What Is Sleep Tourism? Everything You Need to Know About the Latest Travel Trend

Sleep tourism, the latest travel trend, focuses on prioritizing rest and relaxation. Travelers seek sleep-focused hotel amenities and wellness activities like yoga and spa treatments. Experts highlight destinations such as Rome Cavalieri and Conrad Bali, emphasizing how restful vacations enhance well-being.

There always seem to be fresh, new travel trends—and right now, the trend du jour is sleep tourism.

Although it sounds a bit like an oxymoron (aren’t you supposed to do things on vacation instead of sleep?), travelers are prioritizing sleep while traveling instead of jam-packing their itineraries to be non-stop. Hotels are making that easier than ever with tons of sleep-related amenities.

Ahead, with the help of two travel experts, we’ll explore more about the sleep tourism trend and how to take advantage of it.

What is sleep tourism?

In addition to simply prioritizing sleep, travelers are seeking out hotel programs and services that center on sleep tourism.

But what is sleep tourism, exactly? Sleep tourism is “the desire to travel to a new location with the intention to return home feeling well-rested, relaxed, and rejuvenated,” says Sahara Rose De Vore, wellness travel coach and consultant and founder and CEO of The Travel Coach Network.

If you have insomnia or anxiety, a sleep vacation can maximize relaxation through better sleep in a fun, new location, notes Stephanie Davis, luxury travel planner and expert.

Sleep tourism is “the desire to travel to a new location with the intention to return home feeling well-rested, relaxed, and rejuvenated.”

Sahara Rose De Vore, wellness travel coach and consultant and founder and CEO of The Travel Coach Network

For some people, sleep tourism also means unique sleep experiences.

“Overnight stays in remote or tranquil settings, like a forest retreat or even sleeping under the stars in the desert, are becoming more popular,” says Davis. “These sleep-oriented vacations focus on comfort and wellness, combining health best practices, like alcohol-free stays and healthy food options, to help you feel like your best self again.”

Sleep tourism packages usually include holistic wellness activities like yoga, meditation, spa treatments, and even nutrition workshops, adds Davis.

According to Hilton’s 2024 Trends Report, the top reason why people are choosing to travel this year is to rest and recharge—and, beyond that, really prioritize sleep.

It makes sense that travelers would want to prioritize rest while vacationing—as it turns out, a majority of people aren’t getting quality Z’s at home.

Per a recent Saatva survey, only 41% of Americans rate their sleep as good—and according to a recent Gallup poll, 57% of Americans say they would feel better if they got more sleep.

As the Saatva survey notes, there are a variety of reasons why people aren’t sleeping well these days, including health concerns like back pain and insomnia and mental stressors like finances and work.

The pandemic opened people’s eyes to the benefits travel can have on our mental, spiritual, physical, and overall well-being, explains De Vore. Self-care and wellness were catapulted to the top of people’s priority lists during this time, she says.

“Fading away are the days when people want a busy itinerary,” says De Vore. “Instead, they seek slow travel and transformative experiences that allow them to tap into the true potential of travel, such as its ability to help us feel rejuvenated and relaxed while boosting our overall happiness, creativity, and brain health.”

The idea of rest and recovery in a relaxed, new setting is much more appealing to people who need a break from the pressures of everyday life, says De Vores.

Best hotels for sleep tourism

De Vore calls out a few hotels around the globe that have amenities and programs that cater to sleep-focused travelers:

  • Rome Cavalieri, A Waldorf Astoria Hotel, Italy: Offers a pillow menu to choose from
  • Conrad Bali, Indonesia: De Vore says this luxury resort has something called SWAY, a 60-minute sleep therapy session in suspended cocoon hammocks
  • The Benjamin Royal Sonesta, New York: Offers sleep masks, a sleep lullaby music library, white noise machines, pillow options, and a power napping kit

If you’re looking for additional destination ideas that are geared toward sleep tourism, Purecare, a company that focuses on sleep wellness, published a 2024 report saying that places like Bern, Switzerland, Luxembourg, and Tallinn, Estonia top the list due to the amount of sleep-inviting hotel amenities they boast.

How to bring the sleep tourism trend home with you

Since our travel experts know what it’s like to achieve restful sleep in some of the most luxurious beds in the world, we asked them for their best tips on how to bring quality sleep back with you when you’re home from vacation.

Discover what works best for you

“Finding what works best for your sleep during your trips is important for getting quality sleep when you’re home,” De Vore says. “Whether it’s using blackout shades, lavender essential oil,

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, dim lights, comfortable pillows, or something else that you enjoyed during your stay, you can start using them at home.”

Focus on soothing activities

“Sleep vacations are popular because they give you access to ready-made wellness activities,” says De Vore. So, why not incorporate these activities into your daily routine?

“YouTube has tons of free guided meditation videos and short, restorative yoga classes to choose from,” notes De Vore. “Regular meditation reduces stress and prepares your mind for sleep, while gentle activities like yoga alleviate physical tension and help your body rest.”

Be intentional

Another way to bring quality sleep back home with you is to be more intentional with your sleep habits, De Vore says. “It’s easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of our everyday routine that we don’t take the time to get proper rest,” she says.

You can be intentional with your sleep habits by blocking out time in your schedule for sleep, adding a day or two each week where you will be in bed an hour earlier, or fitting 20-minute power naps into your days where you can, suggests De Vore.

Switch up locations

There’s something about sleeping in a novel location—and you don’t need a ticket to a foreign country to enjoy the benefits of sleeping somewhere new, says Davis.

“Switch things up by sleeping somewhere different in your home, whether it’s in another bedroom, on the couch, or even outside in a tent, looking up at the stars,” she says. “Staying at a friend’s house or renting out a local Airbnb will give you the same novel feeling without the jet-setter price tag.”

Introduce small luxuries

Popular sleep tourism destinations and hotels deepen the relaxing experience with little luxuries, notes Davis—and these are things you can add to your bedroom at home as well.

“It could be chocolates on your pillow or even aromatherapy,” she says. “Use essential oils like lavender, chamomile, or sandalwood in a diffuser or as a spray on your linens for a luxurious pick-me-up.”

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What is a sleep vacation?

The goal of a sleep vacation is to plan everything from the destination, accommodation, and experiences to specifically improve sleep, says Davis.

“That includes choosing hotels with state-of-the-art mattresses, specialized circadian rhythm lighting, soundscapes, and rooms with optimal temperature and humidity controls,” she says. “It doesn’t hurt if the hotel offers spa treatments either.”

Why is sleep tourism booming?

After the pandemic, more and more people realized that they were stressed and burned out. Their sleep suffered as a result, which made people turn to creative techniques to gain some quality Z’s.

One way travelers are accomplishing good sleep is through sleep tourism programs and amenities at hotels, which have jumped on the sleep tourism bandwagon and cater to travelers who desire more restful vacations.

Next, check out our top travel sleep tips to help you get better shuteye away from home.

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