9 Reasons Why You Should Never Use Budget Airlines


9 reasons why you should not fly with a cheap airline.9 reasons why you should avoid budget flights

Do you want to fly to your travel destination with a budget airline? Then I strongly advice you to think twice. Remember that when buying cheap you get cheap, and that is the last thing you should choose for when it comes to flying. Here are 9 reasons why you should never fly for a very low price.

1. The location of the airport

Many budget airlines do not depart from a large international airport. Instead they depart from smaller ones. It could take some more time to get to that departure point, which could be difficult to reach by public transportation, or it might be much further away from your home. This creates the weird situation that your transportation to the airport could end up being more expensive then your flight.

I once found a flight to Gdansk (Poland), departing from Groningen Airport (The Netherlands). The flight ticket would cost me a whopping 10 euros! However a train ticket to Groningen would cost me already 25 euros! 10 euro for a ticket from The Netherlands to Poland is very cheap you might say. That is true, but keep in mind that there are many hidden/extra costs, which can make the price of your flight much higher.

2. Extra costs

Do you want to fly low budget? Then you better have no wishes, no expectations, and no luggage. Any extra service is going to cost you. Checking in at the airport, you pay extra. Bringing along checked baggage, you pay extra. Having a drink in the airplane, you pay extra.

The prices for these extra services can be very expensive, so these extra costs can make your seemingly cheap ticket suddenly a lot more expensive. Besides collecting money for extra services the airline is also trying to save money on as many expenses as possible. One of those money saving methods is an inconveniently far location of the departure gate.

3. Location of the gate

Large airports have many gates. The price fighters rent the cheapest ones, which are usually situated far away, at the back of the airport. Plan some extra time to get to your airplane after checking in and getting true customs. It could be a long walk to the gate. Make sure you really walk and do not use the moving walkway. Your legs are going to appreciate the exercise later on.

It will not take long before you will be confronted with another money saving method, which probably will be your next irritation factor. Once in the airplane you will love the cramped seats. Thank god you where able to use your legs for one last time, on the long walk to the departure gate.

4. Uncomfortable seats

Not enough space for your legs is maybe bearable for a short flight but on a long distance journey you might start praying to god that the suffering will be over soon. In order to save money they will cram you into this inhumanely small spaces. Unfortunately there is very little entertainment offered to distract you from your misery.

5. Lack of flight entertainment

You will not be blessed with your own entertainment system when you book a low cost flight. Instead you will be forced to watch a movie on a shared screen. Of course this needs to be a movie witch is suitable for everyone, so you probably will be watching very cheesy movies.

You will try to close your eyes in order not to watch the movie, but the pain and suffering from your crammed chair makes you craving for distraction. As a result you might end up watching that movie anyway. Then again you could also take the time to think about what you are doing in that airplane anyway, as you might take a risk by flying for such a low price.

6. Dangerous flying conditions

You think the airlines will only cut costs on customer service, and leg space? Think again. Some airlines also try to safe money on fuel costs. Pilots decide how much fuel is being tanked for the flight. However, sometimes they are forced to take as less fuel as possible. The amount of fuel in the tank might be enough, if nothing goes wrong, but what happens when the flight takes longer then expected..

Some airplanes got in trouble when they approached the airport. They where told that they had to delay the landing due to a busy airstrip, but there was no more fuel left to wait. A stressful situation for the pilots and the people in the flight tower. Combine this with the stressful working conditions of pilots and you create very dangerous situations.

7. Treatment of the staff

Do you want to trust your life on pilots who make to many hours and are pressured to fly for low wages, in dangerous conditions. They often operate with the fear of being fired if they choose for safety instead of the company policies. Sometimes they are just contractors. Which means that they are self employed. Their employer does not have to pay taxes, and the pilots do not get payed when they get sick.

Flying with a cheap airline.

8. Unfriendly staff

You can’t really blame the cabin crew for not being the most friendliest and helpful people in the business, considering the tough working conditions. The crew is often very tired, stressed and over pressured. Once more you get what you pay for. A cheap tickets means cheap service, and that will not only apply to the airplane staff but also for all the other people who are working in that company.

9. Customer service

Do you want to complain after your flight, or cancel your ticket after reading my article? It can be difficult to to get something done from the budget airline customer service. Often there is no customer service available in your country. Then you have to make an expensive call abroad and explain your situation in English. I tried this and like I expected, nothing ever happened when I tried to cancel my flight.

Cheap is not always better

Lets be honest. A price of 10 euro for a return ticket to Poland is an extremely low price. However, you pay this price because the price fighter has been compromising on things like customer service, safety, and comfort. Especially the safety issues are kind of disturbing. Please think about your safety when you book a flight.

