Monday, March 17, 2014

Planning a vacation

I will celebrate my 60th birthday in June.  For the past few months, I have thought about options on where to do.  The original plan was to fly to London in May for a few days, then head to Dubrovnik for a few days, travel by bus to see more of Montenegro, and perhaps make it to Albania, and the back to London and home. 

Unfortunately, that trip will not happen.  Perhaps next year.  Too costly, especially the airfare. Utterly astonished by how expensive it is to fly to London.  Only three airlines fly direct from D.C., to London: United Airlines, British Airways and Virgin Atlantic.  Not a lot of competition.  I check the airlines' websites every day, and add Delta, American and USAir..   If I book American, I go on  British Airways.  USAir flies out of Philadelphia.  Done this route several times.  A good option because I don't have to travel out to Dulles.  DCA - Philadelphia -London. 

BA has an agreement with AARP, with a small discount for AARP members.  I have also tried CheapoAir (used it last year to book my flight to Belgrade) , Vayama, Expedia, AAA, among others. 

I hope to book the flight by next week. 

I will be in London for my birthday, which is the same day as the Trooping of the Colour.  Guess where I will be.  Meeting friends for dinner.  

Thanks to the horror of the airfare, I won't be eating out for most of my vacation.  Take out at Marks & Spencer, and eat in hotel room.  A few day trips are planned.  Sudeley Castle is at the top of my list.  Hardwick Hall, too, which is about two hours by train from London.

I tease my students about placing a tips jar on my desk when they come and ask me for something. 


Vanozza said...

Try erasing your cookies before trying an airline website for ticket prices (if their system knows you are a repeat visitor they assume interest on your part and show slightly more expensive prices).

Also try to book on Mondays and Tuesdays, since statistically those are the days when sales are lowest and thus prices are lowered a bit to try to compensate.

I got these tips from a friend who works in Amadeus (the electronic reservations system that most airlines use) and always use them.

Good luck in getting a good price!

John said...

Sorry you won't be seeing Montenegro on this trip, that little country looks so beautiful and interesting in photos. But London, ahh, how wonderful Enjoy!!

and happy birthday :-)

Marlene Eilers Koenig said...

Vanozza, thanks for the suggestion,

Janet, Bea and Kori -- goodness knows where your posts went ...

Unknown said...

Firstly, happy birthday!
I know that you can see both Dubrovnik and Montenegro in few days. I have been in Dubrovnik several times and I know that tourist agency Adriatic explore has a lot of cheap offers for one-day trips, and one of them is to Budva, Montenegro.
We went on several excursions with them to different places and we always had a great time. There is also the option of transfer to Budva, which is not bad, especially if you are going with some friends. Rent minivan for 8 people costs only 17.5€ per person, which is cheaper than the bus.
I hope that you manage to find a decent price to London. It is very nice, but also very expensive. Good luck!
Bye, Ella :)

Marlene Eilers Koenig said...

thanks, Ella. As you can see from the article, I changed plans. Because of the cost to London, I decided to forgo Dubrovnik and Montenegro. I stayed in Budva last time. I travel by myself. Trip to London booked as is hotel.