Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Overnight Trips: Worth Losing Sleep?

The Frugal Traveler did an article about a month ago that revolved around the art of sleeping on airplanes. Seth  Kugel, the blog's writer, goes in to depth about whether or not there is a method to being able to sleep sitting up in coach on an airplane. After reading this I was forced to think about all the nights that I've lost a complete night of sleep for the sake of getting from one place to another.

I thought I'd share them here for your pity and amusement:

1.) Where: Saint Petersberg, Russia
Mode of transport: Flight from NYC
Duration: 11 hours
Was it worth losing a night of sleep?: Yes.

I was on a middle seat in coach with a woman next to me, who was a nervous nelly when it came to flying. The woman talked my ear off... for the whole flight. Needless to say I was groggy when I departed the plane. Also in Saint Petersburg, I dealt with an 8 hour time change and 2 hours of darkness a night  which severely effected my circadian rhythm. I stayed up through 4 am the night of arrival at a local bar called "Castro" on Nevsky Prospekt with my friends and ended up being awake for a total of 44 hours. Though I had a lot of coffee and Russian vodka to get me through it.

This could be taken at 3 am. for all you know
2.) Where: Bocas del Toro, Panama
Mode of transport: Bus from Panama City
Duration: 9 hours
Was it worth losing a night of sleep?: No.

The bus was a cheap $8 for a bumpy trip in a loud, crowded bus for 9 hours. To use the bathroom, which on bumpy roads is almost a must, you had to get the bus driver's friend to escort you to the back, unlock the door, and wait outside the tiny washroom for you to finish... talk about shy bladder. The bus was extremely over air conditioned and the bus driver played loud Latin music the ENTIRE ride. When I found out flights back to Panama City was only $80, my girlfriends and I splurged and took the jumper plane back after our week in Bocas. I'm all for frugal travel, but there are lines to be drawn.

At least I was in paradise after that hellish bus ride

3.) Where: Prague, Czech Republic
Mode of transport: Flight from Washington DC
Duration: 8 hours
Was it worth losing a night of sleep? Yes. 

I've been to Prague twice but the trip I'm referring to is when I attended a film festival and classes with other Czech students for 10 days in 2008. Other students and I took an overnight flight to Prague and upon arrival, had to freshen up and attend a film party that lasted until 3 am. I was in a big group of Americans so we all had the same exasperated reactions to attending a party after an overnight flight. The festival was definitely worth it.

Old Town Prague
4.) Where: Las Vegas, NV
Mode of transport: Flight from Boston
Duration: 5 hours
Was it worth losing a night of sleep? No. 

I attended a full day of work prior to getting on this flight at 9 pm. and arriving in vegas at 1 am. (4 am. Boston time). My inebriated friends had me meet them at Tryst night club, with my luggage, to party until 6 am. (again 10 am. Boston time). I had to change into my sequinned dress and heels in the airport bathroom and do my hair with water from the sink and a brush. Needless to say, I was not "clubbing apparel" appropriate. We slept for two hours that night, got up, and went to 1000 person pool party on the roof of a hotel. If you are going to Vegas for the weekend, take a day off work first and rest. You will need it.

Not exactly "lounging by the pool" as I had anticipated.

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