Do you want to put your life at risk to save some money? Having less comfort is understandable and you have a choice if you want to pay for extra services, but you have no influence on your safety during the flight. An airline should never save money on safety procedures. That is just wrong in so many ways. Therefore I strongly advice you to reconsider flying with budget companies.

Did you ever fly with a budget airline? How was your experience? Would you fly with that company again after reading this article?

5 ways to protect yourself from dog attacks

5 ways to get rid of dogs.5 ways to get rid of dogs

As a frequent traveler you eventually find stray dogs and watch dogs on your path. There is no way to avoid them. They can act aggressive when you are jogging, cycling or walking. Encounters with aggressive animals can be very stressful and scary. They can be vicious, and they can carry dangerous deceases. Be prepared on dangerous encounters. If necessary you can try the following methods to safe yourself.

1. Ultrasonic noise

This is one of my favorite methods for protection against dog attacks. Ultrasonic dog stop devices will produce an ultrasonic sound, which will scare your attackers away. This device is especially useful if you are surrounded by many dogs. You can get rid of them all at once, and you do not have to hurt them to get away. People will not hear the ultrasonic sound.

2. Food

If you know you will visit a place where dogs are roaming around, you can prepare yourself by having some (dog) food in your jacket. These animals seem to love foods like yogurt and meet. Distracted them by trowing the food on the ground and try to sneak away in the other direction, if they go for the distraction.

3. Spraying

Only use this method when the dogs are at the point of attacking, and you really have no other choice to defend yourself. Use any spray you might have in your bag ( hairspray, deodorant, pepper spray etc.) and spray toward the eyes. The pain and strong smell can distract the attacker, so that you have some time to escape.

4. Sticks and stones

It might be useful to carry a stick if you go out for a long walk. This stick can support you while walking but it can also defend you from aggressive attackers. Swing the stick towards them when they approach you. Shout at them while you swing the stick. This might scare them off. You can also put some stones in your pockets, which you can trow at them.

5. Run for your life

If you can not think of anything else to do then you can always try to make a run for it. Make sure you run towards an obstacle for the dogs. Otherwise they might outrun you. Try to run towards a high object like a car or a tree, or run towards some traffic. The noise and the movement can cause a distraction.

Did you ever had an encounter with vicious animals? What kind of method did you use to get rid of them? 


7 things you don’t want to know about Thailand


Thailand7 things about Thailand that might upset you

By now means I want to create a negative image about Thailand. It really is one of my favorite countries, but like every country it has some flaws as well. This article describes some of those flaws. Some facts are horrible, some are annoying, and some can actually be funny when you have the right mindset.

Make sure you prepare yourself for some horrible facts before you plan a trip to Thailand. it is better to not be negatively surprised while you visit this country, even though you might just want to close your eyes from some facts, and pretend you don’t want to know. Here is a list of 7 things you don’t want to know about Thailand. Do you..?

1. (Stray) dogs

Dogs where one of the reasons why I did not enjoyed the Northern part of the country O well, maybe it was more the lack of decent fences that where supposed to keep the dogs inside. I remember walking down a street in Lopburi once, every step I took seemed to alarm a new dog. Those monsters where surrounding me with a terrifying barking symphony, and there was still so much road to go.

Even though it was hot, the whole experience gave me the shivers. Those small pieces of wood that where pretending to be a fence would most likely not hold even the smallest dog. I was constantly expecting to see one of those monsters doing a horse jump over the fence. Now that is not a nice situation when you are walking with a heavy backpack. In fact it is never a nice situation.

2. bugs

Do you have an apartment in Bangkok? You would probably not like to know is what going on behind those walls in your nice apartment. Those of you who have been following me on Facebook, must have seen regular updates of my ongoing war with the bugs in my room. Luckily it seems quiet on the front recently. Maybe due to the compulsive cleaning regime of my girlfriend Dianna. Thank you honey. 🙂

Most of the times I am on a war with ants. Which proof to be annoying as well as fascinating insects. They seem to be very useful as natures vacuum cleaner. However, if your are not fond of invasions, then I do advice you do not leave food residues in your house. They will come after it with military precision and dedication.

3. Violence

Thailand might look like the perfect holiday destination. Friendly Thai people, lovely beaches, peaceful temples and a cheerful nightlife scene. However realize that it ain’t all sunshine, zen and rainbows. I am sure that most of you guys have heard of the ongoing battle with political protesters in Bangkok. There are also constant bombings and fights in the south of the country, and occasionally there are problems at the border regions of Cambodia as well.

You might not notice it as a tourist but the use of violence is common in Thailand, and not only on a large (political) scale. There are many weird and sometimes horrible stories of tourists and expats who encounter bad tempered Thais. Believe me a bad tempered Thai can mean serious trouble if you push it to far. For the sake of your own health, swallow your pride and just walk away.

