Last Updated on Feb 22nd, 2024 by Renu Dahiya, Leave a Comment
It is not possible that you’ll always have a perfect travel day. You may have a long or overnight layover at an airport. And, to get some rest and sleep at an airport during that time is important so that you reach your destination fresh and jet lag free. But, the options are limited. If you’re still in your hometown, you can go home for the night and take a rest.
But, if you aren’t home, you’ll have two options, either book a hotel room or sleep in the airport itself. And, if you’re a budget traveler, you probably opt for sleeping in airports. So, here we bring you a handy guide that will help you know how you can get some sleep in an airport like a pro.
In most airports, the answer is yes. You can sleep at an airport in cases when your flight has been delayed or canceled due to any unavoidable reason, or you have to wait for a later flight. Whether you find yourself in an airport by choice or by some unfortunate stroke of bad luck, it is possible to get some sleep in those airports comfortably and safely.
But, there are some airports that close at night or that simply do not permit airport sleepers. So, it is always better to know the rules and regulations of the airport you are going to.
If you’ve ever traveled by airplane, you know that you may get caught in a layover between your flights sooner or later. There is no need to worry if the layover is short, just eat something or read a book and wait it out. But, what if the layover is super long and leaves you stranded in an airport overnight? Don’t fret! Here are some tips you can consider to make sure you sleep safely and comfortably at the airport during a long layover so you reach your destination jet lag free.
Sleeping in the airport overnight is allowed in most of the major airports, but smaller airports or certain terminals could shut down at night. So, it is always better to research in advance whether you can or cannot sleep in the airport overnight. If the terminals do close early and won’t allow you to sleep overnight, they may allow you to rest near public baggage claim or check-in areas, but make sure you keep your belongings safe as these zones are less secure.
Tip: Carry your travel tickets and ID on hand to show the officials you have a valid reason to be napping there.
When this situation happens, be calm and find the designated sleep-friendly zones at the airport for snoozing. Some airports offer sleep pods or mini rooms that provide a quiet and dark place for comfortable sleep at very low rates. And, some airports have lounge areas that have fold-down seats and are more secure. You don’t have to book first or business class tickets to use airport lounges anymore. Many airports offer a facility of using airport lounges for economy flyers on a pay-per-use basis.
You should always consider packing a survival kit of sleep-over items that will get you through a night at the airport, whether you are already wearing comfortable or loose-fitting clothes. To survive a night at the airport, pack the following travel essentials or anything else you might need. A warm Sweater or Jacket, A change of clothing, A toiletry kit, Eye mask, Earplugs or Ear pods, Wet wipes or tissues, Some snacks, and electronic device charger
Always consider staying within the secure terminal zones. Find an area with a security camera so if anyone tries to bug you, it will be recorded on camera, or ask a security guard where the best and safest place to sleep in the airport. Being all alone at the time of sleep might seem best, but it is advisable to not entirely isolate yourself as that could make you more of a target for shady characters. So, look for areas that are near guards or areas that have frequent employee traffic.
Carrying small backpacks not only makes your journey easy but also makes sleeping in airports easier. So, always try to limit carry-on items to a backpack. It will help you to easily watch out for your belongings when resting. Most of the major airports offer the facility of small lockers for temporary storage for their passengers at very low prices. This is actually a safe place to store your carry-on luggage while sleeping, especially if you are traveling alone.
If you do not want to store your bags in the airport lockers, be smart and active towards your luggage. The best thing you can do is use your bag as a pillow or footrest when you sleep.It serves two purposes – security and comfort. Place a strap across your torso for purses or backpacks so that no one can remove it. Small carry-on bags can be used as a pillow, this will enhance the safety of your items. And, you can put the larger bags beneath your feet or have their strap around your leg or arm.
If the layover is super long and you are planning to take a nap, it is advisable to keep your meals on the lighter side. Fast foods like pizza and fried foods can cause digestion issues which will make it hard to get comfortable while snoozing. You can have a fresh sandwich, a light rice bowl, protein bars, and a banana. These foods will provide you with carbohydrates and protein which are good for sleep. Also, keep your body hydrated by drinking plenty of pure water instead of caffeinated tea and coffee.
