Airports are amazing places to sleep with everything you need to keep you going until you need to catch that next flight. This is one of my favourite way of saving money and for a few reasons too.
- Transport in/out from the cities near the airport are usually cheaper during the day and more regular too. It can be worth heading to the airport early to get a snooze before a flight or if you are landing in at 1am, getting a little sleep before getting the first metro to central.
- Don’t bother forking out on a pricey airport hotel for a long layover when you can sleep right there
Now, it’s not always that easy but it can be if you follow a few guidelines I try to live by. A lot are common sense, some I’ve learnt the hard way and the rest are pure genius…honestly!
- Have a back up plan. If you get rooted out of the airport as can often happen, at least have the location of somewhere nearby saved on your phone that you can make your way to and have some currency you can fork out. I rarely change all my local currency before leaving a country just incase I need something last minute.
- Have your outbound ticket ready to show. If the suits come asking what you are doing there at least you have proof you are going somewhere. I’ve spent 36 hours in an airport without being approached and other times I’m barely there before I’m asked so you never know.
- Prepare: If you are going to be there for a while, you may aswell make the most of it. Bring water, snacks, tissue, ear plugs, a book and/or flight pillow! Treat it as a long journey and you’ll settle in nicely. Some airports even have small cinemas you can camp up at
- Set an alarm. You don’t want to miss your flight but some terminals are so noisy that you may well miss even your alarm. This almost happened in Manila airport but luckily I had a note stuck to me “wake me at 7:40am please”. A handy tip I had found online. A lovely old man shook me away at 7:30 and I strolled to my gate….perfect.
- Sleeping under cameras is always a good idea. People are less likely to mess with your stuff while you sleep and if they do they might get caught.
- Place your zips with expensive goods towards you or the wall. This makes them harder to reach and increases your chance of waking up if someone goes digging
- Sleeping in airports is getting more and more common so as a result, if you have time to kill try to get there early. This means you have a better chance at getting a decent sleeping spot and especially one with a plug socket to keep you phone charged.
- Research. Know you terminal. Things like wifi, entertainment, restaurants, storage for your bags but also really important stuff like…does it stay open after the last flights have departed. Crucial!
- Another option is to rent a car for the day. It’s cheaper than a hotel, you won’t pay parking as long as you don’t leave the lot. You can crack up the heat, turn on the radio, lay the seat back and relax. This means tackling immigration so factor the time in. Also, you will need a drivers licence so it’s not going to work for everyone.
- Put your luggage in a locker if you can or you can lock up your luggage and lock it to a fixed bench while you wander. I don’t advise it too much but if you really need to…
- Play dumb. Say you didn’t know. Say that you just arrived. Say that you don’t speak the language. You can get away with anything if you appear ignorant enough. This also applies for queuing up in the wrong line and getting served in a shorter queue.
- When food vendors are closing up, food can be a little cheaper. Worth checking around.
- A lot of airports now have lounges that you can get into with economy class tickets for a small fee where you’ll have snacks, nice seating, decent wifi and some even have showers.
- If you are slumming it in the terminal, the toilets are great for a fresh up. Get a dirty shirt, use it as a cloth, brush your teeth, wash your hair and change your clothes in a cubicle.