There’s a man who spent 18 years living in Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris, after he was denied a visa for France but couldn’t go home to Iran for political reasons. His story inspired the Tom Hanks film, The Terminal. Now, it’s unlikely you’ll ever have to spend that much time in an airport, but a missed or long connection, or bad weather, could mean a night in a terminal is on the cards. That’s when you should turn to the website, Sleeping in Airports.
The site offers tips for sleeping in airports around the world, including the best spots to find comfortable seats, facilities that are open overnight and whether you’ll get any trouble from the authorities.
I looked at the page for one of the world’s best airports, Changi in Singapore. The site suggested taking a free two-and-a-half hour sightseeing tour if I had a connection time of more than five hours. There’s also a butterfly garden and swimming pool!
More importantly, if you’re there overnight, the site recommends bagging one of the couches or recliners and says there are plenty of carpeted areas if you have to kip on the floor. There are also showers in each terminal and, if you want to spend a bit of cash, you could get forty winks in one of the transit hotels attached to the airport.
Paris Charles de Gaulle, where the Iranian gentleman got stuck for 18 years, isn’t quite so welcoming. Travellers report that it’s brightly lit and cold overnight, so you should try to bring an eyemask and a blanket if you can. Apparently, there are some comfy couches to sleep on in Terminal 2 though. Showers are only available if you buy a pass to a business lounge or use one of the airport hotels.
Elsewhere on the site, there are some useful guides to bedding down in an airport, including asking security officers about the safest places to sleep and lists of essential items, like water and earplugs. And if all else fails, the site suggests heading to the car rental desk, getting a cheap car for the night and bedding down in there!
Check out SleepinginAirports.net for more tips.