11 Nov How to Survive a Night at the Airport
Sleeping at airports?! Are you crazy?? I get it. It sounds ridiculous and it’s easy to dismiss the idea. Never in a million years did I imagine doing something this bold. I’m kind of high-maintenance when it comes to sleeping. I need a bed big enough for me to roll around in, a comfortable pillow to rest my head on, two other pillows for hugging, and a blanket to keep me warm — and that’s my secret to sleeping like a baby folks. Also, I’m very cranky when I don’t get enough sleep…
But in reality, sometimes we just need to suck it up! There are going to be circumstances beyond our control whether it be flight cancellations or getting stuck at the airport due to weather conditions.
If you truly love traveling and would rather prioritize being able to do so, you must make a few sacrifices. My boyfriend, Rex, and I were on our way to Belize with a 10-hour layover in Houston, TX (our ticket was only $330-$400 roundtrip each!).
I arrived in Houston around 10:00 PM. I was meeting my boyfriend, Rex, at 12:00 AM when he got in from LAX.
If we were to get a hotel:
- Hotel would’ve cost about $70+
- About $20-$30 roundtrip for a cab to and from the hotel
- We’d arrive at the hotel around 12:30-1:00 AM
- Our flight to Belize was at 9:00 AM so we’d have to be back at the airport around 7:00 AM.
- This means we’d have to wake up around 6:00 to get ready
- This also means we’d only have about 5-6 hours of sleep
After looking at our situation, it wasn’t worth the $70-$100 for about 5 hours of comfortable sleep. No thanks.
THE TRUTH ABOUT SLEEPING AT AIRPORTS
It’s far from luxury. It can get extremely uncomfortable for your back. The bright fluorescent lights make it almost impossible to get some shut-eye. The freezing air will make you think you’re getting hypothermia and the ruckus (custodians/babies/announcements/arrivals/etc.) will drive you crazy.
However, it’s not completely impossible to get a good night’s sleep at the airport. All it takes is preparation and having to sacrifice three pillows… (nooooo!)
HOW TO SURVIVE A NIGHT AT THE AIRPORT
1. Pack right
A few ideas (not necessarily vital) on what to pack to make your stay a little more bearable:
1. Blanket & pillow
2. A towel to lay on
3. Extra layers (socks, sweater, sweats, etc.)
4. Chargers for your devices
5. Entertainment (music, movies, books, magazines, etc.)
6. Food (you can totally go through security with food)
5. Toiletries (toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo, contact lens solution, etc.)
7. Eye shades (to keep the bright lights from blinding you)
8. An empty bottle to refill at the water fountain
You have a few options as far as securing your belongings and staying safe.
1. Store your luggage if your airport offers lockers/storage.
2. Set camp where security cameras cover ground.
3. Sleep near other travelers or where others can see you.
4. Keep your belongings close to you, sleep on them, or make sure to lock the zippers together.
3. Scope the Area
Did you know some airports have hotels in them? They even have gyms! Don’t settle for the first corner available to you. The airport is like Super Mario World; it has hidden rooms and secret perks. While scoping the Houston Airport, Rex and I found a nice little toasty chapel. Unfortunately, a couple had already beaten us there and laid out on the benches. Airports also have lounges available for certain memberships or for a small fee.
4. Dress appropriately
I don’t care how warm blooded you are; the temperature in airports are usually freezing cold! You’re better off wearing layers so you can adjust accordingly. Dressing for comfort in general will make sleeping at the airport much more tolerable.
5. Have food & water
Most restaurants and shops close early — around the time of the last flight. Make sure to fill that belly before sleeping, or bring snacks for those late night cravings. Purchase food and drinks (or bring an empty bottle to refill at the water fountain) before the food concessions close so you’re not starving to death overnight. Having food just makes me feel at ease, even when I’m not hungry (#gluttony).
To learn more about sleeping at airports, visit sleepinginairports.net.
What are ways to make sleeping at airports more tolerable for you? Comment down below and let me know! Make sure to subscribe if you found these tips helpful. 🙂
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