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New and traditional ways of exploring the globe, and your own backyard.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

The Best Airport in the World



In this, my 200th Cowabunga blog, I delve into a very important topic in modern day travel - airports.



I've traveled to four continents and been through about a dozen airports of the hundreds out there. I'm not an expert.



But I was reading the Wall Street Journal recently and its travel editor dubbed Singapore's Changi International Airport as the best airport. This, for good reason, is due to the myriad of services available right at the airport - fish that eat the dead skin from your toes ($17), a nap room $23, swimming in the pool ($11), a shower in transit (priceless, well, it's actually $6).



So, I'm kinda stingy when it comes to spending my hard-earned money and while a slide in between shopping levels sounds really cool (yes, they really have that at Changi too) it doesn't seem like it would be worth it to spend $8 to be able to use it.



And I've had showers for free at airports before (holler to my homeless homies at Gatwick Airport).



I think Changi, and other similar airports, appeal to the bigger-spenders of travel. Maybe someday I'll join those ranks...until then....there area couple other airports I'd like to nominate for best airport, on a budget.



Googling brings up another site that has Singapore at #1 for being able to sleep in the airport. Runners up are Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur, Amsterdam, Munich and Vancouver.



The Huffington Post reported the Airports Council International recipients of Airports Service Quality awards. This was topped by Incheon International in Seoul. The Post noted that not many American airports make the quality list that is mainly dominated by Asian airports.



In my own experience, Iceland's Rekyavik International airport (named after Leif Erikson) has been named best airport in Europe and you could tell. The airport was clean (did not allow overnight sleeping) and there was plenty to do there or you could pay the $50 roundtrip, including activity, to go to the nearby Blue Lagoon spa for a dip.



I guess no matter where you go, money will need to be spent and airports will need to be visited (if you plan on traveling, quickly, inter-continentally). The wheres, hows and how much depend on the individual traveler.



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