Normally, when I plan my trips I tend to look for the cheapest flights, like a good 25-year-old on a budget, and if you have taken that route like me it usually means longer layovers and multiple stops before the final destination.
This summer trip planning was no different. I planned my trip to Greece with my three brothers through Kayak. I booked my tickets roundtrip. I was going to stay in Greece for a month.
My return flight was supposed to be Athens > Milan > Miami, with an 18-hour layover in Milan which I was excited for since my brothers hadn’t been to Milan before. For my youngest brothers this was their first time in Europe.
Unfortunately, the day of our return to Miami our flights were switched last-minute with no warning (apparently this is expected when you buy cheap flights through a third-party).
Luckily, my brothers and I had arrived to the Athens airport around five hours before our departure.
When we tried to check in was when we realized that we had no booking ticket and apparently our reference number didn’t exist.
You can imagine our faces. We were trying to figure out what went wrong. We had no Internet service, luckily the airport provided computers with online access. I managed to check my email but I didn’t have anything from the Kayak site explaining the change of flights.
Since, we had no access to international calls anywhere in the airport, because the pay phones didn’t work I emailed by mom and she was able to help us out my calling the customer service line for the website.
We kept getting the old bookings so my the third time that we went to try to check in the lady in the counter was getting a bit annoyed at us.
Eventually, we received our new flight itinerary.
Now we were going from Athens to Milan to Portugal and then Miami. We had a 38-hour layover in Portugal.
We were not expecting that, we had our minds made up for Milan.
Portugal was unexpected, yes. Lisbon was not in our plans at all but when you travel with a budget you have to roll with the punches and so we made the best of it.
Since, we were going to be a whole day in Lisbon we decided to plan some sightseeing so we could take advantage of our time there.
Although, we were looking forward to spending some time walking around Milan and showing off my Italian speaking skills we managed to have a great time in Lisbon.
We toured the city of Lisbon in a traditional tram tour, which takes you around the oldest streets.
We walked around Lisbon’s huge riverfront square called Praça do Comércio filled with many small vendors selling typical items.
We had a wonderful view of the city from the Santa Justa Lift.
We walked around the Museum of Fashion and Design.
We tried some delicious beers from the Beer Museum located in the Praça do Comércio.
The weather was perfect.
All images © 2000-2016 Antonella Nakfour.