I’m going to share some examples of how I have cut corners here and there while traveling to save money; after putting this in writing I’m noticing that some of my actions are conflicting. I spare no expense when it comes to food and drinks, and am always the one at the bar ordering rounds of drinks for all of my friends, even when we are not in a shout (Australian term for each person paying for a round of drinks for the group). Anyways, I’d like to preface this post and let you know that this is not the norm for me, I just wanted to share some entertaining stories.
I recently heard a joke about how the copper wire was invented. Simple answer; two pilots fighting over a penny! My grandpa was incredibly creative in his frugality and this could explain some of my dad’s spending habits that I observed growing up. So having that much frugal blood in my system, I am half cheap, half impractical, which makes a seriously weird combination when traveling.
I will walk many miles in heals instead of taking a cab to save money or sleep three to a bed, but this is the way I think and with this thinking I have found myself sleeping on many airport floors. Before you start to judge, like all the cleaning crew who see me on the floor, let me explain. The last time I slept on a floor was because the flight I was trying to get on was at 1 a.m. and the next one was at 7 a.m., so was I really going to go pay $150 for maybe five hours of sleep? Not in my lifetime.
The worst night of rest I had on an airport floor was at the Detroit Airport. Ok now you can judge me for my stupidity. I was headed to Texas to help my sister move down there for work and there was only one seat left on the plane; so I let her go. It was a 9:30 p.m. flight, and by the time my mom either drove the hour and half to get me, or waited until the 11:30 p.m. flight so I could fly to Flint, which is closer to my home, then get up at 4:30 a.m. to start all over again, I decided why not stay here. I was working on finishing a 28 page paper so in my mind I thought this would be a perfect way to force myself to write it. I was wrong. The next flight was at 7 a.m. and that was the longest nine and half hours of my life. To top it off, I had forgotten that one of my really good friends lived 20 minutes away and she could’ve picked me up. Karma from the FAA gods for something I did.
When I sat down to write this post I started to make a list of all the airports I slept in and thought there had to be around 20, but no it’s only five and that’s how awful it is; those nights stick with you forever. From my experience at the Detroit, Denver, Amsterdam, Minneapolis, and Athens, Greece airports I have learned a few key things that really make those long nights horrible. It’s that the floor is cement and you become so cold. You might not be the only one sleeping there but the fun “people watching” airport quickly empties out to a boring, cold dreary place. So here is my advice to those wise travelers that travel my way. Always bring a small blanket (Airplane blankets are perfect! Small, folds well) or have a sweatshirt. Second tip, bring some form of pillow. I have a stuffed animal, Rover, who I travel with so he’s perfect. Last but not least an eye mask helps. TSA isn’t courteous enough to dim the lights.
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