So you have an early morning flight and you want to save money by sleeping in the airport? No problem! I booked tickets for an EasyJet flight from Paris Orly to Rome Ciampino and our flight was at 7am. That meant we had to check in around 5am if we wanted to get priority boarding (long story). We didn’t want to spend any unnecessary money for another night at a hotel plus a taxi. Sure, people will tell you that taking a taxi is your best option but don’t forget, there are special rates for off-peak hours, especially at the crack of dawn.
We checked out of our hotel in the morning and headed to Gare d’Austerlitz train station (Metro Lines 5 and 10 and RER-C). That particular train station is close to where we want to take the bus to Orly so that’s where we decided to drop our bags off at their baggage storage facility. It’s fairly cheap, especially if you’re travelling with someone else, that way you can store the bags altogether in a single locker. The price is 4 euros upwards, depending on the size of the locker. We spent the rest of the day visiting whatever sights we hadn’t been to yet in Paris. At the end of the day, we returned to Gare d’Austerlitz and had dinner at a nearby McDonald's and then took the metro (Line 7) to Villejuif Louis Aragon (end of the line). From there, we took Bus 285 to Orly Sud which is not too far away (make sure you ask the bus driver to let you off there).
We got to the airport around 9pm and by then, the shops and eateries were already closing down so make sure to bring your own food. We settled in the lounge on the 2nd floor that had teal padded chairs (most of them have no arm-rests). It is near the chapel/prayer area of the airport in the South Terminal. There is a huge viewing window where you can see airplanes taking off and arriving.
There are guards that patrol the airport but they know that quite a few people have early flights so they won’t bother you. But they will most certainly ask you for your passport to make sure you’re not being a bum. The chairs are comfortable but the A/C is often cranked up high so make sure you dress warm. I’m glad I spent the night at Orly Airport because it saved me a lot of money that I could have used for something else. I spent just 2 metro tickets (one to get to Villejuif Louis Aragon and one for Bus 285) rather than a whole bundle on taxi and shuttles.
P.S. Make sure you lock all your luggage and keep it closely with you. It’s easier to do that with a travelling partner where you can alternate on shifts between sleeping and staying up on guard. There were 5-7 other people that spend the night with us and we all minded our own business and had no problems whatsoever.