How hard is it to book aholiday?

Five years ago we went on holiday, as a family of six we don’t go every year, we have to save up and go at least every 3 years… but this time its been longer.

We managed to get a few city breaks in between our big holidays, this year we went to Norway for 5 days in the winter and a few years ago we went to Paris for our daughters 18Th ( even if she didn’t come with us. …but that’s another story) With our festivals and little road trips in-between we get our adventures and we are happy to have it like that… but this year we needed and wanted our holiday..

We work through the summer and money can be tight so we tend to save up and have a really great holiday every few years.

We’ve been saving up for a special holiday this year, with special birthdays, graduations, celebrations and anniversaries ( one going 13, one going 18, us reaching a mile-stone in our marriage ( that makes us feel very old), )

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We wanted something special.

We had saved the cash and we were going to do it.. lets book..

Day one.. we start to look for a holiday….

  • I text the eldest daughter see if she wants to come ( she’s at uni) she does…

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  • I’m   doing this…

Day 2-4

  • Three days of looking around and deciding where to go ensues..
  • The kids all want to go back to Mexico.. (we went there for our last trip 5 years ago)
  • We tell them its time to do something new.. they sulk…we ignore them

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Day 5

  • Text eldest daughter who is away at uni.. ” are you still coming on holiday? we need to book today” she replies saying she’s not sure if can afford it, she also needs exact dates which we can’t give her as we have to know how many people we are booking for.
  • We explain this and tell her we will foot the bill and she just needs spending money.
  • 10 calls and loads of texts later she decides she cant make it this time.
  • No problem… we start to search for 5 people rather than 6…

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Day 5.. evening:  We find a great deal to Dominican Republic!!!

  • Its now evening and this is a great deal!!!! two weeks for 5 people, all inclusive, loads of pool space and on the beach, close to the town.. its all good…. show the kids they love the look of it.. its in budget and looks good.
  •  I get it ready to go.. put the personal info in and just before pressing ‘Pay now’ think I should give The eldest another chance to change her mind.
  • Text eldest child “we are booking now.. you sure you aren’t coming?”
  • She replies…. ” ok I’ll come”
  • I reply “are you totally sure?” she rings us again and an hour long conversation takes place about wether she can afford it..she would need to take time off work and needs the cash for other trips she’s has booked.
  • We continue to say we cant decide for her, its up to her…
  • She decided as much as she wants to she cant make it this time.
  • No problem
  • We go back to the computer to pay…
  • The holiday has gone up £1500!!!!!! WTF?

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  • Totally over budget..
  • I go back to searching but its late and I need to sleep.

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Day 6

  • Wake up and get straight on the computer.. what has happened.. all the holidays are up in price!!!!!

…..not just a bit….

………………………but by by thousands!!!.. ……..( a couple of hundred per person)

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  • Wow.. this is crazy… I start to look for alternatives and find a trip to Jamaica, all inclusive so no worrying about food and drinks, little cottages on the beach… looks amazing… its in budget.. we have saved up for somewhere tropical and lovely.. but we still have a budget to stay in..

Decide to just read the reviews…

oh god.. they are terrible..

  • I give up.. I take Jamaica off the list.
  • I give up.. I do other things and forget the holiday I am totally fed up of this shit.. I’m over it.

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Day 6 …evening

  • Mr O sees I have given up and decided to have a look himself,

…..its 10pm and I’m in the bath.

……….He comes up with his laptop..

……….he’d  accidentally put in that we could fly from London airports and loads of new places and prices have come up..

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  • Thailand ( my dream destination) has come up and this 5 * resort looks amazing…

…..loads of character

………and its bed and breakfast so we can go out and explore  it as a base..

……..I’m in love..

…….best of all it is in budget!!!!

  • We would have to travel down to Heathrow the night before ( we are in Yorkshire) and stay over but thats ok..

I get out of the bath

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  • we start to book it

………..but

  • …in that half an hour it has gone up..

AGAIN….

…..By 300 quid each

…….which mean its gone up by 1,500 for us all..

……..that would have been our food money and travel money getting to London.

  • We go to bed

Mr O lays in bed and thinks about it

…..he decides we should find the extra cash and go for it

……its somewhere we always wanted to go..

…..the hotel is perfect..

…….its a special occasion and we have been saving hard for this…

  • We go to sleep excited.. I kinda fell a bit more in love with him too

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Day 7

  • Excitedly we come down and go to book..

yup…

…..we are so doing this

.. we put the info in for each person and click the button….

….so exciting…..

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.”card declined” 

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.

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  • what????

…we know there is the money there

….. we call the bank

  • No problem!

…..there is a security limit of what we can pay at any one time

……they tell us on the phone that they can take off the limit

…….its instant

……we press to pay again

.

.

.

“card declined”

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.

  • What?????
  • maybe we need to give it a minute to make sure the security block is off…

….5 mins later

  • We press to pay.

…..

“card declined”

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  • We phone the bank again
  • The operator can see the lady spoke to us

…… she ‘forgot ‘ to take the security block off.

WE ask them to stay on the phone while we book again..

……just in case.

  • We go to press ‘pay now’

Mr O shouts just as I go to confirm

… “stop!!’ ….

  • it has gone up……
  • AGAIN.

  • ……… while we have been putting out information in

……….and trying to book they put the price up by 83 quid each!!!!

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  • OMG how can this be happening..

