Imagine you’re at the airport, all set to fly to an exotic destination on the airline you know will treat you like royalty. This, of course, is the ultimate start to the perfect trip.
However, what if your flight is delayed, or you want to beat the traffic and you end up at the airport so much earlier than necessary, and find yourself needing to getsome shut eye there? How do you sleep in an airport, and how can you make it as comfortable as possible?
Here are some nuggets of advice that’ll help you prepare and get the most from airport siestas, should you find yourself having to take one.
Always be prepared
Take note of any weather warnings in the week building up to your flight. If you do this, you can prepare yourself should the weather interfere with your travel plans and you’re at the airport for extended amounts of time. Bring these items in a survival-style kit to keep you comfy and content until you can finally board your flight:
- Eye mask
- Bottled water
- Smart device/laptop
- Disinfectant wipes/hand sanitiser
This sounds like a strange tip, but if you’re a solo traveller, take a pen and some sticky post-it notes with you. That way, you can write some ‘Wake me up at…’ notes and pop them on or near you. Trust us, no one will think you’re a loon, and there will be someone who gives you a wakeup call!
Whether you have sleeping in the airport in mind or not, it’s always sound advice to get there early. If you do, you can deal with things without having to do it while flustered.
Also, if you arrive early and the flight’s delayed, you can pick out a good spot to set yourself up in. You don’t want to be cramped up in a chair that’s too small for a toddler, let alone an adult. If you’re going to busy airports, it’s well worth pitching up slightly earlier (no pun intended).
Layers, layers, layers! If you wear a few thinner layers, you can remove them or put them back on as required. This beats wearing a thick jumper to keep you warm, which then leaves you with no other option if the airport becomes too hot for your liking.
Most people are cautious with their belongings, and you can never be too careful. Sometimes, baggage can get taken accidentally, or worse, intentionally. The best thing to do is to simply keep your phone in your pocket while you’re sleeping and keep other items such as electronics and jewellery stowed away in luggage and out of sight.
For added security, use padlocks on luggage whenever possible, and position your zippers on your luggage to face you. This makes it a much bigger deterrent for any would-be opportunists while you’re catching 40 winks.
Use Your Bag as a Pillow
One fool-proof way to secure your belongings is to use your bags as pillows. You can even use your bag as something to lie on if it’s big enough and doesn’t contain anything breakable or prone to leaking!
Eliminate the distractions
One great way to sleep in an airport is to eliminate sounds of the hectic environment. Use your eye mask and earplugs to cancel out the light and sound. This naturally triggers a response in the brain that tells you you’re ready to rest. You can also pop one of your big, comfy jumpers or a little travel blanket over yourself to get cosy and feel less exposed.
Get help from staff
If you’re conscious enough to safely store your cash and credit cards in a safe place (such as your shoe or inside your pillowcase), you can also go one step further and acquaint yourself with a night shift employee at the airport.
By reaching out to a member of staff, you can politely ask that they recommend a safe napping location. Also consider giving them a little tip to keep an eye on you and your belongings while you lay your head down to rest.
Practice sleeping while sitting
The art of sleeping while sitting shouldn’t be underestimated. By getting comfy without risking poor posture or other awkward sleep positions, you’ll become less of a target for theft. Ultimately, this leaves you with a greater choice of places to sleep at when the time comes.
By Sarah Cummings
This article originally appeared on Zafigo, a travel guide for women travellers in Asia and the Middle East, and is republished with permission.