a little tiny travel tip

Thursday, April 12, 2012

For those of us who don't live on the east coast of the United States, flying home to the States from Central or Eastern Europe can be a royal pain. Once, I flew home to Oklahoma from Eastern Europe (Poland), and it took me a little over 24 hours. Another time, I flew home from Athens, Greece and it took me around 30 hours. Why? Because unless you're willing to pay upwards of thousands of dollars, you will be hard-pressed to find a direct flight from that far east to that far west. Usually, it involves flying somewhere in central Europe first, stopping for a layover....then flying somewhere in Western Europe, stopping for a layover...then flying somewhere on the east coast of the United States, stopping for a layover....you get the picture. It's not fun.

I've developed the opinion that it's worth it (and still cheaper, in the end) to make a little 2-3 day stopover in the UK or Belgium and then fly directly home from there, to break up the travel time and relieve some of the airport-craze-induced stress. When I've taken that approach in the past, I've usually been able to find a direct flight from Western Europe to Dallas, Texas, which is just a 30 minute flight from Oklahoma. It does add some expense to arrange the extra mini-trip (especially if you stay in London, a city which always seems to empty my bank account, no matter how careful I am....thank you, GBP), but if you know someone in the area who is willing to house you, you get free lodging and end up feeling so much more refreshed in the end. It's never a good feeling reuniting with family and friends at the airport - whom you haven't seen in several months - and looking like you've just been run over by a truck, after having spent the past day and a half either sleeping in a plane seat or passed out on the airport floor, uncomfortably intertwined with your luggage so as to protect it from wandering thieves.

If "home" for you is NYC or D.C., then forget everything I just said, because you can pretty much find a direct flight to your city from anywhere in the world. ....or so it seems to a girl who's spent the better part of the past 3 years wondering when Oklahoma City's Will Rogers Airport will be considered among the ranks of JFK or Washington Dulles. The answer to that is: never.

And speaking of Belgium, I took this photo the last time I was there (a shot of Grote Markt in Brussels).

brussels




And that's the end of that!

24 comments:

Megan said...

whew. lucky to grow up near DC...never had this problem. although............ often when i (i=budget/poor girl) book my flights from DC to europe i somehow end up with a layover in dallas. i dont quite get it. but its cheaper so i always go with the flow and do the unnecessary long flight out of my way.

i just need to win the lottery. but anyways, good travel tip to those in the midwest/west coast!

Ash said...

oh girl.. we just visited my in laws and had to fly out of will rogers.. so i'm panicking about being "late" and airport "security"..

ummm... what the eff?! we walked RIGHT THROUGH security as 2 of 4 people...

(we live in socal, so we fly out of LAX)

yeah.... such a teeny tiny airport.. BUT, we did meet a fellow who bought us drinks and lunch at the airport bar/food court..

so no complaints here!

Robots in Trouble said...

whoa... 30 hours? are you guys allowed to walk around at least? what do you do when you're in the plane?

Alex Butts said...

ah i've always wanted to do that, but at the same time, when i'm headed home that's the only place i want to be - home. when i'm traveling long distances i have this terrible get-me-the-hell-there mentality

Antoinette said...

WOW! I can't believe it takes you 24 hours to fly home from Poland. I live in New Zealand totally across the other side of the world and it also takes me that long. Long flights are such a killer!
Speaking of Poland I was there for Easter, I just love that country.

Jenni Austria Germany said...

@Ash, I do love that about Will Rogers. It's never taken me longer than 5 minutes to get through security. And the whole airport is, like, the size of my house. Very easy to navigate.

@Robots, I've never been on a 30 hour flight. The time it took me 30 hours to get home involved 4 flights and 3 layovers. Same with the 24 hour experience, too.

Shauna said...

Great Idea! I love the Belgium shot.

Elle R. said...

lucky you!!! and beautiful picture =)

Elisha(: said...

your travels always seem so exciting!! Mind if I stow away in your suitcase sometime!?

the lovebirds said...

wow... what an airport story! Gorgeous pictures. I am so jealous of all of your travels and whereabouts. I may just have to come live in your suitcase so I can see the world. xo

Tiffany said...

LOVE the Belguim shot! Beautiful!

~Tiffany
http://tiffanyd22.blogspot.com

Yuli Conversations said...

sweet! thanks :)

http://yuliconversations.blogspot.com/

K said...

that's intense! i'm a spoiled east coaster so i've been lucky enough to avoid the monstrosity you described. though commuting 13+ hours to and from school was quite unpleasant. i definitely should've gone for a few days in iceland each way.

emily g. said...

I was just in Brussels this weekend! I felt so cool that I recognized that pic! :D

kLr said...

Yes, that has caused me to feel sympathy towards my west coast friends who essentially do twice the air time that I have to do when I fly to, say, England.

Sara Louise said...

Ugh the joys of not flying to Boston, NYC, or DC. When I go back to San Antonio to see my Mom it's, Marseille to Amsterdam, to Dallas, to San Antonio. It takes FOREVER and by the time I get home it's collapse time (not really - I'm usually so excited I head straight to a TexMex restaurant and stuff myself)

kylee said...

in love with the new blog look. in LOVE.

Vanisha @ Vanishas Life In...Australia said...

Love the picture - my lomo fisheye is one of my fave cameras. And this is a great trip. I've also learnt the benefits of stopping over and breaking up the trip. It's not always best for my bank account (depending on where you're going or coming from) but it does wonders for my body and mind!

Vanisha @ Vanishas Life In...Australia said...

Love the picture - my lomo fisheye is one of my fave cameras. And this is a great trip. I've also learnt the benefits of stopping over and breaking up the trip. It's not always best for my bank account (depending on where you're going or coming from) but it does wonders for my body and mind!

jenmarie33 said...

Yeah...I live in CA so I have it even worse than you =( I am jealous of those who live on the east coast for that very reason! (although not jealous of the weather!)

jenmarie33 said...

Yeah...I live in CA so I have it even worse than you =( I am jealous of those who live on the east coast for that very reason! (although not jealous of the weather!)

mina said...

when we were in cairo, and wanted to get to the states, we randomly found a flight from brussels to philadelphia that was leaving every day at the same time for just $300. we couldn't believe it - and there was barely anyone else on the plane. we haven't been so lucky since but i wish i knew why they were doing that so i could plan trips according to that schedule!

Rachel said...

My Greek boyfriend just arrived in Austin after a fun 24 straight hours of travel...luckily Tex Mex has sedated him enough to tolerate it...but who knows when that will wear off...

Juliette said...

That's my home toooown!

And i totally know what you mean about the airport craziness!
I just came back from Thailand and i did : 4 hours boat, 7 hours bus, 6 hours flight, 5 hours transfert and 7 hours flight again. Woohoo!