I read about tips for sleeping at airports from a website that claimed to be the authority in all matters related to dozing off at airports. But as they say, experience is always the best teacher, and you only know what you're talking or writing about when you've personally experience it. Because I just came from a solo trip that brought me back to the adventure that comes with spending less, here are my seven tips for sleeping at airports:
1. Skip the Pay-per-use Lounge
Even an hour "stay" at a pay-in shower lounge ain't cheap, so unless you are really covered with dirt and smudge, skip taking this expensive route. At the Hong Kong International Airport, one hour can cost around USD40. One of my top tips for sleeping at airports: bring a small toiletries bag with wet wipes, facial wash, toothbrush/toothpaste, a towel, and deodorant. This care package should be enough to make you look and feel decent until you arrive at your destination.
2. Sleep at the Arrival Area
The departure hall is too crowded and most of the seats are already filled at 9:00 p.m. If you have a 12-hour layover or are contemplating sleeping at the airport to catch a 6:00 a.m. flight, consider sleeping at the arrival area. I usually find reclining chairs, which are a great alternative for beds. There's not many people at the arrival hall either!
3. Bring Your Shawl
This will double as your jacket during your flight and as your blanket when you sleep. When using it as a blanket, it also saves you the embarrassment of showing your sleeping body to the rest of the world. It's one of your most prized possessions as a traveler so never ever leave home without it.
4. Bring a Pair of Socks
You never know if the airport you will be staying at for the night will be extra cold. While a great pair of ballet flats is great for traveling, along with a thin pair of foot socks, do not forget to pack your most trusted pair of regular socks. They will keep your feet warm. If you're sleeping on chairs or, worse case scenario, on the floor, you are assured that your tootsies stay protected.
5. Own a Powerbank
Several airports have charging points but you're not the only one whose battery power just went down to critical levels. To avoid competing with fellow travelers for the right to use a wall socket or a USB portal to charge your smartphone, own a powerbank and be sure to charge it before leaving home. It will save you the hassle and stress of having to look for a place where you can sit and charge your device.
6. "Hug" Your Valuables
When sleeping, place your valuables in a sling bag and wear it like you're wearing a necklace. Cover yourself with a blanket, turn to your side and hug the bag. Airports are generally safe places but you never know when bad elements come to visit, so better to be prepared. Don't leave your belongings with any person either. Take them with you everywhere you go.
7. Eat Fast Food
Only because it's cheap. Most restaurants in airports charge more than twice the regular amount. A bottle of water is extremely expensive so buy them at convenience stores rather than ordering one at a restaurant.
Have you experienced sleeping in airports? Do you have any tips to share with your fellow travelers?