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Rule # 1: enjoy the trip!

Community Highlights Travel Philosophy Rule # 1: enjoy the trip!

If you are the sort of person who always falls asleep on airplanes and wakes dewy-fresh and raring to go when the flight lands, no matter how many hours it takes, I would like to say two things to you:

1. I think I hate you.

2. I have no useful advice to give you. Turn away!!!

But if you constantly come home with more tales about how you suffered in the airport and the airplane than you do about the wonders that you saw on the other side of the world, read on!

The last time we stumbled off an overnight flight to London - hot, sweaty and exhausted - I swore we would find a different way to travel. We all spend too much money on these trips - and time and effort! - to end up wandering zombie-like through Heathrow moaning "Sleep! Sleeeep!"

To hell with that. Last year we tried two alternatives: taking the Queen Mary from New York to Hamburg and taking the one AND ONLY daytime flight from Canada across the Atlantic.

The Queen Mary is a lot more fun and not that much more money but it takes seven days to get to England and nine to get to Hamburg. Great if you have the time.

Taking the morning flight from Toronto and arriving in London is an excellent choice as well. It is significantly cheaper, even with connections through Toronto. Air Canada does a really good job on the overseas flights. Yes, I have heard the criticisms, but try going economy class on one of the competing airlines flying out of North America and see how that goes for you! Most other airlines - barring the really expensive ones that are heavily subsidized by borderline totalitarian regimes - are nowhere near as good. And you would have to fly through some dreadful airline hub a very long way from home indeed.

The downside is that you will have to go through Toronto if you come from western Canada as we do. So we stay overnight and have a nice leisurely dinner out by the airport, get a good sleep and hit the airport early.

That way my vacation starts the moment I hit the airport, and not many hours later when I get to my hotel. I am spending away too much money to get away from it all to spend 16 or 20 hours as a crazed commuter desperate to get to where he is going.

So consider finding alternative flights, stopping over, and taking things in relatively easy stages.

What's that, waiter? Why, an espresso and a biscotti would be lovely.

This featured blog entry was written by Tim McRory from the blog Secrets of the Off Season Traveller.
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By Tim McRory

Posted Tue, Nov 04, 2014 | Comments