Planes, trains and automobiles – Episode 1

As a child I had always dreamed of building my own teleportation device. They had one in Star Trek, and even in Blakes 7 and if Vila could build one then so could I. Up to now though there really had been little purpose in learning the complexities of quantum physics, other than the fame and fortune. Suddenly however I could see the practicalities of such a device.

Let me blonde here for a minute and state a fact that I took a little while to realize. Having a distance relationship implies TRAVELING. The distance that separates us became very real the day when I started looking for the various ways and options for us to meet more often.

I was one of those that perceived airports and taking a plane as a real adventure with complication and problems. After 20 years of driving, the car was and remained my first approach to everything, including crossing the sea!

What do you mean? I can't just post myself to the South of France?

So, you are an English man from the 21st century, teleportation has not YET been invented, what do you do? OK well, no shame in admitting it, first I…. ASKED HER!

‘There is no contest’ she tells me, ‘you need to fly’ Well I am man, and man knows best, so I started to investigate.

First, pick an airport you want to leave from, then an airport you want to fly to and times and dates that suit you. The result: A very expensive flight, you are unlikely to want to take. With my head held high I went back with a ‘I Told you so’. With the knowing smile I got in return I decided to do some more digging and look at more unusual options.

To start with were can I fly from. Well I have a car so technically almost anywhere in the UK, but lets keep it between Manchester and the London airports. Then where can I fly to. Looking at the maps and investigating TGV options I found a lot of solutions in France too. And then to top it all off, if I can be flexible and creative with dates then there are even more options. The results were that I found I could fly for as little as £40 return in some cases but always for around the £70 mark. That’s less than I would spend on a taxi and a round of drinks for a good night out. Maybe she was right after all.

But I can do better, says the blonde to himself. I still have my car. I can drive. Turns out though that this is not a cost effective option unless there are a few people in the car. The crossing alone is likely to set you back the same amount as a flight, then the fuel and have you seen how much the tolls are in France? All in all I worked it out that it would cost me something in the region of £350 to drive to Provence. Suddenly even the more expensive flight options didn’t seem too bad. Even if not cheaper then they were only a 2 hour flight as apposed to a 13 hour drive. What was even worse was that she was right all the long!!

Tip: There are many sites out there for finding cheap flights, but I have found I need little more than or They do nothing more than find the flight options, but this could save you hours of searching.

So what did I learn from this.
Firstly that as a man I am not always right, especially as I am a blonde one.
Secondly that experience is golden and admitting you are confused is a good place to start. That way you ask the right questions.
Thirdly that driving to Provence is only an option when there is more than one person traveling saving the price of several plane tickets, or you have a longer stay that would requiring hiring a car once there.
And finally, that I really should have followed that childhood dream and invented the teleportation device before I really needed it.


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