Okay so it's your first time backpacking, but having a lovely sleep over at the airport is like being Tom Cruise in mission impossible. How are you going to secure your luggage and all the belongings while having a nice night of sleep or going to the bathroom? Many of the travelers have the fear of getting their luggage stolen while letting their guards down at the airport. However, here are some tips we can give you. It might not prevent you from getting you luggage stolen, and out apologies that we can't hold any responsibility for it. But we can assure that you can find the right people to trust in the airports to help you safely and comfortably survive the night alone, and perhaps even making some new friends along the way!
- Look Like an Experiences Traveler
It's a common trick but would almost always work if you believe in it. People will take you seriously when you take yourself seriously and act like you know what you're doing. Scouting out bathrooms and laying down on the airport floor, others might give you some looks at first but once you nod or smile to them in a calmly manner then it's all the respected looks you're going to receive for the rest of the night.
- Know the guards and whoever that's working at the airport
This is very case sensitive depending on where you are and what type of traveler are you. I'm personally a female solo traveler on most of my trips, so making friends or at least making myself known to the female guards or someone working at a 24hr shop is the very first thing I do. They can be great help for looking after your luggage or useful information and tips around the airport. However, if you're in a more remote airport where things closed down at night, then the below types of people are what you should probably be looking for.
- Look for those equally alerted but luggage heavy as you
This one is effective and useful when backpackers are traveling solo in remote airports. Many of these airports don't have shops that open 24hr or it's countries where the authority can't be trusted at all times. You can go ahead and look for those with heavier luggage and alerted for their surroundings. These companions won't be looking to catch the shuttle or taxi, but they look for a place to crawl up. It's sometimes a surprising gift when meeting these travelers as you two are often from and to different destinations. People that I've met on these occasions are beyond the usual backpackers you'd known at the hostel. They've come from a medical camp, a peace-corp trip, or just a traveler who's on their annual vacation.
- Be open minded about travel, but not yourself
It's a great thing and opportunity to share memories and trust with other travelers. You guys will be able to guard each other luggage and share travel tips and life advices, no more eating alone at the airport restaurant. On the other hand, keep in mind that these people can and may have a completely different life than what you have, so my suggestion is to stick the topics around traveling since it's just the safest bet when you're meeting a stranger and trusting them at the airport.
- Have Essentials ready for a physically comfortable sleep
With all the lessons and tricks taught on how to play nice with other travelers in the airport, you should also prepare some traveling essentials that can help you have a better layover at the airport regardless of who you meet and encounter along the way.
- A yoga mat goes a long way, whether it's keeping yourself off the dirty floor or stretching out between two 10 hour flights.
- Decent water bottle to keep yourself hydrated. Not a cheap plastic bottle but something that can stand through crushing.
- Earplugs or earphones to keep the noise out, but keep in mind that lock your belongings before letting go of the outside world.
- Pen and paper or notebook to keep notes or exchange information with travelers
- A credit card that's accepted worldwide, to keep in case that your cash runs out or any emergency.