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When traveling, everyone deserves to enjoy a quiet and restful nights’ sleep. One of the perks of being on vacation is to mentally recharge and have the ability to be transported far away from the stresses and interruptions of everyday life. Unfortunately, as many people find out, sleep is often a challenge because of the loud and vibrant location of the hotel itself.
Where are most hotels? If you answered ‘in the most condensed and populated urban areas or next to express roadways’, you’d be right. If you’re heading on vacation or are a frequent hotel guest, here are the 5 tips you must know and what you can do in advance to maximize your sleep experience.
- Amenities have serious attraction power. Nowadays, hotel amenities include every option imaginable, from custom monogramed bathrobes, to extravagant dine-in room service for pets. But let’s not forget about the biggest travel must-have there is – sleep. Most hotels proudly list their amenities on their website. Prior to booking your stay, do some research into where the hotel is located on a map, as well as what improvements come with your standard room fee. What is the level of guest experience at their location?
*An insider tip: Even if a hotel or resort is located in a seemingly rural, quiet area, if Sleepy Time Tea or earplugs are being given out, chances are there is an unforeseen noise issue you may not be aware of. Early morning rooster calls are a good example of this when you step into the countryside.
- Request a specific room. Typically for a high-rise location, any room above the 10th floor has less traffic noise. Avoid rooms facing an open parking garage or next to the elevator, and try to reserve a corner room if possible.
- Structure-born noise is often not accounted for. Structure-born sound vibrations are transmitted inward through windows and walls and have the largest impact on sleep, as they can be both felt and heard. Now this tip takes some muscle and determination, but if the headboard in your room is touching the wall or there is less than a 2″ gap separating the two, try to pull it back to create space.
*Especially in hotels that are in close proximity to train tracks, vibrations can be felt by guests which create a truly restless night. Anytime you can add space or a heavy duty material between the vibrations and the inside of your room, sound has a difficult time directly traveling through to you and the waves get absorbed or deflected.
- Pack the essentials. From the hotel’s perspective, little can be done for the unexpected noise entering your hotel room from outside party guests, a college atmosphere or late night pool use, so bring your own earplugs, noise canceling headphones and a darkening eye mask for emergencies.
It’s important to understand how to reduce hotel noise disturbances when traveling. Help yourself and then help others:
- Make suggestions. If you had a rough night and couldn’t catch the vacation zzz’s you were looking for, let management know so they can take note and make improvements. Hotels next to roadways or railways are looking to reduce intrusive disturbances, and if they understand it’s a problem, sometimes brand-wide solutions can be implemented. Many owners and operators don’t realize the noise solutions available, like soundproofing curtains, which are customizable, durable and easy to install. If all guests highlighted different opportunities for improvement, the bar would be raised for all locations and ultimately, anywhere you visited you’d be enjoying a sleep sanctuary.