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8 Tips for Sleeping at the Airport



Nobody likes sleeping at the airport—but sometimes, it’s inevitable.

Long layovers, unexpected delays, or—the worst—surprise flight cancellations where your rescheduled flight isn’t until the next day. Desperate times call for desperate measures.

Catching some sleep at the airport can make all the difference in your travels—it’s the difference between arriving at your destination exhausted and spent, or refreshed and ready to go. Here’s how to perfect the art of sleeping at the airport.

Pick Up Some Essentials
The good news: if you’re stranded at the airport, you still have resources. Scour airport shops for accessories that will help you make the most of the conditions. Earplugs, a sleeping mask, and one of those neck cushions can go a long way.

Scope Out the Best Seats
The best seats for snoozing are typically not the uncomfortable ones found at the gate, thanks to pesky individual armrests. You’ve got time to kill, so go for a walk and see if you can find some more comfortable seating options in other areas of the terminal.

Secure Your Stuff
The trickiest part about sleeping in the airport is keeping an eye on your belongings. If you’re traveling with others, take turns snoozing and watch out for each others’ gear. If you’ve got big bags with you, talk to the attendant at the gate to see if it’s not too late to check it. Position purses and bags underneath you or in some place where they’d be hard to get to without waking you up. You might also choose to nap somewhere where security or other airport employees can see you—they’ll likely notice if someone is up to no good and trying to steal your stuff.

Always keep your boarding pass, passport, money, and other important documents on your person. Don’t forget to use your safety sense—in some international airports, the risk of getting pick pocketed might make airport sleeping a bad bet.



Get Crafty
If you’ve got a carry on, make the most of what you’ve packed. Throw on an extra sweater to stay warm, or use a large scarf as a makeshift blanket. Bunched up clothing makes for a do-able impromptu pillow, as does a soft backpack.

Upgrade to the Lounge
Some airport lounges allow access if you pay a fee, which varies from lounge to lounge and airport to airport. Depending on the fee and your situation, it might be worth the upgrade. Lounges are quiet and generally offer better (read: comfier) sleeping options—there might even be beds to sleep on and showers for a quick pre-flight refresh.

Inquire About Vouchers
If your flight was cancelled or you missed a connecting flight due to airline issues, inquire about the availability of hotel vouchers. Some airlines will put you up for the night for free. It doesn’t hurt to ask, but be polite about it!

Splurge on a Hotel
In some instances, it might be worth it to splurge on a nearby hotel room for the night (especially if you’re traveling with companions and can split the cost). For example, if you’ve got an important meeting at your destination or you’re only there for a day, a good night’s sleep might be worth the money.

Don’t Forget to Wake Up
Before you hit the hay, set your cell phone alarm—and set a back up, too! Don’t forget to account for time zone changes—your phone alarm might not be in sync with local time.


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