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sleepinginairports
Mark Vitazko / Flickr

Your Guide to Sleeping (but not Snoring) in Airports


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In the name of sleep! Whether it’s for a couple of zzs or for a full snore-fest, just don’t take a nap on a baggage carousel.

Red-eye flights are notoriously cheap for a reason — cause no one be awake at 3 am. There are a lot of cooler reasons to be awake during that time (“Oh MAN! I was partying with Fergie all night long!!”) but being in an airport is not one of them. And let’s face it, I’m getting kind of old for that kind of thing.

So let’s skip the whole “that’s the last red-eye flight I ever take!” thing, because we know you’re going to take one at some point; if not now, then in like five years on that freak occasion its soo blindingly cheap. There are a couple of options to get your shut-eye, but most of them involve money that will pretty much negate whatever savings you probably just achieved by taking the flight. For the freest option, just skip to the end of this article.

For everyone else, it depends on what you value more: money or your beauty sleep:

Book a night at the nearest hotel. Most airports have hotels nearby, or within walking distance. Nearby hotels usually run one or two ways — butt-ass cheap ‘cause they’re out in the boonies, or expensive cause they KNOW you need your shut-eye. And since we think $100 and up is clearly a rip for six hours, let’s check out the next few options.

Sleep in a transit hotel. A transit hotel is usually a hotel inside the airport for passengers arriving in the middle of the night or any time of day who want some rest. You don’t get a whole night, but you can rent a room by the hour or in several hour blocks (usually around six hours or so). They can be substantially cheaper than an actual hotel. For instance, the cheapest room at Singapore Changi’s transit hotel goes for about $47.08 SGD ($37.82 USD) for six hours — substantially cheaper than a hotel in the city. And honestly, the room was pretty great for the price.

Sleep in a lounge. Lounges are sectioned off for privacy, so you’ve either got to be a member or pay for access. Again, this costs money, and to boot, not all lounges are created equal. There’s no guarantee that the lounge will be relatively empty and quiet (Oryx lounge in Doha airport, I’m lookin’ at you). So unless you just want the food and free Wi-Fi that usually comes with it, you’re better off sleeping in the airport.

Just sleep in the goddamn airport. Yeah. It’s just three hours. Come on! You can do it, especially with the dedicated Sleeping in Airports website (bookmark it, learn it, love it). The website gathers information from travelers all over at the best places to sleep, including the little nooks and crannies people may have missed. It’s all user-generated, so it’s only as comprehensive as the information that it collects, but it’s definitely a pretty good starting point to find a place that isn’t pounding your eyes with harsh, fluorescent lighting. An eye mask and some ear plugs will definitely help. Then proceed to do your bestest to shut out the rest of the world and godspeed.

Sounds good? Good, cause it’s time for me to catch a few zzs.

[Sleeping in Airports]
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