If you love to travel as much as you love to sleep, you’re already familiar with this problem. How to catch your 8 hours of sleep when you’re waiting at the airport for your next flight or are stuck on the road in your car, a bus or a train for hours (or even days) en route to your distant dreamy destination?
Luckily for you, we have a plan. We have spent nights at the most uncomfortable of airport terminals, travelled the longest roads in our cars and came out of the longest bus and train rides fairly intact and quite well-rested. Would you like to know the secrets of sleeping like a baby (well, almost) when travelling?
A night at the airport
- The key to having a fairly peaceful night at an airport is choosing your night dwelling well. Look for a remote place in a corner where there won't be many people passing by.
- If the airport is not crowded, spread out over multiple seats, finding a comfortable position in which the edges of chairs don't cut into your neck, hips, back or knees.
- If you are travelling with a backpack, you have got yourself a pillow for the night.
- Don't forget to pack a cosy little blanket as nights spent at the airport are notorious for their chillness.
- If the airport is crowded and you are forced to occupy just one chair, you can always put a layer or two of your clothes on the floor and hope for the best, or you can use your suitcase or a big backpack as a lovely divan that will support your legs through the night, while you park your upper body in that single chair.
- A travel pillow that you can put around your neck is a great companion for sleeping in a sitting position.
- Since the main reason you’re spending your night at the airport is probably to catch a flight, don’t forget to set an alarm – otherwise you could easily oversleep your departure.
- If you want to prepare yourself for a night at a specific airport, make sure to check out The Guide to Sleeping in Airports; it’ll provide you with all the little details you need, such as where the best place to sleep is, where you can find WiFi and other tips and tricks for a peaceful night at the airport.
Sleeping in my car
- Even if you are just a passenger, sleeping during the drive might not be the best idea. Putting one's legs on the dashboard or spreading out in the back seats may seem comfortable, but it can quickly turn into a real nightmare if something unpredictable happens on the road.
- Dark deserted streets or lonely meadows might be a peaceful choice for parking your car and taking your nap, sure, but will you really feel safe there? Choose a public parking space (like a rest stop on the highway) where there are plenty of other people around.
- A car offers one fairly comfortable spot and quite a few much less comfortable spots for sleeping. Spreading out on the back seat with a pillow under your head is heavenly, and if you are forced to sleep in the front row, pick the driver's seat, resting your head on the steering wheel carefully (you don't want to honk everyone from their pleasant dreams in the middle of the night, do you?).
The wheels on the bus (or the train) go round and round...
- The secret to sleeping reasonably well when using public transport is to rest your head on the window panel and put a folded piece of clothes in-between.
- There’s an important difference between sleeping on a bus or a train – leg room. On a train, there’s usually room to spare, but on a bus things are almost always cramped. Solution? Choose the train if you can – you’ll sleep much better, trust us.
- Since you’ll be sharing the train or the bus with many other passengers, ear plugs are definitely a must-have, if you want to catch any sleep.
- You’ll probably be hungry during a long train or bus ride, which can negatively affect your sleep, so make sure to pack some snacks. You can usually buy them on board, but they’ll be pretty pricey, so it’s better to plan ahead and bring your own.