I spent a surprising amount of time today on travel planning. That feels like such a weird thing to say, after more than a year of going almost nowhere.
I posted a couple days ago about a trip to the U.K. we are hoping to take this fall. That post was about my recent booking of a few days in Port Isaac, Cornwall, at the guest house that is the exterior shooting location for Doc Martin’s home and surgery in the BBC series Doc Martin, starring Martin Clunes. It’s a characteristic Cornish stone cottage. If you’re not familiar with the television series, which I enthusiastically recommend, you can see a photo at the first link above.
Yesterday I booked airline tickets for the trip. What a ridiculously long, drawn-out process, full of bait-and-switch tactics and an enormous range of prices for exactly the same flights. It seems to have gotten worse since the last time I flew. And while I was hoping prices would be down because so few people have traveled in the past year, those days are gone. Travelers are taking to the skies again, and prices were high on the routes I needed.
Today I booked a room at a small inn in Penzance, in the south of Cornwall. So we can play pirates. I also reserved a room at a more boring airport hotel outside of Bristol for our last night in Britain, when we have to catch a plane in the morning. In between, I still have several days unaccounted for. We know we want to see my husband’s ancestral village in Wales, and we have a short list of other places in Wales and southwestern England that are possibilities. We haven’t decided if we want to stay in one central location and do all of that as day trips, or if we want to find a place in England and a place in Wales. I’m leaning toward one central location, despite my nervousness about driving a rental car on the other side of the road from what we’re used to. I hate trips that involve moving to a new spot every day or two instead of spending time to start getting to know a place. We’ll work out the details over the next few months.
My big fear is that English travel restrictions will not be lifted by the time we’re supposed to go. Currently, U.S. travelers to Britain are required to quarantine for ten days on arrival. Clearly that will not work for us, seeing as how we’ll be there less than two weeks. Our thinking is that the covid-19 restrictions will loosen this summer, and we’ll be all right by fall. If not, everything I’ve reserved so far can be changed or canceled without penalty. We’re both fully vaccinated, and vaccination rates here and in the U.K. are increasing. So I live in hope. But if necessary, we can move the whole trip to next year.
I really, really hope that doesn’t happen. We are so desperate to travel!
In fact, we are so desperate to travel that I also booked another trip this week, a much smaller, closer-to-home trip by car. But I’ll save that one to talk about another time.