Tips on how to make long stays in an airport comfortable

Travel Forums General Talk Tips on how to make long stays in an airport comfortable

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1. Posted by Teoni (Travel Guru 1808 posts) 3y Star this if you like it!

Are you the type to catch up on sleep? Or do you find ways to pass the time and keep entertained.Do you have some equipment/tool that adds comfort or do you strategically seek out certain facilities and if they are not there what's your plan B? Are your tactics different if it is a night stay vs a day stay?

This topic has been rattling in my mind since my upcoming trip has me twice stuck overnight at an airport While it isn't my first extended stay at an airport I am always seeking ways to make such tiring trips a little more comfortable;) So I would love to hear from you guys how you cope with being stuck in airports

2. Posted by Andrew Mack (Travel Guru 1037 posts) 3y Star this if you like it!

I've been careful (read 'lucky') in recent years airport-wise.
Going back 20+ years I had a few overnighters in transit but just found a corner to sleep in, and turned on my Walkman.
Now I couldn't do that as I'd be aching far too much.
So I'd find a seat, try to doze off but mainly read a good book.
Then collapse when I get to my destination...

3. Posted by Sarahelainecp (Inactive 34 posts) 3y Star this if you like it!

It depends where I'm flying through. It's a different experience coming through Changi (which has an airside pool, a transit hotel and all sorts of other facilities), compared to Brussels (none of that, but at least wifi and plugs for electronics), and Entebbe (nothing. Nada. No plugs, no charging points, barely anywhere to buy coffee, dodgy air conditioning, and a very small tourist tat shop).

So lesson one is to be selective where you have to transit through - obviously it can't be Singapore Changi every time but aim for big airports with lots of facilities, or at least plugs. Dubai has lie-flat chairs, for example.

Lesson two, I save films I've been looking forward to (if there's likely to be charging points) or books I've been meaning to read for the journey. Clearly the temptation to just read them is high, but I try to resist. Having a few hours alone to myself to get some reading done is an increasingly rare luxury, so that helps me view the transit time as an active bonus, not a real drag. I sometimes bring my crochet - obviously not everyone is going to take up crochet, but it gives me something to do with my hands.

I've never been any good at naps, and I don't feel safe to in a lot of places. But my must-pack item has long been a large scarf - the kind that's at least a metre by a half metre - and that's big enough for a lap-rug, or bundled up as a pillow, so I'm at least a bit more comfortable.

4. Posted by Andrew Mack (Travel Guru 1037 posts) 3y Star this if you like it!

Quoting Sarahelainecp

Having a few hours alone to myself to get some reading done is an increasingly rare luxury, so that helps me view the transit time as an active bonus, not a real drag.

It is for me as well.

Similar to your scarf, I tend to take a lightweight sweatshirt zipped hoodie.
Apart from it being useful in airports usually aircon cold climate (like Changi), it's quite nice to put the hood up when I'm trying to nap/doze/sleep.

5. Posted by Cottonwood (Respected Member 658 posts) 3y Star this if you like it!

I love to move my legs and check out the airport, plus I am into photography and taking pictures of airplanes. If possible I will also buy postcards, if any worth buying, and mail them off to a few friends and family just for the fun of it. I don't sleep well in public areas like airports, so that's not an option.

6. Posted by UliS (Travel Guru 144 posts) 3y Star this if you like it!

Quoting Sarahelainecp

It depends where I'm flying through. It's a different experience coming through Changi (which has an airside pool, a transit hotel and all sorts of other facilities), compared to Brussels (none of that, but at least wifi and plugs for electronics), and Entebbe (nothing. Nada. No plugs, no charging points, barely anywhere to buy coffee, dodgy air conditioning, and a very small tourist tat shop).

Had even worse then Entebbe, the Douala airport had a leaking roof, the few benches (foam rubber covered) where completely wet, that was when leaving Cameroon, when arriving in the middle f the night my cab was not able to find the booked accomodation.
Have first a look at this site to see what you can expect: https://www.sleepinginairports.net/
Have some power banks if you want to see movies on your smartphone or laptop, or have some books or e-books.

7. Posted by karazyal (Travel Guru 3808 posts) 3y Star this if you like it!

For long stays in regular airports that have a lot of international flights I usually read most of the time. I travel with a wheelie now. When I don't have access to a lounge I hunt up a free baggage cart. Then I put the case on the cart and when snoozing at a seat put my legs up on my stuff. Sort of like a stool.

In my wheelie case, I have a thin blanket, not much thicker than a sheet. It folds up small. I spread it out and throw over me. This way I can even loosen up my belt and scratch myself without offending someone. Sometimes if free wifi is available I play with my computer. (Same thin blanket every now and then comes in handy to darken a cheap hotel room If I want to catch a few zzz's during the day or there is outside lighting is intruding into the room at night.)

Oh yeah, spare underwear in my carry on bag. Even a spare pair of pants too. For the layovers that lasted longer than I expected.

I try to choose connections where I don't have long layovers. But "stuff happens" and snow storms, hurricanes, volcanoes and airports closing down have every now and then changed things for me over the past 20 plus years. (I never go anywhere without something to read!)

8. Posted by Piecar (Inactive 1218 posts) 3y Star this if you like it!

Long stays often suck. I usually try to, then, stretch that awkwardly long stay into a longer stay and make it a small visit to the area.

In Mexico City, if it's a weird stay, I know to cross the street to a local Air Crew pub for a couple of hours, or even to go to the hotel, just next to it, that will give a rate for a ten hour layover, to catch some zzzzs.

There were days when I just had to pass out in a corner in an airport. I really look to avoid that. It's just not worth it.....and airports are not fun places to hang around, in my view. In general, I can't imagine rules to keep yourself from being bored or uncomfortable. Have your Kindle, your mp3 player, your neck pillow, and a thing to raise your feet at the ready. Rack the f out.

[ Edit: Edited on 26-May-2018, at 19:03 by Piecar ]

9. Posted by greatgrandmaR (Travel Guru 2130 posts) 3y Star this if you like it!

I have not been overnight in an airport for some time. The once that it sort of happened (in 1964) where I had a midnight plane that was delayed for several hours, I had bought some books just prior and I just sat and read. When the plane did eventually take off, I got to my destination too late to go to a hotel there. I got a cab to the train station, but the cab driver said that the station was full of gypsies and I should not go in until the ticket windows opened, and so I spent the rest of the night in the cab.

Now, I just go to a hotel

10. Posted by Beausoleil (Travel Guru 1790 posts) 3y Star this if you like it!

I've slept in airports but I can sleep anywhere. I always have a book or books although these days, it's a Kindle full of books. I wrap my backpack around my leg so someone can't walk off with it. If there's an airport hotel and the layover is really long, I'll opt for the hotel. A lot depends on the airport. Some are busier thus safer than others.