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7 Tips for Better Sleep in Your RV

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7 Tips for Better Sleep in Your RV

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We’ve been getting terrible sleep lately. We’re tossing and turning all night, dreaming way more than usual, and waking with cricks in our necks. If you’re out traveling and exploring like us, we have full days of fun and adventure or hard work pushing ourselves on projects. We ain’t got no time for no sleep! We have to get good rest or we’ll be exhausted and grouchy in a fun new place! No bueno.

I’ve been researching how to sleep better and here are some tips I found to set yourself up for better sleep in your RV. I also made a list of sleeping gear to have to get better sleep, too.

7 Tips for Getting Better Sleep in Your RV

  1. Find a Secluded Site/Spot

First, find a secluded spot to camp tucked away from traffic and neighbors.

Depending on the circumstances that can be hard. If you’re planning to stay at a crowded campsite, ask the campsite host for the quietest spot available. Hosts know their sites well and can put you in the best spot. Also, double check that you’re away from a bathroom. Waking up hearing the bathroom door slam over and over in the middle of the night is terrible.

To take it a step further, phone ahead and reserve your campsite in advance asking for the quietest spot available.

2. Cut Out Incoming Light at Night

I’ve learned light has a big role in our sleep/wake cycle, so if you’re a light sleeper it’s going to be a much better night’s sleep if you cut out incoming light. In our RVs, we have the sun streaming in, headlights from cars coming into camp late at night, or Walmart’s parking lot lights streaming in all night. Installing blackout curtains can cut out the light from interrupting our sleep.

We haven’t done this yet, because we like waking up with the sun. But, when we make quick trips cross country, we stay in lots of Walmart and Cracker Barrel parking lots at night. I’m realizing the parking lot lights coming through the cracks of our blinds aren’t helping our sleep:(. It’s now on my to-do list.

3. Put Away Screens Before Bed

We’re learning this is a big deal to getting good sleep and this is a tip for day-to-day life, too.

When we’re in our RVs, it can be tempting to kick back and start scrolling social media or watching Netflix to unwind at the end of the day. However, to get restful sleep, we should put away our phones and screens at least 2 hours before we want to fall asleep.

I found this article about the light from our phones actually confuses our bodies into thinking it’s daytime. The light makes our minds want to wake up and turn on. This explains why we have a harder time falling asleep or not getting restful sleep because we’re waking ourselves back up with our screen lights. You can check out the article here:

To get better at this, I set up a daily alarm on my phone at 8 pm to remind me to put away my phone and computer and open a book before bed. So far it’s been a good nudge to start wrapping up my day.

4. Stick to a Regular Sleep Schedule

Adam and I’ve learned we thrive when we follow routines. Go figure. We started this lifestyle to have freedom, but we’ve figured out we’re better off with routines and it seems like the same is true with getting better sleep.

If you have a nightly routine at home or before you were RVing, then stick with it! Do what you can to transfer your routine over to RV life while you’re traveling. You might not always be able to follow your routine when you’re doing things and having adventures, but be as close to it as you can to get better sleep.

I’ve learned a consistent sleep schedule tunes your body’s internal clock for a regular sleep and wake cycle. When I look back at the seasons of life where I was on a strict schedule, I remember feeling more fresh, energized, and calmer. I'm excited to try this again.

5. Get a Good Mattress

Some of the mattresses that come standard in RVs can be stiff, thin, and uncomfortable. Our “mattress” that came with the Casita was four bench cushions squeezed together. For one night, that’s doable, but for a full-time lifestyle like ours or going out for weeks or months at a time, that’s not a long term solution to good sleep.

Sleepadvisor’s 48 Sleep Hacks say a better mattress is important to help prevent issues with cricks in your neck and back pain, especially if you’re being physically active during the day. That’s all of us in our RVs.

