So your flight got delayed or cancelled. Or you have a flight in the ungodly hours before daybreak. Or your transit is going to be awfully long. Or you simply want to scrimp on your travel expenses. Whatever it is, you want some shut-eye before your flight, but the airport hotel is full or you don’t think booking a hotel room is worth it for only 3 hours.
Enter airport sleeping.
Airports are good for several things: getting onto your flight, welcoming a loved one from the arrival hall, some shopping and entertainment before leaving the country, and – you guessed it – sleeping!
Whether last-minute or planned, a decision to spend a night or two in the airport is not as terrible as you might think it is. Sure, there are airports which may not be conducive to a good night’s sleep if they are noisy or have poor facilities. In those cases, you should steer clear of them and loosen your purse strings a little to get a hotel stay. That said, some airports do have everything for a stay so comfy you will be reluctant to leave for your flight later.
The best thing about airport snoozing? It’s absolutely free!
WHAT YOU NEED
If you are a virgin airport overnighter, here are some things which might come in handy:
- A sleeping bag, travel mattress, inflatable raft, or just a thick towel or scarf to cushion the hard floor or uncomfortable benches
- Blankets and pillows to keep warm and snuggle up
- Ear plugs or head/earphones to shut out the world
- An alarm clock so that you won’t miss your flight
- Hand sanitizers or wipes to disinfect your territory if you are icky about cleanliness
- A small snack and some water if the airport does not have 24-hour food and drink
Once you’ve cozied up at the airport, don’t forget about safety: Try to sleep in areas where surveillance cameras are pointing towards, or near fellow airport snoozers. As with sleeping in any public place, do be wary of thieves and keep your belongings close to you.
WHERE TO SLEEP
Below are the 4 best and most raved about airports for some shut-eye:
1. Singapore Changi Airport
(Image taken from nileguide.com)
Why it’s perfect for slumber – Besides the usual suspects of free WiFi, yummy food throughout the night, and baggage storage, Changi Airport has free rest areas with luxurious leather snooze chairs as well as napping areas for the best airport slumber ever. Its prayer rooms are also perfect relaxation areas.
If you’re still sleepless – Go for a relaxing massage or spa, available 24 hours, or a quick dip in its swimming pool. To kill any extra time before or after your sleep, you can also visit its Jacuzzi, nature trail (which has a butterfly garden) or entertainment deck (which has LAN gaming, free movies, Xbox and PlayStation, and many more). Talk about fun!
Snooze Factor – Z Z Z Z Z
2. Incheon International Airport, Seoul:
(Image taken from karlgrobl.com)
Why it’s perfect for slumber – Transit passengers get to snooze on cosy seats in the airside area, and you can get a great variety of food and drinks no matter what time it is. The gigantic airport is quiet, spacious and unbelievably spotless, making for a peaceful night’s sleep.
If you’re still sleepless – Get up to the observation deck for an awesome bird’s eye view of the planes, or retreat into the quiet prayer rooms (Christian, Catholic, and Buddhist). Incheon Airport also boasts of a mini golf course and driving range, a Korean cultural museum, all-day sauna and spa, and gorgeous gardens.
Snooze Factor – Z Z Z Z
3. Amsterdam Airport Schiphol:
Above: Schiphol’s Airport Park (Image taken from livegreenblog.com)
Above: The VIP Lounge Centre (Image taken from nicenfunny.com)
Why it’s perfect for slumber – You can easily fall into deep sleep in its ergonomically designed massage chairs or if you visit the airside areas which have reclining chairs, foot rests, adjustable armrests, and designed rest zones. However its landside pales in comparison, and the airport can get crowded and noisy at times.
If you’re still sleepless – Break a sweat at the gym or try your luck at the casino if you are feeling insomniac. Amsterdam’s airport also has a meditation room, a well-stocked library, a huge rooftop viewing area, and a modest art museum.
Snooze Factor – Z Z Z
4. Hong Kong International Airport:
(Image taken from gawaya.com)
Why it’s perfect for slumber – Dubbed the world’s best airport in 2011, this airport is very clean and safe, and is chock full of facilities and services. It has four 24-hour pay-in lounges, 24-hour food and drink, airside resting areas, soothing miniature gardens, and baggage storage, just to name a few. There are, however, no free showers and the air-conditioning can get too cold.
If you’re still sleepless – Tire yourself out with the sports simulators, where you can play soccer, golf, basketball, etc. If you have children with you, there are play areas and TV lounges for them so you can ease them into bedtime.
Snooze Factor – Z Z Z Z
Sleeping in airports is quite the experience, and is something you, as a traveller, should do at least once in your lifetime. It is not just for the homeless, although you do get to unleash you inner hobo or channel Tom Hanks in The Terminal.
there’s a great site about travelling 😀