Three months ago I wrote about my crazy Hotel schedule during my Christmas trip back to the UK. One of the stops along the way after Burton-upon-Trent is Liverpool to vist the British Music Experience and see an old colleague.
While planning when we would meet for Breakfast and the other activities while there I checked the opening times for the BME to discover - to my horror - that they had decided to close on Monday 23rd of December. The 24th would have always been a questionable day, and I'm 98% certain that when we were planning this trip months ago they were open on the 23rd.
This left us scrambling. Go to Liverpool as planned - which, to be honest, was out of our way - or head back south to Wales possibly stopping somewhere else on the way that was enroute. Unfortunately the Morgan Factory is closed until March next year so that was out.
First thing first was the Hotels. I cancelled the hotel that I had booked in Liverpool and my wife cancelled the hotel that she had booked halfway between Liverpool and Cardiff - some place called Droitwich.
With that out of the way it was now a case of booking new accomodation back in Cardiff. Either in town - where we currently are - or "down the bay" (a revitalized docklands where the BBC have their studios for shows like Dr Who and Sherlock amongst others). We wanted to stay in town but we'll have a car and it is cheaper to keep it for the extra days then return it and rent it again. Problem is, parking in town - few hotels have free parking - is £25 per 24 hours.
So, taking into account the cost of the hotel + parking, we ended up "down the bay". We were already booked to stay there from Christmas Eve through New Years Eve anyway so this will be an extra two nights. Unfortunately not at the hotel we are already booked at as the rate this close to check-in were very high. We are staying at a different hotel, that has free parking and right next to the Odeon Cinema we have ticket for Star Wars at anyway.
All in all between staying in town and staying down the bay there was at least £100 to be saved, plus if we really want it costs £3 and 15 minutes on a train to get into town. Or a mile if we want to walk it - which we normally do. You can get a really nice meal for £100 and our wedding anniversary is next weekend.
Of course all this research, hotel cancelling, deliberation, parking pricing, hotel price investigation and booking took the pair of us a good three hours each.
We may find something interesting to do on the way back - the Bristol Aerospace Museum looks tempting so we may change our current plans again.
The flexibility of being able to cancel a hotel booking up until noon of the day you check-in definitely has some advantages.