Mileage Run to Hawaii – Off To Schiphol
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.
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!
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.