Get some quality shuteye, no matter which airport you’re in, with these expert tips
Red-eye or cancelled flights, missed buses or trains, or fully booked hotels and hostels can mean you end up without a bed for the night. These tips will help you get the best possible night’s sleep when you find yourself at an airport, train station or other unusual spot without your blanket and pillow.
Find a spot
Sleeping somewhere unusual during your travels is an adventure, not an annoyance — or at least it works out better if you think this way. Some airports have chairs resembling poolside loungers where you can stretch out reasonably well. Others have pay-to-enter lounges or massage kiosks where you can sneak in some shuteye. Traveling alone? Make sure to curl up next to people who are waiting for the same plane or train as you are. Eliminate the creepy factor by offering a smile or at least making friends with them first.
Cover yourself with a towel or sarong or even clothing from your luggage (always keep a light sweater in your carry-on, even if you’re headed somewhere sunny), especially if you’re sleeping somewhere heavily air-conditioned. You can also use your backpack as a pillow. Wear a sleep mask to block out the glare of fluorescent lights typical of airports — studies show you get a better-quality snooze when the lights are out. Remember to set an alarm.
Also read: 5 essentials travelers never pack…but should
Keep your belongings as close to you as possible (and your passport and money under your shirt). If you can, padlock your stuff to the furniture. In a public space like an airport, find a spot that’s visible to other people, such as the area near a service counter or shop.
This article originally appeared in the June 2015 issue of Smile magazine.