"well written, witty, factual, detailed and practical"
Arthur Frommer's Outspoken
Encyclopedia of Travel
"Forget expedia, travelocity, or gorp. If you want to examine the best travel web site, it's 'The Budget Traveller's Guide to Sleeping in Airports'"
and as mentioned in hundreds of articles, blogs, news programs and, how can we forget...apparently this site was once a question on the game show Hollywood Squares
The Budget Traveller's Guide to Sleeping in Airports and the Cheap Like Me Travel Society are the demented concoctions of a young Canadian woman, who had too much time on her hands back in 1996.
It all really started in the summer of 1994 when young Donna McSherry travelled to Ireland and Northern Ireland, proving to the locals that Canadians are really tight with a buck. The following year, she ventured off to Switzerland. During these trips, she came up with many of the tips you'll find from the Cheap Like Me Travel Society [RIP]. She brought her own peanut butter, she accepted car rides from strangers (women drivers only...please she's cheap, not dumb), she pretended nothing was wrong when a hostel owner only charged her for one nights stay when he should have charged for two, she accepted a free lunch from a guide at a castle in Ireland, she took the bus between cities, she claimed to be a student even though she was NOT, and she slept in a few airports to save money on hotels. With all this experience, one would think she was a professional. Although there were many a great budget traveller before her, Donna, unemployed at the time and clearly the only budget traveller who had no life and nothing but time on her hands to come up with all these crazy ideas, created a web site chronicling her travels. A few weeks later and no closer to getting a paying job, she created the Budget Traveller's Guide to Sleeping in Airports (BTGSA) and the Cheap Like Me Travel Society (CLMTS).
In the beginning, she had to beg people to visit the BTGSA. Obviously with only her 3 airport reviews, this was no great database by any stretch of the imagination. However, she persevered and soon people started sending their stories. She still remembers the first person who sent his airport reviews. Today there are over 8800 airport, train and bus station reviews.
Donna does not claim to be the budget travel guru, but when it comes to travelling and not spending any money doing so, she's got a few good ideas. Her proudest accomplishment is this web site. Over 17 years ago she was killing time, learning web site design and trying to be funny. Never did she think that millions of people over the years would actually visit her crazy little web site.
Since the time the site began, travel has changed. Sleeping in airports is no longer just for the young budget traveller looking to save a few bucks. People of all ages and incomes can now be seen stretched out on airport floors all around the world. Whether they are there because of a long transit, flight delay or voluntarily to save money, the Guide to Sleeping in Airports proven to be a useful (and often humourous) resource for hundreds of thousands of travellers.
Whether by coincidence or browser error, thank you to everyone who has visited this site, contributed to, made fun of or learned from this site and its premise! And to those of you who say airports are not for sleeping, remember this site when you are stranded at an airport overnight due to a weather delay or erupting volcano and you don't want to pay $200 to sleep at a hotel for 5 hours.
Photo credits: (1) Madrid Barajas Airport - by Paul (2) London Stansted Airport - by Renato
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