For those of us who love to travel, nothing beats the feeling of going away.
Whether we’re heading for a weekend, or a mammoth vacation down under, the feeling of relaxation washes over us the moment we shut our front doors.
This is, after all, the time you’ve spent so long working towards.
Even those of us who live to go away sometimes long for home by the end of our vacations.
That’s not to say, of course, that we don’t enjoy our experiences in other countries.
Far from it. Most of us would go away more often if it were possible.
But, there’s no denying that an extended period away from home leaves us longing to return.
Hence why many of us opt to avoid booking any longer away than ten days.
And, when we do get back home, we often feel exhausted.
This may not be what you expect when you book your vacation.
And, it’s not to say that your time in the sun was particularly strenuous.
So, why do we often return home feeling like it has been?
For one, flying and altered climates can take their toll on us.
When you aren’t used to the heat, even small activities in a day can leave you ruined.
But, that’s not the main reason holidays can sometimes leave us so exhausted.
In truth, the primary perpetrator of this crime is the beds we sleep in while we’re away.
There’s just no getting around the fact that no bed beats our own.
The majority of us would admit to not sleeping as well during our time away.
Add that to the effects of the sun, and it’s no wonder vacation takes it out of us so much.
It isn’t unusual to get less sleep or experience disturbances that you never would at home.
This is especially the case in hotels, where other guests can make noise, which keeps you awake.
Of course, it’s now possible to opt for alternatives, but even those aren’t without their flaws.
Airbnb is a good way around this issue.
Other guests are less of a problem here, and the extra privacy is sure to bring some peace.
If you want the best chance of undisturbed nights, head to sites that help you find how to pick the best option possible.
But don’t be surprised if you struggle to sleep even then.
So, what exactly is our problem with sleeping elsewhere?
A few different factors usually come into play. We’re going to look at what they are, and what you can do about them.
The mattress is never the same
When it comes to our beds at home, most of us spend a fair amount of time choosing a mattress to suit.
We head to sites like Mattress-Guides.net and read all the reviews to ensure we make the right choice.
And, of course, we sleep on that mattress every night.
Whether it’s a memory foam or not, we become accustomed to the dips and curves.
You don’t need to be a genius, then, to work out that a vacation mattress might not be quite the same.
For one, it’s not your shape and size.
It doesn’t have that hard bit by your feet, which has become standard for your sleep pattern.
It doesn’t dip down where your shoulders are. In short, it isn’t your mattress.
On top of which, most hotels, and even Airbnb hosts, opt for cheap and convenient options.
You can’t blame them.
After all, they’re running a business. Comfort can’t come before money.
If a mattress is functional, it’s good enough.
But, if you have a particularly high-quality model at home, you’re sure to notice the difference.
We’re not going to lie; there’s nothing you can do about the mattress thing.
It is what it is, and you can hardly take your mattress along with you.
That said, tips and tricks may help you adjust to the change and sleep a little better.
If you find the mattress to be hard, try to lay a blanket over it, or use padding to reduce the impact.
If it’s too soft, you could always try placing it on the floor and sleep directly on top.
As long as you put everything back how you found it, this shouldn’t be an issue.
The pillows are rarely right
As much as the shape of our mattresses impacts how we sleep, so to do our pillows, we all have distinct ways in which we like our pillows to fall, and any changes can do real damage.
If, for example, you’re used to flatting and used pillows, fluffed up hotel options could make it impossible to sleep.
Besides which, having a higher elevation as you sleep could do real damage to your neck.
Equally, if you like to stay near upright enough, you’ll struggle to get along with the standard two pillows.
Of course, there’s an easy enough solution here. Unlike your mattress, pillows are easy enough to take along with you.
By paying a small extra fee, you’ll be able to take them as hand luggage on your flight.
Admittedly, taking two each may be ambitious. But, even one pillow from home could have the desired effect.
The wrong sounds to soothe you to sleep
Each of our houses has its own unique set of sounds.
Whether it’s the clinking of your pipes or the thrum of the boiler downstairs, you’ll be accustomed to these noises.
In your first few weeks in your new home, they likely drove you crazy.
But, it’s surprising how fast irritating sounds become soothing when we get used to them.
Though it may come as a surprise, it’s not unusual to find that you’re unable to sleep without those sounds after a time.
Though you likely don’t even acknowledge them anymore, you’re sure to notice their lack.
And, it’s not only a lack of sound which you’ll need to deal with while you’re away.
You’ll also have to grow accustomed to a new set of nighttime noises reasonably fast.
If you’re only away for a week, it’s unlikely that such an adjustment will take place.
This can cause obvious issues with your sleep pattern.
Even if you manage to get to sleep fast, you may soon be woken up by these alien noises.
This is more often than not the case in hotels.
These big buildings have a wealth of sound, not least from other guests.
People arriving back to their rooms late may slam doors, or shout down corridors.
On top of which, the general sounds of boilers, kitchens, and so on could prove a disturbance.
While noises like these are less of a problem in private Airbnb rentals, you may still struggle with sounds.
Any house, no matter how private, is sure to have a voice of its own.
You may struggle to adjust to the sound of the boiler or the particular tone of the fridge.
Even if all is well inside your apartment, noises from the street may still cause issues.
Perhaps you’re next to a road which you don’t have to deal with at home.
Maybe the neighbor has a dog who barks.
All these situations could stop you from sleeping.
Luckily, there are a few things you can do here.
For one, it’s worth investing in disposable earplugs like those found at www.airgas.com.
Take these along with you each time you go away.
Even if you don’t use them, it’s good to know they’re there.
It’s also worth considering this before you book up anywhere.
Consider the surrounding areas, and what facilities possible hotels have.
Each of these factors could impact noise levels.
A little too light
Last but not least, light levels could cause you trouble.
This is especially the case in hotels, where patio windows are much larger than you’re accustomed to.
While having a fantastic view is always good during the day, it isn’t so desirable in the early morning.
And, if you’re in a country with much more sunshine than you’re used to, you can guarantee you’ll wake up when the sun does.
Admittedly, most hotels do use heavy-duty curtains, but you can’t ensure that.
On top of this, you won’t want to close them entirely if you’re in a hot country.
When the temperature is right up there, many of us leave our balcony doors open for a little relief.
Closing your curtains all the way would make this pointless.
The best way around this issue is to invest in sleep masks before you set off.
You could buy disposable ones for each vacation, or invest in a durable option that will last you years.
Either way, having this protection in front of your eyes will make all the difference.
Bear in mind that wearing this all night might disturb you in itself.
If that’s the case, you could always keep it by your side and slip it on the moment the sun wakes you.