Following the Ryanair/Edinburgh debacle, it was back to the drawing board in terms of trying to find flights on which to spend our vouchers and newly acquired compensation codes.
Our demands were reasonable:
- the destination had to be within 2.5hrs of London Stansted;
- the outbound flight had to depart after 1830 on a Friday evening;
- the inbound flight had to land by 2000 on the Sunday;
- the flights had to be booked by the end of October, and taken by the end of March.
These were not unreasonable demands- work means that anything longer than a weekend break has to take place during the school holidays. The flight times are ‘doable’, and theoretically ensure a good night’s sleep on the Sunday.
Armed with a laptop and a healthy amount of determination, we sat down one evening and searched for our next holiday. Our first challenge was to pick dates. October was out of the question as we were off to Chernobyl. All weekends in November were busy, December was the scene of our Highland fling, January was uninspiring, and February was the backdrop to our Arctic adventure. The inevitable conclusion was a trip in March. Excellent! We consulted our calendars, and March looked good, specifically the first weekend.
Ryanair’s fare finder feature came up with a small number of options; the most tempting being Prague. Having heard good things from friends and family, we set about booking our flights. We opted for Priority Boarding and seats in Row 2. Ordinarily, these would have been eye-wateringly expensive, but we had vouchers which covered the costs, so on they went!
We had originally planned to use our vouchers to book a package trip through Ryanair Holidays, but as this wasn’t possible, we went to Expedia to find and book our accommodation.
We wanted somewhere central and accessible, and so we plumped for the Charles Bridge Palace Hotel, conveniently located in Prague 1. Again, this was a slightly pricier option than we would ordinarily choose, but as we had literally paid nothing for the flights, we agreed that we would push the boat out and stay somewhere nice.
Our final logistical conundrum was transport to/from the airport. Prague Airport Transfers were recommended to us, and were reasonably priced at ~£40.
What to do
With only 1,5 days available to us, we had to cram a lot in. Usually, when travelling we rise early in order to get the most of our trips. We knew this would be one of ‘those’ trips.
We decided we wanted to see the following sites:
- Prague Castle;
- Prague Zoo;
- Charles Bridge.
- Old Town (Astronomical clock);
- Jewish Quarter.
We also booked a visit to a Beer Spa and an evening meal at a traditional Czech Restaurant.
Retrospective Top Tips (direct from the cabin of FR 2014)
- Don’t book a trip to take place during the coldest winter to hit East Anglia in years.
- Don’t forget that you have tickets to see a band you’ve waited 13 years to see.
- Don’t book Friday night flights we did to the Stag Do capital of Europe and expect peace and quiet.
- Don’t book Sunday night flights from the Stag Do capital of Europe and expect the plane to smell of anything other than stale beer and regret.
- Travel with an array of snacks in case of delays/cancellations.