In my new job, we have to book time off.
Not so unusual – but it wasn’t like that in my two previous careers. In teaching you just get the school holidays, no option. And when you work for yourself you can (theoretically) take time off whenever you want. In practice, you rarely take time off at all.
So, I’ve booked time off.
And I’ve booked flights.
And I’ve booked accommodation.
My passport is sorted.
I’m going on holiday!!!
I have a bucket list – but I also have a pretty tight budget, so I had to think carefully about where I wanted to go. I started off by looking at where I could get to from my local airport. Let’s keep it simple, and cheap.
And reading down the list, the place I most wanted to go to was Naples. Pompeii and Capri are on my bucket list – and Naples is the starting point for both. And it’s the place that invented pizza.
Why do they make booking flights so complicated? Don’t answer that – I know it’s to squeeze as much money out of us as possible. There’s the price – and then there are the questions.
Do I want a meal? £10. No – it’s only a 3 hour flight, I’ll be grand.
Do I want a seat? £10. Well, of course I want a seat… Ah, you mean do I want to book a seat. No, I’m happy to take pot luck, I’m travelling on my own. But this would annoy me if I was travelling with a friend or a family – you’d have to pay £10 per person each way just to be sure of sitting together. Very cynical. And they don’t make it clear that you don’t have to book a seat.
Do I want travel insurance? No, I’ll buy it separately. And no, I don’t want to bring skis, or a musical instrument, I don’t need a hotel or a hire car.
And so on and so on.
I managed to dodge all the extras and I’m only paying the headline figure for the flights. Happy with that.
I’m staying AirBnB – haven’t done that before. I’ve chosen a lovely looking apartment in a historic building in central Naples. I have the apartment to myself, and the whole week is costing me not much more than I would expect to pay for one night in a decent city centre hotel.
And now the fun part begins – the planning. I like to plan. That way you know you’re doing as much as you can and not missing anything. It’s part of the fun.
- A day trip to Pompeii of course. I can’t decide whether to spend the whole day at Pompeii and really get to see a lot or do Herculaneum as well – and risk not seeing much of either if it’s really busy. I was watching a programme about Pompeii last night, exploring what happened after the eruption and why it was forgotten for so long. Fascinating.
- A day trip to Rome – it’s only an hour away on the train. It would be rude not to.
- A day trip to Capri. The ferry goes from Naples and it’s somewhere I’ve always wanted to visit.
- A couple of days just chilling and sightseeing in Naples itself. Eating pizza, of course. And gelato. And something called sfogliatelle which apparently no trip to Naples is complete without. Will most definitely give it a try.
- I might hire a car and take myself for a drive along the Amalfi coast, and just do a bit of exploring.
Lots to think about, lots to organise.
I just hope they’re still letting us Brits in.
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