Does Traveling Make You Fat?

Early morning airline flights are such a drag! Michael Taylor hates them so much that he has frequently considered spending the night before departure at an airport hotel so that he could sleep in longer. A company in the United States has put together park, sleep, fly packages that make this an affordable alternative.

Many People Put on Weight When They Travel

Whether it’s traveling on business, taking a vacation, or going home for the holidays, many people put on weight when they are away from home.

I’m a good example of that. Even though I try to work out in the hotel fitness centre or do laps in the hotel swimming pool when I am on the road, it is not always possible.

I try to go light at the breakfast buffets, and I skip the desserts. But no matter how hard I try, I invariably put on a few pounds when I’m traveling. I even managed to gain five pounds during a two week visit to Vietnam a couple of years back.

But what goes on easily, doesn’t just melt away when you get back to your normal routine. As the saying goes, two seconds on the lips, two years in the hips.

Airport Meals Tend to Be Expensive – and Not Very Healthy

With airlines in the United States cutting back on in flight meals, airport concourses are now lined with restaurants and take out counters serving up everything from barbecue spareribs to taco salads to hot dogs with all the trimmings.

And as tasty as all that sounds, these fast food offerings also tend to be highly calorific, laden with fat, full of sodium, and rich in sugar. (It makes my mouth water just thinking about it!)

Sleep in – and Have a Healthy Breakfast!

So here is an innovative concept. Rather than doing what most people do – getting up at the crack of dawn, driving to the airport, parking in a long-term parking lot, and then grabbing an expensive and not very healthy bite to eat at the airport – why not check into a hotel located close to the airport the night before?

Too expensive, you say? Well, maybe not …, Inc. has put together pre-flight park and stay packages at 1,500 hotels located near dozens of airports on both sides of the Atlantic. One night’s accommodation, parking, and a shuttle service to and from the airport is included in the package.

“Our service offers airport hotel park and stay deals in over 129 airports in the U.S., Canada, and Europe,” says Jack Lambert, managing partner of

“Travelers book pre-flight park and fly packages that include a one night’s stay at the airport hotel, free parking for seven to 14 days, and complimentary shuttle to and from the gate. This translates into being rested and well-fed before a flight, on time for departure – and can cost about the same as long-term airport parking fees alone.”

Highly Cost Effective

If you compare the cost of parking in a long-term parking lot at major airports for several days with the cost of spending one night at a hotel located near the airport, which will not charge you for leaving your car in the parking lot, you would only end up spending US$25 to US$35 extra, Lambert points out. In some cases, you would actually break even, with the savings on parking equalling the cost of the hotel room.

And what about the savings in wear and tear? You can not only eat more healthily in the hotel coffee shop, you can also sleep in longer – and not be stressed out by concerns that traffic conditions might cause you to miss your flight. You might even have time for a workout in the hotel’s fitness centre!

“You won’t have to get up at the crack of dawn, drive through heavy traffic to the airport, worry about long security lines, or miss your flight looking for parking,” Lambert says.

There are similar packages for passengers arriving on late night flights. Reversing the process, you spend the night at a hotel, driving home – or straight to the office – at a more civilized hour the following morning. Cruise packages are also offered.

Hong Kong Reality Check

I would love it if this option existed in Hong Kong, but ParkSleepFly hasn’t expanded its operations yet to Asia. And since I usually take the taxi to the airport (I don’t have a driver’s license here) there wouldn’t be any savings in terms of parking fees for me personally. But I still think it’s a great concept.

Copyright: Michael Taylor


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