Booking a holiday is supposed to be fun

My girlfriend and I recently decided we want to venture away from this British “puddle of mud” (as defined by The Granny Wrangler) for a little weekend getaway. Not too far though, only to the neighboring, even smaller puddle of mud, Ireland.

I’ve somehow convinced the missus the best weekend to go is the weekend the Boks take on the Irish at Lansdowne Rd. Unfortunately, I think we are a little too late to get hold of some reasonably priced tickets, but nevertheless we will be drinking Guinness and making fun of the defeated Irish supporters at a nearby pub.

Apparently nothing compares to watching an Irish rugby match with a few pints of Guinness. Whether the Irish win or lose they party just as hard. We’ll see if this is all true.

Now my question for all of you is how do you go about booking your holidays? Do you go straight to or Expedia and find a package deal? Do you find the local tourism website for the country you are visiting and make a booking through that? Do you visit the nearby travel agent and get someone else to do the dirty work for you? Do your book your flights separately through Ryanair or EasyJet, and hope you’ll find some accommodation when you arrive at your destination?

Yes I know your answer is probably different for each destination you chose, but do you have some travel booking tips you want to share with all us amateur travelers? has proven to be an excellent Web 2.0 tool in finding out the truth about hotels, hostels and b&bs around the world. It’s full of reviews from people who have been there and done that, and are wanting to help you not make the same mistakes they have done. Aren’t they sweet people?

My girlfriend keeps saying to me, “Booking a holiday is supposed to fun!”. Is it really though? With the amount of choice we have available to us nowadays it is so easy to get caught up in all the web information, over analyze every place that looks nice, but actually isn’t according to some sad wotsit couple who said the corridors smelt musty and the wallpaper was peeling. You end up completely freaking out when you’ve taken to long to book a place, and every hotel, within a 20 mile radius of the city, is full.

Anyways, the reservations have now been made, and only the fun lies ahead.

… Hopefully we don’t get the rude check-in staff that Bob Johnson from Indianapolis got …

14 responses

  1. Mark,

    Check out all the airlines for their flight prices, Friday to Sunday are usually the most expensive, BMI, British Airways, Air Lingus, BabyBMI, easyjey and ryanair. Early morning or late evening usually the cheapest… You might want to fly out late Thursday night returning late Sunday or something similar.

    If i were you I would try find a B&B and book that before you fly. You are going over the rugger weekend, accomodation is going to ultra ultra scarce!

    My feelings on Expedia are, unless it’s a great deal or a special they are usually expensive. might have something have a look.

    Have a good one!

  2. Hey Bryce, thanks for the advice. When looking through Expedia we did think the prices were a little over priced, in comparison to going to the hotel’s websites directly.

    We booked our flights through Ryanair, flying Thursday evening, returning Monday evening. The flight over cost us 1p each, and the return was 6 quid! With airport taxes and travel insurance the flights cost us only 35 pounds each. I was amazed, definitely much cheaper than the weekend flights!

    Accommodation for Dublin is booked, with the help of Tripadvisor. The last night, which we will be spending in the country, we’ll book sooner to the time. It’s a Sunday night, probably in some random town, so hopefully we’ll be ok.

    Check ya soon bud.

  3. Lil Brother Avatar
    Lil Brother

    Hey bro.
    Check out its a really good site – easy to look through and has huge amount of hostels and places to stay (although probably to late for you now so this for future..)
    Ya was gonna say try booking during the week cos weekend the prices suddenly go up big time for flights. I had a flight back from dublin at 5 in the morning for cheap but went out night before which i dont recommend and get more than 1 hour sleap before flight πŸ˜‰ Ryan air is a must aswell, dont get any cheaper but get there early so you get seats next to each other cos its first come first serve.
    Neways enjoy it..

  4. There’s a really cool little site at that lets you search for cheap flights. The best thing about it? Monthly barchart view showing you how taking Fri or Mon off and making a long weekend of it can make the flights loads cheaper. Check it out!

  5. Eish. This all sounds a bit like rocket science to me. Think i’m going to rethink my two weeks in Cape Town. Unless someone has space in their suitcase? A lot.
    Oh and marky mark, by the way – if you bump into westlife over a pint won’t you bring one back for me? Ta πŸ™‚

  6. I booked my trip about 2 months ago with, I am starting my odyssey from Bilbao on Friday morning with Iberia to London then Ryanair to Dublin with enough time between to have lunch with mates in London.

    I am interested to see what the airport security is like since the EU has just implemented the same security as the UK as of today.

  7. Mark, Expedia are the only site I trust and use regularly to fly all over the world, India, China, Aus etc. I’m surprised you thought they were pricier than other sites, in my experience no site can beat them including Lastminute, Opodo etc. Great aftersales backup which is important when you need it!! Even the hotel sites direct are normally more expensive, try phone the hotel and book and see what their price is! When traveling the UK and Ireland it is often cheaper to phone the local Tourist information bureau, they can get good deals with local B&Bs and hotels often 50% off advertised rates.

  8. Lil Bro: Thanks for the link. Hostelworld looks a good option for a budget stay. I’m sure that site will come in handy when the precious rands run out πŸ™‚

    Meri: Great link there. Gave a test run and very impressed with its functionality. Will definitely be using it for further bookings

    The Granny Wrangler: I must admit I’d probably turn and run away if I saw Westlife fella. However, if I literally bumped into one, around some corner, then I’d try arrange one for you. πŸ™‚

    Paddy: looks like it could do with a re-design, but definitely a good way to travel. Enjoy Ireland if i don’t bump into you!

    Dave: We used Tripadvisor to scout out the places, then visited each hotel’s website to source the best price. It definitely does work out a bit cheaper that way. More effort though. We also looked at GoIreland.

    Expedia is a great site that I will always check for a good deal, don’t get me wrong! I suppose you’ll always find a better price somewhere for some destinations, but overall Expedia performs well, and on average it probably is the cheapest.

  9. BTW I made a typo its, just as bad website though. It seems be run by a bunch of kiwis so it is probably dodgy, well we will soon see. Anyway it will be good to be in a English speaking country for a change.

  10. Hi Mark,
    Greetings from a windy but sunny Cape Town.
    Enjoy your blog..keep it up…ps why don’t you ever give your girlfriend a name?..does she prefer a cloak of anonymity??
    Have a great weekend in Oirland….lets see what the Boks can do…we’ll be watching too of course.
    Cheers Nick

  11. Hello Mr. Cundall πŸ˜‰

    I never knew you frequented my blog! I better be careful what I write now!

    From now on I will address the missus as “Xenia Ella Cundall, daughter of Nick Cundall”, then you both get your 5 seconds of fame on this distinguished piece of web space.

    Go bokke!

  12. Do you really mean that your missus is the SON of Nick Cundall or am I missing an update?? πŸ˜‰

  13. Haha. That was my rather embarrassing mistake, a mistake I have rather quickly rectified!

    To clear things up I am dating a lovely blonde lady, not a guy called Xenia πŸ™‚

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