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You Have To Read This If You’ve Ever Considered Sleeping In Airports

(Photograph provided courtesy of Denver International Airport)

So the other night I was in the midst of planning my “Mega Summer Trip” (details to be announced later) and I realized that one segment of my trip involved getting into an airport super late and departing out of the same airport really early the next morning.  The ol’ backpacker in me thought that perhaps I could spend the night in the airport and avoid paying for a hotel room that I’d likely only use for only 5 hours.  It’s perfect –  I’ll save on a night of accommodations, and it’s not like I haven’t slept in airports before.  When I backpacked through Europe years ago, I slept in all sorts of random public spaces and mastered keeping track of my luggage while doing so.

I googled the airport to check if there were any lounges (just to know my options in case I didn’t want to sprawl on an airport bench) and stumbled across this website: The Guide To Sleeping in Airports.  You have to check this guide out — even if you never plan to sleep in an airport!  I had no idea so many people actually did this that there’s a website dedicated to it!  Holy moly!  The best/funniest part of it all is all the reviews (it’s just as thorough as hotel reviews), the tips (best spot to make your bed, what amenities are offered at the terminal, how close you are to snacks, etc.) and advice on how to avoid looking like you’re a professional airport-overnighter (seriously?!).  If you’re cheap, you need to check it out.  If you’ve got a long overnight layover, you need check it out.  And if you want some laughs, you definitely need to check it out.
By the way, if you’re at all curious about how the airports in North America stacked up:
The best airports in North America to sleep in are:
1) Vancouver (YVR)
2) Toronto (YYZ)
3) Detroit (DET)
4) San Francisco (SFO)
5) Denver (DEN)
…and the worst airports in North America to sleep in are:
1) Los Angeles (LAX)
2) New York Kennedy (JFK)
3) Newark (EWR)
4) New York, La Guardia (LGA)
5) Miami (MIA)
Having been to all these airports, I can’t say I’m surprised.  I’m especially NOT surprised about LAX’s ranking.  That dingy airport is an embarrassment to Los Angeles and way overdue for a makeover considering 60M people pass through it annually.
You’ll have to check out the website for details on all the other best/worst airports around the world.  After all that, however, I’ve decided it’s probably best to pay for a hotel room that night – I can’t put a price tag on sleep quality. 🙂

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Tiffany - March 23, 2013 - 11:41 pm

That is awesome hahah..I’ve never slept at an airport before but might try it someday! just for the experience =P

Just Wanderlust - March 24, 2013 - 9:47 am

It is a great way to appreciate having a bed… 🙂

Steph - January 16, 2014 - 4:19 am

I once spent the night at Brisbane airport in Australia, I read the sleeping in airports site before I decided to do it, and it was absolutely fine, there were several people who had the same idea, and once the cleaning crew had finished up shortly after midnight, I slept surprisingly well.

JustWanderlust - January 16, 2014 - 9:45 am

Steph – The guide has actually come in handy for me, too, ever since I found it… wish something like that existed back in my backpacking days!

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