Thankfully, we inherited a Spa Sensations Memory Foam mattress when we bought our Casita, and WE LOVE IT! We think it’s more comfortable than sleeping at our family and friends when we’re visiting. We love it so much, we got this mattress for our bed when we moved back into our home in Colorado. It’s less than $250. To get better sleep it’s well worth investing in an upgrade!

6. Get the Right Pillows & Sheets for the Season

We’ve learned this one over the years. Pillows and sheets are super important for your comfort in your RV. Whatever pillow you like, make sure you get a good one. Adam likes lumpy and thin, I like medium. We know when we’re accidentally using the other pillow, because it just doesn’t feel right. So, make sure you have good pillows to sleep with instead of the leftover ones from home.

Also, having the right sheets is so important for us! When it’s summer, use light and cool sheets. When it’s winter, definitely use flannel.

We’ve learned our sheets definitely determine how well we sleep. If we don’t have the right sheets in summer, we’re hot and sweaty all night. If we aren’t using flannel sheets on cold nights, the chill keeps us tossing and turning.

7. Only Drink Caffeine in the Morning

This is gonna be a hard one for me!

One thing I read is to keep caffeine only in the morning and not drink any in the after noon. This is tough because when we’re out traveling or working, we tend to get tired around 3-4 pm and we want a caffeine pick-me-up mid afternoon.

I’ve been trying to not drink coffee after 12 pm and so far it seems to help me get better sleep.

Conclusion

Some of these tips are combatting uncontrollable things, like noise and light from outside the RV. Others are things we can control and new habits to form like putting screens away, sticking to a routine, and not having afternoon coffee. We’re working on improving this, too.

We hope these tips help you get better sleep in your RV. Wishing you restful sleep tonight!

-Lindsey


Save these Tips to Remember Later!

1. Pin this post to use later here.

2. And, download these tips so you can easily pull up them up later.

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7 Tips for Better Sleep in Your RV, NuventureTravels.com

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10 Fun & Free Travel Games

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10 Fun & Free Travel Games

Let's be real, long journeys can get a bit dull, like five hours in on your cross country road trip. Instead of scrolling our phones for the millionth time, let's make fun new memories together with some good ol' games! Here's a few we like to play on our trips!

10 Fun & Free Travel Game Ideas for Your Next Trip!

1. Hot Seat

10 Fun & Free Travel Games for a Road Trip

This is my all time favorite game- well, right after 501 Questions: A Travel Game!

Hot Seat is asking one person in a group, rapid-fire questions for a specific duration of time. So, to play, choose one person to be in the hot seat. Then, choose how much time someone's in the hot seat.  It can be one, two, or three minutes. Then, set a timer for that amount of time. Once the timer starts, everyone asks the person in the hot seat questions until the timer buzzes. You can ask any question that comes to mind. Once the first person’s turn is over, then you pick the next person to be in the hot seat, set the timer, and everyone asks the next person questions until the timer buzzes. You repeat this until everyone in your group has had their turn in the hot seat. Then, you can start the next round by upping the time that each person is in the hot seat to five, ten, or even fifteen minutes. Longer times are fun for storytelling!

In college, a group of friends and I played this for hours on a road trip to Florida til we were at 20 minutes per person! This game tightened our friendships immensely!

 

2. Two Truths and a Lie

Ooo! I love this game, too! So, to play Two Truths and a Lie, one person shares three things about themselves; two things being true and one being a lie. Everyone has to guess which statement is the lie. If you guess the lie right, you get a point. The person with the most points at the end of the game wins. I love this game, because you learn surprising new things about everyone!

For example: Mine could be 1. I've scuba dived. 2. I've been to New Zealand. 3. I've eaten a cockroach. Which one's my lie?

 

3. 20 Questions 

20 Questions is tons of fun! So, one player picks a person, place, or thing and keeps it a secret. Then, everyone takes turns asking yes or no questions to try to guess what they're thinking of. The goal is to figure out what it is in 20 questions. 

