Hubs & I are just nine days away from our trip to Amsterdam, Bruges, Brussels, and London, and flights are booked, hotel rooms are reserved, and train tickets from Brussels to London are secured. So, since I’m sure you’re wondering “how DOES she do it?!!?” I’m going to tell you. Even if you’re not wondering that. Which I realize, you’re probably not wondering that at all.
But, hear me out because we really do have a method to our lazy madness. Since we’ll be there for 10 travel days, we really don’t like to leave EVERYTHING to chance. The one thing we are sticklers about, and that I really do recommend, is having all of the most important information in one place. I usually type up a general itinerary that has our airline info, our destinations in order, and our hotels. We keep it with us on our trip so we have all of our confirmation numbers and important details on hand if needed. It’s mostly helpful because we tend to plan trips with a lot of stops, and I tend to forget what order they go in. Normal, right?
First Step: Book your flights.
We don’t have an airline we stick to, because (gasp) we’re not miles people. YET. I really want to look into a mileage credit card, but at the moment, we are tried and true American Express Starwood Preferred Guests–which I will get to.This means that when we book a flight, we literally pick a destination, go onto Orbitz or Expedia, and opt for the cheapest flights we can find (but with no more than one stopover). I prefer Expedia’s website, but I have found better deals on Orbitz, so we check both. I also use Kayak at work and enjoy the site design and use, but have never used it for personal use… so I’m not sure how the prices stack up.
Second Step: Use your points.
Our amazing room at the W Hotel, Vieques, May 2011
If you ARE a miles person, use them on your airline ticket. Or if like us, you’re all about your hotel points, make sure you count them up, combine them, and see where your options are. We’re big fans of the cash & points option, and thanks to that–we didn’t pay full price on one single hotel room on our honeymoon.
Unfortunately our two Brussels hotels aren’t Starwood, but this just means saved points for our next trip. Oh yeah oh yeah oh yeah!
Third Step: Make a list of things you know you can’t miss
For this trip, we’ve sent each other links for everything from bike rentals in Amsterdam to a chocolatier in Brussels to about seven different pubs in London. We know we’ll hit the tourist sites like the Anne Frank house and the Van Gogh Museum, but as of now, literally the only thing we have scheduled at a specific time is a cheese tasting in Amsterdam. By making a list, we know what we’ll want to fit in, but we won’t be held to a schedule and more importantly, we won’t be held to plans we’re suddenly not in the mood to keep (hello bio-bay tour of Vieques after 12 hours of traveling).
That being said, if anyone has any must-sees in any of our stops, let me know! I didn’t look at my list until I started this post and Brussels & Bruges are looking a little sparse…
– all photos are my own