How do you pack four or five people into the same hotel room, including two or three who normally don’t sleep very well anyway, and expect to get a good night’s rest?
Enter: the white noise machine.
The beauty of white noise is that it covers up the little strange sounds in your hotel – banging pipes, traffic, your loud-sex-having neighbors (that was our last trip), and perhaps most of all, all the rustling, coughing, and snorting of your small and large roommates.
Full disclosure: my kids sleep with white noise machines at home. I know some people are a bit opposed to them, because they don’t want to become dependent on them. I can certainly understand that point of view, but I’d still encourage you to make an exception for travel situations. A few nights with a machine does not a habit form, and the benefits here definitely outweigh the risks.
On domestic trips, we take one (or two!) of our white noise machines with us. We have a small fleet of these little guys right here:
This model has a selection of sounds, a good dynamic volume range, a pleasant white noise sound, a sleek profile that’s easy to stuff in a small bag, and is quite affordable. (The affordability factor also makes it replaceable, in case you were to plug it into a 220V outlet without a converter. I mean… who would do such a thing? Speaking of which…)
On international trips, because we tend not to take a power converter with us, we use iOS or Android apps, specifically White Noise Lite, which is free and includes an easily readable clock feature. We like the “airplane cabin” setting. That might sound like we are just super psyched for flying more and more and more, but no… I find that the airplane cabin has the most pleasant sound balance, with good low tones in addition to high ones. This quality is surprisingly tough to find when pumping sound through little phone or tablet speakers.
(You could obviously use an app on domestic trips too, but we’d rather have the use of the phone/tablet instead of tie it up after kid bedtime whenever possible.)
White noise is definitely the best tool we have in our arsenal to combat a range of strange sounds while staying in a new place. It really does ensure that we all get the best sleep possible.
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