On the Road Getting to Hungary
June 10, 2023
Hungarian Living
Hungarian Living
On the Road Getting to Hungary

Hello there! Or should I say Jo Napot kivanok, which means good afternoon in Hungarian

I am in Hungary with a tour group and this episode will be all about the process of getting to Hungary. So, if you are getting ready for a trip, stay tuned. And if you recently traveled there, I am sure you will be able to relate.


Welcome to the Hungarian Living Podcast. I’m your host, Liz, and if you are new to the podcast, welcome! And if you have been listening for a while, welcome back. This is episode 86!

After not traveling to or from Hungary since December 2019, I was pretty sure I had forgotten all my little tricks and tips for traveling. So, really, up until the last minute, I was adjust and readjusting what I was carrying along for the plane, what I was checking and all that stuff. I think I did ok. I arrived in one piece!

I flew out of Nashville TN this time. And what a treat to hear Hungarian in the airport. So, I went and introduced myself to a sweet couple who was visiting their daughter. They are from Szeged, a city in southern Hungary. It was a great chance to speak in Hungarian a little. We ended up on all the same flights but I wasn’t seated near them so I am glad I took a chance and said something in Nashville. They were very sweet and encouraging. They said their daughter says there are quite a few Hungarians in Nashville. I know there are 2nd and 3rd generations there, so it is fun to know there are quite a few 1st generation Hungarians there. I mean, quite a few is all relative. And I guess I don’t really know how many that is, but it’s fun to know there is a bit of a pocket there.

I have a hard time spending money, so I did fly economy the whole way. I think that the shorter flights were pretty ok but I really suggest comfort plus at the minimum for the overseas flight. It was pretty tight. Maybe I have increased in size since I last flew. But maybe the airlines have packed a few more seats in. And maybe it is a combination of both. But, it was crazy tight and very restrictive if the person in front reclined. Yikes!

I am generally reserved on flights. On the flight to Frankfurt the gal next to me wore noise cancelling headphones and had a fairly large stuffed animal with her. So, while I might have started a conversation, she definitely didn’t appear open to it. The guy next to me didn’t appear to have any auditory distractions so I just asked where he was from. And, to my delight, he was from Debrecen, Hungary. So we chatted about all kinds of things in English. He was very conversational, well traveled, and knew his history and he knew all about all kinds of things in Hungary and has traveled quite a bit in the US as well. He was precious. And only 16. I don’t know that I have ever had such a conversation including such a wide variety of topics with a 16 year old. In fact, we chatted so much that I never finished the book I was going to finish, which is fine. I was making myself read the book before I watched the movie A Man Called Otto. I guess I will save that for the way home.

Anyway, we arrived in Frankfort with enough time — I was surprised because it was less than 2 hours and we had to go through a long passport control line and then make it to the gate. If at all possible, I try to get to my next gate before I use the restroom. It doesn’t always work out, but this time it all worked out great. The gate was in a different terminal but still not too far away. I arrived in more than enough time and hopped on my next flight, which was to Budapest. That is typically the flight that I pass out on. And, yes, I did. 

I collected my luggage and stepped out to my ride and it has been smooth sailing ever since with only a few instances of jet lag. Considering my circumstances, I was over prepared. And I am glad I was. I didn’t need my earplugs or my snacks. I didn’t even need my spare water but, you never know, so I am glad I had it all with me.

I only had a backpack for a carryon so I travel kind of light that way. I stuffed in a spare pair of clothes. My iPad, my gum, anti nausea stuff, some reading material, and my cash. I had a sweater and a travel pillow. And that was about it. It is much easier to travel light.

My larger suitcase actually had a smaller suitcase within it which will become my carryon on the return trip. If I go a little overboard with purchases I can always convert it to a checked bag. We’ll see what happens!

I will say that I was glad I walked 30 minutes every day for months before I left on the trip. It sure came in handy when I was going from gate to gate at the airport. Since we do walk at least 10,000 steps during the course of a day on our tours, I ought to put more effort into that.

My flights were all pretty much on time so I didn’t have to rebook flights or deal with lost luggage. At least not this time. It’s always a possibility!

So while I was a bit rusty in the travel department, things went pretty well. BE sure you know what is essential for you. And, as always, you just have to be flexible when traveling!

Thanks for tuning into this episode of the Hungarian Living podcast. We’ll talk soon!

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