For a lot of us, travelling is as much about independence and freedom as it is about experiencing new cultures. It also means unplanned time at the airport. Whether by design or happenstance, you may find yourself spending the night at the airport.
Napping for a bit during the busy day is one thing, but sleeping at the airport overnight is wholly different. Some airports may turn a blind eye to those who spend the night in airport, which means there may not be someone patrolling around, ensuring safety. Other airports may be open all night to the public, particularly pre-security, so you may be surrounded by more than just fellow travellers.
Female travellers should consider taking extra precaution when travelling, particularly when travelling alone. Keep these 7 safety tips in mind – they’re helpful even if you’re not spending the night.
- Know where security is located. When you get to the airport, walk around to get the lay of the land. Be sure to know where the nearest security station is, and whether security guards patrol through the evening.
- Save a local emergency number. Emergency phone numbers change from country to country, so simply Google it and save it to your phone.
- Don’t sleep alone. While a quiet area looks more inviting than a whole campout of people, it’s also an invitation to anyone who may be lurking, since there’s no one (except you) to catch them.
- Head towards the light. We know it’s tempting to head to a cozy, dark corner to catch some Z’s overnight, but it follows the same pattern as the previous tip: it could invite unwelcome company. You’ve already decided to spend the night at the airport, so you know it won’t be the best night of sleep. Skip the dark area and head to brightly lit areas – and bring an eye mask if you need.
- Make sure someone knows where you are. To this day, whenever I am traveling by myself, I always let someone know. For years, I’d send a quick text to my parents, and now I text my husband. Many airports these days offer free WiFi, even if it’s minimal, so take advantage and send a text.
- Do your research. Explore our airport guides and read reviews from other travellers, so you’ll know exactly what to expect at a certain airport. Just as some can be sketchy, a lot of others can be quite safe. Knowing what to expect will help you determine just how safe you’ll feel.
- Trust your instincts. If it feels wrong, it just might be – and you’ll stay up all night worrying. While we all like saving some money on a hotel we may only spend a handful of hours in, when it comes to safety, the savings just isn’t worth it. Always have enough money set aside that you can get a last-minute hotel if need be. Ante up, put it on the credit card, whatever it takes – you’ll be glad you did.
Article by Christina Kidd
Photo Credit: miklyxa / Fotolia
These are some great tips! Especially #5 and #7 – I’ve gotten into the habit of letting someone, anyone, know where I am just in case, and my instinct has definitely not led me astray yet. Thanks for putting this list together!