Tips for not getting robbed while sleeping at an airport.
Last year we found ourselves in an unfortunate situation – we missed our flight to Kaliningrad! Sleeping at the airport wasn`t the best idea but we had no other alternative but to spend the night at Domodedovo Airport in Moscow. It was the first time that I have missed a flight and also the first time that I had to sleep at an airport.
You might be asking why we didn`t head back into the city to find accommodation for the night. Fact is, it was just more cost-effective to stay at the airport and also the added hassle of travelling with luggage from International flights. In any case, we were traveling together so how bad can it be?
Sleeping at the airport.
It was definitely not the ideal solution. It is basically impossible to sleep at an airport. The chairs get very uncomfortable after a while, you don`t have a pillow or bedding and it gets cold. I think they never turned the air-conditioner down and streams of cold air were coming down on us like buckets of rain. You also find that the airport gets very busy at certain times and then just as suddenly it gets quiet and you feel like the only people there.
When two people are traveling together it is much easier. One person stays behind and watch the luggage, while the other person can stretch legs. We also made turns to sleep. When you are traveling alone it is not that easy.
Sleeping at the airport and single travellers.
Imagine you are dog tired and desperately want to put your head down and sleep for a couple of hours before your flight departs. But solo travellers are often scared that they might get robbed while they are asleep. Seriously, it is a concern and I have been in that boat as well. I have been on a couple of long distance flights with long layovers and I very tired. You often carry your laptop, I pod, money and other valuables on you or in your hand luggage.
This story by a traveller who got robbed at the Phoenix airport:
“Deciding to sleep in the airport was a big mistake. As I fell asleep on a couch outside the terminal, WITH my laptop bag strap around me, I awoke to NO LAPTOP BAG. I immediately knew what had happened. Just a strap left. Obviously, one or several professionals work this airport. In my bag was everything I didn’t trust to check-in to the airline (ie. Laptop, PDA, Prescriptions, Check book, some extra credit cards, Passport, and some hard copy files).”
Tips for sleeping at the airport.
So what can you do to keep your personal belongings safe? Here are some tips compiled by frequent travellers.
- Find a place to store your excess bags if you can. Most airports, bus and train terminals have secure storage lockers.
- If a locker is out of the question then lock your bag and close all pocket zippers.
- Listening to music does have its advantages like blocking out the noise but unfortunately it also blocks out the sound if someone is fiddling with your bags.
- Valuables like your laptop and camera bag can be used as a pillow and a sweater or coat can serve as extra padding. Passports, money, credit cards, music players and other smaller valuables can be hidden in your pants or under your shirt.
- Use the carts to build a fence around yourself. It may sound silly but they will have to move the carts to get to your bags and belongings.
- Turn your bags with zippers facing you.
- Place bags under your seat if they will fit and place the luggage cart in front of you as a “shield”.
- If you are on a bench, sleep with your suitcase facing you and your hand or leg on your bag. If you think you might move, tie a scarf/strap to connect your hand/leg and the luggage handle.
Robbing doesn’t occur that often but rather be safe than sorry. If you have any tips please share them with us.