8 of the most amazing places to sleep in the world
*This amazing places to sleep post is an AD with TEMPUR® and includes some sponsored links, as usual all views remain my own.
Listening to the sounds of the ocean and crickets chirping. Watching stars streak across the night sky, as the smell of salt and campfire smoke lingers on the warm breeze. I’ve been lucky enough to sleep in some incredible places over the last six years of travel and while often I was far too excited to actually sleep on those nights, they’ll never be forgotten. Backpacking often gets a bad rep for uncomfortable hostel beds and loud roommates, but there’s so much more to budget travel. I’ll admit I’m yet to find a single bed around the world that compares to my own at home. But I love the adventure of waking up in a new bed and the endless possibilities of the day ahead.
I’ll admit, I’ve often been sucked into reading articles about the most incredible places to sleep around the world and then found myself disappointed by the sheer expense of some of those experiences. You guys know I thrive on making travel accessible, so I want to share some of the most incredible places to sleep when backpacking on a budget. It’s not all fancy igloos in Scandinavia and luxury villas in Bali. Sometimes the most out of this world sleep experiences can be the simplest and the most memorable.
10 of the most amazing places to sleep in the world
Sleeping below the summit of Volcano Acatenango in Guatemala
Watching wisps of white as my breath hit the icy cold atmosphere. We huddled close to the warmth of the campfire to watch a billion stars light up the night sky. Darkness took on a whole new meaning, revealing new depths of the milky way as our eyes adjusted to the faint twinkle of galaxies far away. Every ten minutes we would feel the earthy rumbles of the nearby volcano Fuego. Barely 500m away, it’s shadowy shape billowed black smoke into the night. Then, just as you relaxed, a huge BOOM would light up the sky, spewing red hot molten lava into the night, spraying sparks and ashes into the night.
That night, we lay huddled in layer upon layer of clothes, blankets and sleeping bags on simple camp beds in a tiny shack. We could hear the shivers and snores mingled with the rumbles of the night. We drifted into a disrupted sleep peppered with hallucinations and strange dreams. It felt like minutes passed before we were woken with hot chocolate to begin our climb to the summit for sunrise. A travel sleep experience that has surpassed every other. Volcano Acatenango in Guatemala was by far one of the best adventures of my life.
Wild camping in the 1 million star hotel in Western Australia
The rich, red dust on the road burned like fire in the glow of the sunset as we powered towards our next free camping spot. We were driven by our lust for finding amazing places to sleep and constantly challenged ourselves to find them for free. Our convoy had grown from two cars to double figures joining us on this adventure in the depths of the Australian bush. We played dodge the kangaroos as we cruised into position on the banks of the river. Settling into our new nightly routine, half of us started to fetch firewood and build our campfire, while the others cracked on with dinner.
We gorged on a hearty meal by moonlight and listened to the sounds of the bush as the stars came out to play. It was those nights when I had to force myself to go to bed because I couldn’t tear my eyes away from the night sky. Spotting shooting stars became my nightly endeavour as the last embers of the campfire glowed gently. Until I finally gave in and would lay in the back of the car in his arms until we drifted off to sleep.
Snoozing on a raft in an 80 million year old rainforest in Thailand
A moment I still can’t believe wasn’t just a dream. Laying there in a tiny straw hut that was bobbing gently on a raft. I could hear the jungle coming alive, the rustling as monkeys swung through the trees, the chirping of crickets and the trumpeting of wild elephants. I could hear the gentle breathing of everyone on the raft as we slipped in and out of dreams. Sleeping contently knowing reality was far beyond anything our imaginations could show us.
We were sleeping on a raft in the centre of a man-made lake surrounded by an 80 million year old rainforest – the real life Jurassic Park. The lake was surrounded by mountains, jungle and under a sky that blanketed us in stars as the moon bathed us in her bright light. Sleep couldn’t hold us long, we were too excited to explore and were up before sunrise to watch the light creep over the mountains as we lay in kayaks on the water.
