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Top 9 Ways to Sleep Better While Traveling

Top 9 Ways to Sleep Better While Traveling

  1.    Keep your traditional routine that you would keep at home

My best friend is someone who goes to bed by 10pm every night, and wakes up at 7am on the dot.  This strategy has served her so well in life that she’s very successful at work, and doesn’t even need an alarm clock to wake up each morning.  For some reason though, when she travels, she tries to stay up three or four hours later than she normally does, and sleep in several hours later, and just ends up being miserable the entire trip.   Don’t make the same mistake, and try to keep the same routine that you keep at home during your travel—- it will decrease the number of new things that your body already has to adjust to, and will make falling asleep each night much easier.

  1.    Don’t eat or drink crazy foods or alcohols.

I’m guilty of this one— at home, I eat a salad each day for lunch, and a lean protein and a vegetable for dinner.  When I went to Mexico, I tried eating nachos and chimichangas for every single meal.  Obviously, my stomach was very angry with me.    What I should have done instead, was to have a taco salad for lunch, and a grilled local fish for dinner.   Absolutely enjoy and relish the local cuisine, but try to limit the amount of junk you put into your body, and instead just alter your traditional diet to be more like what the locals eat.  Also, you probably want to drink if you’re on vacation— and alcohol is commonly thought of as a way to get to sleep when you’re having issues sleeping — but the truth is that if you drink too much you’ll wake up halfway through the night and be unable to return to sleep.  You’ll also feel hungover and extremely unrested the next morning.

  1.    Eliminate the caffeine.

This happens to all of us— we’re on a trip, we have a million things we want to do and see, and we’re jet lagged.  So we drink a ton of coffee and wonder why we can’t get to sleep before midnight.    Try to cut back on the caffeine on your trip, and only drink what you would normally drink in real life at home.  This will make going to sleep so much easier!

  1.    Resist the urge to fight jet lag by changing your schedule.

How many of you have ever woken up insanely early in the morning to catch a flight?  By the time you land at your destination,  it’s not quite night time yet, but you’re exhausted.  So you take a nap at 4 in the afternoon, and when your bedtime rolls around you’re not tired.  Right?   I know it’s hard, but resist the urge to sleep to adjust your schedule.   You should stay up until your proper bedtime in local time (not in your time at home), and that will ease the transition and your ability to sleep.  

  1.    Keep up the exercise

Another thing you can do to ensure you’re able to sleep at night, is keep up with your exercise routine.  If you’re someone who does a cycling class three times a week, you should at least try to check out the exercise bike in the hotel gym.  Or better yet,  do a bicycle tour of the city you’re staying in.  There’s always a way to stay active and keep up your physical routine— otherwise you’ll find that your amount of sleep each night starts to suffer, and there can be very serious and specific signs of sleep deprivation (source: The Sleep Advisor).

  1.    Ask the hotel for help

The hotel practically has an obligation to make sure you’re able to rest.  It’s basically the entire reason that people go to hotels in the first place.  If your room is too noisy, too smelly, close to a screeching elevator, or there’s someone next door blaring music at 3am— absolutely let the hotel staff know.     And don’t feel guilty about putting a “do not disturb” sign on your front door because you don’t want the maid to wake you up at 8am.   Some of the nicer hotels provide a free spa or sleep kit (it usually contains things like an eye mask or earplugs), so don’t hesitate to ask to see if they have that as well.

  1.   Bring items that remind you of home.

If there’s a special pillow you use to make sure your neck doesn’t hurt— bring it with you when traveling.  The same goes for a special blanket, nightgown, robe, or a CD you listen to before bed.  Other suggestions are a white noise machine,  noise-cancelling headphones, a stuffed animal that reminds you of childhood, or any other comfort items.  One of my best friends brings the favorite toy of each of her three children with her any time she goes on an extended trip to remind her of home.  She is able to sleep like a baby, and is much more at ease about being away from home.

  1.   Try things that help you relax.

Also, try things that are relaxing to you to promote a better night’s slumber.  Lavender oil or anything lavender scented works wonders.  You can also try a natural sleep supplement.   You can try a hot shower,  a massage,  yoga, or closing your eyes and tensing and untensing each of your muscles one by one until you fall asleep.

  1.  Realize that you will get sleep eventually!

The easiest way to sleep better while you’re traveling is to recognize that this is a temporary solution and you will soon be back in your own bed.  With that peaceful thought, you are able to no longer stress out, and realize that this is a fleeting problem, and that a truly peaceful night’s sleep is just a few days away.

Light Packing Tips for the Fashion Conscious

Light Packing Tips for the Fashion Conscious

It does not matter whether you are a globe trotter, like me, or someone who enjoys taking short breaks, travelling is fun. Travel gives you the chance to break out of your normal routine, meet new people, and enjoy new experiences and cuisines. There is only one problem, and that is each time you travel you have to pack.

