I am one of those restless travelers who mopes until they are in a new place, then starts planning the next trip while on the current one. This is why whenever there’s a long weekend, I’m obsessively searching for places to visit! But the airport hassle for just a day or two in a new place isn’t for everyone… including my husband.

Since the day I convinced him to spend 24 hours on a bus to spend half a romantic day in Venice, he has been vary of my crazy money-saving travel plans. However he caved this month and let me book flights for two long weekend trips just 3 weeks apart. Heaven for me. Hell for him.

Because we don’t live in Shanghai, we need to add an extra 2-3 hours of travel time to the 2 hours of airport waits (which are 100% necessary in China because lines can be ridiculously long), then an hour or two for a flight and finally up to an hour to get to our accommodation… 6-8 hours one way can be quite exhausting! But just as exhilarating.

In our specific situation, we have trouble finding Friday evening flights that we wouldn’t miss because Isaac works until 5 PM. That’s why we go for the earliest flights on Saturday. For our upcoming flight to Inner Mongolia, for example, we need to be at the airport at 6 AM. Since it’s a Chinese holiday, all hotel prices are inflated so we either have to waste money or sleep in the airport. Fun choices, huh?

Speaking of wasting money… flight prices are also slightly inflated during Chinese holidays so the cheaper tickets to local cities cost around $150 for a round-trip flight per person. Three weeks ago we went to Xi’an to see the Terracotta Army and this time we’ll be riding camels in the Gobi desert while admiring the Great Wall of China.

If it weren’t for the high salary that English teachers make in China, these trips would be out of the question. Price aside, these trips are worth it if you want to maximize your time and see as much of the world as possible. As long as the location only has two or three major sights that you want to visit, one or two days is completely manageable!

I have a lot of experience taking looooong journeys for the shortest trips ever. When I lived in Prague, I was so desperate for the beach that I once spent another 24 hours on a bus with my girlfriends to get a sunburn in Italy. Have you ever spent a gross amount of time traveling just to spend a moment in a foreign place? Share your experience in the comment section below!

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