Pack a sleep travel kit to help you sleep when traveling

by Oct 22, 2019Health

Time zone changes, a different bed and pillow, and more can play havoc with a traveler’s attempts to sleep. Our travel sleep kit tips will help you get a good night’s sleep no matter where you are in the world. 

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Travel and sleep. Too often, if you are traveling, you may not always sleep well. Time zone changes, a different bed and pillow, and potential stressful travel disruptions can play havoc with even a veteran traveler’s attempts to catch restful winks. Which is why anyone who travels should pack a few items – your own “sleep travel kit— to ensure sleep when traveling is as blissful as possible, no matter how challenging the situation.

Noisy air conditioners? No problem. Curtains that don’t close tightly, flooding the room with light? We’ve got a fix for that. With a few easy-to-pack items, disrupted and disturbed slumber can become a thing of the past no matter where you travel.

HITT Tip: A big part of sleeping well when traveling starts with ensuring your travel comfort from the minute you get on an airplane to when you land. If you arrive at your destination exhausted, even the best travel sleep kit will not be as effective. Read our story “Flying in comfort – What to pack and wear” to start and finish your travels in the best way possible. A number of items in your travel sleep kit will do double duty here. 

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Here is what we pack with us in our travel sleep kit, no matter how long or short the journey:

Sleep travel kit essentials

Eye Shades – In a plane, light from an airplane galley or a nearby passenger’s reading lamp, can disturb as can, in a hotel, outside light leaking in around the curtains despite travel fatigue. Comfortable eye shades that block out light are essential.

Ear plugs — Regular noise-reducing ear plugs will help to soften the roar of an air conditioner, the TV in the next room, loud chattering guests coming out of an elevator, or the inevitable slamming of hotel doors from guests. In the plane, you’ll reduce clatter from the galley or a chatty neighbor. I hate wearing them, I will be honest, but if the going gets noisy, as if often does, there is no better way to ensure a quiet night’s sleep. Therese on the other hand wears them in a hotel when she hits the sack as a preventive measure so as not to be awakened by noise in the middle of the night.

Sleeping woman wearing a sleep mask as part of her sleep travel kit to help her sleep when traveling.

Travel Pillow — On the airplane or train, and yes, even in a hotel room, a lightweight pillow can make or break your travel. Therese prefers inflatable ones with a soft cover since they are light and not space hogs. They collapse to nothing, can be adjusted for firmness, and help to hold the head in a comfortable position when sleeping while seated. And they are the perfect way to firm up a flimsy hotel pillow that is more limp rag than head and neck support.

HITT Tip: There is more to sleeping well in a hotel room than having a sleep travel kit. Be sure to read our story “10 top tips to help you sleep better in hotels” before your next trip. 

Safety pins or other clips – There is nothing worse outside light filtering in through a gap in the middle or at the sides of a curtain, even in the very best hotels. Use a safety pin to shut out the light! If I am traveling with Therese, we’ve even used her hair clip if we’ve used up our safety pin allotment. Clothespins also work., as do simply pushing chairs back into curtains to keep them in place.

HITT Tip: Staying in a place where there are windows that have no curtains, or a curtain so thin it hardly blocks any light? Add a small compact emergency blanket (the thin foil types) to your travel sleep kit. We’ve used electrical tape and an emergency blanket to effectively work as an emergency curtain with great success!

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Black electrical tape – All those LED lights in most hotel rooms – from phones, the TV, the clock radio, the Wi-Fi router, you name it – can be so annoying. The solution? A few strategically placed pieces of electrical tape will block most of the light. We wrap a little around a pencil, pen or bottle and just rip off a bit to pop over a light. Forget your tape? Save an airline luggage tag used to track your luggage and stick them over an annoying LED.

Sleep socks – Nothing worse than cold feet when sleeping. Therese will often slip on a pair of clean socks to keep her feet warm. You can always wear the pair you plan to wear the next day, for example, or ones you will use for a run or workout later. An added benefit is that by keeping feet comfy, the body surprisingly does not overheat, and you sleep better.

Sleepwear – Not to be forgotten is great temperature-regulating sleepwear – even just to make sure you are “decent” in the case of an emergency exit or sudden housekeeper visit. If you sweat, cotton can get damp and then chill you, while synthetics may not breathe. Therese swears by her Chill Angel sleepwear. Learn more about choosing the best travel sleepwear.

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Water bottle – Sleeping or traveling dehydrated is never a good thing. In a hotel room, you may not need to bring along a water bottle, but be sure to fill a glass and put it beside your bed. However, on planes or trains, having water at the ready will help your body stay healthy.

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