Riding in Style – Huh?

There are lots of things to consider when you are planning to fly out for a long trip.  One of the first things you’ll have to sort out once the airline tickets have been purchased is how you are getting your family to the airport.

A few years back, seven of us were embarking on a cruise of the British Isles, combined with a stops before and after the trip in Rome and London.  In total, we would be gone just about three weeks.  Seven people.  Three weeks.  As you can imagine, there would be a few bags going along with us.  Granuaile was just three, and my in-laws are on numerous medications.  My mother-in-law also has braces on her legs, special shoes, and other medical necessities that she travels with.  Yes, there would be a few bags.

We mulled over which vehicle would be best to take to the airport.  We could call Rapid Rover, the local airport shuttle service, but they couldn’t guarantee we would have our own shuttle, even with that number of people, and with my mother-in-laws leg and hip issues, we wanted to make sure she was comfortable.  We could take our Navigator, which we had at the time, but that had a tight back seat and virtually no storage when the back row of seats was up and functional.  My mini-van?  Definitely room enough for all of us, but again, with that back row of seats being used for sitting in, the space in the back to store bags was non-existent.

The decision was made.  We would hire a limousine.  The car would be huge, and we would all comfortably fit.

Limo

And we did.

Until we had to squeeze in our bags.

We totally forgot that as large and comfortable as the inside of the car would be, the trunk is the same size as a regular car trunk.  We easily had 14 bags going on this trip, and there was no way it was all getting into the trunk of this limo.  It never even occurred to us this would be an issue with such a big car, but we ended up stuffing the inside of the car with leftover bags – including up front with the driver.

Limo 3

Definitely give thought to the types of transportation needs you’ll have every step of the way on your vacation.  On that particular trip, we ended up renting a storage locker at Heathrow Airport to keep our cruise bags until we finished the Rome part of our trip, and then going from the cruise back to the hotel in London, we were sitting on bags and packed like sardines.

It’s not only about how are you getting to your final destination when you travel.  Think ahead about each leg of your journey to avoid some last minute luggage anxiety!

Limo 2

 

Alaska or Aloha Bound – Part 3 – The Kid Influence

Before I plan any vacation, I ask my kids what they want to do.  And then I book my trip to Disney.

Actually, when offered Alaska or Hawaii as a possible vacation for next year, the girls were pretty split.  They had things they wanted to do in Alaska that we didn’t have time to do on our last cruise, but the thought of two weeks on a beach was very appealing.  They were no help in trying to decide.

But here’s where a kid’s input on the Alaska or Hawaii vacation plans hit hard.  Brighid, at this point in her life, doesn’t have any idea what next summer will be like for her.  Degree in hand, she is hoping to have a full time job, but when she might actually get one is anyone’s guess.  Will she have accumulated any vacation time by next summer?  Does she want to use her vacation from work for a family trip, or is it time for her to want to vacation on her own or with friends – especially when that vacation time is more limited?

So when asked whether she preferred Alaska or Hawaii, Brighid’s answer was, “Don’t plan on me to be able to go – I’m just not sure.”

So here’s where Hawaii has a definite advantage.

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If we book a cruise to Alaska, we won’t book Brighid.  We may find out closer to the trip that she can at least fly out to Vancouver and get on the cruise, if not the whole family vacation, but when we find that out for sure, will it be too late to book her on the trip?  What will the cabin availability be?

Hawaii offers some flexibility.  If we end up being able to book for two weeks, which is our goal, Brighid might be able to join us for at least part of the vacation.  Even if she doesn’t have a whole lot of vacation time accumulated, she might be able to put a long weekend together and join us for at least a little while.  You can’t do that with a cruise.

I hope my girls always want to do family vacations, but I’m a realist.  That weighs pretty heavily on making the Alaska or Aloha decision for next summer.

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