 

4. Group Storytelling

This is a fun one and you never know which way the story will turn! The way it starts is one person in the group starts out with the first line of the story. Then, each person takes turns sharing the next sentence of the story. If you want to make it more interesting, you can create a rule that each sentence has to rhyme with the one said before it. Bring on the drama and mystery!

 

5. The Grocery Store Game or National Park Game

This one’s tradition!  My parents and I played this on our long trips for the holidays. The game is a memory game working with the alphabet. So, someone starts out, "I went to the grocery story and bought Apples. Then the next person repeats, “I went to the grocery store and bought Apples,” then adds, “and Bananas.” Then the next person repeats, “I went to the grocery story and bought Apples, Bananas…” then adds, “and Celery.” Each person keeps adding an item at the grocery store that starts with the next letter of the alphabet til you end at Z. It’s fun when everyone gets creative with the items and it’s hard to remember!

You can also do other fun concepts, “I went to the National Park and saw a …” or “I went on a picnic and brought a…”

 

6. The License Plate Competition

This is a fun game for some good competition in the car. See who can find license plates from the most states from cars driving by. Each state is one point. If you see plates from other countries, they count for two points! The person who gets the most points wins and gets to pick the dinner spot or pays for ice cream or any other creative ideas you have.

 

7. Rapid Fire Word Association

This one is easy to keep progressing, is hilarious, and can get competitive! So, someone says a word, and then the next person says a word associated to it, and so on until someone is stumped or takes too long to think of a word. The person who ended the round is out, and everyone competes until there's a winner. I just played this on a girl's road trip and this game had us rolling! It's fun to see where everyone's minds go associating words! For example: National Park, Arches, Desert, Cactus, Green, Grass, Spring, Easter Bunny, Marshmallows, Chubby Bunny

 

 8. Rumor Has It

This one can get funny! Everyone in your car chooses another car. Then everyone in your car looks at everyone in the other car closely. Now, don't get too creepy! Then, your car all comes up with a background story of the people, their lives, and relationships. Bring on the drama!

 

9. License Plate Funny Phrases

This one stretches your mind and takes some creativity! Someone picks out a license plate they see and creates a funny phrase with the letters in the order they see them. For example, if you see AJK 295, you could say Apple Jack’s King!

 

10. Fortunately/Unfortunately

This game goes back and forth between people sharing a “fortunate” statement, then an “unfortunate” statement. And, it can get pretty funny! For example:

  • “Fortunately, we’re going to get to our hotel early!”

  • “Unfortunately, our room isn’t clean.”

  • “Fortunately, then we can go to the beach right away.”

  • “Unfortunately, we don’t have a room to change into our bathing suits.”

  • “Fortunately, we don’t need bathing suits for the beach!”:)


BONUS: 3 MORE FUN GAMES!

Here’s three of our favorite travel games (that aren’t free), but are a blast and fun to play on the road!

11. 501 Questions: A Travel Game

If you haven’t gotten it yet, this is our absolute favorite game to play on our travels (and we created it)! We created it to stop scrolling, and connect with each other. It's loaded with 501 awesome conversation starters for ages 4-104!

Ask questions like:

  • Would You Rather: Find yourself standing in a flock of butterflies or swimming in a bioluminescent bay?

  • If You Could: Take a round-the-world trip, what would be the first country you'd visit on each continent?

  • Tell Me About: One thing you're itching to do, you haven't done yet?

  • Travel Trivia: What country is The Land of Smiles?

When conversation dwindles and you have the urge to pick up your phone, grab this book instead. Turn the dull moments of your travels into fun new memories! 


12. Punderdome: A Card Game for Pun Lovers

If you love puns, this is your game! You pick two cards from the deck that have different statements and you have to make a pun merging the two ideas.

For example, one time we pulled the cards “Seeing Your Ex” and “Wild Animals.” Adam’s brother is brilliant at puns and said, “She’s always been straight lion.” He’s so good!

