Wednesday, October 24, 2012

How to plan a holiday

“I’m fed up with work at the moment, so have booked some time off. What last-minute bargains can we get to somewhere sunny in a fortnight’s time?”

“Well, there’s some fantastic deals to be had in Mexico at the moment – oh, but Google says it’s hurricane season down there in October. Otherwise some companies are doing good bargains on certain areas of Thailand.”

“Which areas”

“Um, the areas which are either going to be experiencing the rainy season, or those to which the UK government has advised against all non-essential travel due to people with bombs, or both.”

“How about this 30% off a five-star hotel in Sri Lanka?”

“Would that be on the coast that Lonely Planet says is highly likely to experience heavy rainfall during October?”



“So what we’re saying is that for the same price as a bargain five-star hotel in a hurricane-hit resort in Mexico, we could just pay full-price to get a tailor made tour of India where it’s going to be sunny and warm?”

“Pretty much.”

“No contest then. I wonder if we can get visas and vaccinations sorted out in a fortnight?”

And so it began…

Much to my surprise (having encountered the navigational nightmare that is the Indian Visa Information UK website) the staff in the Indian Visa Centre in London are wonderfully helpful and friendly, and issued us with visas in about three days. And it turned out that we only needed one booster from the NHS, having been stuck full of every inoculation under the sun before we went to Madagascar last year. Admittedly, there was a little mix-up at the clinic as the nurse thought I had come for my smear test and wondered why I was rolling up my sleeves, and I was puzzled when she asked me to remove my underwear, but we managed to clarify matters before things got too out-of-hand.

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