Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Honeymoon = BOOKED!

I can't believe it, it's finally booked! We have been struggling to find decent flight prices and itineraries for months and as of last night, we are officially going to Europe!

Our initial plan was to fly to Germany a week and a half after the wedding and stay for a week or so to attend our friend's wedding in Hamburg. The day after their wedding we planned to fly to Rome and spend the remainder of our honeymoon there.

We started our search around November when our friends had mentioned that they purchased theirs. They were around $1300/person then to fly from SFO to Dusseldorf and everyone kept telling me we could probably do better and to wait for the beginning of the year. I signed up for a few alerts for the itinerary we were planning and waited. Every time I got an alert email, the prices were going up instead of down and I kept getting more and more stressed out. Finally JB and I made February 20th our drop dead date of purchase no matter what the prices were because according to the trends, we couldn't afford to wait much longer.

In the meantime, I contacted my aunt to help us find a hotel room for our stay in Rome. I thought it might be nice to fly into Germany and then home from Rome, but a one way ticket from Rome to SFO was like $1700 back in November and that didn't seem very promising. With that in mind, we had this initial plan:

Jul 7 - San Fran to Dusseldorf (please note this requires is a 3 hour drive to Hamburg)
Jul 17 - Dusseldorf to Rome
Jul 21 - Rome to Dusseldorf
Jul 22 - Dusseldorf to San Fran

We had learned that the European domestic flights were quite inexpensive, but then also learned that there is usually only one flight in and out each day, so there's that. It was all very overwhelming and frustrating, especially not knowing anything about the geography and different available modes of transportation. We finally decided that it might be a better plan to just fly round trip from SF to Rome and then have the domestic flight be from Rome to Germany. Yesterday I thought to text one of our friends that will also be going to Germany, and has been before, and run my plan by her. It just so happened that her husband is off work this week and made it into a little project for himself to find us the best itinerary for the best deal.

We went over there last night so he could review his findings and we found one that worked out great and was all together (our international + european domestic flights) less expensive than just the round trip flight to Germany would have been for us! So now, this is the plan:

Jul 7 - San Fran to Rome (arrive the morning of the 8th at 9:40am)
Jul 8 - Rome to Hamburg (That's right, we're flying right into Hamburg!)
Jul 17 - Hamburg to Rome
July 22 - Rome to San Fran

On the way there we have a layover in Houston and one in Montreal, but both are relatively short and the flights between them are about 3.5 hours. Then the long leg to Rome is overnight so we can sleep. We also have a short layover from Rome to Hamburg, but will be in Hamburg by 4pm. We have the same layovers on the way back and will get to SF at 10:30pm. The only thing we weren't able to avoid is leaving SF at 6am the first day, but we'll survive.

You have no idea how happy I am to check this off of my to-do list. This has been stressing me out way more than anything related to the wedding. A huge thank you to our friends (who also gave us our wedding gift early!) and my aunt who helped us get our accomodations figured out. I can't explain what it means. We are so fortunate to have such wonderful people in our lives.


PinkSass said...

I bet it feels amazing to check this off. We are looking to go to Europe in the Fall and I'm starting to look now and everything and it's so overwhelming.

Any suggestions would be awesome!

Confessions of a Northern Belle said...

WOW!!! You are going to EUROPE?! I am so jealous, but so excited for you! I have never been, one of m dreams is to go to Italy before I turn into an old lady who can't travel anywhere.

Congrats on the booking! Such a huge things to check off your list, plus now you can start planning outfits!

Mrs. Awesome said...

Yay, so exciting!!!!!!

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