For so many people the idea of waking up early at any time sounds awful. Holidays or weekends often mean that great chance to sleep in. However, I think that when travelling it can be a considerable advantage to wake up early.
Although there will be times that sleeping in will suit you best, having that ability to wake early will serve you well. There can be many things that are just better in the morning or that just have to happen in the morning. Some will depend on choices you make, but others can be out of your control if you want to do something specific. So today I want to take you through a couple of these times to help you make that decision.
When you are travelling it is not always easy to get a flight at precisely the time that you want to travel. In some cases, flights might only go to a destination once a day. Other times it might just be a case that some flight times are more popular than others. But either way, there is likely going to be an occasion when you need to be up quite early to make a flight.
The main thing you have to take into account is the time that it will take to get to the airport and through the airport. A 10 am flight might not sound early, but when you work back the time for everything else you may need to be up well before this time.
Consider if you were flying from Brisbane, Australia to Los Angeles, USA. The flight leaves at 10 am, what time do you need to be awake. I would be allowing at least 1.5 – 2 hours at the airport, which includes gettering from the train, getting checked in, through immigration and to the gate. Airtrain from Brisbane City is around 20 minutes + 20 minutes to get from your hotel and buy a ticket. I could assume that if you had everything packed the night before you might need 10 minutes to get ready. Plus 10 minutes to grab some breakfast take away as you go.
That all comes to about three hours, which means you have to be up at 7 am to make that 10 am flight. I live in Brisbane, and the last time I took a trip like this, I was up more like 6 am. With the drive and everything, I end up with almost no time to sit and wait before the plane was boarding.
There are some cities, countries or areas that you visit where particular tours are almost a no-brainer. Often these are tours that will visit one or more attractions spread out over a larger area. Or when you are on a Cruiseship and have an all-day intensive tour in one port.
I have taken a few tours like this, such as an all-day tour from Vienna to Budapest. There was also full day tours on cruise ships visiting areas of Tuscany or another to Rome. Although I cannot be precise on all three, they all needed me to be awake and ready before 7 am. Not just ready, but often eaten breakfast and standing there ready to get on the bus.
The tour from Vienna to Budapest was one that I kind of underprepared for. In some ways due to lack of proper information, but either way, the tour van was there to pick me up at 6.45 am. I made a rush for breakfast, and I was on the bus. But if I had not already planned to wake up early I could have missed the bus.
Likewise, the two tours in Italy on a cruise ship were long days. In Tuscany it was a case of fitting in all the main highlights of the area with a 12-hour tour, that departed the ship at 7 am. To visit Rome was a 13-hour journey with almost 3 hours driving each way from the ship to Rome. With the ship only in port for Rome for 14 hours, you had to be ready to leave early, or you missed the tour.
Another time that I have found it well worth being awake early is to visit certain attractions. Some attractions tend to get many visitors from other areas. So while they might open early enough, they are not busy until a little later.
One such attraction I visited was Stonehenge, located almost two hours from London. Often people will prefer to do a tour to visit the site rather than travel out and stay in the area. However, I was spending a few days on the road and just two minutes from Stonehenge. I made sure I was up early and there when the doors opened. I got to spend almost an hour looking around with only a small crowd of maybe 20-30 other people.
On the other hand, as I was getting back in the car to continue my day, there was a constant stream of tour buses arriving. I think I counted around 15 when I drove out of the car park and streams of people disembarking from them. I was happy to be awake early and beat the crowd. But it also validates the previous point of being awake early for a tour. Those people on the buses had been travelling almost two hours to get out of London to visit Stonehenge.
A Different Sunrise
Waking to the predawn darkness is not everyone’s idea of fun. But I do believe it can be well worth a try, especially when you are somewhere a little different. The sunrise where you live day to day may seem ordinary, and you might wonder why to look for the sunrise anywhere else. But it all comes down to where you are, destinations all over the world have some amazingly different locations. The sunrise can be quite ordinary in one and quite spectacular in another.
Why not let me know how you go about your wake up when you are travelling? You can do so either by leaving a comment below or finding me on one of the social media platforms.