Lifestyle

A Traveler’s Ugly Truth: Sleeping in Airports

Every seasoned traveler endures the luxury of a missed, delayed, or canceled flight or lengthy layover in which results in the outstanding experience of sleeping in the airport terminal.

Nothing produces the well rest just like 24 hour fluorescent lights, the longing of the mythical bench without arm rests, and the prying eyes of the janitorial staff, said no one ever.

My life as a [broke] backpacker presents me with numerous opportunities for airport sleep, lucky me. After spending two nights this week sleeping in the airport (Wichita, Kansas and Denver, Colorado), I think I discovered the perfect formula for a nearly decent night’s slumber in a place which lacks any accommodations for the weary traveler.

Below are some tips to obtain some snooze. Always remember, there are two types of slumber parties in the airport: those who plan for a night in the airport and those who are tragically thrown into staying a night in the airport from some airline mishap.

Note: I am a backpacker. I carry a sleeping bag and sleeping pad. The most successful airport sleeper owns and travels with these items.
  1. Check out sleepinginairports.net

Sleepinginairports.net informs airport sleepers of options on where to sleep in specific airports all over the world. This is helpful especially when flying into a small airport in which might close at night.

  1. Always carry a carry-on

If you find out the last minute your night’s fate, you can breathe easy that you brought some essentials in your carry-on bag. Always pack your tooth brush, a jacket, a few articles of clothing, and ear plugs. The jacket will become your blanket. The articles of clothing will do nicely for a pillow, for some comfort from the unforgiving ground, or as an eye shield from the persistent lights. You will be wishing for the ear plugs when the janitorial staff vacuums around 2 a.m. The toothbrush awards you with a 75% better morning.

  1. Scope out the best spot

The location of your sleeping spot is key to a quality sleep. In all airports, the lights will remain on. I haven’t slept in one which operated without a constant luminance. My favorite locations have been dark corners. No dark corner in sight? Search for a prop in which will block your head from the lights such as under a desk, table, chair, or bench.

A bench without arm rests rarely appears in airports but aren’t completely legend. Don’t regret not checking and discover one the morning after.

  1. Don’t be a hobo

Sleeping in airports isn’t quite the most glamorous endeavor. However, don’t be a hobo. Sleeping in airports should only be allowed for those with a flight the next day. No one likes a hobo stealing all the prime sleepy head locations. Show a boarding pass or get out.

  1. Always get coffee in the morning

Airports are notorious for overpriced food. However, buy that six dollar latte after your successful (or not so successful) night. You deserve it.

 

 

Photo Source: Jonathan Cohen for The New York Times

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