Staying in the airport overnight?

First things first, you may be wondering, “Why would you ever stay in the airport overnight?” Well, for me, it has always been a way to save money or because I had an overnight flight that was cancelled after boarding the plane.

For example, one of my flights landed around 11 pm, so I figured that by the time I got through everything else, I wouldn’t have arrived to my AirBnB until 1/1:30 am. For me, that was a waste of most of a night’s worth of stay. I preferred and needed to save my funds. I ended up just spending the night at the airport working on music, which I needed to complete ASAP anyway. I headed toward my AirBnB the next day.

Flight ETA status panel at LAX international airport.
Flight ETA status panel at LAX international airport.

Read my 10 dos of staying in the airport overnight and why below!

  1. Bring a blanket (and a hoodie) even if you tend to get hot.
    • You don’t want to get stuck being unable to sleep or uncomfortable because you are too cold or being tempted to buy a $40 blanket while in the airport.
    • You can use the blanket/hoodie to cover the seat or yourself or use it as a cushion or pillow.
  2. Find an area that isn’t packed but still has a few people around.
    • If anything were to go down, you want to increase your chances of having a witness, but you also don’t want it to be too noisy or crazy.
    • Let a loved one know what area of the airport you have chosen to sleep in if you are travelling by yourself.
  3. Sleep with your checked bag(s) under your feet or legs and use your carry-on as a pillow in front of you.
    • This way, if anyone tries to grab your things, it should wake you (at least if you are a fairly light sleeper).
  4. Make sure you have all of your hygienic necessities handy in your carry-on.
    • I strongly suggest baby wipes to freshen up.
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  5. Look up restaurants and amenities near your gate beforehand.
    • This can give you a clear idea of how much you may need to spend and what you can do during your time there.
    • Know what time the places you plan to go close.
  6. Similar to #5 – Read up on the airport before travelling.
    • This will give you a much better idea of what to expect while you are there (i.e. wifi quality, cell service reception, temperatures, customer service, unique things to find there, how long it takes to get from different areas of the airport).
    • If you have a particular question about it that hasn’t been answered yet, take advantage of the “ask a question” feature on Google Maps or e-mail/call the airport customer service, and you might just get a helpful answer.
    • I suggest doing this and #5 at least a week or two in advance so if you choose to ask a question, you can more likely get a response.
  7. Bring foods and snacks that require minimal to no preparation that are also filling.
    • Snacks like apples or granola and protein bars are perfect for breakfast or for a midnight snack if you are not sleeping.
    • Many airport vendors are willing to give hot water for free. Some may even allow you to use a microwave. For example, oatmeal is one food that I tend to bring because even while onboard a flight hot water is an option.
  8. Bring more than one device or other forms of entertainment.
    • If you have an old mp3 player, gaming device, laptop, tablet, book, or all of the above to keep you busy, it will give a chance for your phone to charge up.
  9. Sit as close to an outlet as possible.
    • This one kind of goes without saying, but you want your device to be within an arms reach so you can keep an eye on it while it is charging. Better yet bring a portable charger so you can keep your device in your bag.
  10. Bring everything with you if you are travelling alone.
    • I know it is not ideal to bring all of your things to the restroom, but better to be safe than sorry.

I would love to hear if any of these tips were new or helpful to you! Do you have any other tips? Let me know in the comments below!

2 thoughts on “Staying in the airport overnight?

  1. All of these tips were quite helpful! I would also say try to find a place near a restroom, so you don’t have to go far with your stuff. If you can find someone integrious to watch over your things while you go, that’s ideal, but obviously that setup is not always available.

    Liked by 1 person

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