There you are, standing at the check-in readying your return to the real world. Everest served you a decent shit sandwich and almost killed you, but you conquered that icy SOB and now it’s home time.
The fight isn’t over just yet though. Battered body, meet Annoying Layover. Rendered a prisoner of the terminal you accept that it’s probably time to roll out the sleeping bag to count some lamp chops. Not so fast, Tom Hanks.
Before you go passing out under tables in an uncouth manner only to become a viral meme, there are some definitive rules to follow and a gallery for what not to do.
Wear Appropriate Airport Attire
Tuck it in, gentlemen. Tuck it all in. The only time the general public and easily scarred children should ever bear witness to a beached whale is at the beach. Belly out from tight shirts and crack showing from low waist pants is a big no-no when you’re sprawled out in a public arena.
When faced with sleeping at an airport, make sure to get changed into loose fitting clothes alongside a survival kit which will save your bacon shall the overnight layover go awry.
Prepare A Survival Kit
Include in this survival kit: A clean change of clothing, a travel blanket and pillow, phone charger, a toiletry bag with toothbrush, toothpaste, wet wipes, deodorant and soap as a minimum.
Find A Suitable Area To Sleep
The next step of airport sleeping is finding a decent place to do it. There’s a hidden art in airport slumber and that all revolves around setting oneself with the right amenities. Whilst some airports are nice enough to offer dedicated sleeping areas, many do not. It’s your job to ask the staff if the former exists and if not, it’s time to put on your big boy pants.
Walk around the airport and look for low foot traffic areas that are safe to sleep in. You can tell which areas are safe based on the number of people also sleeping in that area. Where you don’t want to set up camp are areas surrounding toilets, check-in desks and food outlets – you will get zero shut eye here.
If you find a row of seats, go for the ones without armrests otherwise you’ll end up like a professional contortionist with a seriously f*cked up chiro bill by the next day. Also mind the cleanliness of the area especially if you plan on sleeping on the floor. Brown is usually a no-go zone.
Also pay attention to where there are power outlets. These are the best places to juice up the gear shall your devices be called upon.
Keep Your Private Habits Private
Bare feet hanging off the sides of chairs or hands tucked into pants whilst sleeping is a crime against humanity. Just because you’re sleeping in an airport it doesn’t give you a hall pass to let it all hang out. Fluorescent tanning is not an excuse to disrobe at an airport. Ever.
Be Covert About It
You’re not an art installation. Keep it subtle, the music from your laptop low and the phone conversations to an acceptable decibel.
And we’re all for sleeping masks but make sure there’s no profanities on them. A quick Google search will throw back eye masks with ‘F*ck Off’ and ‘I Sleep With Strangers’ emblazoned across them.
Protect Your Belongings
The worst thing that could happen during airport sleeping? Waking up with nothing but your two-day old underwear. Make sure you protect your belongings from being swiped by keeping passports, documents and monetary goods on your body, preferably in a jacket pocket.
More expensive devices such as laptops and cameras should be locked away in your luggage preferable sandwiched between your body and a wall. Straps can also work in this case with luggage tied to a chair close to you.
Leave The Alcohol At The Bar
This isn’t a college frat house. If you’re going to bring beverages back to your temporary sleeping quarters, throw it out when you’re done. Waking up on a pile of beer cans is never a great look and you’ll smell like an alcoholic once you board your flight. This also goes for chocolate milk.
Set Your Alarm
Easily the most important and overlooked aspect is setting an alarm on your phone. If you’re going to go through the hardship of airport slumber then it’s paramount you don’t miss your flight.
Check your flight details, check your gate number and make sure your watches have been matched to the country’s time and not home time. Trust us, we’ve almost missed a flight for this very reason.