Sleeping in a safari tent in the Sri Lankan jungle surrounded by fireflies
On the edge of Yala National Park, where leopards, elephants and sloth bears roam wild. We stayed in a safari tent overlooking the watering hole. Our way to peek into the incredible natural world that lay just beyond the boundary, it was wild luxury. By night we dined under the stars surrounded by fireflies in a private jungle clearing, feasting on incredible Sri Lankan fare. Retiring to our safari tent, we relaxed into a luxurious bath in the centre of our room which we filled with bubbles. It was the perfect night-time routine, before climbing into the four-poster bed to listen to the sounds of the jungle as we dreamed of the next morning’s safari.
A hostel in the centre of the Guatemalan jungle during an earthquake
While it may not sound relaxing, this will forever be one of my best ever sleep experiences. It was by far one of the most amazing places to sleep in the world because I will never be able to recreate that moment. After a 20 hour journey across Guatemala into the jungle, we arrived to one of the most incredible hostels I have ever seen. Zephyr Lodge has luxury dorms with showers and beds overlooking the wild jungle and waterfalls. It has a hot tub and infinity pool with the most incredible views. For a budget hostel, it offers the most incredible and unique Guatemalan experience. During my first night there – on the comfiest beds – I awoke to a deep rumbling and the whole room shaking. It was an earthquake in the centre of the jungle. A night I will never forget.
Waking up with the wallabies in Tasmania, Australia
Camping in Australia is truly out of this world. While sleeping in a tent may not be everyone’s ideal night, it does give you some very unique experiences. Arriving in Friendly Beaches, Tasmania, we found the perfect campsite spot just over the dunes and metres from the ocean. As we cooked up a quick campfire dinner and settled in for the night for a few games of cards under the stars. We realised how lucky we were to live this beautiful life.
Why was this one of the most amazing places to sleep in the world? Well it was more than just a campsite. We heard a rustling and a wombat went wandering past our pitch. Then as we packed up the leftovers from dinner, a few cheeky wallabies came over to look for scraps. Zipping up the tent for the night, we snuggled up against the cold and drifted into a deep, dreamless sleep. Waking early the next morning, I unzipped the tent and came nose to nose with a wallaby! I’m not sure who was more surprised but he almost jumped into the tent with us!
Bobbing on a boat in the Whitsundays, Australia
The boat rocked gently from side to side as the smell of salt lingered in my hair. We lay there intertwined, skin still damp from a day in the ocean as we listened to the sound of the waves. The evening had been spent cracking beers, spotting shooting stars and catching squid off the side of the boat with the skipper. As we settled for the night, my mind strayed across the events of the day. Snorkelling with sea turtles and running across Whitehaven Beach. Feeling the ocean spray whip across my face as we darted across the waves. I slipped into a dreamland exactly identical to the life I was living, with a smile on my face.
Vanlife camps at the edge of alpine lakes in Austria and Switzerland
There’s nothing like the freedom of the open road as you cruise along in your camper van looking for a spot to sleep for the night. If you want amazing places to sleep when travelling on a budget. This is a great way to find epic sleep experiences that won’t break the bank. When I remember Austria and Switzerland, I picture waking up to brilliant sunshine, crisp clear lakes surrounded by mountains. Often we would drive in late at night and wouldn’t even be able to see where we had arrived. We would head straight to bed and wonder what we would find the next day. Awaking at sunrise, we would stumble out of the van to the waters edge with a coffee in hand to see the magic that awaited us. I can’t wait to take my own camper van out on the road (pictured)!
How to upgrade your everyday sleep experience:
One thing I’ve realised during lockdown is how vital a good night’s sleep is for my mental health. Before I was a gal who survived on five hours a night and was always running on empty. Now I’m making sure I get my solid eight hours, sometimes more and I feel so much better for it. For this campaign, I’m working with TEMPUR®. A brand that is in a league of its own when it comes to mattresses and pillows that enable you to sleep longer, deeper and better. They’ve created the only mattress and pillow recognised by NASA for improving quality of life.
TEMPUR® uses the unique mattress material created by NASA scientists in the 60’s to absorb G-force pressure during space flight. Now you can use it to ensure weight and pressure are distributed evenly while you sleep. Not only does it stop you tossing and turning, but it absorbs the movements of your partner so you’re less likely to wake each other up. I’ve been trialling TEMPUR® pillows and it’s been almost impossible for me to drag myself out of bed. I’m normally a very light sleeper, but I’m sleeping so deeply now.
Where’s the most amazing place you’ve slept while travelling? Where would you love to sleep one day?