It´s not for bums. It´s actually a thing many people choose to do, including me. Why? Let me explain.
Why would you choose to sleep at, what ultimately is, a massive bus stop? Hm, maybe because:
- it´s free (need more than that?)
- there´s plenty of food around
- it´s closer to your flight than any other hostel, hotel, tent etc, less hassle in the morning and lower risk of missing a flight
- as you´re already there, there´s no stress about getting there before the flight 🙂
- with food, nowadays, comes free wi-fi
- it never sleeps
- free toilets, some have showers too
- great for meeting people, or just people watching
- it´s safe, if you know what you´re doing
- it´s not normal (yep, that´s a strong positive!)
There´s an actual website dedicated to airport sleeping reviews, cunningly named http://www.sleepinginairports.net/, so you know what you´re getting into.
I slept at airports twice. Once in Bangkok and once in Quito. Both were positive experiences. Of course, it´s not the most comfy experience, you either sleep on the floor or on a bench, but I don´t care about being comfortable, or being sleepy, as I´ll sleep on the plane anyway.
Somehow, sleeping at the airport has some magic to it. Watching the whole place, like an ant nest, people coming, going, waiting, shopping, from all over the world, it just inspires some thoughts that I don´t have normally. It´s a strange place for this kinda thing, with all it´s rush and deadlines, but actually, if you sleep there, you have plenty of time, no rush, so just watch the world rush by, whilst you enjoy a nice cup of coffee, using free internet and taking it nice and slowly….
Things to keep in mind if you decide to do this:
- read reviews at http://www.sleepinginairports.net/ first
- your security – sleep on your bags, clip the backpack against your chair or leg or something. Use your important small backpack as a pillow. Lock the zips. You never know 😉
- airport security – not all of them like people stretching out on the floor, see if there´s anyone else doing it. If not, they should be fine letting you sleep on a seat, nothing wrong with a nap right?
- staff is doing night shifts, so there´s usually no supervisors, so you can get away with freebies, or getting access to internet for less, or just using the restaurant to sleep. Try and ask, no harm in that!
Enjoy the experience. Or share it with me if you already have some. Any other useful hints?