Home > Travel Notes > Five Travel Tips for Surviving the Airport at Night

You may consider navigating through the airport and waiting for a flight to be the worst parts of your trip. When the flight attendant makes the announcement that it's finally time to board, it's hard not to feel a wave of relief and excitement as you start your journey to your destination.

However, if you find yourself forced to stay overnight due to a flight delay or cancellation, it's always a good idea to be prepared, especially during times of the year when the weather has a tendency to interfere with travel plans. Don't get caught off guard when your flight gets delayed to the following morning.

Remember these travel tips and tricks for spending the night at the airport safely and comfortably.

Consider minimising luggage

You may have just barely made it under your airline's baggage weight limit to avoid checking in a suitcase, but now that you're stuck rolling around a heavy bag, you may want to reconsider your options. It might cost you, but it will take a load off your shoulders and allow you to sleep more freely.

Always put safety first

Safety should always be the most important aspect of getting through the night for both solo and group travellers. Try using your bag as a pillow or to lay back on, this will keep all of your belongings close to you and reduce your risk of being robbed.

Ensure that the bag that contains your passport, wallet and phone are tucked away somewhere secure at your side so that no one can get to or even see it. If possible, find an area of the airport where other travellers are trying to sleep, as it's never a good idea to rest in an empty section of the terminal.

Look around to see if there are any security guards in the area. It may be best to continue your search for a spot elsewhere if there aren't. Travellers holidaying in groups don't have to worry so much about choosing an area that's secure, as you can take turns sleeping while others keep an eye on everyone's belongings.

Eat right and consume lots of water

It can be tempting to wander the airport and grab a bite at the nearest fast food restaurant, but it's important to remember that consuming greasy foods before your flight can cause stomach issues that have the potential to make the rest of your journey very uncomfortable.

Try to snack light and drink a lot of water instead of caffeinated beverages to prevent dehydration – it's always best to try to avoid alcohol before a flight as well.

Scope out a comfortable sleeping arrangement

There are many airports that offer cots and pillows to travellers who are stuck overnight. Try asking for one as soon as you find out you have a long delay as you will need to get some rest and they can run out quickly, especially when multiple flights are cancelled due to weather.

You can also try finding a hotel close to the airport with one of the many last-minute booking websites or phone apps. If your new departure time isn't for several hours, it may be worth it to sleep in a real bed in a room that you know is safe.

Change into comfortable clothing

Flying out on business travel?

You may be wearing a suit or dress when you find out that your flight won't be leaving until the next morning. This is why it's always a good idea to bring a change of clothes in your carry-on before you leave for the airport, particularly for flights that you know might be impacted by weather.

Replace your tie and dress pants with some more comfortable clothing and cosy shoes to increase your chances of getting some sleep.