Emma Petty Author: Emma Petty
Last updated: 9 July 2018

We’ve all been there. Your flight has been delayed so you’ve got to bed down at the airport and wait for an early morning flight. Perhaps you’re stuck in transit for a few hours so need to get comfy in the departures lounge. It’s never an ideal way to spend the night. No matter – we’ve got a few simple things you can do to make your airport sleepover a little less daunting.


The airport can be a bit overwhelming when trying to decide where to set up camp for the night. We recommend you stay close to the key facilities: food, water fountains and bathrooms. Find a spot close to at least two of these and it’ll save you a lot of aimless wandering at 3 am when you can’t find what you’re looking for.

Next, you need to establish the apparatus you want to use as a bed. If you don’t fancy the floor – there’ll be no shortage of chairs in the departures lounge to claim for the night. Although, this is a decision that will most likely result in a stiff neck the next day (See tip number 4). We recommend finding a corner of the lounge where you can lay flat.


Depending on how long your journey is, you’re most likely going to get peckish. Most food vendors will close before midnight so make sure you buy enough snacks to keep you going until the morning. Snacks are also a tasty way to cure boredom so don’t hold back on the crisps and Haribo. Why not make friends with your fellow travellers by sharing your provisions? It’s a great icebreaker to get people around you chatting, they’re probably looking for company too!


Airplanes get cold, and so do airports. There’s nothing worse than sleeping on a cold hard floor with only your board shorts and t-shirt to keep you warm – so get cosy. Layers also equate to bedding. Get working on the Feng Shui of your patch of the departure lounge floor and make yourself at home. The aim is to make it feel like you're not on the floor. 


An age-old classic - the humble neck pillow. You’ll struggle to find a duty-free outlet that doesn’t sell these so don’t fret if you forget to buy one ahead of time. While they can cost a few coins, a painless night's sleep is priceless. This is a backpacker’s essential and beats any rolled up sweater – trust us.


It’s important that you feel 100% squeaky clean before you catch a flight; while this may be harder to achieve from an airport bathroom it can still be done. The worst thing you can do for your skin is jumping straight onto a plane without washing and prepping your face, especially if you spent the previous night at the airport. The air is dry at altitude and will not do your skin any favours. TIP: a lot of airports will have shower stalls so always ask a member of staff what facilities are available. Be sure to bring back-up toiletries that fit the hand luggage requirements, so you don’t have to buy full sized products at the airport.


If you have trouble falling asleep while travelling, meditation albums can be a cheap and easy way to zone out and drift off to sleep. It’s difficult to enter a deep state of sleep when there are other people around you and airport announcements are chiming off every 10 minutes. Put in your headphones and picture your happy place – you’ll nod off in no time!


The second you fall asleep in a public space, you become vulnerable to people thinking it's okay to pick up whatever you leave lying around. While it can be easy to think it won’t happen to you, always keep your belongings safe when sleeping in an airport. The simplest way to keep pests away from your bag is to put a t-shirt or sweater over it to cover any easy-to-reach zippers and use it as a pillow.


If all the previous steps seem a bit overwhelming, why not treat yourself to a rejuvenating shower, plush bed and superfast free WiFi at our hotels at London Heathrow, London Gatwick, Amsterdam Schiphol and Paris Charles de Gaulle. It saves you having to trick yourself into thinking the departure lounge floor is a mattress and that the three bags of crisps you munched on was a satisfying dinner. There’s no better feeling than rolling out of bed and heading straight to your flight, feeling well rested and ready for the next leg of your trip. You deserve it, so treat yourself to a night at YOTELAIR.

Head to for information on where to find us and book direct for our best rates.