Tips For Getting Better Sleep While Traveling Through Southeast Asia
Southeast Asia is home to some of the world’s most beautiful clear blue waters, award-winning restaurants, cheap (but delicious) street food, ancient temple ruins, and unbelievable hiking trails — so it’s no wonder the region has become a major hot spot for backpackers and travelers in search of an affordable, but memorable adventure. Like any great destination, however, there are definitely a few cons. It can get pretty hot and humid, some areas are bustling with noise 24/7, and there is no shortage of bugs — just to name a few. This can be a recipe for disastrous sleep. Here are a few tips to make sure you’re still getting your beauty rest while travelling through Southeast Asia.
You’ll Need A Mosquito Net
If you’re staying in a hostel, guesthouse, or B&B where bugs and mosquitos are an issue, they’ll most likely have mosquito nets readily available for you. In the off chance they don’t, or you just want to stick to the classic ‘better safe than sorry’ proverb, you can always pack your own. Mosquito nets are lightweight, fold easy, and fit easily inside a backpack or luggage, which is essential because you want to make sure you pack is as light and minimalist as possible. There are several options available on Amazon for less than $30.
Plan For Firm Beds
Most hostels and budget hotels you’ll venture through will be furnished with really firm mattresses, which isn’t necessarily bad news for back and stomach sleepers. For side sleepers, on the other hand, those mattresses probably won’t feel too comfortable after a long travel day. To make sure you’re not waking up with a dead arm, pack a lightweight sleeping pad that makes a hostel bed or any surface instantly softer. You can also try asking for a topper at your hostel or guesthouse to create a mattress with a pillow top type feel, but no promises they’ll have one for you.
Bring Ear Plugs
Count your blessings if you’re a heavy sleeper because for those of you who aren’t, the hustle and bustle of the busy city streets — especially in Singapore — will likely disrupt your sleep if you’re there without reinforcements. Ear plugs are a necessity if you plan on making a stop in a crowded destination, and for the nights you’ll be travelling via overnight buses. It’s a popular method of transportation, especially in Vietnam, and it’s likely you take at least one overnight bus during your trip.
Splurge A Little For AC
Whatever hostel experience you’re looking for — quiet, lively, luxury, well-known, or rural, spend the extra couple bucks on a place with air conditioning. This tip is crucial if you plan on traveling to a country in Southeast Asia during their peak temperature months like March or April. There’s nothing quite like the feeling of when you wake up damp from your own sweat because your body overheated. Bottom line, air conditioning is well worth it, and you’ll thank yourself when it’s 90 degrees outside and the humidity is making you perspire in places you didn’t even know you could.
Book Hostels One Night At A Time
If you plan on staying in hostels for a large portion of your trip, you’ll come across ones you absolutely love, and others that you can only endure for one night. Accordingly, you should consider booking hostel stays one night at a time, and in the morning, determine if you want to extend your stay. When you find a hostel where you have a good time and get restful sleep, kick your feet back and stay another night or two.
Pack A COCOON TravelSheet Set
Chances are, you won’t be sleeping on a GhostBed mattress containing hypoallergenic latex foam during your travels through Southeast Asia. You really have no idea how dusty, dirty, and grimy a hostel mattress is — not to mention how many sweaty, dirty bodies have slept with the same sheets. A COCOON TravelSheet set allows you to sleep easy and comfortably throughout the night, knowing you’re laying in between clean, quality sheets that only you have used. It’s also compact and easy to carry around, making it perfect for backpackers making their way across several different countries.
Have Medicine Ready
You can never really predict when you’ll need to take any sort of medicine, but it’s necessary to have it on hand just in case something does happen. Like if you get a little too excited with foreign food experimenting and something you eat doesn’t sit right with you. The last thing you want is to spend your entire night with your head in a toilet bowl after a tiring day of backpacking. Accordingly, make sure you have Loperamide (a.k.a. Imodium) on hand. Tiger Balm is also another travel essential for when you inevitably get bug bites, because no amount of mosquito nets can prevent all of them. You can find Tiger Balm at basic retailers like Walmart and Target for $10, or you can save a few dollars and pick some up at your destination when you arrive. Furthermore, do you have trouble falling asleep at night? Plan accordingly and pack NyQuil or an equivalent for the nights you can’t seem to fall asleep.
About The Author: McKenzie Dillon is a blogger and sleep enthusiast for The Slumber Yard, a reviews site that focuses on bedding products. In her free time, she likes attending music festivals, reading fiction novels and traveling to new places.