Does someone in your family have trouble sleeping? Since it's typically harder to sleep when you're away from home, sleep issues can make for exhausting family vacations. But with a little effort and these easy tips, you will soon be catching as many zzzs as you need.
Tell the hotel you need your sleep.
Call ahead and let the reservations manager know that you or someone in your family has trouble sleeping. Request a quiet room at the end of the hall on an upper floor away from the elevators and ice machine. Find out if there are any renovations taking place. Make sure your room is away from any loading docks or dumpsters, which can be early-morning hives of activity. Ask where the evening entertainment takes place, and until when. At many tropical resorts, the pool area pumps loud music until the wee hours. Choose wisely.
Opt for an all-suite or vacation rental.
It can be endured as a last resort, but squishing parents and kids in a single room is not recommended if you want to sleep well. Instead, consider an all-suite hotel where rooms offer more space and a convenient layout with separate sleeping and living areas. For a real home away from home, think about a vacation rental.
Keep your bedtime routine.
Letting the kids get wound up before bed isn't a great idea. If your child has trouble settling down for sleep in a strange bed, do what you can to bring some familiarity. If your bedtime routine includes reading a story, then bring a few books. If your child listens to music when going to sleep at home, download favorite songs to your phone to play on the road. Find space in your luggage for a beloved stuffed animal or lovey.
Bring a few clothespins.
No matter how tight you close the curtains in your hotel room, they often loosen to form a gap. Use clothespins (or bobby pins) to clamp the two sides of the curtains together at night, so no pesky beam of light wakes your crew at sunup.
Turn off alarms.
When you get to your hotel room, check the alarm clock and the phone's wake-up call program. Sometime's the last guest's requests are still in the system, and you need to clear them out so you don't get an early-morning buzzer.
Cover glowing LED lights.
A roll of low-tack painter's tape can be a handy take-along. Use pieces of tape to cover any annoying LED lights that may distract you at night. Common offenders include the alarm clock, television, smoke detector, and microwave.
Leave on a light.
Many kids are afraid of the dark, particularly when they are away from home. Bring a night light or leave the bathroom light on, with the door open a crack.
Create white noise.
If noise from the outside or hallway creeps in, try adding some white noise to muffle the racket. There are plenty of white-noise apps to choose from, and a low-tech alternative is turning on the fan in the bathroom.