever accommodation floats your boat.
Long-term travel means a lot of world wanderers have to live as cheaply as possible on the road. This often means skipping some of the creature comforts we are used to at home. Such as a comfy bed.
What experience has taught me, however, is that a little TLC on the road can go a long long way in preventing traveler’s fatigue. And it really needsn’t break the bank.
A good massage can do wonders for the weary body. And fortunately, massages are often ridiculously cheap on the road. So if you’ve spent a night hunched up on a night bus then why not treat yourself to an invigorating rub down. Go ahead, treat yourself in some posh hotels in Mussoorie, Chiang Mai, Bali, etc.. You deserve it.
If you think you can’t afford such a luxury I have a challenge for you. Write down your expenses for a week, see how much money you spend on drink and then ask yourself again – can I afford that massage?
There you go – some simple steps any traveler can take to ensure they are well-rested on the road. And remember, in order for travel to broaden the mind, you have to be awake.
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