Saturday, October 27, 2018

The Trials of Traveling: Arranging a trip for 7 passengers

I'm in the middle of arranging a holiday.  No big deal, really.  Airfares, accommodation, rental car, simple.

I know where I'm going from, I know where I'm going to.

How hard can it be?

Oh, did I forget to say there's seven people traveling, four adults, three children?

OK, airlines do not class 14-year-olds as children, but adults.

But this time it seems that booking the airline seats was the easiest of the tasks.

Of course, we have yet to the seating arrangements on the plane, and at the moment we are supposed to be on an A320-200, which has a 2-4-2 seating plan.  8 across when we have 7.  Who is going to sit by themselves?  Someone else can sort that out.

So, try using any combination of 7 to book hotel rooms.  I tried several times with all sorts of whacky results and expensive options.  Seems you have to use a more basic combination, 4 adults and 3 children, and this two brings up a multitude of different options, but one or two hotels recognize the fact you may have a larger family and accommodate it.

Yes, I booked what we needed, two adjoining rooms with twin queen beds.  You try putting two children in the same bed, you need space between them.

Now we have to do something about transportation.  A car is not going to be big enough.

We have 7 passengers, this time it doesn't matter how old they are.  7 passengers, 7 bags, and 7 cabin bags, computers, handbags, etc.  You get the drift, plenty of luggage.

No matter which car site you go to, putting 7 people in, doesn't do anything but give you a list of all their cars, so I move to the end of the list.

Small cars, medium cars, large cars, aha, down to the SUV's, seating 5 and space for 4 cases.

Not enough.

Going down.

An iMax, seating for 8 and 4 cases, quite possibly more.  A bit iffy.

Keep going.

Aha!  A Toyota Highace, 12 passengers, 12 cases, bingo.  And a reasonable cost too.

Now all that's left is the travel insurance, that's reasonably easy, but not necessarily cheap.

All of this was not easy, and it took nearly a week.

One thing I discovered is that you need a travel agent, and make sure you know what you want.  It may take a little longer but it's worth it.

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