loud snoring spouse + light sleeping child - hotel room ideas?
September 22, 2022 3:29 PM   Subscribe

I have a loud snoring spouse, and a light sleeping child. At home it's fine as the rooms are pretty far apart. But hotels? We'd been booking 1 bedrooms pre-pandemic and during the pandemic for the few trips we took. Now prices are out of control so that's becoming out of our price range. Any clever solution to a situation like this?

(I'm not open to Airbnb - I've had a string of bad experiences. And multiple sleep specialists have said there's nothing to be done about the snoring.)
posted by Mushroom12345 to Travel & Transportation (21 answers total)
Last time I was in a hotel room with a loud snorer I brought my pillows & blankets into the bathroom where I could close the door. Headphones didn't help much.
posted by bleep at 3:33 PM on September 22

Would a sound machine work? They work well for me and I have this travel one.
posted by 10ch at 3:35 PM on September 22 [2 favorites]

Soft foam earplugs for the light sleeping child
posted by InfidelZombie at 3:38 PM on September 22 [4 favorites]

Semi-radical/silly but also serious: Practice having one of them sleep on a cot in the other's room at home now and then when you're not traveling, to get used to it. Or all sleep in your living room, whatever seems like a somewhat similar setting.
posted by SaltySalticid at 3:48 PM on September 22 [5 favorites]

- Noise-canceling headphones

- Soft silicone earplugs - they seem to be the best

- I guess you've tried CPAP and snoring mouth guards

- Sleep in shifts?

- Is the child small enough to sleep in a bathtub? Bring a ton of memory foam/padding, and consider what to do if someone needs to pee in the middle of the night. Also risks of falling when the child negotiates entering/leaving the bathtub.

- VRBO is a pretty good alternative to AirBNB

- White noise machine

- You've probably also already tried having the snorer sleep on an incline, just including for completeness.

- Travel separately

- Let the kid stay with a relative at home while you guys travel

- Get or rent a camper

- Camp and get two tents

- Figure out a really comfortable and safe car sleeping arrangement, possibly with a different car

- Only travel when you can get a really good deal, and plan around the deal

- Look into house swapping travel options

- Travel where you can stay with relatives, or where part of your party can stay with relatives

- Acclimation / desensitization to the snoring noise
posted by amtho at 4:04 PM on September 22 [2 favorites]

Turn the hotel television to an all-static channel (usually a really high number, like channel 300). Turn the volume up to a level that'll cover the sound of the snoring. If the television screen is too bright you can throw a towel over it.
posted by mezzanayne at 4:06 PM on September 22 [1 favorite]

Mack's Soft Moldable Silicone Putty Ear Plugs - Kids Size, 6 Pair These are the earplugs I wear every night and have for over a decade. (I have small ears.) They're quite comfortable and don't do that swish-swish thing against the pillow that foam earplugs do. You can reuse them several times.
posted by purple_bird at 4:26 PM on September 22 [4 favorites]

Loud white noise machine? Or “brown noise” - has more bass and might better drown it out. Check YouTube for samples of different sounds. You could even play a YouTube video of the desired white noise sound all night, there are 12 hour versions.
posted by nouvelle-personne at 4:30 PM on September 22

Not a quick solution but I have had a cpap machine for 17+ years. I did a have apnea but last 2 sleep tests and data from machine show I no longer need machine. But I snore. And the machine stops that so I've kept using it (also because I'm so used to it now that I have a hard time sleeping without it)

Easier solutions- ear plugs, decongestant nose spray, and those nasal straps.

Oh and kid goes to sleep first.
posted by Ftsqg at 4:35 PM on September 22

Yes, you want the moldable putty earplugs, not foamies (they easily fall out and don't do much). Those are the ones I use every time I have to sleep with a snorer. Have a white noise machine or some kind of music-playing implement with headphones as a backup drowner-outer.
posted by jenfullmoon at 4:35 PM on September 22

This once happened during a family trip to Niagara falls when my sister and I were kids and my snoring father ended up sleeping in the bathtub.
posted by watrlily at 5:07 PM on September 22 [3 favorites]

EAR PLUGS. I speak from brutal personal experience, as a person whose dad snored SO LOUDLY that I once literally took my blanket into the bathtub to escape the snoring in a hotel room. Ear plugs saved our damn family.
posted by showbiz_liz at 5:23 PM on September 22 [1 favorite]

Just wanted to say that when I am near a loud snorer, I can hear it even through earplugs and it's the worst. How light of a sleeper is your kid? Can you try the earplugs out in the same room as your husband and see if it blocks the noise? Is your kid old enough to not complain about the ear plugs or take them out?
posted by never.was.and.never.will.be. at 5:52 PM on September 22 [6 favorites]

This style of earplugs is the most functional, comfortable type I've ever used. I trim the stems a bit so they don't scratch along the pillow, but they stay in perfectly regardless and they work to block out the loud snorer in my life. I also find a white noise machine helpful, but really, the earplugs do most of the work.
posted by merriment at 6:29 PM on September 22

Ear plugs plus a familiar TV show playing quietly to help distract the brain works for me. However, in small or echoey rooms earplugs may not be enough. You may also experiment with ear buds and play white noise or instrumental music if you can trust your kid not to turn the volume up too loud.
posted by nakedmolerats at 8:30 PM on September 22

Your spouse might try a decongestant before the trip to see if it helps with the snoring. Generic mucinex helped for a couple people sharing a hotel rooms that I know of. Not sure if it's a great long term thing but it seems to help.
posted by stray thoughts at 8:39 PM on September 22

I have a snoring partner and I am a light sleeper and after years of cajoling he spoke with his doctor who recommended Flonase (his snoring is exacerbated by allergies) and OMG it's like an effing miracle. His snoring is DRAMATICALLY reduced and we can more often than not sleep the whole night in the same bed without me poking him to roll over. Game changer!

Also feel it's good to remind people that the light sleeping child probably shouldn't use earplugs, but a soothing white noise machine is a good idea.
posted by brookeb at 8:58 PM on September 22 [1 favorite]

I recently bought this adjustable mouthguard and it has completely eliminated my snoring. Wife happy, me happy, better sleep. I might suggest dealing with the source rather than trying to extricate everyone's ears from the sound. Took about 3 days to get used to. Got it after reading this article in the Guardian.
posted by qwip at 9:41 PM on September 22 [2 favorites]

I use a white noise machine at home to cover a snoring spouse, but when traveling I use a phone app. They're usually inexpensive and you can get a variety of sounds easily.
posted by gentlyepigrams at 10:47 PM on September 22

If one adult in the family is keeping everyone else awake during a vacation with loud snoring, then it's time for them to find a safe sleeping arrangement in the vehicle and then take the odd nap while no one else is in the hotel room.
This is not a good setup if the person is also one of the primary drivers, due to not getting enough steady sleep each night.
A larger vehicle or RV could be the answer for extra sleeping space. There are loads of YouTube videos on car living and making do, including how to deal with late night bathroom breaks and how to keep the area comfortable and relatively bug-free.
I would not be comfortable with my child sleeping in the car by themselves.
If the snoring requires such a degree of noise to drown it out, the other hotel guests may complain.
posted by TrishaU at 1:30 AM on September 23 [2 favorites]

Inflatable camping mattress in the closet or the tub, plus a string of battery powered fairy lights and white noise machine for coziness.
posted by veery at 7:23 AM on September 23 [2 favorites]

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