So you have a long layover and don’t or can’t get accommodation for the night. You are therefore forced to spend your night sleeping on the floor of an airport. For some of us, the idea of this sounds fun, adventurous and convenient. You get to save on accommodation for the night, there are bathrooms, restaurants, bars, plug-ins, wifi, etc. What else do you need? The reality is that sleeping in an airport normally means you will get a very broken sleep, look like you fell off a 20 storey building the next morning, you’ll be cold, hungry, bored, and even if you find an isolated area – you will still be greeted by workers cleaning at 4am. The reality is that no matter how convenient or fun sleeping in an airport MIGHT seem – it usually disappoints and leaves you as a cranky mess the next morning. However, if you must sleep in an airport, there are a few things you can do to make your experience better!
Make sure you have a travel pillow with you! You’ll need to use it as a real pillow, and the next day when you are on your flight I can almost guarantee that you will be sleeping so it will come in handy then as well.
Eat a proper dinner and have snacks with you. Make sure you eat an actual meal before trying to sleep. The worst is when it’s 3 am, you’re stomach is screaming for food and all the stores are closed.
Do your night time rituals as you normally would. Take your makeup off. Wash your face. Brush you teeth. Get your mind set into the fact that you are going to sleep now.
Bring comfortable clothes with you. No, don’t change into your pyjamas (I mean, you can if you really want too). Normally, when I travel I will wear tights, a skirt, a tank top, a sweater, a scarf and boots (layers are key). When I know I will need to be sleeping in the airport I will bring a jumper dress with me and change into it. They are super comfortable, warm and acceptable to wear in a pubic place. A scarf when travelling is like a secret weapon. It can double as so many things! It’s not only an adorable fashion accessory but it can also be a blanket or a pillow. Make sure you bring a cozy one!
Pick the right spot to sleep in. You don’t always need to pick a spot near the gate of your next flight in the morning. Sometimes, there are much better and more quiet areas. Google it ahead of time – sometimes there are blogs online about specific airports. Or just walk around and see what the airport has to offer.
Don’t forget that It will almost always be bright in the airport (so don’t forget your eye mask). Block that light out!!!!
Chances are you are going to have difficulty trying to fall asleep. That’s normal. Just bring things for you to do in the meantime. Make sure you have movies on your laptop, books, magazines, games on your phone, cards, whatever. Just make sure you have something to help pass the time!
Set your alarm and don’t miss your flight.
Usually, the first thing I want when I wake up is COFFEE. But, knowing that I got a terrible sleep and that I need more, I wait to have my coffee until I have had a few mores zzzz on the plane.
Above all, accept and enjoy the experience. Be grateful that you don’t have to pay to sleep there, that you have access to all sorts of facilities and that you will soon be on your way to a new or old place hopefully filling your life with more excitement and adventure.