Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Booking holidays is easy - once you decide where to go

We’re going on holiday. Official. After weeks of rows and dark silences we finally agreed that the mid-point between Egypt and Belgium lies in Turkey. So yesterday, after Adrian headed off to the Great British Beer Festival (work, hard work, you know) and I dropped James off to stay with a friend, I marched into the travel agents. Listened to a couple discuss their requirements at huge length for a hugely long period of time. In fact, wrote a feature in the time it took them to decide that, no, Grand Bahama wasn’t quite right for their requirements. Ye Gods. Eventually they left with a swathe of brochures and I slid into the rather overwarm seat the chap had vacated.

‘Can I help you,’ said "Alison" (she had a badge). I could feel the deep soul weariness coming off her in waves but, bless her heart, she had a brave sweet smile.

‘I’m sure you can,’ I said brightly. ‘Package for three for a week, best deal you’ve got.’


‘Friday. Or, at latest, Monday.’
'Crikey. Um, okay.’
She pulled up some details. ‘Um, there’s something to Turkey..’

‘Turkey’s fine.’
She looked suspicious. Read off a few details.
‘That sounds fine,’ I said.
Looked really suspicious. Like nothing in her life is ever that easy.
‘Honestly. As long as it’s got a pool and a beach and isn’t rat infested, it’s fine,’ I reassured her.
‘Well. But hang on…’
Her professional pride was piqued now. She clicked a few more times. ‘Wow. That’s a good deal. It’s all-inclusive, right by the beach…’
I peered over her shoulder. Saw the magic word ‘spa’. ‘Fabulous. We’ll take it.’
‘But, but….’
Bless her, she pointed out all the disadvantages.
Like we’d be sharing a room (no, not with a family of five from Birmingham, you daft numpties). Like the spa was probably a manky sauna and an ancient masseuse with arthritic fingers.
Like the beach wasn’t pure white sand but fine dust-coloured shingle.

‘Honestly, it’s fine,’ I reassured her. ‘It’s great. I like dust-coloured.’
‘The food and drink service isn’t 24-hour,’ she said, desperately.
‘Er, that’s fine. We won’t want to eat 24-hours a day.’
‘Some people don’t like that.’
I bet.
‘Right, let’s book this, huh?’ I laid our passports in front of her and plonked my credit card firmly on top.
‘Are you sure?’
‘Absolutely. Let’s just get this done and, er, dusted.’

So, there we have it. We’re heading off on Monday. Since then Alison, bless her, has rung me three times to point out small details I may have overlooked. I think we’re becoming new best friends. Actually I think she’s still deeply perplexed that anyone can book a holiday in five minutes.

Of course, this may backfire horribly. I haven’t done this kind of package holiday since I was ten. But, hey ho, it will be an experience.

Now then. Promo time. I have ten ton of sun-cream and my trusty Sun Believable self-tan (seriously, this stuff is good, really good). I also have nice new non-sweaty Sea-Bands.
You know these? They’re acupressure bands – like mini-sweat-bands with a pressure stud sewn inside that, if you position it correctly (it’s not hard) presses the Nei-Kuan acupressure point (which relieves nausea and vomiting). Our chemist recommended them when James was getting seriously carsick a few years back and, by heck, they work a treat on him. Research has generally been into their uses post-operatively but, for me, the proof of the pudding was in the not throwing up of said pudding. I get a bit travelsick in the back of a car or on buses, so figure I’ll play safe and take a set for myself too.
My only quibble is aesthetic. The colour choices are pretty glum. Adult ones come in Atlantic Ocean grey. Children’s come in faded pink, faded blue etc. C’mon Sea-Bands, jazz ‘em up a bit. Get funky – chic black (or skull-encrusted for a Goth vibe?); fluoro with daisies for the festival crowd; rainbows; kittens; chic stripes….use your imaginations!

Anyhow, Sea-Bands got in touch, I said I was already a fan and, lo and behold, I have a few spare pairs to give away…mainly children’s but think there’s an adult pair left too. If you’d like ‘em, let me know (no need for your own personal vomiting stories – we will use the trusty sunhat from Israel to pick the winners). 


susie @newdaynewlesson said...

LOL-we bought a car more or less like that. One , two, three.

My son and hubby went to turkey 2 1/2 years ago on a last minute deal, all inclusive. They then books trips every day for the 5 days they were there and all that including, flights, hotels and gifts cost less than $1200. Amazing eh?

And as far as the seabands-I would love for them to get in touch with me and give me a few pairs to try out with my oncology patients.

Sage said...

I laughed at this, I have permanent sea sickness even on a mill pond like sea but I really, really want to go on a cruise lol.

It started when we got the zeebrugge to Dover ferry in 1970 something, and having found our cabin mum and dad took us kids to the bar for a meal.. I still remember eating chicken and peas and probably chips but as soon as we left the harbour I was as pea green as the peas had been.. the only cure for me at the time was to walk outside in the fresh air as that seemed to help and that's just what I have done for the past 40 odd years whenever I have got on a boat.. I arrive frazzled and tired but definitely not seasick.. If I am not lucky enough to be a winner I will get a set to be able to go on a cruise lol xx

zenandtheartoftightropewalking said...

I carry seabands everywhere, not for me any more, but for students of all ages, nations and whatever. I know they work because I so rarely have to then supply the sick bags that also lurk in my capacious handbag.
I seldom get travel sick these days but when I do, I hog the bands
Have a super dooper time!

Midlife Singlemum said...

Never mind the sickness bands - hooray, you have a holiday booked! Have a fabulous time.

jane said...

Oh boy I would love to try sea bands on my No2 son. He has pretty much been sick everywhere we've ever been! Even a 10 minute drive to the sports centre and then he was feeling too bad to do anything.

well done on booking your holiday though!

Ma.Ste. said...


Solange Noir said...

Sounds fab to me! Turkish food is so yum :)
Yes, please to seabands. I have children in need lol

Ivy said...

I swear by my sea bands! They stopped me being sick with child No1, I never got sick with child No 2 because of them and in 20 years I have been sea sick only once and that was ( last month) when hubby kindly pointed out to me that I wasn't wearing them and found I had forgotten them at home :(

Have a fab time in Turkey

Ivy said...

PS don't put my name into the hat. I have enough sea bands to cater for a large family. I better give someone a chance who has to find out about their miracle power

Turkey adult only holidays said...

Right sound with the right place.