Sleeping on an airport bench

Photo by OakleyOriginals

Whether it’s due to a long layover, a redeye flight, a cancellation or sheer stinginess, if you travel often enough, you’ll one day inevitably find yourself having to sleep at an airport.

If you’re lucky, you’ll find a nice sofa to curl up on, and if you’re even luckier, you’ll be crashing at an airport where the staff will bring out cots for you to sleep on (yes, that exists, check out this page to see which airports provide this service). But more often than not, airports can be austere spaces with little more than cold tiles and hard plastic seats that accommodate only a fraction of the passengers.

With that in mind, if you’re going be spending the night, preparation is not only key, it’s crucial. The Guide to Sleeping in Airports is a great one-stop resource for getting the lowdown on airport facilities around the world, including info on all the airport hotels and lounges, as well as reviews of amenities.

The site also offers tips on how exactly to go about sleeping in an airport. This includes suggestions like: get to the airport early as space can be limited after 10pm; scope out the arrivals terminal and the international terminal as these can be significantly nicer than the departures or domestic terminals; dress in layers to prepare for all temperature scenarios; bring snacks in case food venues are closed; and if you’re willing to cough up a bit of cash, remember that many airports have lounges which you can pay a one-off fee to use.

While it’s not for everyone (the site suggests looking for sleeping spots behind ticket counters, in wheelchairs and on luggage conveyor belts), it’s worth a look, if only to prepare for the unexpected.

Passengers sleep at Hartsfield Jackson International Airport in Atlanta, Georgia, USA. This looks kinda like a scene out of one of those zombie movies. Photo by Brady Wahl.