Getting Set

We’ve been spending a lot of this past week prepping for our big vacation trip. I received my “Rough Guide” tour books as promised by and spent some time reading through them.

I used these guide book series a lot during the years I lived in Naples, Italy, and found them really useful for getting around on my own in whatever country I happened to be traveling in. With these new books, I felt a bit disappointed. My intended main use was to locate decent places to stay in the cities we plan on visiting.

For us, a “decent place” on vacation is a small inexpensive hotel. We go on the principle that we’re only in the room to sleep and shower so we spend our money on other stuff like nice meals and admission fees to attractions. Bed and Breakfast-style accommodations were my preferred type of lodging while living/touring Italy so I went with the B&B’s again. I quickly learned just how expensive lodgings, even B&B’s, are in Europe. Then I discovered that the B&B’s listed in the “Rough Guide” books were both higher-end (expensive) and sold out for whatever dates I plugged into the on-line booking system. So I went with “Plan B.”

I used Mr. Google to locate B&B booking sites and after a bit of exploring located “,” which seems to be a very comprehensive on-line reservation system for smaller lodgings all around the world. After a bit of research I located and booked rooms for us in London and Cardiff, which are the first two cities we plan in visiting.

We’ve sort of mapped out an itinerary for our two weeks. We’ll be staying in London for three nights, then heading over to Cardiff for the next two nights. My youngest brother is presently in a university there so we’ll have a chance to visit and explore a bit of the Welsh region. After that our plans are a bit hazy. We’re looking at taking the train up into Edinburgh, which gives us a chance to see the British countryside and then explore a bit of Scotland.

At some point we’ll be taking the train through the Chunnel down into Paris and spend most of our second week there. Since we have an early morning flight home from Heathrow Airport we know we need to be back in London at least the night before. I also have a bunch of Hilton Honors points saved up from all my business travel that we plan on using in Paris to get a really nice hotel for at least one night.

So this is the extent of our planning, one week out from V-Day (start of a vacation). I am getting excited.

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