Airport sleeping isn’t just for unlucky travelers hit with long delays and empty pockets. More and more people are opting to cuddle into chairs and stretch out on floor in the name of convenience and saving money. The following tips will help you make the best of it as an airport sleeper.
The Expansion of Sleep Pods
The easiest way to get in a satisfying sleep session at an airport is to rent a sleep pod. These small capsules are designed to enclose at least your upper body, blocking out the noise and light of your surrounding environment while you relax in a completely horizontal position. They’re designed to take up as little space as possible, so the compact designs won’t allow you to stretch out in any position desired. They are still far more comfortable than trying to turn the hard floor or chairs with arms into a comfortable bed.
Sleep pods are becoming more popular, but they aren’t in every airport yet. If your goal is to sleep at the airport to save money, this might not do the trick for you. Some pod services are renting each unit for $30 or more per hour.
Know Your Airport
Once you know that your flight will be delayed, find the security station and start asking questions. If you know from the start that you need to sleep in the airport, go online and do some research before arriving. Here are some questions to ask:
- What are the rules for entering the lounges? Some airports open lounges to all passengers, but economy-class passengers must pay a small fee. That fee is typically much less than a hotel room and will give you access to food, drinks and clean bathrooms. The seating is often more comfortable than what you will find in the boarding area.
- Does your airport have cots? Many airports distribute cots and blankets when a large crowd is stranded due to the weather or holiday delays. If you ask nicely and explain your circumstances, they may allow you to use one of those cots.
- How late are different parts of the airport open? Some airports feature 24/7 operations while others close overnight. You don’t want to plan on sleeping in an airport that closes.
- Identify the safest sleeping area. Your comfort is second to your safety when shutting your eyes in an airport. Security officers should be able to tell you the areas that are covered by their cameras and where other airport sleepers tend to crash.
Safe Airport Snoozing
If you’re a heavy sleeper, you may have to get creative to protect your belongings while napping in the airport. You can put small locks on all zippers, making it difficult for someone else to get into your bags. Sleeping with your head and legs over the bags is also a good idea. If you’re bringing a blanket for the nap, make it a big one that can drape over the bags as well as your body. Finally, try to place the bags underneath your chair or between your body and the wall.
When all else fails, consider going to the rental car area and inquiring about the price of renting their cheapest car. Let them know that you’re going to sleep in the backseat and don’t intend to move the car. You can often do this for less than the cost of a hotel room, and it’s more comfortable than sleeping on the airport floor. If you’re an intentional airport sleeper and not just an unlucky traveler, you can call ahead to determine the friendliest and cheapest rental car agency in the airport.