Getting a good night's sleep in a hotel can be a Herculean challenge -- the walls are paper thin, so you get to hear your neighbor's television, food carts in the hallways, and doors slamming at all hours of the night. And the beds themselves are generally made of some peculiar combination of cement and fabric.
The next time you travel, though, you'll be well-rested and refreshed, thanks to these smart travel tips.
Recently, Wisebread discussed four tips for sleeping soundly when you're staying in a hotel. I've built a bit on that list; here are 6 things you need to know.
1. Bring earplugs. You can pick up foam earplugs at a pharmacy or home improvement store for pennies. They'll block out the worst of the ambient noise, but won't block out the alarm clock -- so you'll still wake on time.
2. Generate some white noise. Don't have earplugs? Run the air conditioning, which will generate enough background noise to help you sleep through the night.
3. Avoid the worst hotels. I'm not talking about the quality of the accommodations, though that's obviously a consideration. Instead, don't stay at hotels which are likely to be tourist and vacation magnets. Hotels with pools, for example, attract kids. And avoid hotels with a lot of commercial vehicles out front. If your hotel is being used as home base for a nearby construction project, expect to be roused at 5 or 6 am when they all head off to work.
4. Request a secluded room. If you have any control over where your room is located, try to avoid areas near the lobby, dining room, elevator, or vending machines.
5. Post the Do Not Disturb sign. Don't forget to put the Do Not Disturb sign on your door before you go to bed -- that will avoid any unwelcome surprises at 8am when you're still trying to sleep.
6. A UV flashlight ensures peace of mind. Finally, in 8 Essentials to Pack on a Business Trip, a reader suggested carrying a UV flashlight to ensure your sheets are clean enough to sleep on.