Why Travel Days Are Better During the Day Than the Night

Money and time wise, economically it makes sense to travel at night. You save money on booking a hostel, and you’re sleeping during a time where you’re physically inactive anyways. In practice though, it just doesn’t seem to work out.

Night travel gets you into a city WAY too early (usually around 6 AM) meaning that you can’t actually check into your hostel (there is something so unsatisfying about leaving your bad in the hostel lockup).

You also probably didn’t sleep well on your bus/plane/train so you’re groggy. Even as a self diagnosed narcoleptic who can sleep pretty much anywhere at any time of day, once I’ve had that first doze off on my mode of transportation I’m pretty much awake for the rest of the ride, day OR night.

If you actually do muster up the motivation to start exploring, you get immediately frustrated when you can’t find things, and even when you do manage to successfully navigate a map through the fog of exhaustion and find your way, you aren’t conscious enough to appreciate the things that you find.

Arriving mid day means you get to check into your hostel, wash the bus/train/plane off you, and settle into your new home for the next X number of days. You have time to chill in the hostel common room where you’ll talk to other travellers. You’ll have some time to learn from those who have been touring the city already for a few days before you head off into it on your own.

Old Town Hostel Dubrovnik - Common Room
Pictured: Experts in their particular field

Wandering around a city you don’t know with little to no advice (trust me, I’ve tried doing the research BEFORE getting into a city online or in guidebooks, and word of mouth has won over in good advice about 100 to 1) is just not as effective. Not that I don’t mind a good wander, but a good wander is usually a lot more enjoyable after a good nights sleep and with some idea of the lay of the land (from a helpful receptionist).

What do you think? Is there a way to travel at night that works for you? What are your experiences?

4,420 replies on “Why Travel Days Are Better During the Day Than the Night”

Totally agree Tyler, we’ve tried to save money many times by travelling in the night and it almost always ends up with us blowing the next day($$) trying to catch up on rest!

I actually hadn’t thought of this from the perspective of travelling for as long as you guys. It’s interesting to hear that you actually end up spending more the next day.

My simple theories
1. Air conditioning in the train sways it one way or another. If it has it, it’s gonna be freezing at night when you want to sleep. If it doesn’t it’s gonna be fucking hot in the day.
2. Seating matters. Rememebr our trip between Lisbon and Porto? Sitting in the middle of two crazies is crap (can’t imagine how much worse this would be on Thai busses)
3. Your ability to operate on no sleep matters hence why I always didn’t mind travelling at night.

Lastly, we should all take a lesson from a wise man. If you are goin to have sex on a train make sure it isn’t splitting in two at some point along the way.

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