Excursions were what I was most looking forward to on this trip because 1) it meant no lectures on those mornings, and 2) it’s time where I can let my wanderlust self adventure on my own…well on mine and at least one other student’s own. It all just seemed so fun and easy, so of course, I decided to procrastinate the planning. I sat for weeks on end just pinning ideas of where I wanted to go, how long I wanted to spend there, and where I needed to stay. Then, all of a sudden I was a week away from leaving with virtually no plans at all.
So there I sat, Tuesday night before I leave, with my mother and I equally stressed out as I cannot find a tour for Saturday in Ireland that I could realistically make after my flight lands, there seems to be some scam on EasyJet that makes the flights to Paris double in price as soon as I hit the checkout button, and now there’s no places in Amsterdam for under $250+ a night.
Ireland seemed like the least of my worries because the simple solution is to do something besides that Paddywagon Tour, but that trip was the soonest, so I really needed to figure it out! After much talk with my fellow students, and keeping our Bucket Lists in mind, we decided on a Cliffs of Moher day tour on Saturday, a Blarney Castle day trip on Sunday, and Dublin wandering including Guinness and Jameson on Monday. Of course, each night and early morning are open to pub crawls and cafe hops!
Moving on, our next time for excursions is the following weekend: Paris. Alexa (another student you’ll probably read a lot about) and I are heading to Paris for three days. This is the shorter of our two free weekends, and we were encouraged to try and stay somewhat local as we don’t have a ton of time. However, we are up for the adventure, so we went ahead and booked our flights to France. This was a very stressful situation because every flight was around $300 each, until suddenly Kayak came up with a flight that was $200 for the both of us! I couldn’t pass up the deal, so I clicked on the link right away. I continued through the process and right when I clicked “Checkout,” an error popped up saying that ticket prices went up $90! That message pissed me off, so of course, I went back to Kayak to try and get the same offer again. There it was. So, I clicked it, added seats, no bags, checkout…same thing! So, this time I got my mom involved, she decided to go through EasyJet alone and grab the tickets independently, instead of through Kayak. To my surprise, hers went right through and ended up being like $15 cheaper. What the heck? Then she said it, “Oh crap!” This flight was suddenly cheaper because she purchased tickets for Thursday instead of Friday! But we have lecture until 4 pm on Friday, so we couldn’t miss all of that class! We ended up having to pay an additional $145 just to change the date of the flight. Guess we should’ve just accepted the $90 increase the first time.
Now, we have flights, so we need a place to stay. I searched hostels, Alexa searched hotels, and my mom searched Air BnBs. Nothing seemed to come up except really expensive or not available places. My mom was starting to stress over us not having a place to go, but I wasn’t too concerned. I knew there were options, and we had three of us looking. Finally, we found a HomeStay location that seemed almost perfect with an adorable host family! We contacted them and waited until morning because after all, they are six hours ahead of us. The woman responded to our email with bad news: booked. Crap… Now what? Thankfully, like I said prior, we had three people looking! So, my mom happened across an Air BnB just walking distance from the Eiffel Tower and at a reasonable price too! Alexa hopped on the opportunity and booked it for our stay.
All that’s left now is Amsterdam. This trip seemed to be the one I was most looking forward to, but my mom had the least hope for booking. Every time we checked the sites, the prices kept getting higher and higher! I mean, seriously, I am not paying $700 to stay in a tiny dorm style hostel with no luggage security. Are you out of your mind? On top of price, location was a big concern. As a parent, my mom is weary of me getting anywhere close to the red light district, so she was paying very close attention to the maps!
Reluctantly, we found a very cute apartment with a host couple and their dog. A dog? Sold! We booked the apartment, and now it was time to find transportation. Originally, Alexa and I said we wanted to take the train from Berlin to Amsterdam because it would be such a scenic route through the European countryside. However, after looking further into tickets, it was upwards of 10 hour journeys at about $130 each. Then, my mom found flights on EasyJet for $190 for the two of us. Our minds changed very quickly as we both ok’d the transportation option. Checkout. *BING* “There’s been a sudden change in flight costs. Your tickets are now $243.” Of course they are, EasyJet. Fine. You got it this time! I’m not having the same struggle as the last time we played this game. Purchased, and done!
Our excursions are not fully locked in with tours, Air BnBs, and flights. Now all we need is to go enjoy them! Cheers to a fun trip!