It’s official- my February 2019 UK travel plans are locked in, my trip is booked! I leave Winnipeg on February 8th (arriving in London on the 9th) and fly back home on the 24th, meaning that I will have 15 full days there to enjoy it. I’m a little worried about missing Agnes, but I know that she will be taken good care of, and as I don’t get to travel a ton, I need to take advantage of it and do as much as I can! Although it was slightly rocky getting it actually booked and I have a lot of planning to do, I have it to look forward to…
Booking My UK Travel- Flight
Booking my flight to the UK was kind of a giant pain. I have been saving Aeroplan points for 5 years so that I could use it for a trip, only to find out that my “free flight” is going to cost me $700 in fees- I even called Aeroplan because it seemed like it was some sort of glitch in the system, but nope, it’s accurate. And I have an Air Canada credit for my cancelled Seattle trip, but between 3 different agents, they couldn’t decide when I would actually be able to use the credit and they never actually got back to me (thanks, Sam from Air Canada…), so I just went ahead and booked through Aeroplan.
***As I’ve learned now, use your Aeroplan points for North American travel only if you don’t want heinous fees. Sometimes you end up like me and you are planning on a UK trip, and so taking another trip to use up the points isn’t an option, but if you’re still in the planning stages, change your plans now.***
Unfortunately that means that $700 is coming out of the budget, but thankfully I plan far enough ahead that it will be manageable. I was frustrated by the fact that both Aeroplan and Air Canada’s employees don’t appear to listen and/or care about their customers, but airlines being complacent isn’t new to me, sadly. I’m trying to stay positive though, and at the end of the day, the trip is now booked!
UK Travel Plans
So far, I’ve come up with my preliminary plans- of the fifteen days, I’m going to spend three days in Bath, and then three days in Cambridge with one of my best friends, Katelynne. I may try to find one other day trip to do, but having over a week to spend in London itself sounds pretty lovely to me; I usually have to compromise or rush and now I can do whatever I want to do! There is going to be a lot of history, and a lot of shopping (a few specific items I’m looking for, as well as things I haven’t found yet)! If nothing else happens, I have to go to the Dior exhibit at the V&A, and will be booking my ticket whenever they are made available.
Bath is a three-fold trip. I’ve been dying to go the Fashion Museum to see the Royal Women exhibition for ages now, so I will take my time to soak that up. I also plan on taking in as much Jane Austen as I possibly can, including the Jane Austen Centre (who I have been thoroughly enjoying on Instagram). Also, what kind of historian would I be if I didn’t wander around Bath Abbey? I should say, I don’t plan on going to the Roman Baths- it’s fairly expensive, and I’m not so interested to wait in a line and move through big crowds when I could be walking down the Royal Crescent.
I really went back and forth between Cambridge and Oxford, but Cambridge won because of the fact that it is quieter, and that there is roughly a 2% chance of me running into a few specific historians I wanted to study with. I’m pretty excited to see Ely Cathedral (very close to Cambridge), a few specific colleges, as well as about nineteen different bridges (I never knew I wanted to see bridges until I actually started researching Cambridge)! Overall, it looks fairly gorgeous, and I’m hoping that going in February will mean that there will be less people there.
UK Travel- What’s Next
For the next few months, I will be saving for the trip! Because I don’t travel very often, I tend to try to treat myself. That doesn’t mean flying first class and only staying in luxury hotels, but I stay in hotels rather than hostels, and I won’t only travel in off-peak times. I will be booking train tickets and a few other tickets in the upcoming months, as I know that I might be able to save a little bit more by waiting but then I also might miss out on a few things that I really want to do.
I will also try to nail down more of my travel plans, and start grouping things in London I want to see for the most efficient plans. I don’t need trips planned out to very minute, but I don’t like just showing up and seeing what happens- I don’t do that in any other area of my life, so I’m not doing it on a once in 3-5 years trip haha. (The more you plan, the more you can see!)
If any bloggers are going to be in London (or Bath or Cambridge) in that time, let me know! I would love to meet up with you and see you in person 🙂 Being marooned here in the middle of Canada doesn’t exactly make it easy to meet up with bloggers normally, so I am excited to meet everyone! (I promise that I am friendly, and not a serial killer 🙂 )
And if you have any recommendations for London, Bath, or Cambridge, please let me know- I would love to hear what your favourites are and what you think I should see!