Needing to get some shut-eye in an airport has happened to most travelers at some point or another. Perhaps you have a long layover in the middle of the night, a common situation when you book a budget long-haul flight. Maybe a super-early morning flight makes it more convenient and cost effective to just bunk down in the airport for a few hours rather than paying for accommodation. You might have missed your flight and be waiting for the next one. Whatever your reasons for sleeping in airports, a few tips can help you get a bit of a better rest.
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1. Find a Quiet Spot
It goes without saying that you’ll get more sleep if you’re in a quiet and undisturbed place. While rows of seats might look tempting, if they catch your eye they’re likely to also catch the eye of other travelers. All of whom will be setting alarms for different times, perhaps having a whispered chat with their friends and making trips to the bathroom. If you get an annoying chip-bag rustler you can wave goodbye to a relaxing rest!
Look for secluded corners, away from gates and corridors. And try not to be near to the bathrooms. It might be quiet in the airport now, but you don’t know when a vanload of people busting for the restroom might arrive. If you’re traveling solo, don’t, however, position yourself in a place that is too remote or quiet for safety reasons.
2. Scope Out the Arrivals Area
Connected to above, the arrivals area may be a lot quieter than the departure lounge, especially if there are no planes due in overnight. Have a look before choosing where you bed down for the night.
3. Forego the Earplugs
While it might be tempting to block out external noises with earplugs, you need to be able to hear your alarm to wake up in time for check in. It would be awful to wake up feeling relatively rejuvenated only to find that you missed your flight!
4. Don’t Medicate
For the same reason as above, don’t try to knock yourself out with sleeping pills. They might make sleeping in airports a bit easier, but they could also make you miss the plane.
5. Arm Yourself with a Few Creature Comforts
A couple of small items can increase your comfort levels by a huge amount. A small pillow and a light-weight blanket or throw can help you to doze off while waiting for your flight. Even a sarong can make you feel a bit less exposed while napping. Make sure you have a sweater or jacket too; your quiet spot might be so appealing if it’s right in the flow of air-con.
6. Kick Off Your Shoes
Whether you’re sitting or lying down, taking your shoes off helps you to feel more comfortable, thus making it easier for sleep to come. And, you might not have the chance to take them off again for some time when in the air.
7. Secure Your Bags
A major concern for many travelers is the safety of their bags while they sleep. Make use of locks on your main bags and try to secure your bags by tying them around chair legs and armrests. Sleeping with your bag tied around one of your limbs can also alert you if anyone tries to tamper with anything. Keep your valuable items close, in an inner pocket or security belt, for example. If there are left luggage facilities, it might well be worth paying to store your items for your own peace of mind.
8. Stock Up with Supplies
In many airports, concessions and eateries often shut for the night. You’ll probably be able to find a water fountain and vending machines as a last resort, but try to plan ahead and take enough drinks and snacks with you. Plus, buying items from outside of the airport is often significantly cheaper than purchases made within the airport complex. And remember, it might be quite some time until you get your airline meal.
Sleeping in airports is highly unlikely to be an experience you look forward to, but these tips can help you to board the plane feeling at least a little bit rested and restored.