Who was it who wrote “..to travel hopefully is a better thing than to arrive”? Seriously? You wouldn’t write that nowadays would you? Travel is the very worst part of going anywhere.
If only Scottie could beam us up to Alicante or Orlando. That would be brilliant. I would be up for that every time (even though I have seen “the Fly” and consider there may be some risks involved). Some say the holiday begins at the airport. If that is so, then most people must have miserable holidays. Consider your average holiday journey:
You don’t sleep the night before leaving because you worry you won’t wake up in time or if you have cancelled the newspapers or remembered to pack the Imodium. You take the car to the airport, because you can’t risk a train strike and then you worry about traffic, so you arrive 4 hours earlier than flight time. That turns out to be just as well, because everyone else had the same idea and your check in line is half a mile long. You stand in line for two hours before being cleared to go through security.
Now, we have had security checks at airports for several years now, and you would have thought most people know the drill when it comes to taking everything metal out of your pockets, putting phones in bags, removing coats, removing laptops, tablets etc, from luggage and having your liquids in travel sized bottles in clear bags. But no, having undressed well in advance, standing barefoot and holding your trousers up with your hands and your belt in your teeth you get to stand behind the sloth who gets it wrong time after time. You daren’t step out of line though, because you have been given a number to stand on and if you deviate or complain, then you WILL end up being a random check, which means a further wait while they comb through your bag.
Then you pass into the shopping mall, which used to be known as the departure lounge, but where can you lounge these days? Try and find a spare seat that isn’t serving as a bed. If you are lucky you won’t have to avoid the beery fumes and irritating jollity of a stag or hen party, but how often do you get lucky these days? You scan the flight screens ,desperately hoping your gate is called and the flight is not delayed, so you can sit down at the gate at last in relative peace and quiet. Why is it incidentally, that people think it is ok to drink pints of lager at 8 in the morning?
I actually don’t mind the flight bit normally, but when you get to your destination, you end up in another queue for immigration. I have known this to take longer than the flight itself. They usually have far too few officials, so when you get out, your luggage has long since been turfed off the carousel. You hope, whilst standing zombie like in the queue, that it has arrived at the airport and has not been taken by someone else. And then, assuming no customs issues, you find your coach. You wait another hour because they have to wait for another flight in from Manchester or Birmingham or wherever and then you face the further two hour journey to the hotel. Of course, they have to drop people off along the way and guess what! Your hotel is the last in the line.
As for the holiday itself, I have form when it comes to holiday mishaps. At work, I was known at various times as a Weather God or Jonah ……. and neither in a good way. No-one would go on holiday at the same time or to the same place as me. Vacation weather for my family was more often than not, unseasonably bad or something had gone wrong or I had suffered travel rage of some sort. My long-suffering family patiently endured this for years.
The hope now is that being significantly more relaxed post work, holidays and travel generally, will be something to look forward to.