Emily Brill

The Endless Task of Trip Planning

A picture from my trip to Positano a couple of weeks ago. No planes=no problems!

One of the greatest things about going abroad is the opportunity to travel all around Europe.  Before coming here, I heard tales of the $6 round trip flights on Ryanair and the impetuous decision to fly on a whim to some far-off destination for next to nothing.  I have yet to have any of these experiences.  It’s still been exciting planning for trips and spending much less than I would if I were coming from America, but the illustrious mega-deals have remained a mystery to me.

There is no better way to prepare for a weekend trip than by trying to plan for one.  Fall break is one week away, so in addition to studying for exams, everyone is trying to get together all of their plans for the week.  Not only are flights and trains not as amazingly cheap as I’d imagined, it’s near impossible to actually book anything!  This is how it works:  I carefully pick my flight, train, etc.  I double and triple check everything.  I precisely enter my credit card information, hold my breath and press BOOK NOW.

“Error in operation.  The process cannot continue right now.  We apologize for any inconvenience,” Renfe.com tells me.

“An error condition exists which is preventing you from continuing.  You may wish to start over and try again.  If you continue to get this error message, please contact the airline,” Ryanair sputters helplessly.

You can probably imagine how frustrating this is, especially when you’re in a group of people trying to book something together.  I realize it’s all part of the abroad experience, but I didn’t expect that it would be so hard just to pay for something.

After what seemed like countless tries, I think all my affairs are in order for fall break.  People are going everywhere you can imagine for break: United Kingdom, France, Greece, Belgium, Switzerland, etc.  My plans are to travel through Spain and visit Barcelona, Madrid, and Seville, and then take a weekend trip to Morocco.  I’m so excited to visit these places, as I’ve only been exploring Italy up to this point (it could be worse).  The baggage requirements on these airlines is a completely different hassle and trying to pack for 10 days in 1 backpack is going to be an experience in itself!

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