I have bad travel karma. Every time I travel, something happens. Sometimes it’s small, like a 20-minute flight delay. Sometimes it’s big, like smoke filling the cabin mid-flight accompanied by an emergency landing. When I was in Arizona last month, I scratched my foot and got a skin infection that made me look like I had a giant sausage stuck to the end of my leg. Lost luggage, crazy cabbies who want my phone number, reservations that disappear, labor strikes that grind transportation to a halt – you name it, I’ve experienced it.
The upside? My bad travel karma has turned me into a much better traveler. Be it for work or for pleasure, I’m better at taking care of myself on the road than I’ve ever been in the past. It means I can deal with the unexpected because I’ve taken care of the stuff that’s within my control.
And as a seasoned road warrior, I wanted to share a few tips with you, my fellow Sleep Number bed owners, before you hop on a plane or jump in your car this Labor Day weekend.
1.) Start getting your stuff together a few days before you leave on your trip (pack a bit, print out and review your maps). If you tackle a few tasks, you won’t be scrambling to get yourself ready at the last minute. Who wants to begin their trip feeling stressed out and worried?
2.) Make sleep a priority the night before you leave. When you’re sleep deprived, all the functions you need to be a good traveler are negatively effected. You can’t concentrate, your memory is impaired, and you can’t maintain a good mood or deal with stress. And for those who are driving, sleep deprivation is down right dangerous.
3.) Don’t throw your routine away while on the road. If you can, eat when you normally eat, sleep when you normally sleep, and exercise when you normally exercise. Our bodies crave routine and perform better when we stick to one.
4.) Stay where you will be comfortable. If you wake up tired and cranky after sleeping on your in-laws’ couch, you might consider a hotel. Visiting family and friends is supposed to be fun, but it’s hard to be happy when you’re sleep deprived and in pain. By the way, Radisson Hotels & Resorts offer the Sleep Number bed! I know, it’s a “shameless plug.”
5.) Make your home-away-from-home a sleep sanctuary. If you do stay at a hotel, ask for an interior room away from the elevator and ice machine. Make sure the property offers dark shades that block out light. If you’re staying with family or friends, pack your comfy pillow from home. And earplugs can be worth their weight in gold, especially if you’re staying with your sister who has three wonderful children under the age of 10 (love you, Sean, Erica and Scotty).
Anyone else have a few good travel tips or some funny travel stories to share as we all get ready to head out for a few days of R&R.
Have a great Labor Day weekend!
My Sleep Number is 30.