Friday, June 24, 2016

Day 2 - Nine Days to Departure

This morning I woke up thinking I should take a day from the dirty work (garage packing and disbursing) to take care of incidentals - paperwork, communications, arrangements - and all the critical stuff that needs to be done now, cleared from my brain.  Too much stirring around up top is overwhelming.  So that's what I'm doing today, removing some of those thoughts, 9 days before I leave.

At the top of the list were my airline tickets.  I use Orbitz.com.  My round trip is composed of two tickets - one from LAX to London Heathrow $580, one from London Heathrow to Moscow to LAX $585.   In order to get the more convenient departure times, I chose these even though on the return flight I will have a six-hour lay-over in Moscow.  Yes, Russia!

But on thinking about it, I have been wondering if I could change my December return flight to the USA, bypassing Russia, that's a really long time to be traveling.  Well, these are the rules - I can cancel the December return flight, but will not be refunded, but I can book another flight from Heathrow.  However to book a one-way flight that doesn't have a huge layover would cost around $2000 and in essence the change would end up costing me around $2600.  Not!  As  it turns out, the huge layover flights cost less, as I discovered, which is what kept my round-trip ticket under $1200.

So what I've learned from this is ... before you book, make sure you pay attention to the layover situation and make sure it's in a city you might want to take advantage of the layover time spent there.  There are layovers in Dublin, Sweden, etc. as well as Russia.  I didn't really care at the time of booking, I was just looking for 'cheapest' fare.  And that's what I got.  Cheapest is the game with me. Oh, and I was looking for a late flight out of Heathrow so I wouldn't have to rent a room in London the night before to catch the departing flight home.  I usually do that, but this time chose not to.  I'll take a train or bus right to Heathrow from Weymouth.  Can't do that to make earlier flights.

On all my trips, this is what I do first.  I buy my airline ticket, choose the dates of departure from USA and the port of return.  Purchase the ticket.  Done.  Then I start deciding where I'll book my lodging and etc. in the country/countries of my choice.  For that I use Booking.com.

Not everyone plans their trips this way, but I find it more interesting and fun taking a chance that it will all fall in place. The fun of it. Plus with the plane ticket purchased, I know I'm going, come hell or high water.  Once or twice I've had to cancel, receiving a credit at the most. But not very often.

So at the initial stage of my 180 days in England ... I spent $1165 on plane fare.

And it begins in 9 days!   See you tomorrow ... next is how I found an apartment to rent in Weymouth ... and what it costs.

Rebecca B.

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