I recently returned from a bit of a travel marathon—doing signings and appearances to promote Candy At Last—so I know what it’s like to sleep in hotels when you’d rather be in your own bed. Although I love travel, I love a good night’s sleep just as much!  Here are some things I’ve learned about how to combine the two:

Call the hotel ahead of time. Either when you make the reservation or a few days before you arrive, request a room that’s not close to the elevator, the ice machine, or any other noisy spots. If there’s a choice between interior rooms and street-facing rooms, you might want to ask for an interior room (even if it means sacrificing a view) since they’re often quieter.

Bring some home comforts. Making an unfamiliar environment feel a little bit more like home will help you relax and, hopefully, get some quality shut-eye. Pack a small photo of your family or pet to place on the bedside table, your favorite pajamas, and a scent that reminds you of home (say, a favorite moisturizer or room spray).

Kill the electronics. You’ve no doubt heard that you should stop watching TV or looking at your phone or computer before you go to bed (both the light and the content is stimulating), but since hotel rooms usually have televisions at the end of the bed and a remote on the bedside table, it can be hard to resist. Read a good book instead!

Earplugs and eyeshades are essential. Even if you’re in a nice hotel with thick curtains and quiet guests, you’ll be extra-sensitive to any light and noise since you’re in an unfamiliar environment. Foam earplugs and an eye mask will help you tune it all out and slip off to dreamland.

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