Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Itinerary (v3)

Changes again and again. I love the process of planning a trip. And in my obsessive organization, I will most likely document our planning process on this blog. I'm ok with that - how 'bout you?

Here's the newest version of our itinerary - it's customized for me and BF, and our friend MW who has expressed lots of interest in Ireland!

Wednesday: flight to Rome from LAX
Thursday: arrive in Rome, night in Rome
Friday: Rome, night in Rome
Saturday: train to Siena, night in Siena
Sunday: Siena, day trips to San Gimignano and surrounding areas, night in Siena
Monday: WEDDING! Night in Siena
Tuesday: Train to Florence, night in Florence
Wednesday: Florence, day trip to Pisa, night in Florence
Thursday: train to Venice, night in Venice
Friday: Venice, night in Venice
Saturday: Venice, night flight to Dublin, night in Dublin
Sunday: Dublin, rent car, drive to West Coast, night in Ballyshannon
Monday: West Coast of Ireland, night in Ballyshannon
Tuesday: West Coast of Ireland, night in Ballyshannon
Wednesday: West Coast of Ireland, drive to Dublin, return car, night in Dublin
Thursday: Dublin, night in Dublin
Friday: Fly home from Dublin, arriving on Friday night

So, it's changed rather significantly, but I think it works. It has a quicker time in Italy for those who are coming for the wedding, but only want to stay for a week, and then it allows for people to split up and/or do their own thing after Venice. Plus, it balances the trip for BF, who was a little worried that he wasn't going to get to pick anything on the trip. :-)

Ticket price puzzle.

Since we (as a group) decided we want to get our airline tickets for next year's trip within the next few months, I've been researching prices. I've never quite cracked the "when to buy" puzzle for international travel. So I've been testing out different dates with different locations to see what our best option will be.

We're currently considering three places to go after Italy.
- Vienna. I'd like to go back, but BF isn't totally sold.
- Dublin. BF really, really wants to go back to the West coast of Ireland.
- Stockholm. A friend has an old roomie who could show us around.

I'm currently testing out the dates 6/15 - 7/1, since it's not 11 months of the date we want to come back yet. I want to test as close as possible, because of course, we'll be going at the height of tourist season.

Here are the current ticket prices, as of 8/4/10:
- LAX-Rome, Vienna-LAX: $1466.88
- LAX-Rome, Dublin-LAX: $1332.52
- LAX-Rome, Stockholm-LAX: $1432.00

I was kind of surprised that the tickets from Dublin were the cheapest! $1300 is still more than we'd like to spend - we were hoping for more like $1200 at the maximum, so we'll wait it out a little and keep checking.

Do you have any ticket buying tips for us?