…..its totally out of reach now!!!!!!

  • We ring off from the bank who confirm the block is off

……..should we book in the next hour we will have no problems.

  • I start to search again…
  • The holiday we want comes ups….

it back to the  same price it was last night…!!!!!!!

…………………its only been a few minutes..

……………………….its cheaper again…..

……………………………..how???

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  • We go to book it quick!
  • We press

‘pay now’

……..the visa goes through to the verification box,

……….I go to put the code in…

” visa verification is locked as your card has been declined too many times”

  • WE phone Tui…

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..the block is off the card,

…… its just the verification,

…………….we don’t need to use that if we pay directly!!!!!

  • Tui answer and they are lovely..
  • we find the same holiday… we are about to book

“can you ring me on a land line and I will take the payment?”

  • We don’t have a land line..

……who has a land line these days?

……we have 5 mobile  contracts!

………why would we pay for a land line too?

  • They cant take a payment from a mobile...

and…

…..there as been a change in the price while we have been talking..

……….back up to an extra £1560 for us all!!!

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  • We put the phone down.
  • We have fallen out with Tui!

…………We refuse to look at the site again…

…… We did not discover our smile!!!

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  • Mr O starts to look to look at flights and hotel separately…
  • Within minutes we find an amazing holiday..

flights from Manchester to Thailand, with Emerates

( Third Childs dream airline… he’s been drawing pictures of Emerates planes for years)

…..change at Dubai ( exciting)

…..land in Phuket, Thailand

…..Get a transfer by boat to a little island and stay at the most amazing place,…..own villa,

….own pool,

….5 star retreat

.. and its £1800 under budget!!!

AMAZING!!!!

‘It was meant to be!!!!’

  • WE phone the bank

( we aren’t daft!)

……..they confirm the payment will go through..

…. nothing can go wrong!

.. we are totally on it….

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  • We press

‘Pay now’

…no verification comes up..

 …its all going well…

We wait as the little circle goes around while it processes the payment…

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“Payment declined”

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We phone the bank…

Mr O is not calm

“why cant I spend my own money?”

  • The nice man from HSBC looks at the account

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He finds that Expedia took the payment in two payments …

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one for the hotel

……and one for the flights..

We had security clearance for one f*cking payment!!!!!!

for only one..!!!

They had released the first payment for £3k

…..declined the other.

We are missing 3k

…….. the holiday booking says

“the payment didn’t go through!.”

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We phone Expedia…

They have no record of the payment

….but the bank says its left the account…

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  • An hour later on a premium number call
  • The man has no ideas what to do..

… he cant find the money

…. he cuts me off when I ask to speak to a supervisor…

….. I ring back… still cant find it

….. I beg them to look harder…

… he justs tries to get me to try the card again….

                       ( I later find has cost over £20)

Finally a supervisor comes on and explains what is going on….

We finally get some answers…..

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  • Expedia requested the payment

……the bank released it,

…….the band declined the second payment

………………Expedia then cancelled the first one

…… They  didn’t claim the money from the bank

Nobody has the money!!!

Our money

Our savings

The money is floating around in cyber space.!!!!!!!

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  • Expedia send us an email confirming that the money will not be claimed.

…..it will be credited into our account within 5 DAYS!!!!!

                          … Yes thats right 5  DAYS!!!!!

                             …… 5 sodding days!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  • WE decide to risk booking the holiday

……..praying the money comes back without a problem

…………….it is obviously needed for other bills and stuff this month

ITS A BIG RISK FOR US

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We phone the Bank and Expedia

……..we  keep them both on the phone while we try book

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SO…. we try to

BOOK

THE

BLOODY .

HOLIDAY!

!!

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.

.

‘pay now’ 

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it doesn’t go through…

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The man at the bank tells us to hold…

we all hold again

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He comes back to us.. tells us to try again…

‘Pay now’

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.

.

we ALL wait

the circle goes around and around…..

and around

and around

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the Expedia man waits

.

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The HSBC man waits 

.

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the kids wait

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.

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We all  wait

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“your holiday is booked”

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WAHOOOOOOO

I cheer

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Mr O cheers

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The kids cheer

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The HSBC man cheers

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The Expedia man cheers

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The cat freaks out

… and pisses on the floor!

.

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So a week after I first went to book …we have booked to  go to Thailand… and never has a holiday been more needed or deserved..

WE are STILL waiting for our £3K four days on and can’t afford to pay the mortgage and get this weeks shopping till it does!

We are feeling confident it will come in

                                              .. plus we are going on holiday!

YIP! YIP! YIPEEEEEEE!!!!

We cant afford new holiday clothes or expensive luggage

.. but thats ok

.. we will happily be the poor relations at the posh resort

… We have our manners and our family….

and…

I just don’t care!!!

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NOTE: I’ve had three emails from TUI offering me a further discount per person on each place if I continue with my booking…????!!!!

I…..

 ‘“Move Mail to trash”

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They text Mr O from the bank

” how did you rate your recent telephone banking experience ?”

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The End

PsI tried to buy The rough Guide to Thailands Islands today…  guess what? The visa verification is…..yup…. Blocked!!!!!

To see the amazing place where we are now going clickhere.… Im sure you will agreee its a bit more exciting than a package holiday!!! Cant wait to write about it!

PPS. The Santhiya Resort have already been in touch and so has the airline.. both professional and easy to sort out… Thanks goodness!!!

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