Sleeping at the airport is practically a required part of long-haul travel. As a passenger, you decided it was worth the money saved to have a long layover in Tokyo, but two hours into waiting around and too much makeup tried on at Duty-Free and you start to feel beyond exhausted. You’re dying for a nap but you have no idea how to go about it without looking like a homeless person.
Alternatively, you went for the budget airline flight that leaves at 4 AM, so it made much more sense to arrive at the airport at 11 PM so that you didn’t have to get up at stupid o’clock in the morning to catch the flight. The problem you’re facing is a whole other one. You need to find a place away from the overnight cleaning crew who are particularly loud in some airports. The staff at Zurich International is particularly rowdy. So what’s a sleepy passenger to do?
It’s really not so complex to get some real sleep at an airport. Some simple strategies need to be applied in order to sleep well and with as much dignity as possible given that you may very well wake up with drool all over your face and crusts in your eyes.
One crucial aspect of sleeping at the airport is to do so by respecting your fellow passengers. This is especially important when you’re going for the early morning flight scenario. There’s a good chance that other people on your flight thought of the same brilliant idea, so there’s a few things that need to be done in order to be as respectful as possible. First of all, you shouldn’t take up more than two seats while waiting at the gate. While some airports, such as Reykjavik, are specifically designed with waiting areas littered with moderately comfortable couches and many electrical outlets designed for napping and watching films, this isn’t the case for older airports. Instead, do your best to make do with as little space as possible.
Another aspect of maintaining decency during your vulnerable state is to ensure that you are properly dressed for the occasion. Sure, show up in your hot pink tracksuit, you certainly won’t be the only one. But ensure that the tracksuit in question covers up your entire body. No one wants to see your belly protruding from your sweatshirt, or even worse the start of your bottom. Similarly, keep at least your socks on, even if you have just had a fancy pedicure. Bare feet are not a nice site to see, so keep them to yourself.
Perhaps the most essential part of sleeping at the airport is finding a good place to sleep. Your long layover will give you plenty of time to wander around the terminal to seek out the best spot. Avoid setting up shop near a food court, information desk, or money exchange desk unless you enjoy tossing and turning. Instead, look for the most isolated gate with no flights departing in the next couple of hours. Other people sleeping is also a good sign, unless you’re prone to loud snoring, in which case you should be seeking out an area of your own.
Perhaps the most obvious of tips is to set a loud alarm about forty-five minutes before your flight is meant to board. This will give you plenty of time to find a restroom, have a snack, and locate your gate in a leisurely fashion. Best make it an hour if you are in a huge airport such as JFK or LAX.