 


13. Convers_(ate)

If you love intentional conversations Convers_(ate) is your game! Our friends Mollie and Taylor created this game to take a group through an intentional conversation with open ended questions. The topics are awesome like Community, Wealth, Food, Holidays, Generosity, etc.

Each topic card has an ice breaker question so on some trips, my family’s just played with the ice breaker questions. You go deep and learn a lot about family and friends with these!


MAKE REMEMBERING THESE GAMES EASIER!

10 Fun & Free Travel Games for Road Trips

1. Pin this for later here.

2. And, download this game list to pull up on your trip.


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What to Pack for a Day Trip on Your Travels: 16 Small Essentials We Always Carry

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What to Pack for a Day Trip on Your Travels: 16 Small Essentials We Always Carry

What to Pack for a Day Trip: 14 Essentials to Carry With You

What should you remember to pack for day trips while you're out traveling? We've been traveling for over 3.5 years and boy do we have horror stories from forgetting things like wallets and keys. Forgetting one tiny essential can make for a very stressful day.

So, to help us remember and to help you prepare for your day trips, here's our checklist for what we carry on fun day trips while we're out traveling.

 

16 Essentials to Pack For Your Day Trips

 

1. Collapsable Backpack

Our friends gifted us this Chico collapsable backpack and it's been a game changer for us! We love it! It folds down into a small square to make it easy to fit in your carry on luggage bag for the plane and then you can pull it out on your trip and carry everything you need for your day trips. We even use it to carry our computers to coffee shops for work days.

Here's the one we use and love!

 

2. Water

Wherever you're headed, you always want to carry water on you. You never know how long your day trip may be and when/if you'll see your opportunity to get water and how much it will be. 

We always carry water with us when we take off on a day trip just to be certain we can stay happy and hydrated. 

Adam loves his Nalgene and I love any collapsable water bottle that decreases in size as I drink it. With my camera gear, I like the collapsable ones that can easily be stashed away and make my load lighter as I go. 

3. Snacks

We gotta keep that hangry monster at bay:) We've learned to always carry snacks.

We normally pack some fruit, a bar of some kind, and chocolate. Don't forget the chocolate:)

We always keep a huge box of Nature Valley Granola bars in the Explorer to grab and go.

 

4. Sunscreen

Getting burned on a trip is a major bummer. You end up in pain and having to stay out of the sun. No fun in that!

So we always keep sunscreen on us.

We're huge Beyond Coastal fans and have a box of these! This sunscreen is magic. It doesn't leave you feeling greasy like all the others. And, it comes in tiny travel sizes to carry with you so you can reapply on your shoulders and nose if needed throughout the day.

 

5. Chapstick

It's the worst when your lips are chapped and you have nothing to relieve them. Am I right? When my lips are burning I can't think of anything else, so having some chapstick with me is a must! It's the little things, isn't it?

We love the classic and simple Burt's Bees:)

 

6. Sunglasses

Remember your sunglasses. Adam gets in a funk if he's squinting, so sunglasses are a definite on our list!

Our friends gifted us fun sunglasses like these and we love 'em! When we wear them, we feel like we're off chilling on a tropical beach somewhere. Life feels more fun in these:) 

 

7. Journal and Pen

You never know when you need pen and paper to scribble down directions, or a new friend's email, or a brilliant idea that springs itself on you:)

We love Rite in the Rain's pocket size journal. It fits in Adam's back pocket and in my purse or the backpack easily. And, the pages wont be ruined if it rains or your coffee spills on them! I have so many pages of journals that are smudged with normal paper. We love these memo books!

 

8. Phone

And, don't forget your phone!

 

9. Extra Battery for your phone

And, an extra battery pack for extra charge!

We've learned to always carry an extra battery pack for our phones. Whenever something terrible is happening like we're lost and need Google maps, or our car was towed and we have to find where it is, our battery is about to die at 5%. ARG!