Confirm your flight details from the airline before falling asleep to know when you need to wake up to catch your flight. Charge your phone first and set an alarm for at least 45 or 30 minutes before your scheduled boarding time, so that you will get some time to freshen up. If your phone is not charged or you are not able to set an alarm, choose a place near the departure gate and request a gate attendant or your fellow passengers to wake you up.
If your flight gets delayed due to any reason and you don’t find any other accommodation, you can consider sleeping in an airport as an alternative. So, planning to sleep at the airport? Don’t fret! It is recommended to reach the airport early so that you can find a good spot, especially during peak season. Just remember to be active and careful about your flight timings and the necessary announcements. Keep checking your flight status.
Suggested Read: Biggest and Busiest Airports in the US
Whether it’s a flight delay, cancelation, or a long layover, it’s never fun to be stuck at the airport overnight. So, it is always good to know what facilities exist for you at the airport to get some comfortable sleep and avoid jet lag, if you are predicting a lengthy itinerary.
Now, all the major airlines have gone out of their way to make flying more comfortable for their passengers, including amenities ranging from private sleep pods/rooms to full-service spas. Let’s look at the four best airports where you’ll find amazing facilities for catching a nap during your long layover.
Denver International Airport doesn’t have designated rest or sleep areas. But, this airport is known to provide cots or blankets when the weather gets bad in case of large flight cancellations which makes sleeping at Denver Airport comfortable. The seats at the airport have armrests, and it also has large cubicles in the business center at the B Gate on the Mezzanine.
Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport is one of the busiest airports in the world that serve umpteen domestic and international routes. You will get comfortable armrest-free padded seating in Concourse A and Concourse F (the international terminal) terminals of the ATL airport. So, the next time you book your flight from Atlanta to India and if the flight gets delayed, take a nap at these terminals comfortably.
Most of the benches at the San Francisco International Airport are padded with armrests. It also has the Berman Reflection Room in the international terminal, which provides you with a quiet place for ‘meditation’ or we can say for sleeping. But, someone will come to wake you up from your meditation at 11 PM when the room closes.
You can find couches and large comfortable chairs at the Dallas/For Worth International Airport. The airport also provides roll-out cots or blankets to its passengers when the weather gets cold. So, the next time your Dallas to India flight gets delayed or canceled, you can sleep at an airport overnight comfortably.
A: Sleeping in airports is allowed in many airports, but some airports close at night or do not permit airport sleepers.
A: If you act smart and take some normal safety precautions, sleeping in airports is absolutely safe.
A: People opt to spend the night in an airport for several reasons such as if they have an early flight to catch, arrive late at night, overnight layover, flight delays or cancellations, or to save money on hotel room booking.
A: Find some comfortable chairs at the airports which have no armrests so that you can easily stretch out on those seats and get a comfortable sleep. But, if you don’t find chairs at the airport you can consider sleeping on the floor.
A: Most of the major airports have showers facilities, but there are some airports that do not offer this facility to their passengers.
A: Some airports close at night and won’t allow passengers to sleep at the airport overnight. But, not all the airports close at night, there are many major airports that are open 24/7.
Of course, sleeping at the airport overnight may not be your favorite way to spend the night, but it will be manageable and a little comfier with these tips. So, the next time this situation happens, consider this guide. It will help you to sleep in an airport as safely and comfortably as possible. And, If you have ever spent a night at the airport, do let us know your experience and some tips on how you’ve survived your time. We, at MyTicketsToIndia, would love to hear from you.
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Renu Dahiya is a passionate writer who worships her profession. Her love for writing has encouraged her to pursue her career as a writer. Her friends call her a “travel worm” and always come to her to know some interesting traveling tips and destinations. Renu is a repository of knowledge about traveling who knows which place should be visited in which season. Oh yes, she is insanely in love with dancing too. Writer, traveler and dancer, a perfect combination! Without a doubt, she is a complete package.