You book your flights, trying to be smart with your cashola, keeping your eyes on departure and arrival time finding something that somewhat fits your schedule. It can feel like a full time job sometimes searching for flights, endlessly inputting your dates for travel and having multiple pages open to compare prices – if you use comparison websites they can open about million different pages and this is when it starts getting well frustrating. I don’t know about you but I resort to the good old pen and paper, writing down the options and a lot of the time finding myself creating little charts of travel time and prices – bit dorky really. You know what it’s like, you won’t be ‘had’ by the various companies as you know there is always a better deal somewhere to be found deep in the Internet. You feel pretty happy with yourself when you do find the best deal, maybe a little smug too.
I have booked a fair few flights in my time and feel I’m quite good at it. Really though that’s a load of rubbish as it simply takes time and a little patience. A couple of things to bear in mind when you get sucked into the world of prices is that consideration to the journey time as a whole is pretty important and cheapest doesn’t mean best. Many times have I been keen to book a cheap flight that pops up but in the booking process realized it will take AGES – you don’t want travel for 33 hours when it could be 13, especially if the price difference is around $100…not worth it. I learnt the hard way.
At times, for various reasons, one can find themselves with a bit of a crap journey ahead of them. Layovers are rubbish if longer than 3 hours but sleep overs are worse. I was thinking about the times I have had to sleep in an airport, when I say had, obviously I could have ventured out and found accommodation to lay my head down for a while but paying extra for travel to and from the airport and a bed for the night didn’t seem worth it. Is it worth it? Yeah, sometimes it probably is but I never seem to learn.
I have had sleep overs in a few airports:
London Gatwick, UK
Houston Texas, USA
Now when I say sleep, there is no sleep. Why on earth I have decided to ‘sleep’ at the airport after swearing I would never do it again, I don’t know. Let’s be honest, airports seem to be open 24 hours – they don’t rest. They don’t dim the lights, quiet the announcements or contain people with any regard for others trying to get some shut eye. No, the night time is the time for no access beyond the check-in desks, for announcements to continue – for no apparent reason, for all cleaning with equipment to happen as well as any work that requires drills and banging. The odd people of the world tend to come out at night too. There is no quiet corner or dark area, there is no place that exists where you can stretch out on seats – someone thought it a good idea to have metal armrests on all seating, and it gets a bit cold.
Every time I think I’ve found a semi ok place to try and actually sleep I ALWAYS have people come and sit by me. Talking. Talking loudly. Or workmen bring out a ladder to fiddle with the one bit of ceiling that is right next to me. And talk. Talk loudly. I do think it’s easy to see if someone is actually trying to rest, they tend to have their eyes shut and are in a position that says ‘I’m not sat here wide awake’ but people of the night hours don’t care about that. I’ve been there many times, hood up, covered up and contorted into a half lying down and crumpled ball position. Just as you manage to find 5 minutes of ok, this position could work; someone sits down next to you with the force of an elephant!
There have been a few things to contend with such as super snoring, people asking for money, a death (yep, really), crazy people on drugs, people trying to chat me up, the fear of being robbed and the chance of mindless over eating if there is anywhere open to buy food. With all these factors and encounters it’s not painting a pretty picture is it? The main thing is one will never find a position of comfort or be relaxed enough with all your possessions – your feet tangled up in straps to keep your stuff locked down, to actually sleep and you will feel like a bit of a scum bag.
Have I learnt my lesson? Yes! Will I do it again? Probably 🙂
Have you tried sleeping in an airport? Any tips?