Staying in Amsterdam: citizenM Schiphol

On a weeklong trip to the UK (which already included a stopover in Iceland), I had the bananas idea that I could also fit in a quick jaunt to Amsterdam for the Nike Women’s 10km race. After all, when else would I ever get to run a race that started and finished in an Olympic stadium?

The only way to make it work would be flying out of Southend at 7 a.m. on race day, landing at Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport at 9:30 a.m., and flying back from Amsterdam to Gatwick at 7:30 a.m. the next morning. And that stupid-early flight meant I wasn’t going to get to hang out at a cool backpacker hostel in the city center—but luckily, I did get to stay at a surprisingly cool airport hotel, just a few minutes’ walk from the terminal. Continue reading “Staying in Amsterdam: citizenM Schiphol”

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Staying in London: Stratford

It’s a challenge to find a place to stay in London when you’re on a budget—particularly when you also have a jam-packed itinerary and can’t risk leaving your precious few hours of sleep in the hands of unknown hostel bunkmates. I look forward to the day when money’s not an obstacle and I can just crash in Mayfair or whatever with the posh people, but right now, I’m 23 and work at a nonprofit. So I spent many, many, many hours scouring Expedia for accommodations on those nights when I wasn’t going to sleep on a bus.

Ultimately, after weighing several dozen options and getting dangerously close to my departure date, I settled on the Epsilon Hotel in Stratford. At $70 per night with free wifi and breakfast included, the price was right, and though it’s not especially centrally located, the tube stop ten minutes away meant it wasn’t too much of a sacrifice location-wise.

Honestly, I liked my hotel in Stratford precisely because it was a bit out of the way. Continue reading “Staying in London: Stratford”