Night at the airport – how to survive?

Have you ever noticed that cheap flights are often scheduled for ver early mornings or late nights? What do you do in such situations?

For me, one of the options is staying overnight at the specific airport, especially when I am going to be really late (about midnight) and there is no public transport to my booked accommodation at that time or I cannot check in such late.  I agree it’s not the most pleasant night, but desperate times call for desperate measures ;).

Ok, so we have just made this tough decision, we are staying here. What now? Or rather what we should do/ know prior to arriving at this place? Well, I have read somewhere, people prefer lists with the most important points rather than a block of text, so just let’s take a look at the below checklist if you want to learn more about it 🙂

  1. Check a website of the specific airport, as you can find information about available facilities and access details.
  2. Make sure they don’t offer affordable rooms in their area. Sometimes this can be a better option than staying at the airport itself. 
  3. When there is no room available, study area plan, so you will know what to expect when you will be there already. 
  4. On YouTube, you can also find many useful videos presenting specific airdrome and how it really looks like. Watch at least one, just to be better-prepared :).

During my travels, I categorized them into three general types.

  1. Super friendly for low budget travelers.
  2. Pretty ok.
  3. Nope, nope, nope. 

The third group includes most often small airports that offer only check in and check out area. Unfortunately, you can find them also in bigger cities, but I won’t be pointing them here. Just if you are supposed to use such a place, try to get somehow your hotel/ hostel/ friends to keep your good mood ;).

When it comes to the rest of two types, they are international airports, usually located in bigger cities. The ones I called ‘Pretty ok‘, offer quite a big waiting area, where you can take a nap, with quite a good offer of shops and restaurants around, and in general, that’s it. In such places I would rather stay in the transfer area, find a spot next to already closed gates and try to sleep a little. A good idea is also to keep your cosmetics close so you can refresh yourself in a local toilet. Make sure also that you have access to drinks to keep yourself well hydrated. If you forget about it, just find a shop or vending machine, which is usually cheaper, and buy at least a small bottle. These tips can look infantile, but fights, especially longer ones will make us really tired, and then the night won’t help us to recover after the travel, so just support your body a little ;). 

Time to talk about the first group! And even better – I am going to share with you two examples of airports that perfectly reflects what I have in my mind talking about friendly spaces. 

Let’s start with Haneda Airport located in Tokyo. First of all, you can find there a capsule hotel, which is pretty cheap, but also very busy, so make sure you will check it as soon as you will have your flight tickets. For some couples, a minus can be also gender divisions, as you won’t be able to book beds next to each other. Apart from that, it seems like a nice option. Anyway, staying overnight using local facilities is also not a big deal. The common area offers many places where you can take a rest. I personally would recommend sits close to an observation deck and in Edo Koji (4F) or Tokyo Pop Town (5F). I know, the name used by me may not tell you much, so let me explain what they are. Really shortly – are amazing, artificial streets resembling old Tokyo. Even if you are not going to stay there for the night, it’s worth to visit them before, or after your flight. You can find there not only interesting interior design but also seasonal exhibitions/ attractions, decorations and restaurants with local food. 

  1. Pro tip – staying here for the night, try to avoid escalators – they have verbal warnings that seem cute at the very beginning, but listing them longer than a while can really drive you crazy.
  2. Pro tip – Haneda offers shower rooms ( about $10 per 30 minutes). Price includes all necessary cosmetics, towels and bottle of chosen drink (water or green tea). Highly recommended 🙂
Photo from Edo Koji for the encouragement 🙂

The second one is the airport in Copenhagen. It’s been a while I have visited this place, but still remember this trip. Here, in contrast to the above place, I would rather stay in the transit area. You can find a lot of space to just to lie down. It’s also surprisingly calm and I felt very safe there, so I really easily fell asleep. The next very big plus for me was bakery offering really fresh pastries and restaurants with an interesting breakfast buffet.

Unfortunately, this travel was organised when my appreciation for photography was not that significant as it’s now, so I have no photo from this place to share with you. Anyway, I have a really good experience related to this airport, and as mentioned, it very high on my friendly airports’ list, so if you have a problem with accessing your final destination in Copenhagen, you can stay there for a night without any bigger harm. 

And that’s would be it for now. Let me know how you find this article! Also, if you have any questions, concerns or suggestions, feel free to contact me 🙂

16 thoughts on “Night at the airport – how to survive?

    1. When it comes to escalators, I was so frustrated because of their constant verbal warming – one, two times is ok, but the whole night? Terrible 😁 I have never spent a night at an Italian airport, but remember the one from Sicily and would hard to imagine night there 😒


    1. That’s really good, I had many situations where the flight was so early, and there was no adorable accommodation close to the airport, so staying overnight was the only option.


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