I haven’t even left California yet and I’ve already screwed up. Awesome.
Checked my e-tickets two days ago and discovered that for reasons lost to the mists of post-menopausal memory, I booked us on a 7am flight out of San Francisco.
Which means we need to get to the airport no later than 5am. Crap.
Much furious consultation with my spouse ensued. We decided to get a motel room at a place near the airport that offers free shuttle service, plus a well-lit place to park a car for the 10 days we’ll be gone.
Of course the problem isn’t confined to the California end of the trip. We arrive in Dublin at 6:55am. Which means that we’ve got ~9 hours to kill before our room in Dublin City Centre opens up.
I can’t manage sightseeing after a transcontinental+transatlantic flight. My body absolutely will not tolerate that kind of nonsense.
The answer is yet another airport motel room. I emailed customer service at the Radisson Blu Dublin Airport and discovered that they’re set up to deal with situations like this in a couple of ways. They’ve got what they call Day Rooms that are available from 9am-5pm, or they’ll let a weary traveler rent a room overnight and check in very late (like, say, early the following morning), then check out at 3pm for no extra charge.
I went with option B, which will allow me to stagger/roll out of Customs and Passport Control straight to the free shuttle, straight to my motel room to collapse in an insensible heap.
While I haven’t yet stayed in their motel, so far I’m quite happy with the Radisson Blu customer service folks. They’ve followed up with me and seem intent on making sure I’m taken care of.
The morals of this story:
1. Pay attention to your flight bookings, and try to make your departure and arrival times work for you rather than against you.
2. Flexibility and good problem-solving skills are key for traveling with pain. Be willing to change your plans to make yourself more comfortable.
3. Money helps. A lot.