Wake Up With Travel Alarm Clocks

Set your own wake-up call with these reliable travel clocks, and stop worrying about missing your flight.


Late nights, early flights, time changes and the disorientation that comes from waking up in a strange bed can do a number on a traveler’s internal clock. Scientists at Brigham and Women’s hospital in Boston are testing a new, non-melatonin-based drug called “Tasimelteon” that may relieve the worst symptoms of jet lag, but for now, there is no better cure than a good night’s sleep.

To get the sleep you need, it can help to have a familiar ally on the nightstand. Today’s travel alarm clocks run from soporifically simple to models with more bells and whistles than you can dream of. Here are five clocks that will have you ready to face the day.

Time Zone Travel Alarm Clock

For simplicity’s sake, look no further than this compact travel clock ($24) from L.L. Bean. The outside dial makes it a snap to switch between the hours in your current or future location. The dual time displays mean that you’ll always know how late it is back home without resorting to math. Just make sure you know which time zone you’re on when setting the alarm function. The bright backlight is also a plus.

Travel Tranquil Moments Sound Therapy

If you find it hard to relax in strange hotel rooms, soothing sounds may ease the transition into sleep. Brookstone has shrunk its home sound therapy machine into a portable alarm clock package ($99.95) that offers eight choices of audio from background-filtering white noise to the calm churn of the ocean surf. Each program is tuned to particular brainwave patterns that induce a deeper sleep, with the choice of a 30-, 60-, or 90-minute shutoff. Users can also opt for a regular alarm noise or make their own 15-second voice recording a handy trick for those of us who wake best to the entreaties of a hungry cat or dog.

Sonic Boom Vibrating Alarm Clock

Is the tiny beeping of an ordinary alarm no match for your jet lag? Think a jet itself couldn’t rouse you? Sonic Alert packs a whopping 90 decibels of volume into this palm-sized alarm clock ($29.95), which features a powerful vibration setting, and a clasp that keeps the machine attached firmly to your pillow until you get out of bed. Choose the vibration-only setting if you don’t want to wake everyone else in the room or the neighborhood. It's also a great option for the hearing impaired.

Teach Me Time! Bedside Clock

For parents who struggle to maintain bedtime rituals while traveling, this alarm clock ($39.95) from American Innovative offers some welcome consistency with an educational hook. Two light settings let young kids know when it’s OK to get out of bed, while an interactive game leads them through five levels of time-telling difficulty. Brightness, alarm volume, and lesson specifics are all adjustable, so the clock can grow with your child.

Portable iPod Speakers With Alarm

With the ubiquity of MP3 players, having your entire music library on hand wherever you are in the world is practically de rigueur. However, while some hotels have added sound docks to their standard room amenities, they’re still in the minority. To free your soundtrack from the tyranny of earbuds, you’ll have to bring your own speakers. For decent, but not bank-breaking sound quality, this iHome system ($99.99) will let you wake up and fall asleep to your favorite tunes, and it folds conveniently into the included carrying case. iHome’s newest model isn’t as compact, but it does rotate from a vertical to horizontal display to accommodate those who can view widescreen videos on their iPods.

Activities: Sleep

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