Here’s how ‘staying the night’ has evolved through human history

All the ways we've changed where we sleep
Twelfth-century Silk Road traders relied on a network of caravanserais (roadside compounds). Doorways wide enough for camels and open courtyards offered sleeping bays for traveler and animal. A great place to resupply and trade trinkets. Illustration by Always with Honor

It’s dark and you’re far from home. Where do you stay? Back in the day, you had to know somebody. Nowadays your smartphone does. When night falls, every vagabond—old or new—requires a roof over their head and a bed under their bottom. But where we stay has ­drastically changed over time. Now uncovering a place to crash can ­happen in a matter of moments.

sleeping in a monastery
sleeping in a hotel
ice hotel

This article was originally published in the January/February 2017 issue of Popular Science, under the title “Where we’ve slept.”