Why Does Any Sane Person Travel Abroad?
Traveling abroad can be a stressful, whether it is for business or for your holidays and it would be wonderful if we could avoid having to park the car, carry bags onto the transfer bus; queue at check in followed by more queuing and a possible body search at security before making the departure lounge. You will then sit around here for another hour or so and spend money on a meal or other items that cost twice as much as it would back home. You will then be asked to file down to a departure gate for more sitting about then queue again to board the plane.
Once aboard you can finally relax with a stiff drink, unless of course you have young children, where the more responsible parents will then spend the majority of the flight trying to entertain them so as not to annoy other passengers. If you have no children, you just hope you will not be sitting near any and be surrounded by people who are fairly normal and relatively sober.
I have nothing against children and have taken our son abroad since he was a baby and on more than one occasion spent what seemed like hours in turn with my wife walking up and down the plane, as he screamed for no apparent reason. I felt it best to move along the plane to give the people near us some respite.
I once returned from a flight from Tenerife when one poor baby screamed from the moment he or she came onto the plane to leaving. His mum and dad were quite a young couple but looked middle aged when they left, apologizing profusely to everyone for the noise. Everyone was very sympathetic and said it could not be helped, but I did notice they had all bought ear phones. My friend was directly, behind them and joked that if the plane went down it would just be his luck to end up in the same lifeboat.
Then queue to leave the aircraft and the same to go through passport control and then stand your ground shoulder to shoulder with other passengers to retrieve your baggage from the carousel and then make your way outside onto your bus to the accommodation. If you are travelling independently, you then get in a queue for your hire car and hope that everything previously agreed will be the same and there are no extras.
Then off to the accommodation and the stress levels start to come down as you can nearly taste the cold beer and see the sea shimmering in the distance. Just one more chink in the chain, please let the hotel or apartment be on the flat within the stated 15 minutes to the beach and shops and located in the promised quiet part of town and I have cracked it.
Whilst writing this article, I wondered why I still travel abroad at all, until I remembered one fatal year well before the increased security measures were introduced, when I declared we were going to take our main summer holiday in Cornwall. Off we set one beautiful July morning in our own car, stopping when we wanted to with no reliance on any third parties; it was a truly liberating feeling.
It then rained without stopping for the next 14 days and I have never spent such a miserable time driving miles, looking for internal venues for entertainment. Not only was this eagerly looked forward holiday a nightmare, it was one of the most expensive.
The sun and the sea are free and you can spend many a happy hour simply reading or people watching as the sun gently warms your bones. More importantly, my living depends on you continuing to enjoy the sounds and smells that only a foreign holiday can provide. Remember last July was the second wettest in the UK since records began and I need you to remember all those scenes of flooded caravan sites and coastal beeches completely empty, as the rain hammered down.