Traveling abroad shouldn’t be dreadful. One of the most common complaints from travelers is sleep deprivation and aches on various parts of their bodies due to improper sitting and sleeping. If you’ve experienced such indispositions, it’s time to get down to the problem and see how you can solve it.
In this article, you’ll discover eight necessities you should carry on every international trip.
1. Travel pillow
Whether you use your car or public transport, you realize that the seats aren’t always comfortable. Given the fact that you typically sit for several hours, you may end up with aching joints by the time you complete the journey.
Your body favors a specific natural alignment. If you go against nature and bend your body parts in unnatural positions for a long time, they start aching. As a result, you’ve probably had problems with your neck, shoulders, back, legs, and butts.
To save you from these problems, consider getting yourself a travel pillow. Here are some factors to look at when shopping for one:
- Support: The pillow you choose should adequately support your body parts, such as the neck and back. This is important since the spine runs through these two parts. If the car seats curve your back, your spine doesn’t stay in its natural curvature and alignment. By adding a pillow behind your back, you can sit upright and correctly align your spine. Therefore, choose a pillow stuffed to the correct density.
Your choice depends on how good or bad the car seats are. If they cause you to bend a lot, choose a well-stuffed one. And, if the degree of hunching is minimal, go for a low-density pillow that’s not too thick.
- Breathability: Your pillow can either make you hot and uncomfortable or give you enough thermal comfort. The outcome depends on the type of filler and pillowcase materials, as well as the density of the filling.
Polyester, buckwheat hulls, and shredded foam are some of the most breathable materials. They have large air spaces between the individual components. Thus, air circulation within the pillow is smooth. This means you remain air-conditioned throughout the journey.
Additionally, don’t buy a pillow that’s densely packed. These types don’t support free air circulation, hence they make you feel uncomfortably hot.
For the pillowcase, choose materials like bamboo, cotton, chambray, rayon, and merino wool. These allow smooth flow of heat and moisture across them, rather than retaining them.
- Allergies: Some types of pillow fillers, such as down feathers, trigger allergic reactions. Feathers break into tiny particles over time. If these particles escape into the air and you inhale them, you can sneeze and cough as your body tries to fight the allergens.
Other fillers that retain moisture can harbor dust mites, whose fecal matter is highly irritating. Therefore, opt for hypoallergenic pillow fillers, like buckwheat hulls.
Also, choose a dust-proof pillowcase to prevent dust and other allergens from accessing the filler and accumulating therein. Also, check if the pillow has a good quality zipper to ensure allergens don’t contaminate the filler.
This video presents an example of a hypoallergenic pillow.
- Unique Conditions: Suppose you have orthopedic conditions that make your back, knees, neck, shoulders, and limbs painful. You ought to choose a pillow that supports the affected area to help relieve pain.
For instance, if you have a problem with your neck, purchase a neck roll pillow designed to offer support and a massaging effect to this body part. By doing so diligently, you gradually realign your spine, diminishing the pain.
- Size And Weight: You probably dread carrying heavy luggage, as everyone else does. Don’t burden yourself with a giant pillow that weighs dozens of pounds and takes all the space since you won’t enjoy carrying it on top of your other luggage. Instead, choose a light and small one that easily fits in your suitcase. The more compact and lighter your luggage is, the easier it is for you to move around.
Take note that you won’t only use the pillow in the car. It’s common to book hotel rooms only to realize the pillow provided isn’t up to scratch. Even if you confront the management, that may be the only type they have in the entire hotel. That’s when your comfortable travel pillow comes in handy.
Toss the uncomfortable pillow to the side and use your cozy one. Alternatively, use yours to offer extra support to ailing body parts. You can also combine the two to prop you up properly as you sit in bed to read a book.
You can also use your pillow as a light-eliminating aid. Humans sleep best in dark conditions. Light tends to keep you awake longer than usual. Experts say that the sleep hormone, known as melatonin, is produced in dark conditions. If your hotel room lets in a lot of light, cover your face with the pillow and enjoy your sleep.
2. Sleep-Friendly Earphones
While on a lengthy flight, you may need to catch some sleep, especially if it’s nighttime. Never be shy of sleeping whenever you want, especially since it’s good for your physical and mental health. But the conditions inside the plane may not favor sleep. The loud noises from conversations are simply a turn-off. Snoring and traffic sounds are likewise irritating.
One way to sleep in such difficult conditions is by using a sleep app. These apps play soft melodies and give you a guided meditation that resonates with your brainwave. Within no time, you unwind and ease into sleep.
The conventional earphones aren’t suitable for this purpose as they usually drop from your ears time after time. The best alternative is headphones. Typically, they’re enclosed in soft and flexible headbands that stay secure around your head. They also cancel outside noise.
3. Sleeping Masks
To eliminate light with a pillow, you need to be in a sleeping position. However, there are several instances you may want to sleep while seated. Think about those extra-long flights or bus rides. If you travel during the day, light from the sun makes it hard to sleep. At night, light from oncoming traffic makes sleeping even more difficult.
