The pillow is one of the most essential items in your bed for ensuring you get a good night’s sleep. That’s why celebrities, politicians and supermodels are often seen stepping off their private jets with their pillows under their arms. In the pre-Covid world, travelling with a pillow seemed excessive, but in the new normal there are plenty of reasons why packing your pillow makes total sense.
Here are ten reasons why you should make space in your suitcase for this sleep must-have:
1. Pack Your Bags!
Holidays have been hard to come by in the last twelve months, but there is a glimmer of hope that we will be able to travel more freely, within the UK at least, this Summer. If you’ve been waiting patiently for a holiday all that time, you want to make sure it’s the holiday of a lifetime, particularly if you’ve had a stressful year. Sleep is really important when you’re away from home as it helps you make the most of your experiences and ensures you get the rest and recuperation you need. Packing a familiar pillow will ensure you’re in the right position for the way you sleep and it will therefore help you get a better night’s kip.
2. Hit The Road
If you are driving to your destination, there is definitely room for the pillow - rather take out that extra pair of shoes you probably won’t wear and pack the pillow instead.
If the car boot is full, use your pillow to rest on during long journeys - it makes sitting in the car infinitely more comfortable. Put your pillow inside a pillow protector to keep it clean whilst you travel and off you go.
If you are packing your pillow into your suitcase consider buying a vacuum bag for it to minimise its size and place it on top of your clothes and toiletries to help protect them.
3. Fly Away
Many airlines have decided to do away with shared pillows and blankets on board, to stop the spread of Covid. So, if you like to nap away the flight, you might want to consider taking your own sleep essentials with you. You can either pack them inside a pillow protector to keep them clean and wash the protector on arrival or use a specially designed pillow bag which can help to fold the pillow down in size to make it easier to carry on board.
If you are really short for space, you could always consider a travel pillow which at 30cm x 40cm is much more compact and won’t take up all of your hand luggage allowance.
When it comes to getting comfortable at night, some prefer sleeping on their backs, some on their fronts, lots on their sides and quite a few toss and turn all night, changing positions regularly. The way you sleep predominantly through the night affects the type of pillow you should choose. If you are a front sleeper for example you need a very soft pillow that keeps your head low to the bed. High-loft pillows will raise your neck too far, putting strain on your spine and making you uncomfortable or stiff when you wake up. Side sleepers, on the other hand, need pillows that are medium-firm to keep their necks in line with their spine.
Whilst some of the top hotels do offer pillow menus, this is fairly uncommon and so you are likely to be landed with a one-size-fits-all option that may not suit your sleeping position. It’s unlikely to do you much harm on your two-week vacation, but it’s not going to guarantee you the good night’s sleep you crave.
5. Peace of Mind
Hotels, B&Bs and holiday lets in the UK have strict rules about the cleanliness of their pillows and new policies have been put in place to add an extra level of care due to Covid. However, if you are feeling concerned at all about staying away from home and sleeping in a bed that’s not your own, taking your own pillow is a good way to alleviate some of that stress. You will be able to ensure that you have the only head that’s rested on that pillow. Consider putting your pillows in a brightly coloured pillowcase so you don’t forget to take them home with you when you leave.
6. Not To Be Sneezed At
The other issue with a one-size-fits-all pillow is that it may not suit you if you suffer from allergies. Most hotels, B&Bs and holiday lets do use hypoallergenic pillows, but if they are not cleaned regularly enough dust mites and their droppings can cause allergies. If you are an allergy sufferer, taking your own pillow with you will ensure you are not sneezing your way through the night or waking up with streaming eyes - not a good look for the beach!
7. Gently Does It
In order to keep bedding items clean, hotels have to regularly launder them and if you have sensitive skin, there is a chance this could affect you. It is possible to be allergic to laundry detergent ingredients, triggering skin conditions like eczema. Taking your own pillow and pillowcase with you will help keep your skin in tip-top shape when you’re away from home.
8. Emotional Baggage
Going on holiday can actually be stressful for some people - uprooting to a different location without your home comforts can be unrelaxing instead of relaxing. And if you throw getting lost, travel delays and translation issues into the mix, you can end up wishing you hadn’t bothered.
When we feel unrelaxed, it can lead to sleepless nights which is exactly what you don’t want when you are on holiday. Taking a few items from your bedroom at home, like your pillow, and sticking to your normal bedtime routine can alleviate some of this anxiety and help you switch off more easily at night.
9. Holiday Glow
Getting a good night’s sleep will give you that ‘just been on holiday’ glow. A good eight hours of sleep does more for your skin than most night creams. So rather than toss and turn on a lumpy pillow, take your own to make sure you get the night’s sleep you need and your skin will thank you for it.
10. Safer Souvenirs
You may want a souvenir to remember your first holiday in a while, and what better way to make sure it gets home in one piece than to wrap it in your pillow. Snug as a bug in a rug, it will be a reminder that the sun still shines and good times are here to stay.
So now you know why taking your pillow on your travels makes sense. We hope you enjoy your trip! For more advice read our guide on finding your perfect pillow to learn which pillow would suit you best depending on how you sleep.