No one wants to leave the airport if you have an early morning flight. Airport hotels are ridiculously expensive and totally eliminate the savings of low cost flights if they have multiple stops. And airports, even in tropical locations can be a very cold place to sleep (thanks to their incessant air conditioning). Also they tend to be noisy with the unending announcements all night. Earplugs do not block out noise, they just reduce it. So I was thinking that the real solution is to find a park near the airport and sleep there after stashing your valuables in an airport locker. For tropical locations you’d definitely need bug protection but this wouldn’t be difficult if you travel with a mosquito net which many people do, especially if they are using low cost accommodations. Mosquito nets, while a little bulky, are very light. I found I could sleep much better knowing I wasn’t going to get chewed on by any number of insects when I slept. Its a nice feeling of assurance. You’d need a tarp because there’s usually a lot of dew in the tropics. The tarp would also protect against rain. The problem would be if it was raining when you were setting up camp. That would be challenging. Ground doesn’t dry so fast! But maybe with a ground sheet it could work if you laid it down after the tarp was up. You’d need to attach your mosquito net to the underside of that tarp and you’d be set. If its tropical you don’t need any covers at all, no sleeping bag needed. You may need a cheap alarm clock so you don’t miss an early flight though. It would be unwise to bring your phone. Better to bring a little cash so if you get mugged the robber gets something. One of the most dangerous things to do is have no cash when getting robbed. It wouldn’t take much to satisfy most robbers in poor countries after all. 20 bucks buys you a lot of safety. 50 would make most anyone happy. Also bring along an expired debit or credit card you can offer up. They probably won’t check the date as who would be crazy enough to walk around with a useless card?
If you have to sleep in the airport then you could scrounge around for cardboard and bubblewrap from the stores/business there. You can also try to use your clothes for more cushioning. A cheap air mattress bought in the city also might work well. Are they about 5 bucks? At least you’d be off the floor though it would be cold but some bubblewrap would insulate you I think. It will be awful but better than the cold hard floor or an attempt at sleeping in a chair. Good luck with that.
One day airports will wake up and offer reasonably priced sleeping pods for like $2/hr. That would be amazing to be right there in the airport in a soundproof, pitch black pod. They could have tons of them. People would use them even in the day as well just for a nap. It wouldn’t even cost much to make them. Then people would use multi-stop flights much more making it easier for the airlines.
After that they might actually start selling reasonably priced food!