2 August 2012

Disney & Normandy - Plan Review

Not a Plan B as such but simply a  review of where we are at with the trip planning.  

I've had a look at the three main parts of the Normandy leg. The Chelles/Disney overnight is set in stone as I had to pay for the room up front; no refunds. It's only about €35 but I'm not made of money.

I sometimes wish I was one of those travellers that simply packs a toothbrush, spare pants and a bank card and sets off into the big blue yonder. 

I tried it once, being spontaneous, and we ended up looking for a hotel in rural Spain about tea time (4pm to those non-British) and ended up in the Parador in Avila. It was very nice and the restaurant was also top notch, but the wallet battering was eye watering.

Okay, hotels always have towels and soap in their bathrooms, some even have bottles of stuff that you can swipe before you leave.

Maybe a spare pair of pants and a spare pair of socks... wash one overnight and wear the others?  Seems okay but the reality has to be that the hotel will not be warm enough overnight to actually dry the washed ones.

So, in lieu of all of that, it looks like planning will be more successful. The advent of the Internet has made it all the easier.  Booking sites that offer free cancellation up to the day before or even the day of travel with no money exchanging hands have been a marvel for me. 

My site of choice is Booking.com. It enables me to plan for a trip, get the basics in place and then the ability to refine the processes and the places.For this trip I have made a few bookings and changed them.  

Sometimes the timing won't work; maybe the distance and time to get from A to B might mean we've bitten off more than we can chew?  Or with the best will in the world, there's a problem and we arrive too late to register and in France, after 9pm could mean the difference between starving (okay, not eating) and having a fulfilling relaxing meal somewhere.

Returning to the theme of Plan B.  I have made one tweak.  I have changed the hotel for the third night of the trip from one near Vimoutiers to one near to Falaise. Not a lot in the cost, but that new one is in a building alongside a chateau and had breakfast included.  The reviews on all the sites I checked give it over 9/10 for satisfaction across the age ranges.

As I have already got the places into Claire's Tom Tom XL I'll have a bit of fiddling to do tonight!

So with Claire's request to try a few of the Plus Beaux Villages and my desire to see the Montormel site, we are pretty much on the limit.  I have checked and it looks as though we now have the best fit with 17 days to go.

Or have we?


bobskoot said...

Trip planning is the best. I usually pre-book my nights ahead of time, but sometimes not being familiar with the roads it may be more than you can manage to get there. This last trip I left it open and went with the flow and started looking for a "home" in the early afternoon. Of course you can't always do this during the busy season, or in popular spots.

Planning is nearly as good as actually being on a trip

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Trobairitz said...

Nothing wrong with a little planning especially when it comes to accommodations. Your wallet will thank you.

When we went down into California a few years ago we just went. Packed a bit more than a toothbrush but at the same time finding accommodations were a bit tricky and we had to take what we could get. At that time of day it ended up being a suite.

It is good to know where you will be staying each night and also to scope out some restaurants but it is nice to leave some things and activities to chance and the mood.

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