4. Exploitation of children

For those of you who travel to Thailand because of its infamous adult industry. Please be aware. The girls could be under aged. Sometimes they are even really young children. The country enforces strict punishments against people who exploit children. Sadly enough, there are still many crazy criminals who seem to think that it is normal to ruin children’s lives.

5. Scams

Be aware of scams, especially in big cities like Bangkok. There are a lot of different scams. Some of them are more bad then others, but they are always annoying. Some are easy to avoid but sometimes you get tricked even though you are on your guard. To make you feel a little bit at ease, you will most likely be charmed out of your money instead of being negatively harassed.

There are various ways to get scammed, but there are also various ways to avoid scams. Trust your intuition, especially in touristic places. When you visit these places it is better that you ignore people who approach you on the street. Most of the time they want something from you. Luckily people seem to be more genuine in non touristic places. There are a lot of locals who are helpful, without wanting your money.

6. Criminality

Violence, (child) exploitation and scams are often practiced by criminals. Examples of places with a lot of organized crime are Phuket and Pattaya. In general you don’t have to worry of encountering any criminals. However, some of them are involved in touristic services like jet ski rentals and night live entertainment. Be careful not to upset criminals. Making a normal Thai angry is bad, but upsetting a Thai criminal can be especially unhealthy.

7. Rude behavior (land of the smiles?)

People talk about Thailand being the land of the smiles. However, sometimes you don’t want to know what is behind those smiles. The following sentence are occasionally spoken by Thai speaking people who accompany me on walks: “omg did you understand what those people just said about us.. so rude!” Sometimes I get an explanation at which point I feel the urge to turn around and make a fuss about it.

Learning a new language is great. However it  can be difficult to stay calm if you understand what is really being said to you. The worst thing is that they often do it with a smile on their face. When you approach them they might think or say that you are but ugly and a complete loser. However, you could end up walking away while thanking them and thinking: ow those where such friendly people.

What kind of experiences in Thailand would you prefer to have erased from your memory?


5 Reasons Why You Should Avoid Bangkok At Daytime

Traffic jams are one of the 5 reasons why you should avoid Bangkok during daytime.Bangkok has a lot to offer during daytime. However there are enough reasons why you should avoid this city during the day. While living there I always prefer to leave my hole after sunset, or before sunrise. In this article I will explain the main reasons that make Bangkok so unpleasant at daytime.

1. Traffic jams

Bangkok is famous for its traffic jams.Trying to take a taxi is a bad mistake during the rush hours in the morning and early evening. The city is crowded with cars,buses, motorcycles, trucks and tuck tucks, all fighting for a tiny spot, while they slide along the road, as if being in a snail race competition. Of course a lot of traffic is accompanied with health issues, which brings me to the next problem.

2. Air Poluttion

A lot of traffic means a lot of noise and air pollution. The motorized vehicles cough up nasty clouds of exhaust fumes. The factories also join in the party and so do the street cooks, who send large clouds of burned chicken and pork fumes into the sky. A lot of people are wearing protection masks while being outside. Not a bad idea when you stay in Bangkok for a longer period.

I doubt if there are much rules and regulations about things like diesel filters and toxic pollution concentrations. I can inform you with facts and numbers about the exact concentrations, but maybe its better if you don’t know. As a Bangkok expat you might get worried a lot. To make matters worse, pollution is even extra unhealthy when it is combined with heat. Which brings me to the next topic.

3. The heat

Bangkok is often recognized as the hottest city in the world. Is this really true? I could not honestly tell you, as I did not visit all cities in the world yet. However based on my experiences with Bangkok, I can definitely say it is often sticky icky hot in this city.

The problem is the humidity, which, in combination with the sun, makes you boil in your own sweat. The sun will blaze and the humidity will drain your juices away. Other people sweat as well when it is hot, which makes it extra inconvenient when you smooch with them in crowded places. And there are many of those during the daytime.

4. Crowds of people

Crowds of people are the cherry on the pie when it comes to daytime disaster in Bangkok. I recently decided to go to the Grand Palace. A famous destination in Bangkok. I bought sunscreen and went out into the heat. Then I took the sky train which transported me like a sardine in a can. After leaving the sky train I had to take the boat.

My hopes of loosing the crowd vanished when I arrived at the boat. It was also filled to full capacity. It is part of the game of course but it was just not something i enjoyed. Especially because the way back was exactly the same. I don’t like to shower my head in tourist armpits, or belly smooch with them. Situations like this always make me crave for the calm night.

5. Night live

Bangkok is a huge city and there are many things to do during the daytime. However I personally feel this city gets more interesting at night. Visit the sky bars and marvel at the sea of lights. Dance till the early morning in one of the many clubs. Go to the river to see the beautiful light decorated boats and temples or stroll around at the large night markets, without being bothered by the daytime heat.

