How To Sleep At An Airport
Travel and days out

How to Sleep at an Airport When Your Flight’s Delayed

Let’s face it, nobody dreams of the day that they’ll have an opportunity to catch a night’s rest at an airport terminal, but sometimes you don’t have any other choice but to lay down for a nap while you’re waiting for your flight. If your flight is cancelled or delayed, then you might have an overnight layover that you didn’t plan for, and that means at least trying to catch some Z’s before you take the next leg of your journey. Here are tips on how to sleep at an airport.

If you think that you’re going to have to sleep at the airport during your trip, the following tips can help you to enjoy a better more peaceful experience.

1.     Do Some Research on how to sleep at an airport

It’s hard to plan for a delayed or cancelled flight, but you can make sure that you’re prepared, and you know where to go should the worst happen. Take the time to research your backup sleeping options before you head off on your trip. There are plenty of major airports out there that at least offer Wi-Fi and chargers, so you can assess what’s available around you.

2.     Consider an On-Site Hotel

If you’re flying with a very large airport, then there’s a good chance that there might be a hotel located inside the actual facility. In that case, you don’t have to worry about the inconveniences of going through security and customs again. Additionally, you can rest assured that you’ll be able to get back to the airport on time if you get an alert that tells you that a new flight is available for you to board. If you have some money to spare and there is an on-site hotel available, then make sure that you at least check it out. After all, you might as well get a good night’s sleep if you can manage it.

3.     Protect your Belongings

If you really need to sleep in a terminal, then travelling light could be the key to making sure that you can defend your belongings and stop your valuables from being stolen. If you’re lugging around a suitcase or multiple bags, then you might want to check and find out whether the airport has facilities for storing luggage. Whatever you do, keep your money and passport with you always, and keep your bag close. If possible, resist going to the bathroom and leaving your luggage unattended, as security is always on the look-out for unattended baggage.

4.     Avoid Isolated Locations

If you’re travelling solo, then it’s important not to sleep in too much of an isolated location. While prayer rooms and yoga rooms might seem like a good place to get some rest, they can also increase your chances of getting robbed if these spaces stay empty for long periods of time. If possible, it might be better for you to sleep near your gate surrounded by other people. You should also check the departure board before you nod off to check whether there are any early flights leaving from the gate that you’re staying at.

5.     Create a Peaceful Space

Sleeping in a terminal isn’t a practice conducive to plenty of peace and quiet. However, you can employ some of the same tactics you might use on a flight if you wanted to get some extra rest. For instance, use a sleep mask to block out additional light, and use headphones or earplugs to get rid of any passenger chatter or flight announcements. If you’ve packed a toiletries kit in your carry-on, you can wash your face and brush your teeth before you sleep too.

6.     Prepare to be Woken Up

If you’re stressed, exhausted, and even jet-lagged from a previous flight, then there’s a good chance that you’ll oversleep and end up missing your next connecting flight. With that in mind, make sure that you have an alarm set on your phone that’s ready to wake you up when you need to go. Don’t be surprised if you’re woken up by security before you expect your alarm to go off, however. Some security guards will check terminals for sleepers, so you should be ready to show your boarding pass and explain why you’re there if you’re roused.

7.     Use an Airport Lounge

While most airport lounges won’t be available for overnight use, if you just want to get a few hours of shut-eye while you’re waiting to be moved onto the next flight after a cancellation, then you can always try heading to an airport lounge for a little more peace and comfort. In a lounge, you’ll be able to use food, showers, and soft comfortable seats to get the much-needed rest that you deserve.

Do you have tips on how to sleep at an airport?

You might want to research how to make the whole experience at the airport less stressful.


Hot Pink Wellingtons

Award-winning writer, blogger, social media consultant and charity campaigner. Social Media Manager for BritMums, the UK's largest parent blogging network Freelance clients include Firefly Communications and Save the Children UK. Works with brands on marketing projects. Examples include Visit Orlando, Give As You Live, Coca-Cola and Kodak. Cambridge Law graduate with many years experience working across three sectors in advice, media relations, events, training and project management. Available for hire at affordable rates.


  • Clare

    Great tips here. I am never that organised but I think it is always to be prepared especially as flights are always cancelled. #SharingtheBlogLove

  • claire | the ladybirds' adventures

    great tips. I still remember our flight being delayed 13 hours when i was a teenager. #sharingthebloglove

  • Katy - Hot Pink Wellingtons

    Thankfully I’ve never had this problem, but I know I wouldn’t handle it well – I tend to panic in situations like these, so this is all great advice. I think if it came to it, I’d definitely be taking myself off to a hotel – I struggle to sleep at the best of times, so I don’t have much faith in me sleeping in the terminal itself! Thanks for joining us at #SharingtheBlogLove

  • Laura - Dear Bear and Beany

    Luckily this has never happened to me. I think if it was UK side I would be ok, but if it was going home I would panic. Thank you for joining us at #SharingtheBlogLove

  • Tubbs

    Great tips here 🙂 My OH laughs at me, but my hand luggage always includes a change of top and knickers as well as a basic wash-kit just in case! It’s come in useful when our luggage has been late or our flights delayed

  • Kayleigh (Minihumanresources)

    Great tips! I’ve never had to do this thankfully (and I couldn’t imagine doing it now with three kids in tow!) but it’s always good to be prepared! #sharingthebloglove

  • Helena

    We’ve yet to fly as a family but think it’s always a good idea to be prepared for whatever eventuality you may face. #SharingtheBlogLove

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: