Wednesday, September 29, 2010

How can I be tired? I haven’t left yet

Or why you shouldn’t try to plan a trip to Europe in one week

My flight is 48 hours from now but I’m already pooped. Forget jetlag – trip planning can be energy sucking. Maybe it wasn’t a good idea to pack all the fun of searching for accommodations in 2 countries and 6 cities in to the week before my departure.

Before I have to hide under my desk for fear of the wrath of those who are already a touch annoyed with me for having the gall to not only go to Europe, but to actually take 3 weeks off to go, I AM NOT COMPLAINING. I am only a little tired and would like to share what I learned.

1. If you happen to book your flight the day before your airline’s pilots vote to possibly, potentially, maybe go on strike a mere 23 hours before your flight is set to take off, don’t wait to book your hotels in hopes that it all gets settled. It won’t. This particular form of psychological water torture is apparently a common strategy. Go about your life. If they go on strike, the airline has to figure out how you get you there or get you home - unlike when an airline goes bankrupt. Then you’re really screwed.

2. So maybe the delay would mean last minute deals, right? Don’t drink that Kool Aid. The only time you can depend on a last minute deal is if you are trying to book a hotel in Winnipeg… in February. But October in Paris? Turns out, it’s a popular time. Hotels don’t seem overly concerned about filling up their properties. And if hotels in Paris or Rome normally cost €300 per night, 10% off is still really, really expensive. The deals were scooped up by the smart people 4 months ago.

3. Don’t listen to people who call you unflattering names because you want to know where you are sleeping each night. Call me crazy, but I’ve done the “Oh, we’ll figure it out when we get there”. That is so much fun. What’s better than carting a suitcase around town hoping you won’t have to sleep in stable? Oh yeah, having a place to sleep. Maybe I’ve lost my sense of adventure. Wait a minute… nope. It's true, we may have to leave the super fantastic glorious spot we’ve found in Monterosso. But we are heading to Chianti. How bad can that be?

I’d write more, but I’m sleepy. Instead of looking for internet cafes to book hotels, I’ll be looking for the opportunity to update my blog and to no doubt regale you with our fabulous surroundings and our riveting critiques of gelato.

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