Sleeping In The Airport

I always sleep in the airport the night before my outward flights, read on to find out why.

When I first started travelling I began with short 3 or 4 day trips. I use the word travelling to distinguish what I do from taking a package holiday, I self plan, self book and keep costs to a minimum.

I am very lucky to live in Ireland and although it would perhaps be more convenient if I were in England, near the Euro Tunnel, Dublin Airport with multiple Ryanair flights every day offers me easy access and very affordable flights to mainland Europe and beyond.

After much research into destinations, flight costs and times, cost of living, and winter climate I opted for Lisbon as my first destination. My flights with Ryanair have always been early morning flights, around 6am which means that I need to be at the airport for 4am, or earlier.

Plan A

So, for my first adventure I went to bed early the night before, knowing I would have to get up around 2am to get to the airport in time. Well, could I sleep? Of course not. There is nothing worse than trying to sleep when you are worrying about getting up in time for a flight.

However, tired as I was, I drove the 125km to the airport in the middle of the night, paid to go through tolls, paid for the car park at the airport and arrived worn out and feeling very frazzled. I estimated that taking into account the cost of diesel, on top of these other costs, that it came to approx €60 just to get to the airport.

This adds a disproportionate cost to a relatively short trip

Plan B

For my next trip I decided I would take the bus to the airport from a nearby city. The bus goes every hour, so I figured I could get a bus before 3am and be at the airport on time. The problem was, how was I going to get to the bus in the middle of the night?

I arranged to leave my van parked outside my Chiropractor’s clinic, near the bus station, for the 3 nights I was to be away. However, because it was parked on a side street in a city, the vehicle was vulnerable although I felt some comfort knowing that if the Police queried why it was there, unattended for so long, that they might ask the nearby businesses.

That plan worked well but it still meant I had a miserable few hours in bed, trying to sleep, before I left home. And, I worried about my van the whole time I was away.

Plan C

Where I live is 3 miles from the nearest bus stop so getting to the airport using pubic transport is impossible and a taxi to the bus stop costs approx €9.00. In light of this I decided that I would drive to my daughter’s house the evening before the flight, leave my car there and ask my son-in-law to drive me to the bus station to get the airport bus.

This turned out to be the best option. I no longer have those miserable few hours in bed not being able to sleep. I sleep on the bus on the way to the airport, I sleep in the airport, and I sleep on the flight. I am accustomed to having poor quality sleep due to a health condition that causes chronic fatigue and, ironically, insomnia as well. Even on a good night, in a comfortable bed I only sleep for a couple of hours and then am awake for a couple of hours.

Plan D – just when you thought I had finished!

In June 2018 I unexpectedly had to say goodbye to my van so at that point I had to adjust my plans yet again and I now have to coordinate with a neighbour to get a lift to my daughter’s house. As I have to fit in with her movements this often gives me some additional time to spend with my daughter and grandchildren AND I get dinner, so I reckon Plan D is just about perfect. I have also just passed my 65th birthday and now have free travel anywhere in Ireland so getting to the airport doesn’t cost me a cent.

Sleeping in the airport is a bit of an art so you can find some some tips in another post, Tips for Sleeping in Airports.

I’m interested to know if you have ever slept in an airport and how you have found the experience so please leave a comment, make my day.

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  1. Interesting, we’ve slept in airports a few times but never properly and to be honest always end up feeling really rough. We would probably just stay awake and try and catch up on sleep after the journey. Can’t really sleep on flights either so it’s all about being awake for ages for us.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Yes, a lot of people say the same Jonno, that they can’t sleep while travelling. I have chronic fatigue syndrome and I seem to have found a way to make it work for me, rather than against me, in these circumstances.


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