Saturday, January 21, 2023

Finding hotels to spend just the day time

View from the room, Seattle
Hotels are making ridiculous check-in and check-out times, making the check-in as late as 5 pm and check-out as early as 10 am. Many hotels then allow late check-out and early check-in, often for an hour. While this works for a good sleep and leaving for the day, it does not work when you arrive past midnight or want to relax during the daytime, just one day. You are forced to pay for the whole day in those cases. Upon our arrival in Fairbanks at 1:40 am, we had difficulty finding hotels on Because apps such as do not allow same-day check-in and check-out. In this case, we are looking for check-in for yesterday's date and check-out for today. After some clear explanations over the phone, we found a hotel to sleep in from 5 am - 1 pm (same day), paying the whole night fare as expected. But as far as the hotel is concerned, this is like we checked in yesterday (just a very late check-in that it is the following day's morning!) and check-out today.


Many hotels abroad allow hourly rates too. That is when we decided to look for day-use hotels when we landed in Seattle in the early morning after a red-eye flight. We just had a day in Seattle before our next flight in the night. Even if we use a regular hotel as we did in Fairbanks, that is not ideal as we have to check out by 1 pm the latest. Luckily, we found the Dayuse app, which let us find hotels, allowing check-in as early as 8 am and check-out at 6 pm. We did not have to pay anything to the app beforehand. No need to provide the credit card details even! The hotel let us check-in immediately when we arrived, even an hour earlier than the expected time, at 7 am. Therefore, we had 11 hours to relax, explore the city, come back, freshen up a bit, and then leave for our next flight. These day-use hotels are going to be very useful in similar situations.

Airport Memories

Leaving Fairbanks
Airports bring us the strongest memories. A list of my top 10 favorite airports:

10. IST. It got nice shops to get things at last minute. Istanbul made me get addicted to Salep. So when I was leaving the city, I was having my last few doses of that (and many desserts too!)

9. ANC. The hub of Alaska. Wherever I went to AK in 2021, I went through this airport. It's quite big and got some decent food. When you touch the airport, you feel like you are in a totally new country, although you are still in the US. Great views of mountains in the distance.

 8. ARN. I sometimes feel guilty that I did not give enough attention to Stockholm and Sweden, despite spending a semester there and visiting it in 3 different years. Nevertheless, it is all beautiful memories. The fast train to the city center is an integrated travel experience.

7. DOH. My first time here was bad. It was under renovation. But I gave it a second chance, and it impressed me (much more than DXB.) After that, it became my usual connecting point between the west (EU or US) and the east (Asia). Beautiful metro connection to downtown Doha too!

6. BRU. During my time in Belgium, I spent many nights here (and in the ugly CRL). I like the Belgian embassies. They were very friendly, always answered my emails, and were generally helpful. So Belgium's main airport worked as my entry point to the EU after leaving Europe too.   

Fairbanks Airport

5. LAX. My first time here was in December 2019, for the first conference visit of my postdoc life. This one has many happy and sad memories of the pandemic. But at last, it was still the airport where we reunited after the deadly pandemic kept us 13,450 km apart for 2.5 years.
4. ATL. People here ask me, "So, you always talk about Lisboa. Do you like Atlanta? What do you like most about Atlanta?" My default answer is, "It is@ATLairport!" Yes, it is a busy one, not really fancy or anything. But gets the job done and takes you wherever without trouble.
3. BRW. This is the ONLY airport where I arrive just 30 mins before the departure time. It's tiny and can be messy. Just one terminal. You sit tight until the plane lands. The flight may not land if it gets too foggy, cloudy, icy, or outright deadly. So, you will never know.
2. LIS. Bom dia. This airport makes me feel at home. Memories of friendships, romance, love, happiness, sadness, saudade, and everything in between. It took the central stage of my life between 2012 - 2019. I always hope we will return someday and relive those youthful memories.
1. FAI. Cold breeze soothes you as you walk out. Very friendly TSA agents here. This year, the sky looked magnificent during my return flight, with mild northern lights dancing in the sky. This airport was brutal with blowing snow during the Interior AK Blizzard 2021 December.  
I probably should have added some of my photos from each of these memorable/remarkable airports into this thread. But that will need a larger time investment, and I cannot bother.