One way out of this mess is to use a lightweight mask over your eyes. Take them as personal blackout curtains. If possible, purchase those models with contoured cups that rise above the eyes. This setup frees your eyelids to allow for their non-voluntary movements as you sleep. Do note that if the mask presses heavily on your eyelids, you may find it difficult to sleep.
4. Noise-Drowning Machines
Your home may be tucked away in a quiet neighborhood. If this is the case, you may not have had problems with noise at night. But wait until you travel overseas. You have no control of noise like you do at home. Traffic sounds and noise from conversations can considerably disturb your peace and make it hard for you to fall asleep.
Fortunately, technological advancements allow you to drown such noises. Get yourself a noise-drowning machine that you can set to produce different noise variations like white, brown, and pink noise. Ensure that the gadget you choose has volume control buttons and is compact and portable. Set it on when you go to sleep so you can create such a peaceful, sleepy ambiance.
5. Proper Nightwear
Which country are you visiting? What’s the current climatic season there? And what’s the weather like there? Is it cold or hot?
You need these details so you can prepare yourself psychologically and materially. You’ve probably spent a chilly night out in extra-light nightwear and regretted your choice. Get it right this time around. Here are a few tips when choosing the correct nightwear:
- Fabric: For winter weather, go for heavy fabric, like polyester and satin, to ensure you stay warm through the night. During summer, you may want to stick to cotton, which is light on your skin and breathable. Silk is also a great option if you desire to keep cool.
- Size: Gone are the days when people picked their shapeless, oversized, or tiny outfits to use as sleepwear. You need to wear clothes that allow you to move and bend freely. The tight ones make your sleep uncomfortable, while the very oversized ones feel bulky. Choose clothes that comfortably fit you.
- Length: If it’s summer and you’re looking to make the night romantic, there’s no harm in keeping your nightwear real short. But if the weather is cold, you can still wear knee-length or floor-length nightdresses without compromising your attractiveness. If you have night discussions with your travel partners, dress for the night according to your relationship with these friends.
- Color: Life doesn’t have to be dull all the time. Treat yourself to a fancy night by wearing vibrant colors that turn heads wherever you go. These colors include red, blue, orange, pink, bright green, and purple. Otherwise, choose softer colors, like peach and gray, or neutral colors, like black and white.
The number and types of sleepwear you carry for your overseas trip depend on the reasons for traveling. Choose your nightwear wisely so you don’t look out of place.
6. Portable Air Conditioner
If you’ve already traveled to several places, you can attest to the uncertainty of hotel rooms. You may have chosen the best hotel but you still find it difficult to adjust to it. For one, maybe the temperature is disturbing you.
You may want to carry one of these compact air conditioners that fit comfortably in suitcases. Place it on your bedside table and see the difference it makes to your night. But their use isn’t limited to nighttime. You can also set it on as you work on your laptop behind the hotel desk or your bed.
7. Travel-Size Air Purifiers
Still on the air within your hotel room. Sometimes, the cleaners use cleaning products with harsh chemicals that leave unpleasant smells. If you’re sensitive to smells, your stay at the hotel will be horrible. To save yourself from such unwarranted discomforts, carry a small air purifier that plugs into a standard wall outlet.
Set it on the minute you settle into your room. Doing so will reduce odors in the room and kills germs lingering in the air. The result is a pleasant aroma within the room, which makes you feel relaxed. Also, it’s a way to prevent you from allergic reactions if you’re prone to such.
8. Alcoholic Wipes
Hotel cleaners do their work, but nature spoils everything. You walk into your hotel room expecting sparkling clean surfaces, only to rub your fingers across these surfaces and smear them with dust, bacteria, and other debris. The wind is usually responsible for this. The tiniest opening on the wall can let in volumes of dust, making the room messy.
So, always have a few packets of alcoholic wipes. Use these to wipe all surfaces you’ll come into contact with. Think about doorknobs, TV remote, table, chair, keys, and the like. There’s no point in contacting bacteria-borne illnesses while there’s something you can do about it. Doing so also saves you from inhaling allergens and irritating your nasal passage.
More so, in this current global problem, you may have no idea whether the contagious viruses exist on the surfaces, ready to attack you. Be safe, rather than sorry; sanitize your hotel room with alcoholic wipes.
You can make your overseas trip enjoyable by carrying the accessories suggested herein. Your comfort is vital and should never be compromised. If you don’t enjoy the time you spend on the plane, bus, taxi, or hotel room, you won’t feel as happy as you ought to.
So, take the initiative to make yourself as comfortable as possible. For all places you visit, the people responsible do the best they can to improve your comfort. But they have limits and may not offer everything to your standards. Take it upon yourself to make the best of your overseas travel. Indeed, you may never achieve a level of comfort similar to that in your home, but you can at least improve it.