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I’ve mentioned this before but I’ve seemed to have caught the travel bug. Ever since breaking up with Matt (in 2004), I’ve begun traveling fairly regularly. For the first year, it was mostly domestic (New York, Minneapolis, Chicago, Provincetown, Philadelphia, Washington DC). Then I visited Paris in 2005. Since then, it seems I’ve been on the go every two or three months: Paris (a total of 3 times), London (a total of 2 times), Prague, Amsterdam, Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka, Puerto Vallarta, Buenos Aires, San Francisco, Mendocino, Los Angeles, Palm Springs, Las Vegas, Virginia.

And it always seems like I’m planning my next trip even before my current trip occurs. For example, we’re heading to Puerto Vallarta next week and over the past week or two I’ve been trying to plan a trip to Europe for later this spring. Unfortunately, after two weeks of research, I can’t seem to find a reasonable airfare to get us there.

To fly direct to Paris (which would be our homebase) is running around $1,200.00+. I also looked into flying into Frankfurt, Brussels, Manchester, Dublin, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Stockholm, Reykavik, Helsinki, Copenhagen, Madrid, Barcelona, Munich, Berlin, Athens, Zurich, Split, Zagreb, Vienna, Budapest, and Bucharest. All similar fares.

I tried combination flights (such as flying into one city and flying home from Paris) and had little luck except for the same route we flew last year: into London, out of Paris. That fare is only $601.00, which is actually quite a steal. The problem is that getting from London to, well, any place else, is going to cost an additional $300 per person…minimum. Mostly, that’s because flights from the U.S. typically land at Heathrow. But the budget flights within europe all depart from Gatwick, Stansted, or worse, Luton. Connecting from one airport to the other costs $40 – $80, and depending on the airport and method of transport (train, bus, subway or a combination) and it takes a minimum of an hour and a half.

And for some reason, the budget airlines don’t seem to fly from London to Paris from any of the convenient airports (they seem to like faraway Luton Airport). And the flights from London to Paris are all 7 or more hours after what would be our arrival at Heathrow so we’d be stuck in travel limbo for a long while and waste a full day of vacation. The other option is Eurail (taking the Chunnel, as I did a few years ago), but one way fares were all coming to $221 (plus the expense/time of getting from Heathrow to St. Pancras/King’s Cross subway station.)

All in all, it’s just not working out. I hate admitting defeat. But I’ve researched every possible airline, route, and method of transportation aside from cruise ship or unicycle. I’m stumped. Randy read somewhere that because of the economy airlines are having trouble filling flights and will be reducing fares in April.

I can hope!

1 Comment(s)

  1. Comment by Karyn on March 25, 2008 6:54 pm

    HELLOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO…. you could enlist the help of your Anglophile friend here! I will begin searching now.

    When are you looking for, datewise?

    Also – sign up for email alerts from and install AA’s dealfinder… and I think you put me on to Yapta, that is a good tool to have.

    Okay, I’m on it.

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