We were gifted this Enerplex power pack and it's been a life saver for us on our day trips when we're out and away from a power supply. 

 

10. Camera

If you carry a fun camera or GoPro, remember that too!

I carry a small DSLR, a Canon Rebel, and it fits in a small purse. I love the small size for day trips because it's light and I can keep it discrete by keeping it stashed away in a small purse or pull it out when needed. Check out the Rebel and the other camera gear I carry here

 

11. Tickets

Do you have tickets for your day trip? Remember those!

 

12. Wallet

And money.

 

13. Keys

Do you have your keys? Just checking!

 

14.  ID & Passport

I always have some sort of ID on me in my wallet, but for our passport it depends how we feel where we are. Sometimes we carry our passport and sometimes we don't. 

 

15. A good book

These are crucial for all the down moments during an adventure:)

Here's our favorite book right now about a couple traveling the world with their three kiddos! Amazing!

 

16. Light Jacket

And for all of us who tend to get cold, remember a light jacket just in case:)

I had a super light GoLite wind jacket I took on our round the world trip that I loved, but they've discontinued it. This Marmot Air Jacket is the closest one I can find like it that's super light and can fold down into the pocket and fits in a purse or backpack. It also has a hood, is wind resistant, and water repellent for spontaneous rain. Everything I need to keep me covered. 

When we're headed somewhere colder, I pack a fleece and slip my fleece under this jacket and stay cozy warm!


Make Remembering Easier! 

1. Pin this post to use later here.

2. And, download this packing list so you won't forget like us!

Yes! I want the packing list!

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What to Pack for a Day Trip: 14 Essentials to Carry

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What Books Should You Read When Going to Greece?

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What Books Should You Read When Going to Greece?

What books should you read for traveling to Greece? Here's our three recommendations. 

Two of these were suggested by friends from Athens, Greece while we were there and the other I found on my own. I suggest each one for you, too. Check 'em out!

 
3 Fun Recommended Books for Traveling to Greece
 

Three RECOMMENED books for traveling to Greece:

 

1. Greek Expectations: The Last Moussaka Standing

I totally recommend this book for a funny read and to get a glimpse of social and family expectations in Greece.

This is my favorite read because it was about the crazy journey of a woman from the UK marrying a Greek man. Drama and tension! 

The author is a comedian and takes the reader through her journey of figuring out how to balance her upbringing as a woman in the UK where she saw her parents both work and share household duties to now marrying into a Greek family where she's expected to do it all. What an adventure she was on and she takes you with her.

This type of story is my favorite to read when learning a new culture (where a foreigner marries a local), because you learn the intimacies of a culture through the lens of someone figuring it out themselves in the most intimate relationship you can have: marriage! You learn so many quarks of a culture that you'd never pick up on even befriending local folks. 

Totally recommend this one!


2. The Island

The Island
By Victoria Hislop

I totally recommend this book to anyone interested in learning about Greece's history, Crete's culture, along with some self-discovery, and a little romance:)

The Island was suggested by my friend Evita from Athens. This was my second favorite read while in Greece.

It's historical fiction story. It's about a girl learning the dark past of her family being forced onto an island just off Crete that all lepers were sent to. And, it also includes a view into World War 2 from a Cretan's perspective.

It was fascinating to be sent to the past and learn how leprosy tore apart families and how World War 2 affected people in Greece. And, the story presents Crete's landscape so well. You feel like you're on the journey with the main character. 

I totally recommend this book for your trip, too!


3. Zorba the Greek

Zorba the Greek
By Nikos Kazantzakis

You gotta read Zorba the Greek when you're going to Greece. It's a classic and this will be everyone's suggestion for you. 

We received Zorba the Greek as a gift from our friend Antonis for Adam's birthday. We both read this one.

Zorba will suck you in with his zeal for life and you'll be transported to tiny Greek villages and learn the culture. 

Read this one for sure!

 

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