Let’s face it; budget airlines tend to sell their cheapest tickets early in the morning around 06:00am. For those on a backpackers budget, it doesn’t make any sense to book a hostel for a night as it would hardly get any use.
Airport sleeping was born.
This new form of budget travel has only seemed to have popped up in recent years and were only reserved once for troubled travellers during a flight cancellation.
But now with budget airlines being competitive with rock bottom prices, travellers are prepared to go for earlier flights to grab a bargain.
The best alternative to avoiding airport hotel costs is airport sleeping and get the most out of your early flight saving.
The best way to go about this is to arrive early in the morning or late at night on the previous day to sleep as much as you can before departing.
I don’t know about you, but 06:00am is a risky business and by sleeping at the airport before the flight I can ensure that I will check in without missing an alarm clock.
However, some airports have been quick to learn about this new craze and have banned airport sleeping all together.
It’s a real pain as early flights bring more additional business and they should work to accommodate this new trend, but it seems to be hit and miss. You might even find at some airports they have even gone as far as designing the chairs differently so it’s impossible to sleep on.
But the best airports around the world that value customer satisfaction have started to become airport sleeping friendly in recent years so you might get lucky.
Sleeping in airports
Sleeping in airports is one of my favourite travel websites. It’s a resource I often use and contribute to with my findings. It’s a database covering all airports around the globe and reporting if its airport sleeping friendly or not.
Here you can find a large list of the good, bad and the ugly armed with reviews and pictures to best make your judgement without even having to arrive at the airport itself. It’s very handy to use when booking an early flight to see if its possible to sleep at the airport or not.
They will quickly highlight if the airport will be open, where the best sleeping spots are and extra tips such as if you can find a shower room, charging area and how nice the security guards are.
Tips for Airport Sleeping
• Most airports are open 24 hours, but some smaller airports do close at midnight, so best to check in advance or you might be sleeping out in the cold.
• Arrive at midnight, normally when the last flights take off. Lock your bags up in a locker, or if you can, check them in early.
• Most travellers start to arrive at midnight and could start to take up the best spots to be aware of this, its first come first serve.
• Find somewhere to rest your head for the next 4 hours. When it’s time for your flight, you can sleep on the flight, simple.
• Look around the airport for chairs without armrests, this gives you a nice flat out bench space to sleep on.
• Some airport security really don’t care about you sleeping at the airport, but do follow there instructions, they might even give you tips, ask.
• Try and find secret hidden areas to sleep out of the way where some people don’t look. At Edinburgh airport they had a Praying area that is not in use untill 06:00am, it made a perfect sleeping spot with its couch like flooring. Best to check out the website to see what you can find.
• avoid sleeping by entrances or check in desks, it may be empty now, but give it a few hours and people will start arriving.
• Pack eye covers or earplugs if you find it hard to sleep
• Make sure you set a good alarm, the last thing you want to do is miss your flight.
Warning! Some airports close at night or kick out sleepers, so best to check the website to see if this is the case.
Some airports are extremely friendly, though, like in Milan, I pitched my tent there and was not disturbed for 6 hours, perfect! I also found a free coffee machine and WIFI, all thanks to the website.
Wish you all the best with your new adventure into airport sleeping and hope you manage to save some extra travel funds by following the above steps, good luck!