I’m awful at prepping things far in advance. I just can’t do it. It’s a combination of getting far too excited far too quickly, and not having the patience to spend weeks, or even months thinking about holidays and everything I want to do there.
Not to say planning in advance is a bad thing – I’ve been lucky so far in that, whilst I’ve been studying, I have an awful lot of free time. As a result, I’m able to book things and leave pretty much whenever I want to.
The last time I did this was probably my best example of doing so. I interned the whole summer in London, which was great – I love London, but the work was dull, the people pretty unfriendly, and wow, was it hot. I should point out here that the internship was compulsory, as part of a scholarship I hold at university. I knew a lot of people doing it too, so I made a lot of friends, which was good because the actual working elements were pretty poor.
A group of us decided we wanted to go on holiday. Once we’d got into routine of spending our evenings and weekends together exploring London, we decided we wanted to branch out. There were eight of us.
Eight is a difficult number – in terms of hostels it’s fine, but finding an agreeable solution for eight people is not easy. Some of us (me) wanted to go to a city. Somewhere we could explore, see some art, wander around in the sun and enjoy good food. Others wanted to go to Tenerife where we could lie by the sun for a week.
I’m not 100% against holidays like this. I’m actually booked to spend a week in Cape Verde this summer, which I’m really looking forward to because it’ll be my first proper relaxing holiday in a good few years. But that’s with my family, so I’m going to use that time to get a tan, read some good books and just slow down for a while. But I digress – for a short holiday with friends, I would much rather go somewhere where there’s stuff to do.
We came to a compromise – those who wanted to go on a beach holiday decided not to come in the end. I say ‘compromise’ because they didn’t seem particularly fussed about it – you know there’s always a few people who chat away with no intention or desire of actually carrying out those thoughts? (they’re my absolute worst kind of people – if I make plans, I want them to happen) It ended up being just four of us who went, and we decided on Prague.
Why Prague? A few reasons. Another guy on our internship programme had decided to go there spontaneously a few weeks ago (and got a tattoo, but less on that..) and told us how cheap it was. None of us had been there before, and none of us had future plans to go there. It wasn’t too far away, and flights were, predictably, dirt cheap. Accommodation in Prague is also so cheap, to the extent that we joked about staying there forever and just creating a new lives for ourselves in the Czech Republic instead. We found the most amazing Airbnb and it cost us each £11 a night. Yep.
The reason I say this is probably my most last minute spontaneous holiday is because we left everything, quite literally, as last minute as we could. Due to not being able to decide where to go for so long, as well as sorting out things like time off work, collecting passports from home and double checking we could actually afford to go, we booked our flights four days before we flew. Accommodation was done two days before. Things like buying currency, plug adaptors and all the other necessary stuff? I left work an hour early and picked them up on my way home. Except for the currency, which we actually left until we got to the country.
It was great for me – I loved the buzz, the spontaneous organisation, the looking for things to do there on the way to the airport (instead of mindlessly cruising the internet for weeks in advance) and downloading some Czech phrases to my phone during our transfer. Heads up – you can’t learn Czech on Duolingo. I tried.