Mileage Run to Hawaii – Off To Schiphol

 In Trips

Trains

 
As I reside in Antwerp and my flight would be leaving early Saturday morning from Schiphol airport, it was necessary to leave the day before so that I wouldn’t have to stress about getting there on time. I rely on public transport as I don’t have a driver license, yes I know being almost 40 some people see it as a necessity but I have managed all these years without one. I have never had one, and I don’t know if I ever will get one, but that’s another story.
 
My initial idea was to keep this mileage run trip as cheap as possible so when I was looking for train tickets I knew it was gonna be hard to find anything cheap. The international train that runs between Antwerp and Schiphol always has plenty of availability, but tickets vary in price between 58, 97, 142 and 188 Euros for a return ticket. The first two are for second and first class on the international train (IC), the last two are for 2nd and 1st class on the Thalys (high speed train).
 
 
Train Ticket Prices

Prices oneway from Antwerp to Schiphol

 
After seeing these prices I decided to hold off booking a ticket and to my suprise I found that Thalys had a promo sale! They would sell a limited stock of tickets at the price of 11 Euros oneway for all kinds of destinations! So I decided to check it out… little did I know that it would take me lots of refreshing of the booking page and waiting for 90 seconds… All my swearing and clicking paid off, because I managed to snag a return ticket for 22 Euros from Antwerp to Schiphol!


Hotels

As I didn’t want to start my trip all knackered by spending the night at the airport on some uncomfortable chairs, so I started searching for affordable hotels around AMS airport. I had saved up quite some IHG points which would allow me to book a reward night in one of the IHG hotels in the vicinity of Schiphol.

The first 2 options were the Crowne Plaza and Holiday Inn Express (HIX) hotels in Hoofddorp, especially the HIX looked interesting because of the low number of points required for a reward stay. The downside was that the free shuttle bus would only start riding at around 6 AM while my flight is at 7.30 AM so that was a no go as I want to have plenty of time before flying.

Another option would be to book a night at the Holiday Inn Express hotel in Sloterdijk which has a great train connection to Schiphol. It takes only 10 minutes to get to Schiphol where you arrive in the station below the departure hall. This was interesting especially as the train would ride early morning and would allow me to check in on time without having to rush.

But the thought of spending 25.000 IHG points turned me off as you can buy these at a rate of about $ 70 for 10.000 points, which meant I would roughly be spending $ 175 in points for a night. Bad idea! So I did some more searching on a couple of my favorite search engines and in the end I booked the CitizenM hotel which is at walking distance of the Schiphol departure lounge. As I registered myself as a new member on their website I even got a 10% discount, which brought the price for the night to 70 Euros.

I have to give compliments to the customer service at CitizenM, cause after receiving the booking confirmation I realized that I made a mistake with the date! I needed a check in on the 20th as my flight would be on the 21st! Crap! Without any hesitation I contacted their reservation desk and even though I booked a non flexible rate, they got the date changed in seconds.

Off to Schiphol Airport

Yesterday I took the Thalys from Antwerp Central Station to Schiphol and it went pretty smooth. I expected the train to be packed but  it was the opposite, as there were very little people on it. The only extra people on there were police men because of the sad events that happened in Paris so there seems be more additional security. The same thing goes for Antwerp Central station where soldiers were walking patrols throughout the station.

The seat was comfy, the ride was very fast and the only downside to the trip was the fact that there was not enough legroom available for me. It didn’t bother me too much as the ride only lasted about 1 hour and before I knew it, the Thalys arrived at Schiphol airport.

Mileage Run To Hawaii Off to Schiphol - Lionell Travels - Copyright All Rights Reserved © 2015

Lack of legroom

As soon as I arrived at the airport, I headed towards a Starbucks venue to get myself a tea to warm up and that’s when a funny conversation started between the person (P) taking my order and myself (L):

P: “Hello sir, where did you come from or where are you travelling to?”

L: “Hi, I’m flying to Hawaii tomorrow.”

P: “Oh how nice! How long are you staying there?”

L: “Just a couple of hours and the next morning I fly back to Amsterdam.”

I got an ackward silence and a look like a deer staring into the headlights of a car…

P: “Euh… What!? Come again?”

I couldn’t help it and just started laughing! I got my tea and was on my way again… After I had finished my tea I did a quick check of my bag if I had everything with me. “F*ck!!!” I completely forgot to bring spare clothes! I was angry with myself for not thinking about it, but on the other hand I though it was funny cause I starting thinking about a joke of turning your boxershort inside out for the next day!

Mileage Run To Hawaii Off to Schiphol - Lionell Travels - Copyright All Rights Reserved © 2015

Spare shirts, socks and fresh undies!

Luckily there was a store that sold what I needed, so I didn’t need to worry anymore… Then I was off to the hotel.

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