Best Airports to Sleep At
When you've been on the road traveling, oftentimes you reach a point where you would give anything to sleep in your own bed again. Let's be honest: nothing can compare to a peaceful night at home with your fan on low, favorite pillow under head, and that go-to snuggie wrapping you up. If this sounds all too romanticized, then you haven't spent enough time away from home.
As a budget traveler, I have extended my stay at airports for the sake of not spending money on hotel accommodations. What I've earned from those experiences, aside from saving some cash, is that I have a personal record of airports I could call home and others that are worth paying money to not sleep at.
For this installment, here are the best airports I've ever slept at:
1. Denver International AirportIf you have a ticket from a certain airport enough, you start to remember the layout more and more. For someone like me with such a bad memory, DEN has become the major airport I am most familiar with navigating due to this. I have been there often enough and have had lengthy stopovers where catching a "good night's rest" was necessary. Rather than stay at the hotels at the airport or take the light rail back into Denver and find a place there, I'll hunker down for my layover with no issues. What I enjoy about sleeping at this airport is that it's big but not too big where you can actually find some pretty secluded areas to get some shut-eye. My recommendation: go to the end of the terminal (I believe B Gates) where the much smaller regional flights leave from & set up camp there. Here is inactive because of the low volume of passengers plus this is not a high traffic area where people will be walking through often because it's a dead end. While you may not have tons of access to comfortable, padded chairs, some little restaurants closed for the night in this area make for a great opportunity for a makeshift chair bed if you Frankenstein them with a little creative ingenuity.
2. Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport
By default, I've had enough stopovers at MSP that I've grown accustomed to staying the night there and that without experiencing anything traumatic during my sleepovers there, it earns the #2 spot on this list. I'm not as familiar with MSP's layout as I am with Denver's, plus, I haven't had to sleep in Minnesota's largest airport as much.
3. Frankfurt Airport
The diversity of what FRA offers is what brings it to #3 on the list. I wanted to have at least one non-US airport on this list and due to my experiences transiting through Germany, I felt it earned its place here. What I've enjoyed about my camping sessions at Frankfurt have been the access to "amenities" such as food, restrooms, and privacy. I've been lucky enough to find some pretty secluded areas where I can relax, set up my own little fort, and enjoy a meal in my lap. Nothing significant stands out at FRA, but if you find yourself having a sleepover here, you should be okay here! My recommendation: Find an abandoned gate and you may be able to find a cozy area to bed down for your stay.
Honorable Mention: Jamestown Regional Airport
The hidden gem of airport campgrounds is JMS. If my memory serves me correct, this airport is actually locked closed at certain points throughout the day/night. The reason I have included JMS in this list is for the "auto-accomodation" factor. Jamestown Regional Airport offers free parking, so if you're driving yourself to the airport, you've got your accommodation right there! I found myself utilizing this was when I had an early morning flight I was terrified of missing. I was driving from 4 hours away and didn't want to risk getting a flat tire or being in a car accident which would prevent me from being on time. I left the night before, parked in the airport parking lot, set up camp, and was able to make sure that I would not be late for my flight. My recommendation: Choose your parking spot wisely. Do you want to be far away in the corner away from others or in the middle under a street light for visibility?
I want to hear from you! If you've ever stayed the night at an airport, which one was it & how was your experience?