I just spend most of the day booking flights; one to the Netherlands in May to visit my family, and one to the Dublin Writers’ Conference in June. Now I’m mentally exhausted! I don’t know about you, but I find it so stressful (I know, total first world problem). It’s not so much that I can’t find my way on the internet. The Expedia and KLM websites are extremely user-friendly. It’s just the stress of finding the right price for flights and accommodation and filling in my details correctly.
The prices are enough to give you a headache. The cost for the writers’ conference wasn’t too bad, but I hadn’t calculated in the cost of staying in Dublin. Man, those prices are ridiculously expensive. It cost almost as much for just myself as for a family of four! I had looked into bringing the whole family with me, but it would cost too much for the short time there. In the end, I settled on a hostel where I could rent a ‘pod.’ I had never heard of this, but it’s basically a bunk bed, but with only the head-side open (see image).
There’s a curtain at the bed head and six others in the room. I’m only going to be there to sleep, so I don’t mind not to have a whole room to myself. Fingers crossed none of my roommates will have sleeping apnoe as this would keep me awake all night (with or without earplugs!). The hostel has the option of storing luggage, so I don’t have to drag my luggage with me during the conference. Phew!
It was troublesome to book the flight to and fro. Aberdeen isn’t a very traveled location, and as I wanted a direct flight only, there wasn’t much choice. I had to book an extra night to be able to attend the full conference, and I’ll have to get up very early on Monday to catch the first plane out (another reason the family isn’t joining me as they need to go to work/school in time). I had to weigh up what was more important; attending the whole conference or spending less money. As I was able to book this pod accommodation, which was about five times cheaper (!) than the hotel, I thought I could afford the extra cost of another night and be able to attend the whole conference.
As with my booking with KLM, I needed to be very careful which details I wrote down on my booking. See, I’ve got dual nationality and both passports state a different surname. In my Dutch passport, I am known by my maiden name, whereas in my Australian passport I have my husband’s surname. I have already once booked a flight to London on my husband’s surname and couldn’t travel as I didn’t have a valid travel document. It was a very costly mistake.
I have also made the mistake of booking the wrong dates once. As I have multiple experiences of seeing things differently than they are (I know, freaks me out!), I am very insecure when booking these kinds of things. I prefer to have someone with me, just to confirm I’m seeing what I’m seeing before hitting the enter button. But, I’ve got to toughen up and make decisions for myself. You don’t learn if you don’t make mistakes 🙂
Even though I hate it to be jet-setting and leaving my family behind, I’m looking forward to both trips. I’m hoping to learn more about publishing at the conference and do some networking. I’ll be celebrating my 50th birthday with my twin sister and catching up with some family I haven’t seen in years. What’s not to look forward to?! Getting lost, losing luggage, sleeping in and missing my plane… Okay, but assuming it all goes to plan, what is there not to look forward to?! It’ll be a ball 🙂