Tips for Sleeping in Airports
Sleeping at the airport is never ideal, but sometimes you can't avoid it. Maybe your flight is delayed, your seat gets bumped, or you have an overnight layover. Whatever the reason, here are some tips to help you get a decent night’s sleep at the airport.
Do Your Research
If you are planning to sleep in the airport, do some research on what the airport might offer for overnight sleepers. Not all airports are the same when it comes to accommodations and luxuries such as showers, lounges, wifi, etc. In fact, if you are lucky enough to get stuck in the Singapore Changi International Airport, not only will you have access to showers and spas, but luggage storage, napping rooms, and even a swimming pool with a hot tub. On the other hand, the Pisa Galileo Galilei International Airport in Italy bans people from sleeping there, with few exceptions.
Here’s a great website for information on what sleeping is like in your specific airport.
If you know beforehand that you are planning on sleeping in the airport, why not come prepared? Here is a list of things to consider bringing with you:
- Eye mask
- Water and snacks
- Entertainment: travel diary, music, laptop, books, magazines
- Disinfectant wipes or hand sanitizer
- A small blanket/pillow or sleeping bag
- Warm clothes
- Optional: A cheap inflatable raft (to sleep on)
Airport Hotels or Sleep Pods
Did you know some airports have large chain hotels inside the terminal, eliminating the inconvenience of going through customs/security again? If you don’t want to spend money on a hotel, but also don’t want to sleep on the hard airport floor, sleep pods are a great option! Prices, as well as comfort levels for sleep pods, range depending on the airport and company you book through.
Here is a list of 16 airports that offer Sleep Pods:
- Tallinn Airport (TLL)
- London Heathrow (LHR)
- Munich (MUC)
- Narita (NRT)
- New Delhi (DEL)
- Orio al Serio Bergamo (BGY)
- Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW)
- Dubai (DXB)
- Hanoi (HAN)
- Helsinki (HEL)
- London Gatwick (LGW)
- Abu Dhabi (AUB)
- Amsterdam Schiphol (AMS)
- Atlanta (ATL)
- Philadelphia (PHL)
- Berlin Tegel (TXL)
Protect Your Belongings
When sleeping in a terminal, the best way to keep your belongings safe is by packing light, making it easy to keep your bags close at all times. It might be a good idea to pick a spot to sleep under the security cameras just in case of the rare chance that you do wake up and something is missing, especially if you are a solo traveller. Keep your valuables close at all times (passport, wallet, phone, etc) and even consider putting those under your pillow.
If possible, get to the airport before other travelers also decide to crash there for the night. If you are traveling during peak season (summer months) and staying at a popular airport, the best spots get taken up fast and you might get the worst of what the airport has to offer. This will also give you enough time to scope out different terminals to see where the best spot might be. Also, many restaurants close for the night, so arriving early will allow you to buy dinner and stock up on some midnight snacks.
Sleeping in the airport will end up saving you a lot of money and can actually be fun and a good experience! With these tips, we hope you can get at least a few hours of shut-eye the next time you find yourself stuck in the airport.