For most people packing is stressful. Fortunately, the more you do it the less of a pain it is. Over the years, I have got used to packing fast, and learnt how to look stylish even when I have limited space in my suitcase. So, I thought you might appreciate my sharing a few of my best tips.

Pack light

Surprisingly, my first tip is to take as little luggage with you as possible. If you are only going away for a week you really do not need more than just cabin luggage. Trust me, the vast majority of people can easily get what they need into a small case. Packing light means you can go through the airport faster. It also saves you money, and is less stressful.

How to do it

The key to packing light is being organised. You need a list, and you have to stick to it.

Mix and match

It is very important to pack items of clothing that can be mixed and matched to generate several different outfit options. Doing this is the best way to keep the number of items you take with you to a minimum.

Pack multipurpose clothes

As much as possible, pack clothes that can be used for more than one activity. For example, swimming shorts, like these ones can be worn to the beach, or in the evening for a stroll around town and a meal out.

Wash as you go

Provided you are prepared to rinse clothes out in the hotel sink, and you follow the two tips above, you really do not need much in the way of clothing. To help you to wash as you go try to pack lightweight items. These will dry quickly and should not need ironing.

Wear heavier clothes to the airport

Of course, you need to be prepared for all weather conditions. Which means it is important to take some warm clothes with you. But, you should avoid having to put these items in your case. They are difficult to fold up small and can take up an alarming percentage of your weight allowance.

Usually, you can wear your closed in shoes, long trousers, jumper and waterproof coat for the journey to the airport. Naturally, when you arrive somewhere hot you may feel a little uncomfortable in a pair of trainers and long trousers, but you will soon be at your hotel where you can get changed.

Share out heavy electrical items

If you are travelling with other people try to share the load a bit. For example, one pair of hair straighteners can easily be shared by several people. The bigger the group the easier it is to ensure that each person only needs to carry one potentially heavy, and awkwardly shaped, piece of electrical equipment in their case.

Provided you are organised packing light is not hard. It definitely does not mean that you cannot dress fashionably. You just have to think about what you pack, and make sure you can create plenty of fashionable outfits from the items of clothing that you pack.

Packing for a Winter Trip

Packing for a Winter Trip

I know that most people opt to travel during the summer months. The good weather and longer days allow you to enjoy the sights, and get out more. I understand why people travel more in the summer, but I also enjoy winter travel. During the colder months, there are fewer people around, so you do not have to contend with any crowds. The cost of accommodation and tickets tends to fall during those months too.

However, one thing I am not so keen on is packing for a winter trip. It is nowhere as easy as it is to pack for a summer break. The problem is that you need warm clothes, which means that it is hard to get it all in the case. Even if you can squeeze it in, staying under the weight limit is still a challenge. Now if an experienced traveller like me struggles, I know you do too, so below I am going to share a few of my favourite winter packing tips with you.

Pack in advance

The first tip is to pack well in advance. That way if you realise your favourite jumper is too bulky you can slip out and buy a lighter one. This is a far better option than arriving at the airport looking like the Michelin man, because you have had to wear so many layers to be able to take the clothes you need with you. Of course, wearing some of your bulkier items is a good tip, but you do not want to have to take things too far.

Knitwear

When it comes to knitwear, opting for natural fabrics is best. These regulate your body temperature better. A cashmere jumper will keep your far warmer than a polyester one does. That means you can opt for a lighter one, which will take up less space and weigh less.

Nightgowns

Now I know that dressing gowns are not on most people’s pack list, but I usually take one when I travel in the winter. Hotel heating is a bit hit and miss. Sometimes you cannot get warm enough. In that situation, being able to put on a dressing gown over the top of your pyjamas means you can usually get warm enough to be able to sleep properly.

If you are using a service like Airbnb, you will be staying in a private home. In that situation, a dressing gown is essential for the sake of comfort and modesty.

The best option is a gown wrap. They are light and compact, so do not take up a lot of space.

Footwear

If I am travelling in the autumn, I will normally take a pair of soft shoes and wear a pair of ankle boots on the journey. In the winter months, I usually wear knee high boots. These are comfortable, support your feet when walking and will help to keep you warm. Try to avoid putting them in your case. If you have to do so use the space wisely by stuffing the foot part with small soft items like socks, or underwear.

Those are just a few of my winter packing tips. If you like this post please let me know in the comments, and I will try to write more if that is what my readers want.

5 Things You Might Not Have Known About Dubai

5 Things You Might Not Have Known About Dubai

"Burj Dubai Tower, the tallest tower in the world"The largest city in the UAE, Dubai is known for its lavish hotels, ultra-modern architecture and designer shopping. But there’s more to this Arab city than you might have initially realised. From its unusual laws to its male-to-female ratio, here are five fascinating facts about this plush desert destination that you might not have otherwise known. Continue reading “5 Things You Might Not Have Known About Dubai” »