I messed up just to save £100. I strongly advise not doing what I did if you value sleep, dignity, your soul.

Let me flick back to circa 6th June, 2015. My inimical optimism didn’t intend to fudge future Dean over, but it did and still usually does.

“Oh, future Dean won’t mind travelling from Manchester Airport to save some money. And he definitely won’t mind the 11pm train from Euston that lasts 3 hours. And he won’t mind waiting in Manchester Piccadilly Station until 4.21am to catch a train to Manchester Airport to wait around until his flight at 11am, which also happens to be a connecting flight consisting of one 7 hour slog and another 6 hour fun ride in the sky.”


The first plane ride, Manchester to Philadelphia, was your standard flight. 7 hours, food, wee bit of turbulence. But I hadn’t slept all night and parts of my brain that medical practitioners would define as ‘pretty useful’ were slowly shutting down. I had small bursts of sleep mixed with long blasts of sleep-anger. WHY DIDN’T YOU JUST FLY FROM HEATHROW?! YOU LIVE IN LONDON!

Luckily, Philadelphia Airport made life easier and non-Dean, so getting through the process of security and baggage check was a doddle. It was a 2hr 15 layover, so by the time I’d checked into America land, it was roughly 20 minutes until my connecting flight.

Now, this flight was a right slap between the kneecaps. American Airlines didn’t offer my flight complimentary food. Because, like, who the hell needs to eat for 6 hours? I didn’t really have time to grab food during the layover, so I was getting hangry. Getting hangry made getting sleep harder. Getting sleep harder made the flight seem longer. Wah.

Seriously, I’m not trying to sound like a moaning Mary (sorry, Mary). It’s my fault. I tried to be clever and save money, but at what cost, Dean? AT WHAT COST?


I made it to Seattle around 7pm. The view from the plane’s window was absolutely breathtaking. The mountainous landscape was gorgeous and looked unlike anything I had witnessed of American terrain.

I soon called for a shuttle to the Clarion and It arrived within 10 minutes. I checked into my room that I was sharing with Liz and sat on the bed as those familiar feelings possessed me. I was in America. I was very close to starting my third Trek America tour. AHHH!

Liz had left a note for me saying that she had gone for food with Adam and Stacey, two fellow Trekkers that we met on Facebook before flying. Unlike me, they were smart and flew earlier from Heathrow.

I went for a short walk (clocked a 7 Eleven for supplies) and then met the guys! Meeting Stacey and Adam was easy, mostly down to the fact that they are really cool people! They were both from the UK and shared the same weird sense of humour as Liz and I. Welcome to the circle of trust, guys.

We had a few beers at the hotel bar. I had Two Beers IPA, which the bartender liked to joke and say, “Okay, two beers coming up!”

“No, I asked for one.”

“Yeah, one two beers?”

We spent the time speculating about Trek, guessing how tall Natalie would be, and trying to see how far we could set the bar for socially acceptable conversation.

We retired around 11pm to prepare for our big day in Seattle, and I felt better knowing that I had learned a valuable lesson. It was this:

Next time, book a flight closer to where you live!

Written by Dean