I will be delighted to be attending a very good conference taking place in Glasgow very soon. So, I decided that it would be sensible to assess my travel options to travel from Clent Towers to Glasgow, and the grand central hotel, one of the finest in the land. So first port of call was to look at the good old train, and just see what my options look like. So step forward Mr Branson and his Virgin trains. Personally I have mixed views about the Pendelino, and the whole Virgin travel experience. Buying tickets on the day from Birmingham International is uber expensive, a standard return will cost over £200.0. First class is ridiculous and is actually more expensive than my first car which only cost me £250.00 (an Opel Cadet sky blue in case you were wondering) The standard return was £226.00 and the first class fare was £401.00.
The journey time was four and a half hours which seems to me like a long time when you consider that you can fly to New York in five hours, mind you the journey itself is very nice travelling through the Lake district. Some journeys require a change on route whilst others are direct. Having weighed up the options I then decided to see if driving was a viable option. So, onto the AA route planner I went where a couple of button clicks later I was advised that the journey was a wapping 295.3 miles and would take me 4 hours and 54 minutes or should I choose and why would I there was a second option via the A1 of driving 344.9 miles taking me 5 hours 54 minutes. Thank you but no thank you. The cost in fuel would be basically two full tanks of fuel at £70.00 each so just in fuel £140.00. In addition a round trip would basically account for half of my monthly mileage limit of 1,000 miles a month so not a good idea.
As for the actual stress of driving to Glasgow I still recall the last time that I drove which was during the Commonwealth Games four years ago in Glasgow, where we supplied tracking for the fleets of buses used to ensure the athletes and officials all got to where they needed to on time. To be quite honest the journey was an absolute killer, it was one of those journeys that took for ever and it was wet, miserable, and dangerous. Not unlike myself come to think of it when I finally arrived.
So, option three was flying, and this was a lot more like it, a return flight from Birmingham International to Glasgow was £107.00 with no bag etc and with a flight time of 1 hour 15 minutes (although it was actually only an hour). Well a no brainer to be fair, so two clicks later that was it Flybe here I come. Fly up on the Sunday night cheap hotel found, attend the conference, and then fly back on Tuesday night at 2100 back in Brum by ten, half an hour drive home, sorted.
So, my dear chums what lessons can we draw? Is it all about finding the cheapest option, well no not really it is as much about minimising stress and having a relaxing travel experience and not a bad experience as recently endured care of Stellios and his Coco the Clowns at EasyJest. So, clearly all this is a symptom of growing old as my key interest is about ease and minimum disruption, and preferably being carried onto the plane in a sedan chair, wearing my slippers and PJ’s, although some how I cannot see it happening any time soon. Must go my Horlicks and prescription have arrived.