A Travellerspoint blog

pre-booking jitters

sunny 35 °C

It happens to me every time.

I've worked out where I want to go and what I want to do. I've researched and priced everything out. I'm ready. And yet, I'm terrified of actually taking the step and booking my arrangements.

What if something goes wrong? What if I calculated the dates wrong? What if I change my mind? It's ridiculous. And yet, I always have a moment of paralysis.

This trip was no different. By yesterday morning I had worked out the cheapest car rental in Scotland, gotten availabilities from B&Bs in all the towns I want to stay in, worked out the best train routes and fares, sourced travel insurance, the whole lot.

But did I book any of it on the spot? No. I had to let it all sit while I wibbled for a little while. Every single time, this happens. And I can't be the only person who does this, can I? And you'd think I'd learn. It has bitten me in the butt before. I've ended up paying more for train fares, car rentals, losing out on my chosen B&B. And yet.

I think what I really want is to be able to book it all the day before, as I go, but for those same cheap advance prices. I can be sure of what I need a day in advance. Sadly, the world doesn't work that way. Or, at least, it doesn't work that way on the cheap.

I got my dithering down to a little more than 24 hours this time. This afternoon I sat down and took the bull by the horns. I e-mailed the B&Bs and asked for reservations. I will be spending three nights in Stirling and two nights in Fort William, and hopefully those two are sorted now. I will also be spending five nights on the Isle of Skye, but I'm still researching B&Bs for that one.

I'll be renting a car in Stirling and driving around Scotland for a week. I usually go with Easycar (a relative of Easyjet), because if you can book far enough in advance, they are crazy cheap. I did a little shopping around this time, though, and found that Enterprise Rent-a-Car beat their price by about £20, so I ended up going with them. I booked that this afternoon as well.

Reading through my Lonely Planet Scotland, I found something called the Jacobite Steam Train. It runs from Fort William to Mallaig, across the Glenfinnan Viaduct, and you can take a day trip out and back with an hour and a half stop in Mallaig for lunch and sightseeing. This was also the train (and the viaduct) featured in the Harry Potter films as the Hogwarts Express. Now, while I'm not a huge fan of those movies, I do remember the train and the stunning scenery it passed through, and I decided I wanted to go. I booked myself a ticket this afternoon.

The only thing I'm still dithering over is travel insurance. I don't know why. I've decided where I want to buy it, found a decent rate, I'm definitely going to get it... and yet. Apparently my nerves need me to leave that one for tomorrow.

Posted by kithica 22:41 Archived in Scotland Tagged preparation

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