Jet lag is unavoidable if you’re traveling far, but arriving at your destination with your body near the point of exhaustion is unnecessary and can make you more of a target for people trying to take advantage of travelers. Sleeping as much as possible while you are still in transit can help you arrive more alert and ready to competently interact with your new environment. Of course you can’t just go dropping off in the middle of the airport and hope that everything will be ok. Here are some tips as to where you can go to take a nap and how you can avoid being ripped off in your sleep.
Stay in a highly visible area
During a layover you will often find yourself with a spare hour or three. If you decide to take a nap you should avoid hidden nooks and crannies with benches in them. This sounds kind of counterintuitive, but a thief knows to look for sleeping people there, and it will be out of sight of the rest of the people running around. If you want to avoid being a victim you should try to find a comfy spot where it is simply too risky for someone to blatantly pick up your stuff and walk off. Even if you’re asleep and technically vulnerable people are much less likely to try to steal your stuff if they know that anyone looking for that sort of thing can easily see them.
Get your back to a wall
A major question about losing consciousness in public is that there is the constant fear that someone will just grab your stuff from in front of your nose while you sleep. So our instinct is to shove our carry-on under the bench and hope that this will discourage thieves. Instead of doing so it helps them by offering them access from behind your seat where your back is turned. If you hear someone fiddling you might even assume it’s another traveler messing around with their own bag. If you find yourself a bench set against a wall you can stick your bag underneath with no concern of this happening.
Child Proximity Alarm
These are exactly what they sound like. A transmitter goes on a child, and the parent has a receiver. If the child leaves a certain radius the receiver beeps. With the nearest settings as close as 3 feet this is an obvious choice for protecting your luggage. By now there are a few proximity alarms specifically for sticking into your bag, but they are exactly the same thing only more expensive. With your back to a wall, your bag under your seat, and an alarm hooked up to your stuff you can be fairly certain that no one will get away with taking anything from you.
Assuming you lock up your luggage you are now about as safe as you can get, whether awake or not, so go ahead and pull out your teddy bear and travel pillow and curl up in a comfy looking corner. Just make sure you set your alarm so you don’t miss your flight!