I love to travel, but need my sleep, which is not always easy to get in noisy hostels, rooms with thin curtains, or hotels which seem to think that many huge pillows are better than one comfortable pillow.
So in order to get the sleep I need in order to fully enjoy travelling, I always carry the following three things with me.
Step 1: Travel Sleep Survival Kit Contents:
- a sleep mask to block out excessive light
- a small pillow case to make your own pillow if necessary
- good earplugs
Step 2: Sleep Mask
Here in the Yukon, the sun rises at 4 am and sets after midnight in the summer, so in order to get more than a few hours of sleep, you need blackout curtains or a good sleep mask. I take a sleep mask whenever I travel, as hotels don't always have dark curtains. I also find it useful to wear a sleep mask on airplanes when I am trying to catch some rest - it's a nice way of blocking out light and the outside world.
You can buy sleep masks, but why not make your own, following this instructable I posted last summer for a super easy sleep mask.
If you are travelling somewhere cold, and need to keep your ears and nose warm as well, you can make a winter camping sleep mask.
Step 3: Travel Pillow Case
If you have a travel pillow case, you can make your own pillow by stuffing it with soft clothing such as a fleece jacket, down vest, or a wool sweater. This is great for camping, hostels, and hotels with uncomfortable pillows.
I have found that a pillow case measuring about 15" X 19" provides comfortable support, and is the right size to neatly hold the clothes you've stuffed in for the padding. You should adjust the size of your travel pillow case based on your own comfort and the clothes you plan to stuff it with.
To make a travel pillow case, you will need 1/2 yard of fabric (at least 40" wide). Cotton or a cotton/polyester blend is best. You can also use an old sheet or cut down a regular pillow case to make your travel pillow case.
- Cut a piece of fabric 17" X 40".
- Fold it in half, with the wrong side of the fabric on the inside, so that you have a rectangle that is 17" X 20".
- Sew the 2 side edges together, using a narrow seam allowance of about 1/4".
- Turn the pillow case inside out, so the raw edges of the seams are on the inside, iron it, and sew a 1/2" seam on the sides, completely enclosing the raw edges of your initial seam. This is called a French seam - and makes a neat and durable finish! There's also an instructable on how to sew a French seam.
- Iron your pillow case, and iron down 1/2" on the top unfinished edge of the pillow case to the inside. Fold this again and iron down, enclosing the raw edge of the opening of your pillow case. Sew around this edge, turn it right side out, and you are done!
- Stuff your pillow case with a folded garment, folding zippers and buttons to the inside.
Step 4: Earplugs
I've tried many earplugs, but the ones that work best for me are the German wax earplugs made by Ohropax.
These are wax and can be molded to fit snugly and comfortably in your ears, effectively blocking out external noise. They come packed in a cotton batting outer layer. Remove the cotton, and shape the wax ball into a cone before pressing it into your ear.
You can order them online through Amazon.
Step 5: Sweet Dreams!
Now you can sleep soundly anywhere!