It’s 4 in the morning, the middle of October, I’m writing this now just to underline the weirdness of getting up and out of the hostel when others are still coming back from a night out (on a Tuesday? Don’t these people have jobs? No, no they don’t).

I was mad at myself for booking such an early flight out of Auckland when I realised I’d have to get the 3:30 airbus, which meant having to wait on a corner at 3:30 am. I’d also just been told this ‘hood is not the greatest (I wouldn’t have noticed, though).  I decided only to mention to my mother that I waited on the corner in the middle of the night if I survived the journey.

About 2 minutes after arriving at the stop, I saw the airport bus going the opposite way into town. The driver obviously has never worked for the TTC, so he was really nice and stopped to pick me up so I wouldn’t have to wait for him to go back to the depot and come back again. So I got a little middle-of-the-night tour of Auckland downtown. There was a couple in the McDonald’s, but not much other than that was going on.

Here I am with a couple of hours to kill in Auckland airport. So I thought I’d share these exceptional travel tips:

Money-saving tip #1: book a ridiculously early flight because it’s a bit cheaper and because, bonus!, you think you’ll save a night at the hostel by sleeping at the airport, but then actually you end up changing your mind, thinking a shower and a couple of hours of sleep would be better than the allegedly bed-bug infested lounge in the airport where your wallet would probably be stolen and where you’d sleep through your boarding call (if you sleep at all).

Space-saving tip #1: forget things around the world.
For example, British Columbia is the perfect place to leave a package of face-cleansing cloth thingies (practical when camping or spending days on end in a train, but relatively heavy and not essential) where it can be used as a toddler’s toy. You might also want to leave your fleece (which you bought in Germany and is therefore slightly sentimental, if only because it was expensive and is pretty much your only jacket-type thing) in a café in Lake Tekapo Springs because it happened to be sunny that day and you just may as well take it as a sign that you won’t need it for the rest of your trip because all this rain and wind is just a fluke that you’ll avoid for months to come and screw it, there’s good shopping in Melbourne.

Money-saving tip #2: Forget your fleece in Lake Tekapo Springs so you can go shopping in Melbourne.

Space-saving tip #2: Bring only small, refillable toiletry bottles.

Money-saving tip #3: When your shower gel bottle is nearly finished, conveniently find that someone forgot hers in the hostel shower. Make sure the person has checked out and then proceed to re-fill your bottle with glee.

Money-saving tip #4: Buy Adidas running shoes and watch them desintegrate before your eyes after only 3 months. Consider writing a strongly-worded letter that may result in substantial gain. But probably it wouldn’t.

Please remember I’m writing this at 4am. Thank you. Good morning and good luck!

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