Sleeping next to Bob Hope Airport and Building a Friendship on Tour 

by Jennifer
Burbank Airport van camping

Do you have an early morning flight and want to sleep near the Bob Hope International Airport?

Are you a high roller with a Planet Fitness Black card ($20/month) like me?

Well, then you can park your vehicle outside the Planet Fitness next to this airport and have full access to a wide range of their services:

  • Bathrooms with running water
  • Hot showers – all, but once, were they hot enough
  • Massage chairs and beds – a mediocre massage, but slightly better than nothing
  • Wifi – sometimes…. about 60% of the time it works
  • Full gym – of course
  • Tanning – in case you want to damage your skin and possibly shorten your life for the sake of vanity
  • Total Body Enhancementthis weird machine that reportedly uses UV lights to pierce fat cells in your body to cause weight loss.
  • And a large grocery store and a laundromat just steps away

Why that’s cheaper than a hotel!

Sunrise in Burbank, next to the train platform

It’s not every day that you get to park your camper van next to airport – so when you can, you do.

At Burbank Airport, the planes stop flying at a certain hour and the takeoff area is farther off, so it hasn’t been so loud.

The parking lot drag races in Bakersfield were of more concern.

Aw lovely Bakersfield, CA Planet Fitness, home of the 11p parking lot drag race

In all seriousness, Planet Fitness has become our home during this tour, and we have preferred staying at one every night of our trip, over the likes of 24/7 Walmart and RV parks.

We can power our kiosks and van appliances every few days with the generator and fill up on our sink wash water at gas stations.

Charging our van with a generator in a Walmart parking lot – exactly what I envisioned for myself at age 31 ?

When I need to mid night pee, I can feel safe in walking in to use the Planet Fitness bathroom. The staff have always been friendly, and the only hiccup I’ve experienced is in spending 6 nights at the Lancaster location because you can only visit a satellite (from your home Planet Fitness where you registered) 10 times a month, and between bathroom breaks and showers I visited that location 15+ times in that period and had to sweet talk the reception to let me in a few times at the end of our stay in Lancaster.

Grace, my wonderful 10 Billion Lives Co Tour Operator

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Living with Grace

Grace has been a wonderful tour mate. For three weeks we have been sharing a tiny space with each other, lugging heavy machinery off of the van, respecting each other’s boundaries, and offering each other a lot of advice and encouragement.

It’s been a long time since I spent a lot of time fostering a friendship, maybe not since Amy, freshman year in college. I was too swept up in work and boyfriends after that, as have so many of my friends, to put sufficient time into growing a rewarding friendship.

We survived Devil’s Punchbowl and Rex’s strange leadership skills.

We’ve gone on exciting, dangerous rock scrambles together. Shared a bed for the weeks. Experienced Ryan’s crazy, but so sweet and loving mom. And are set to save thousands of animal lives by convincing people of the benefits of going meatless and dairyfree.

It’s exciting to have a friendship built around our shared care and compassion for humans, animals, and the environment.

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