Thursday, August 25, 2011

338 Days to London!

Yes, the 2012 Olympics are just under a year away, but they are firmly on my mind today.  Yesterday, I booked my hotel reservations.  YAY!!  I have been looking for a while and trying to decide a game plan.  It is hard to plan a trip when you are so far away and you only have a slight familiarity with the location.  Add in the complexity of the trip being during an event like the Olympics and it just makes it even harder.

About a month ago, I started corresponding with B&Bs and independently owned hotels in London.  There was some availability but the reviews on-line were just all over the place.  It was hard to get any sort of comfort about the place.  The ones that had raving reviews, of course, had no availability.  Plus, if reservations were available, they wanted prepayments in full or a non-refundable deposit.  That just doesn't seem like a good option to me.

A lot of the bigger chains don't accept reservations until 50 weeks out (which is around now.)  I decided to wait and see what I could find there.  Many chains (Holiday Inn, Starwood, Marriott, Hilton) had little availability any closer to the city center than the airport.  I had decided that staying by the airport would mean too much time on the train, so I nixed that.  The rooms they had closer to the action were in the $500-600 per night range.  Stupid pound to dollar conversion rate.

Finally, I checked Best Western.  There are A LOT of Best Westerns in London!  Still, they only had 4 hotels with availability.  The one I reserved is a Premiere hotel and 4 stars in the Marble Arch area.  I stayed in that area the last time I was in London and it seemed like a good place to stay.  Honestly, I just want clean and safe.  I am staying in my stretch budget, but I will be slightly over my "this is what I would REALLY like to stay under" budget.  What I'm hoping is that at the last minute (or even when I get there), all of these hotels that are currently blacked out will come available and I will be able to find a more competitive rate.  If not, at least I have something doable.

The next thing is my plane tickets.  I'm using American Airline miles but I can't book for the departing flight for another week and it will be another three weeks before I can book my return.  Once that is done, I can sit back for about 8 months feeling good that the essentials are in place.  Then late next Spring/early Summer, I can start making more detailed plans.  Because you know that's how I roll!

It's fun too how many people I'm discovering in the area!  There are several bloggers that I hope to meet up with and BBF's sister is there too.  I think it is going to be a fun adventure!

HUGS!!

9 comments:

~Lisa~ said...

What an incredible adventure!! I absolutely love London! Do you have the big calendar that you can "x" off the days yet????

Cat said...

I'm so very excited for you! If my hubbys niece makes the olympic swim team for 2016 we are going to RIO baby!

Amanda said...

I want to go! Darnit

dede said...

I was in London last year on a theatre tour my husband guided for his theatre students...wow...so love it...i would live there in a flash...all for the TUBE...public transit there rocks!
dede

Stephanie M. said...

You're going to have such a blast!

Cece said...

I LOVE London !! How cool that you are going to the Olympics ... I'll be counting down the days for you :)

Ronnie said...

It's possible I'll fit into a checked bag once I finish losing all this weight. Just consider it.

Nora said...

Just landed last night- of course I log in to give you info on the B&Bs you sent me, and poof, reservations are already made. Marble Arch is a good area and very convenient. If you wind up wanting to do the B&B route though, the area you were looking at, near Victoria Station, is great. That station is one of the largest, and the area is pretty safe. Sorry I didn't respond sooner, but I have only had Blackberry access for 2 weeks.

Andrea said...

So excited for you! This will be the trip of a lifetime!!