Bangkok is a busy city and is, in my opinion, much more enjoyable when it calms down. Then it really shows it charm. Besides that, It is much more easy to get around by night because you avoid the traffic. Do you prefer the morning? Then try to join the early birds. A lot of Thai are already active at 5 AM. There is reason why they do this, and now you know why.

Tips to survive Bangkok during the day

So you are an optimistic tourist and you decide to ignore my advice.
Here are some more tips which you can follow, if you go out during the day.

  • Make sure you drink a lot of water. Obvious of course, but many people underestimate how quickly you can overhead and get dehydrated.
  • Use sunscreen. Also obvious but yes many people also underestimate how quick there skin can get fried. The sun in Bangkok is very strong
  • If you don’t mind being packed like a sardine then you can use the many boats or the ever expanding sky train and subway systems, to avoid being stuck in a traffic jam.
  • If you plan on doing some daytime sightseeing then I recommend visiting Bangkok in the relatively cold weeks during December and January. Around that time the temperature is really nice. However, the Thai will think differently and wrap themselves in warm sweaters, even though the temperature is often around a nicely 20 degrees.
  • There are many sightseeing options which are inside. By visiting those places you avoid the heat outside. There is a reason why this city is full of giant shopping malls. They serve as rescue centers for the Thai to escape the heat. Although then you have to deal with the freezing cold of air conditioners.
  • Did you ever go to Bangkok? How was your stay? Did you experienced any of the described problems?

Bangkok – Trouble at the gates

Bangkok - Hiding for a possible shooter in the buildingIt starts with a tip about a bombing and shootings at the MBK shopping mall, in the National Stadium area of Bangkok. Where the rational mind is saying stay away, the inside reporter in us is temped to get as close as possible. Excitement and curiousness win from reason, and so we rush to the scene. On our way to the MBK mall we pass the police and military control points, and eventually a man who gives us the advice to stay away. When we don’t make any attempts to listen to him he tells us its or own choice.

Arriving at the MBK shopping mall I am amazed to see how much this place has changed. A busy intersection looks totally different when it turns into a camping ground. Although having been here a lot in better days, I now feel disorientated. There are people everywhere. It is already late at night, and there are many people sleeping on improvised camping spots. At the stage, a little bit further down the road, someone is still shouting words into a microphone, taking turns with a band playing songs. There is certainly something going on here. However it seems not to involve a situation with bombs and shootings. Otherwise would people still be sleeping? would the band still be playing songs? Was the tip about the bomb a wrong one?

We walk around the big shopping mall, a little bit further away from the main stage. There it suddenly becomes noticeable that, at the outer rings from the locked down area, there is a whole different situation going on. There is a nervous tension hanging in the air. Something is happening. Then suddenly everyone in the street gets to the ground, and hides behind the parked cars on the side of the road. People start pointing at a building, a little bit further down the street. They use laser pens and flashlights to point at a window in the building. That puts the light on a very troubled situation. This is a fight where snipers often use bullets, when words do not seem to work for them. You don’t know where the bullets are coming from, and you don’t know now when a shooting is going to happen. This makes the people, in charge of securing the protest area, extremely nervous.

The people guarding the protest area gates are different from the normal protesters, who mainly seem to be at the protest area to have a peaceful experience by singing, dancing and making as much sounds as possible, in their colorful outfits. These guards have different tasks. There outfits show no signs of celebration. They are wearing black outfits, often combined with army clothes and body armors. There faces are tense, hard and nervous. They look tough, ready for a fight. This is where protest organisation is shown. With their transmitters, sticks, guns and willingness to guard or fight, these are the people that mean serious business. They don’t tolerate loud sounds, photographs and people that nose around. Without them guarding this area, the place would probably turn out in a bloody war zone.

It is a very strange situation. Even when there is the tension of deadly violence, there are still children walking around, food is being sold, and just 50 meters further down the road, thousands of people are sleeping, or listening to the band on stage. Who keeps playing songs as if there is nothing going on. Its a small and weird little world. The protesters seem to have locked them self in, when attempting to lock down Bangkok. Each protest area being its own island. In between those islands, the sharks are swimming around, with bombs and guns, instead of sharp teeth. They come out at night to hunt. Occasionally showing there aggressive nature, before diving away again in the deep urban ocean. It is a nervous cat and mouse game.

When reporting about all of this, I feel like I am walking behind the facts all the time. All night reports keep coming in from bombings, fires, shootings. You run to one place to find out that everything is already happened, and that they are now shooting from a place in the other direction. Being in this mess, I get the feeling that it could take a long time before everything turns out normal again in Bangkok and Thailand.

Your experience

Did you ever ended up in a place where there was a lot of tension? How did you feel while being in such a place?  Leave your interesting responses in the comments section below